About Newf Friends

Newf Friends Newfoundland Dog Rescue is a volunteer run, foster home based rescue group for Newfoundland Dogs in need in Ontario, Canada.
We place Newfs into carefully screened homes in Ontario and surrounding provinces and states.
Established in 2008.

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Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for general information about our program and our adoption policies and procedures.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Family Day

Keep your kids and dogs safe this Family Day
Dogs are important members of the family and following a few basic guidelines will ensure that your children and dogs can life together happily and safely. Most dog bites are preventable if children learn how to interact with dogs properly.

  • Obedience train your dog. Teach your dog to be well mannered and respectful of all family members.
  • Dogs should never be left alone with children under five years of age, even if you trust the dog. A young child may challenge or injure the dog unintentionally and the result could be tragic. Take Molly as an example, she arrived in Newf Friend's care with horrible ear infections and her ear canals swollen shut. Upon examination our vet discovered pieces of chewing gum which had been shoved into Molly's ears. She also had gum tangled in her hair. This could have been prevented had Molly's interactions around children been supervised.
  • Teach children that animals are not toys and must be touched gently. Do not pull the animal's tail, ears, poke their eyes or throw things at them. Children must not hug animal's head, climb on them or try to ride them.
  • Your dog should be an indoor, family pet, never tied in the yard. Children tend to tease dogs who are tied out which can lead to aggressive behaviour. Many instances of dogs attacking children occur when the dog is tethered in the yard and a screaming or running child enters its space.
  • Never sneak up on a pet. If frightened dogs can become defensive. Approach the dog from the front with your hands visible and speak in a low soothing voice. Don't allow children to play any "hide and seek" or "sneak up on the pet" games.
  • Teach children not to run past the dog, this can excite the dog and lead to dominant and even aggressive behaviour. Dogs instinctively chase things, so this may cause a dog to see your child as prey.
  • Teach children to be calm and quiet near dogs -- they should never scream near an animal as this will upset the animal and make them want to chase.
  • Let your dog eat without being disturbed. Explain to your children dogs can become defensive around the food dish. Do not sneak up on, or put your hand near the bowl when the pet is eating
  • Never take a toy or bone from a dog's mouth
  • Dogs and children should be separated at snack time so the dog doesn't learn to steal food from tiny hands.
  • Never disturb a sleeping dog or a dog that is caring for puppies.
  • The dog should have a place he can call his own. This can be a crate in the house, or a soft bed in a quiet location in the house. The children should never be allowed to bother the dog when he is in his place.
  • Do not make eye contact with dogs, stare at dogs, put your face in the face of a dog or kiss the dog on its face.
  • When in your fenced yard, owners should make sure that neighbourhood children cannot accidentally or intentionally tease your dog. Kids often begin by goading the dog to bark, then to snarl. Or they may throw things at him to chase him away from the fence. However it begins, the end result is usually the same: the dog learns to hate kids which can lead to fear and/or aggression.
  • Do not play tug-of-war or wrestle with any dog who has access to children. A dog that learns to tug on any item will soon figure that anything he can grab is his, even if it's a child's toy, clothing, or appendage.
  • If the dog is excited and jumping up, Be A Tree
  • Do not get near or try to stop two dogs from fighting. They might become more excited if they are yelled at or separated
  • Neuter your dog.
  • Make sure your dog is vaccinated against rabies and other diseases and take him to the vet for regular checkups. Your pet's health and well-being can affect his behaviour.
  • Show your children how to observe body language. Tell your children that since dogs can't talk, they communicate by using body language. A growl is not always the first warning prior to a bite. When interacting with a dog, pay attention when the dog yawns, turns its head away or tries to get up and move away. These are signs the dog is stressed. Dogs that have their tail up, ears back, hair standing, are barking, growling, or showing teeth, are all signs that the dog is being bothered and should not be confronted. Tell your children if they are ever face to face with a dog showing these signs to not scream, run or make eye contact. Always walk away slowly with no fast movements while avoiding any eye contact with the dog. Be sure your children know to immediately tell an adult if a dog ever bites them.

This family day, why not get out there and do something good for animals in need. Send us your stories of children helping animals and we'll share them on our Kids that Care blog!