• Akita association of Ireland first championship show 20 June 2015

    A lovely day  was had by all at the  Akita Association Of Ireland’s first championship show. Congratulations  to all the winners.  We are delighted that our first championship show was such a success and thank you to all who supported the show and special thanks to  Dave Killilea of Redwitch Akitas for judging.

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  • Akita Association of Ireland Club Show 2014

    The Akita Association of Ireland Breed Club Show was held on Sunday 19 October 2014  Thank you  Mr Ross Delmar our Judge and thanks to our sponsor Petsolutions UK Eire and of course to all the people who help on the day and all that came along to  make the day a great success.   […]

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  • 2015 Calendar

    The Akita Association of Ireland  are now taking orders for  adverts for their 2015 calender. Any member wishing to take out an advert can do so by emailing a photograph of their dog or dogs to  bob.modelvill@gmail.com. The cost is €50 per advert and the photograph must be over 1200 pixels.

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  • Dog Friendly B&B

    Please take your membership card along with you when staying at any of the following as you may be asked for it. The Akita Association of Ireland have negotiated a 20% discount for all members at the dog friendly Rockville House B&B in Cashell, Co Tipperrary. This applies to all bookings made direct with Rockville House.  Akita Association members […]

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  • St Patrick’s Day Pet Expo 2014

    The association were pleased to be at the IKC St Patrick’d Day pet expo 2014 Thanks are due to all who gave up their weekend…human and dogs to promote the breeds and make it another  great success for the Association.  Huge thank you to all the visitors to the stand who came to see and learn a little […]

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CHILDREN & DOGS

How often have you seen that cute picture of a child hugging a dog, a child kissing a dog’s face or even the picture of a child sitting on a dog? So often these photos have been seen  across social media sites with comments like ‘oh how cute’ and ‘aren’t they cute together’? No doubt, the picture does come across as cute, but have you ever really looked at the dog in the picture? With almost every picture seen of this type, the dog is giving multiple signs of anxiety. So why are the children still interacting with the dog in this fashion? It’s simple, the parents and children don’t know how to read the dog’s body language and they don’t know proper canine etiquette. We as humans consider hugging and kissing an act of affection, dogs can consider it an uncomfortable breach of their personal space, which fills them with anxiety. This breach can be made even stronger if the child is a stranger. Many dogs will turn their heads when confronted with a possible kiss, or lean away from a hug while still enduring it. When being sat on (or even bounced on) by a child, many dogs will show strong signs of anxiety and some will become so uncomfortable, they will get up and walk away to escape.

The reasons for a dog to bite can be many. The dog may not be well socialized with children and may become extremely uneasy immediately upon inappropriate interaction. Even with a well socialized dog, too much close/inappropriate interaction from a child can drive them to nip. The children may be interacting with the dog in such a way that it hurts the dog or the child may accidentally startle the dog. Sometimes the dogs are on a leash and feel they have no route of escape. Many children try to take food or toys away from dogs, even dogs they don’t know. All of these are things that can trigger a bite no matter the breed, age, size or sex of the dog.

Dogs show anxiety in a number of ways.  Eyes are indeed a mirror to the soul, if you can see the whites of the eyes and/or the eyes are dilated, this dog is extremely stressed. This is called whale eye and it is a strong indicator. A stressed dog will have tension in the face, you will see wrinkles where there normally are none, and the face just looks tight and tense. If

the dog is panting and ambient temperature or exercise doesn’t necessitate it, the dog is showing anxiety, if the tongue is tense and curled up, the dog is showing a lot more anxiety. An anxious dog will tend to hold the ears back, the further back, the more anxiety the dog is feeling. The dog’s body is another good indicator of stress level. If the dog is uncomfortable with the attention it’s receiving, the body language will be leaning away from the source. If you look at the dog and picture him moving at any moment, figure out what direction you think that dog would go, if it is away from the child, then the dog is feeling anxiety and the child needs to move away.

 

If a child interacts with a dog in an inappropriate manner and gets nipped, this is not the sign of a dangerous dog; this is a dog that resorted to a more physical warning because the body language warnings did not work. The fact that the dog nipped rather than delivering a strong, damaging bite, means this dog has learned ‘bite inhibition’, something puppies learn from their mothers and other adults as well as littermates and other puppies. Bite inhibition is very important; it means the dog has learned to temper the bite to the situation, rather than just delivering a hard bite no matter the circumstance. Because children commonly get bit in the face, even a light nip can cause facial damage and possibly require stitches.

Children need training on how to interact appropriately with dogs. Their natural exuberance and desire to deliver affection can be the driving force behind a bite. There are many classes available through many trainers regarding safe interaction with dogs and reading dog body language. In order to have a safe, healthy relationship with the family dog, I would suggest finding a behaviour and body language class taught by a qualified professional dog

trainer/behaviourist. Before taking the class, do some research into the trainer, find out what their qualifications are and do a search for reviews. I personally offer classes to schools, clubs, businesses and private parties. Whether you take a class or not, it’s always good to make sure your child knows not to approach a strange dog without permission from the owner. A child should under no circumstance approach a strange dog that is not accompanied by a person.

For more information contact : The Akita Association of Ireland