Good Dog in a Box recently launched a two-part dog bite prevention program called SAFE which focuses on helping parents and children talk about and practice how to be safe around all dogs. Each part of the SAFE program encourages children to think about their own behavior around dogs and the importance of respecting a dog’s body and space. SAFE is presented in short, animated videos that highlight these practical aspects of dog bite prevention.
The first part of the program, SAFE for Dogs You Know, includes basic skills for day-to-day interactions with familiar dogs including:
- Soft Touch, Not Too Much - Pat the dog gently on the chest and side.
- Ask the Dog if They’ve had Enough - Always give the dog a choice to leave.
- Be a Friend, Don’t Bother When Eating or Sleeping - Respect the dog’s space.
- Enjoy, But Not as a Toy - Don’t ride, push, or dress up your dog.
The second part of the program, SAFE for Dogs You Don’t Know, teaches four calm body language cues for children when an unfamiliar dog approaches:
- Stay Still and Chill - Don’t run and don’t make a lot of noise.
- Arms Crossed, Like a Boss - Keep your arms still and close to your body.
- Face Away Like You Don’t Want to Play - Turn your head to the side.
- Eyes Down on the Ground - Don’t stare at the dog.
Watch the SAFE videos and download the free SAFE materials including infographics, wall charts and kid’s ebook, plus other free SAFE resources at https://www.gooddoginabox.com/safe-dog-bite-prevention-program/.
Jenn Merritt, BS, CPDT-KA, and Kim Merritt-Butler grew up loving dogs. Jenn became a professional dog trainer and Tellington TTouch practitioner and Kim became a serial entrepreneur. Last year they got their heads together and came up with a new way to approach dog training, dog bite prevention, and humane education for families. Good Dog in a Box was born. Their mission is to keep dogs and kids safe through education, awareness, and advocacy. They want to reduce the number of family dogs surrendered at animal shelters by promoting positive, reward-based training techniques that are family- and kid-friendly.