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Keep Kids and Pets Safe This Holiday Season

I’ve been lucky enough to interview Dr. Sophia Yin several times for dog behavior and dog training articles. If you’re looking for detailed, science-based information on dog training and dog behavior, her site is a great place to look … especially if your dog interacts with kids at all … and you want to prevent accidental dog bites.

screen capture of dr sophia yin's website


You can click through her to see Dr. Yin’s extensive library of dog behavior and training resources.

One of my favorites is this video PSA about how scary kids can be to any dog, especially a fearful one. (Imagine this + kids in Halloween costumes … eek!)

Before the holiday season gets into full swing (with guests coming and going), I think it’s a good reminder to keep an eye on your dog’s body language. If you click through here, you can download a free poster on dog body language.

A while back I posted a link to this video on my Facebook personal page, and I got lambasted by a “friend” because she blames dogs and dog owners, not kids, for dog bites. She believes it’s the dog’s family’s responsibility to train the dog not to bite.

Well, I think it’s a two-way street, where dog moms and people moms work together to keep EVERYONE safe.

And, I would add this question … Who has the bigger brain? Who has a greater capacity to understand that their actions affect others … a child or a dog?

Dogs cannot say, “Stop it.” They do not have hands to push someone way. They have their body, their voice, and their teeth with which to communicate. We just need to watch and to listen better.


Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Karen Friesecke - October 21, 2011

I’ve never seen this video before! Very simple, very effective!

    Roxanne Hawn - October 22, 2011

    I agree, Karen. It shows so clearly how a dog might respond, and how so many people just don’t recognize what he is trying to communicate. Then, bam! The dog bites.

Julie - October 20, 2011

I think children should be taught how to approach a dog, and to ask first “can I pet your dog?”, and if they’re too young, then their parents should be supervising the interaction.

But, I can’t tell you how many adults walk up and pat my dog on the top of the head . .I always want to ask how they would like it if someone did that to them!!

Jen - October 20, 2011

I’ve seen this video before, but can’t watch it enough.

Dr. Sophia Yin has a good way of putting things, that makes dog body language and behavior easy (or easier!) to identify.

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