Below are some tips to help have a contented family pet, particularily where there are children and dogs together
- It is very important to choose a dog/breed that fits into your way of life. Be sure that you have the time to properly socialise your dog and fulfil your dogs needs on daily basis with mental and physical exercise.This is a must to have a well balanced dog.
- The advantages of spaying and nurturing are endless! We encourage pet owners to spay or neuter their dogs as a responsible means to prevent accidental breeding resulting in unwanted puppies and will prevent your male dog from roaming if he happened to get loose and scents a bitch in heat. Spaying and neutering can also be very beneficial for the health of your dog.
- As a dog owner you are responsible not only for your own dog’s well being but for the status of dogs everwhere. One irresponsible dog owner in town can make life difficult for dog owners all over. Owning a friendly, clean, well-mannered dog reflects positively on the species.
- Respect the law, always obey the Control of Dogs Act, this applies to all breeds.
- If for whatever reason you may have to re-home your dog be responsible and be sure to investigate the potiental new owner thoroughly, never just hand your dog over to a stranger. All too often dogs can end up in the wrong hands.
- Take up basic obedience classes and get the whole family involved, your children can have fun and learn more about dogs and dog care by participating. This is a great way to have fun and you will bond even more. It also gives the family a greater knowledge to handle and control their dog.
And some tips for those who have both children and dogs in their lives
- Do your homework; educate yourself and most importantly your children about what is involved in being a responsible safe dog owner. Among children, the incidence of dog-bite injuries is the highest for those between the ages of 5 to 9 years of age. With this in mind it’s important for aduts to have a basic understanding of what preventative measures they can take to keep their children from being bitten. If you’re planning on adopting a dog from a shelter make sure to enquire about the dog’s temperament according to the staff and volunteers at the facility.
- Owners of dogs should always be vigilant of small children. Children and dogs can be great companions but they also require supervision when playing together. Your dog may be ‘good with kids’, but what if your dog encounters a kid that is not good with dogs? Very small children should never be left alone with a dog, no matter how stable his temperament. Before bringing a new dog into your home, make sure you assess your child’s level of comfort around dogs. If your child exhibits any fear or apprehension around dogs they could actually trigger a dog’s aggression. It’s far better to hold off on adopting a dog for a while than risk your child’s safety. Work on addressing your child’s fear issues around dogs before considering bringing a dog into your household
- Owners should be vigilant when a strange child is about to approach their dog and be vigilant of the approach itself. If your dog for whatever reason feels uncomfortable around children never force the issue. Advise your child not to be the first to approach an unknown dog. Allow a new dog to practice the ritual of smelling your child first before interacting with him. Teach your children that dogs don’t like to be hugged around the neck or kissed, children are often bitten the face or neck as a result of this practice. Always seek professional advice, after all prevention is the best cure
- Always be aware that any breed from the smallest to the largest of breeds has the potiental to inflict serious and/or fatal injuries to a small child. Never be under any illusions that it is only particular breeds that have these capabilities. Never allow your child to taunt or tease a dog, especially if he is eating or protecting a high value item such as his food bowl, bone or toy. Never assume that your dog is fool proof around your child. Ultimately, your responsibitity is to supervise your child when she is interacting with a dog.
- Teach your children about strange dogs, teach them never to approach a dog they don’t know, and if a dog is with its owner then they should ask the permission of the owner first. Common examples of body language that indicate a dog does not want to interact with a child might include stiff of ver still posturing, lip smacking, growling or raising their tail as the child approaches. Tell your child to avoid giving direct eye contact to a dog showing these signs and slowly back away from the dog. Counsel your child to never scream or run from a dog that shows these signs as this may trigger his prey instinct to go after the child.
Reproduced with kind permission from Ireland’s Pitbull Terrier Association
Looking for some fun activities to do with your dog that they will love? Check out the details and links below about some of the most popular activities available in Ireland:
- Agility: Most people have seen agility at Crufts on telly. It is an obstacle course consisting of 20 obstacles; jumps, tunnels, see-saws, etc. The dogs love the sport and it gets you fit too! Click below to find a club near you
- Showing: If you have a pedigree dog with papers here’s the information you need to show them. www.ikc.ie
- Obedience: Obedience is a sport known for it’s precision and accuracy, it involves training and teamwork between you and your dog. Basic obedience courses benefit every dog and owner for happier home lives.
- Flyball: Flyball is a rapid relay type sport, it consists of dogs having to jump 4 jumps, catch a tennisball, bring it back over the jumps and home before the next dog can go. There’s no club really involved at the moment in Ireland but it’s coming soon no doubt
- Hospital Visiting: Peata organises visiting teams to go into hospitals and residential facilities to visit the residents who miss their own animals. If you feel your dog would be suitable visit their website to learn more.
- Dock Jumping: This is a brand new sport from America, again not in Ireland yet. It involves dogs running down a 40ft dock and then jumping as far as possible into a 40ft pool. The dogs love it and spectators get wet! Learn more here
- Dog Sledding: No, you dont have to have snow, your sled can have wheels. Learn more here
- Heelwork to music: This is a sport derived from obedience, it’s a cross between dancing and obedience.Learn more here
- Sheep dog trials: Mainly for people with collies and their own land and animals. Learn more here
- Working Trials: This sport consists of tracking, search and retrieve, and an obstacle course. Visit WTCI website to learn more
Agility and Obedience Lessons/Clubs
- Working Canine Association of Ireland – website, facebook
- Wexford Dog Training Club – 087 9222728 facebook
- Working Trials Club of Ireland – Website, facebook
- Dublin Dog Training, Swords – 086 7301001 website, facebook
- Fingal Dog Club – firstname.lastname@example.org – 01 8454198
- Fur Fun Agility, Celbridge – 087 2500287, website
- Blanchardstown DTC – email@example.com – 087 2832455
If you are having problems with your dog and want an expert to help you contact the following:
- Dublin Pet School – Siobhan – website – 086 3218132
- Dublin Dog Training – John – website – 086 7301001
- Tag N Rye – Julie – website – 087 2426738 – 01 4513324
If you are involved in any of those activities and want your club listed here email aine@DogsAid.ie with your details.
What to do if you have lost your dog
- Print up posters using a recent photo, give details such as breed, age, sex, colour, what colour collar the dog is wearing and the area the dog was lost in
- Ring all local pounds and give a description of your dog. Check in with the pound regularily to see if your dog has been picked up by the warden.
- Ring your local Garda station with a description.
- Let the local vet surgeries know, who ever finds the dog may bring them in to a vet to check for a microchip
- Put up posters in pet shops
- Ring local animal shelters with a description
What to do if you find a dog
- Have a good look at the dog to see if it has been injured before you touch it, animals in pain can bite
- Check if it has an ID tag, and ring the number if it does
- Bring it to the nearest vet to scan it for a microchip
- If possible take a photo and do up a ‘found’ poster, giving a description of breed, sex, age, colour, collar colour, if it has any disctinct markings, and the area you found it in.
- Report the dog to the local Garda station and pounds.
- Put up posters in local vets, pet shops, and newsagents.
- Ring local animal shelters with a description
- Ashton Pound – 01 8383236, 01 8683038 (Dublin City Council and Fingal areas)
- Dunboyne Pound – 01 8026676 (South Dublin area)
- Foster Ave Pound – 01 2783564 (Dun Laoighaire Rathdown)
- Louth Pound – 042 9382398
- Dogs Aid – 01 8347134
- Blue Cross – 01-4163030
- Animal Rescue Group – 01 2895284
- Dogs in Distress – Marie 086 2573180
- Clondalkin Animal Aid – 01 4592514, 01 4594018
- DSPCA – 01 4935502/04
Useful Websites to search
Every year hundreds of animals are lost and never re-united with their families, it is VITAL to put a ID tag on your dog to ensure they are returned to you, did you know it is illegal not to? Microchipping is another way of ensuring your dog will be identified.
Here are links that you might find useful
Pet Healer – Small animal healing, specialising in Reiki and Seichem which is great for relieving stress, boosting energy, vitality and immune system responses
Dublin Pet School – Specialising in behaviourial problems, obedience training, diet and nutrition.
Dublin Dog Training – Agility, obedience and behaviour training.
Irish Therapy Dogs – Charity that organises teams of handlers and dogs to visit nursing homes, hospitals, day-care centres etc.
Vets Direct – Veterinary care direct to your home; vaccinations, minor surgical procedures and general health checks
Scallywags Dog Bakery – Dogs Aid recieves a donation for every bag of homemade biscuits sold by Scallywags
Black Blur Photography – Photography company that takes action shots of dog sports among others
Peata – Irish organisation for pet therapy
Pets Ireland – A forum dedicated to animals
Friends of Animals Rescue Centre – A similar sanctuary in Mullingar
Cats Aid – Cat sanctuary
Irish Animals – Another site with animals to adopt
Ashton Pound – Another site with animals to adopt
Dog Pages – A dog rescue site covering the British Isles
Boots for Active Dogs – If your dog is having problems on stony ground or snow
Agility in Ireland – Find a club near you
Tag N Rye – Personal training for you and your dog
ANVIL – Animals Need a Voice In Legislation
Top Dog – A new forum for dog lovers
Cara Veterinary Group Lost and Found – Post ads for lost or found animals