Did you know that children under 10 are in the age group for the highest risk of a dog bite?
In this episode of Fresh Bites for The Bitey End of the Dog, I chat with Debby Lucken who is the founder of Kids Around Dogs (KAD). We explore why children are more likely to be bitten, discuss risk assessment in dog to child directed aggression cases, and take a deep dive into the many ways we can promote safe and healthy relationships between dogs and children.
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Debby Lucken is a fully qualified dog trainer with the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers and dog behaviourist with the International School of Canine Psychology. She is a member of the Pet Professional Network, ICAN International Companion Animal Network, the Pet Professional Guild, the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants, the Dog Training College and The Dog Welfare Alliance.
Debby has over 7 years’ experience working with dogs, and she specialises in helping families with kids to train and raise their dogs to be great family companions. Some of her clients have also gone and become great therapy dogs in schools and nursing homes.
Debby is the founder of Kids Around Dogs (KAD), which is an association of force-free dog professionals who specialise in helping families with children and dogs to live in harmony together.
Moreover, Debby has designed a successful protocol to overcome the fear of dogs in kids, which all of the KAD Approved Professionals are qualified to use.
Debby is based in Poole, Dorset, with her husband Gary, their daughter Molly, their 2 doggies Wilco the Pug and Winnie the Golden Retriever and Mario the cat.
Dorset is where Debby runs her dog training and behavioural sessions under the name of Pocodogs, however she delivers lessons and webinars globally (she is also bilingual, speaking English and Italian, which allows her to help more professionals and dog’s handlers around the world).
Kids Around Dogs is on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter & TikTok
Did you know that children under ten are in the age group for the highest risk of a dog bite? In this episode of Fresh Bites. For the bitey end of the dog, I chat with Debbie Luckin, who is the founder of Kids Around Dogs. We explore why children are more likely to be bitten, discuss risk assessment in dog to child directed aggression cases, and take a deep dive into the many ways we can promote safety and healthy relationships between dogs and children. And if you are interested in hearing more about applicable, tangible and immediate steps you can use with your own dog or in your cases, I just launched a subscription series called Help for Dogs with Aggression, which is an additional format to this podcast where I'll walk you through a variety of aggression issues and how to solve them. I'll be doing a solo show on this topic of Child Director Aggression. In this series as well. You'll find a little subscribe button on Apple podcasts where the fighting end of the dog is listed. Your support of the show is very much appreciated. Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of the Biting End of the Dog. This week we are going to be talking with Debbie Luckin about kids and dogs. Debbie is a fully qualified dog trainer with the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers and Dog Behaviors with the International School of Canine Psychology. She is a member of the Pet professional network. I can international companion animal network, the Pet professional guild, the international association of animal behavior consultants, the dog training college and the dog welfare alliance. Debbie has over seven years experience working with dogs and she specializes in helping families with kids to train and raise their dogs to be great family companions. Some of her clients have also gone and become great therapy dogs in schools and nursing homes. Debbie is also the founder of Kids Around Dogs Kad, which is an association of force free dog professionals who specialize in helping families with children and dogs to live in harmony together. Moreover, Debbie has designed a successful protocol to overcome their fear of dogs and kids, which all of the cat approved professionals are qualified to use. Debbie is based in Pool, Dorset with her husband Gary, their daughter Molly, their two dogs Wilco the Pug and Winnie the Golden Retriever, and Mariel the cat. Dorset is where Debbie runs her dog training and behavioral sessions under the name of Pocodogs. However, she delivers lessons and webinars globally. She's also bilingual, speaking English and Italian, which allows her to help more professionals and dog handlers around the world. Welcome Debbie, I'm really excited to have you on. Thank you so much Mike. I'm really happy to be here. So we are going to jump right into this topic of kids and dogs and since this is an Aggression podcast. I think one of the good topics to jump into. Maybe not such a good topic. But certainly a pertinent topic to this is the ethics and the risk of keeping a dog with a bite history in the home and how to determine those and make those decisions about is it right to keep this dog or is it safe to do so. And so I'd love to get your thoughts about what kind of dogs or kind of cases you're seeing in which you'd have to make that call as well as sort of your insight in what's tolerable especially in England, in the culture there. Yeah. So I don't know whether there is a massive difference in this between our countries or other countries as well. Certainly, probably some countries would favor the child over the dogs. In England, we love our dogs, though. We really do. Having said that, I really think that if someone has a dog with biased history really needs to consider the situation properly. Can they fully handle working with the dogs? Can they really keep the children and dogs separate? Can they truly make sure that they are always supervised and never left unsupervised? Can they also deal with situations like not having play dates because there could be risks of the dog getting overstressed and be triggered by children running around. It would make the family situation very different and they need to be honest with themselves and wondering why can I really do this? Can I give up on certain normal things? Because otherwise the dog would react to certain situations. So that's why I think if they can really sit with them as a family and discuss what they would have to give up on and what they would have to work on and can they really fully commit to everything, then it's fine. But if not, or even if there is a shadow of a doubt that might not work, they would have to do or take the brave decision, difficult decision for sure, to find a better family for the dog. That's what I think anyway. Yeah. And do you consider any specific variables in those kinds of cases such as the level of bite, if there is any, or the size of the dog or the age of the children? All those kind of more micro variables we might consider major. But also in the context of assessing all the components, they kind of are micro variables that add up to the big picture. Right. So what are important factors for you and saying, okay, this is a dog I can totally work with or maybe this is a dog I've got to have a conversation with the parents about. What are some of those aspects for you? Well, on the bite, it's funny you say that as well because very often people call me and go, oh, my dog is beating the child. And then you find out actually they didn't. There was that playful moment where unfortunately, indeed the mouth has touched the skin but it was different from a bite, basically. And so it's more about teaching the dog how to play with different toys and teaching the child maybe using different toys, maybe not playing with a ball, for example. But it's best to have a long tack toy so that way hand and dog, humans and dogs can still play together at a distance. So yes, I would definitely consider what we're talking about when we're talking about biting. And sometimes as well, you have dogs that might act aggressively even if there has not been a bite yet, but it might be foreseen as such. And so you need to consider that case as well, the age of the children, the family style as well. What kind of lifestyle do they have, if I may discuss a case, I'm actually working with a lovely family. The kids are from, let me say eleven and 13, so they're not little. But at that age, especially with the eleven years old, they still have that play, they still have kids, but they're not kids yet. So it's quite a tricky age actually, because they're growing up and hormones are all over the place. So it's actually a very difficult phase of life. So they want to have play dates by the same time they have activities. And then this particular eleven year old is into masks. So sometimes she's like wearing weird masks that I still don't get, but hey, that's fine. So I can see the dog being surrounded by those things. And while she is now adjust to the children, living in the home is very different when the kids have friends over, or even when the adults have friends over too. So the family, we have to sit down and talk about how different life was going to be. And they are extremely committed to the dog. So they've changed the structure of the house. It's changed completely. There are stair gates practically everywhere now. They have playdates, unfortunately, are a thing of the past. So the kids go to their friends if they want to sleep over or little parties and stuff, they go to their friend's house. Their friends are not invited to their house because the dog can't take it. And we are working really hard with these dogs and the family is fully committed to work a lot with her every day. And there is so much attention and protection, if you want, for the children to make sure that nothing happens. But the dog has full capability of biting. We work to make sure that nothing will happen and to slowly adjust to different noises, to different people. But it's taking a very long time and this family is fully, fully committed to do it. The kids also fully understand. They knew, right, okay, we're never going to have, for now anyway, we're not going to have a sleepover with our friends here. We need to go somewhere else. And they have accepted that. In fact, they have actually built a lovely shed summer house so that they can go there. In the garden, the dog is barking a little bit, so we're working on it, but at least there is a distance there. The dog cannot do anything to the kids that go there and again, it's only like one child at the time and we're working towards it, but the family is fantastic. I must say I was impressed on how committed they were to the massive change in lifestyle, home, everything. It certainly sounds like management is very proportional to the risk tolerance that have. Right, and you mentioned ages of the children in that case. How much does age factor into your cases? I know we talk about a lot when we're talking about kids and dogs around the different developmental stages. So when the infants and then when they start crawling and when they start toddling around with a little bobble heads and looking kind of strange to the dogs, how much do you factor that into your overall? Again, going back to the risk and the ethics of keeping a dog with a bite history or one that you're concerned about? Yes. So when the child is really small, I definitely worry more as well because you can't sit down and explain things to the child as well. So it's mostly left to the parents rather than the kid, especially as their toddlers. So literally maybe starting to walk and when that happens, their body is just so busy doing this thing, even though they might start to understand certain things, they just forget about them. Literally, their bodies and brain is so busy growing and learning to walk and learning to start touching things or grasping things. I'm done with all this, I'm too busy to worry about a dog as well. So there is a factor that means that leaves you with basically just the parents of the carers worrying about the interaction there. But at the same time, the parents of the careers might be really tired because they're looking after such a young child all the time and nowadays you still have to work as well and you have the house to look after. So chances are that those parents are just way too tired to also then worry so much about a dog. So I will keep that into consideration when visiting a family and I will ask them, how do you manage all this? Can you manage a toddler and the family and maybe work and keep your marriage going and the dog? Can you really do that? And sometimes when they are confronted with reality of everything they're effective living to deal with already, that's when they go, oh, I didn't think about that. So yeah, it's an eye open. Definitely. Age is a big factor as well. And it sounds like through your experience you develop this empathy for the parents side of going as well because we sometimes forget just how busy parents can be. And along those lines, what do you think other than the parents? Maybe their guard gets dropped down because they're so busy or they're tired or their life comes at them. What are some of the most common reasons for children to get in trouble with dogs? And that's a broad question. I know we might break that down into age groups, but in your experience, in the cases you're working with, you have quite a number of cases you're seeing for this issue. What are some of the most common things parents should look out for? If you had to make a list. Of that, the first thing I know it sounds so obvious sometimes, but the first thing is the lack of active supervision. By active supervision I mean the parents who care, being there with the child and dogs when they are in the same room set together, but not being on your phone, not watching TV or the next Netflix thing, but actually be present with the child and the dog. So that is the biggest thing for sure, the fact that they think oh, they'll be all right and I'm just going to go on Facebook for a minute and 6 hours later it happens to the best of us. So definitely that is the biggest thing, the distractions of life getting in the way of being really present with the dog and the child. The other thing is also being tirage. I think maybe I speak for experience because my daughter Molly was still joking but she was the kind of child that would just cry all the time. So I remember well being so tired that I just wasn't even sure what happened. I don't even know what day it was, that kind of thing. And I remember also when she was very little, having to drive around because she would not fall asleep if not in the car. And thinking about it now, I think, oh my God, I was driving so tired out of my face and yet somehow I got somewhere and even took her back home. We are obviously both alive, but I did drive being super tired for not sleeping. So I was both in danger there and the same thing would happen with the dog. And you just think, I'm just going to see the back of my eye lead for a minute for that second. And yet it does take a second there. When you have the toddlers, what happens is they start to walk, or they're walking, but they're still a bit wobbly, not quite on their feet properly yet, and they use anything in their grass to make sure that they can stay upright. They may use the sofa, they may use a chair, they may use the dog. It's very easily done to hold on to that tail, the fur, the ears to prompt them up. And obviously that could be quite upsetting for the dog. So that's another thing to consider when we're talking about little ones, when instead we're talking about older children. There is a phase in life where children almost become a little bit selfish, right, and they lose their empathy, so they think that what they're feeling is what everyone else is feeling. So if they are happy, everyone else is happy. If they're sad, everyone else should be sad, say that they're eating some ice cream, so they're happy because they're eating ice cream and they found the ice cream the flavor they want, and then their friends going after them and they go, Sorry, we're not of ice cream. Their friends will obviously be upset because they're not ice cream. But there is a phase of life where the child goes, I don't care, I'll go, Ice cream I don't care so much about. So what happens then is that they lose empathy for animals as well, so they could lose empathy for their dogs too. So what we can do in that situation, instead of maybe the child stopped caring for the dog, or not understanding that the dogs need to go to the toilet, that kind of thing, because they have gone to the toilet, so I don't care about you. We can turn that around and make some points for the child to have maybe some kind of chart or a little chore planner, if you like, so that the child is reminded of the needs of the dog and that can also help towards them building or rebuilding their empathy as well. So it can be very educational for the child to use, if you like the dog in the situation. Is there a certain age range for that child you're describing? Yes, so roughly, it starts from about seven can be about as young as seven years old, too, well into their teenagehood. So, yeah, late teenagers as well. I was just going to say, I've seen some of that in my 16 year old, or soon to be 16 years old sometimes, but he is very rapid to animals. One of the aspects that gets kids in trouble, you were just mentioning, and not something we think about, is this very small toddlers using dogs sort of as a support beam to draw a ladder to pull up onto when they're tripping and falling, and so they do a lot of tripping and falling. I know I've got two kids that have gone through that stage and you mentioned sort of also this lack of empathy that can come at certain ages. How about some other common reasons or context, maybe? I think resources are a big one, right? Do you want to talk maybe more about that? So, yes, for example, when we're talking about our children, they have a lot of toys and that can be an issue, isn't it? I can talk for experience as well as obviously with other clients, but my own daughter had now a bit less, I must say, she's ten but now it's more about internal technology rather than plushies or things like this. But she used to love and she still does a certain degree, plushies and Caddy toys and stuff like that. And the thing is, we have a retriever, so Winnie loves her plushes and loves Evan and plushes and she's a retriever, so she's got to retrieve. So she sees a Caddy toy. It's a fair game, isn't it? She goes there while it's here, it's got to be mine. And so she will carry around and if left her on the bike, she will destroy a plush, to be fair, very easily done. And that can create a bit of a problem between the child and the dog. And what I see very often happening with clients is when the child goes, but that's my toy. So it goes up to the dog and literally takes it away from the dog. And maybe the first time the dog would go, oh, okay, fine. The second time you might even have a dog. They go, oh, okay, fine, take it. But by the third time you might have the dog. That's worked out. If the child comes over and tried to take something away, then the child is a thief. So the dog will act in ways that might protect the item is in place, she's adorable, whatever. And as we know, things like this can turn quite nasty as well, and we don't want that to happen, so it's always again, my biggest thing is to prevent that from happening, of course, so that we don't have a bite from things that could have been preventable. And so I always insist to my clients to pay their dogs for their toys, even if the toy wasn't there to begin with. And I always tell my clients as well, and the little kids, or any age kids, to have a jar of trips, and that's like the coin to pay the dogs for the toys. And normally you want to go for the really good stuff, such as hot dogs and things like this, but a lot of children don't like to touch hot dogs, they don't like to touch cheese or things like that, but dry Kebbles are something that children don't seem to mind to touch, although they're not as good, in my opinion. There you go. So I will ask him to have a little jar and it's just for the kids. So it could be like in our house. The jar is a located jar because I'm giant. But they could have their own personal jar and if there are more than one child in the family. I recommend to have their own jar each. So it's a bit more personal as well. And they can go to the jar and get a few treats and pay the dog for that toy. And the other thing is to remind them, try to be more tidy if you possibly can, which is really hard with kids but that is definitely toys are a massive problem when it comes to resources around dogs. Yeah, I love that strategy of incorporating something fun for the child to do that makes sort of incentive to do it. And of course the lower level cases we'd have to be careful with the more severe cases about, of course the management and the safety involved. And so a question that I had from one of my students is what about trainers? For the trainers listening in that may not have children themselves and so might not recognize something like you had just mentioned something insightful as a parent. It's like maybe they don't want to touch the slimy treats they want the more like cheerio style treats or something like that. Little things like that we might not think about unless we've experienced our kids waking us up at 300 in the morning expressing those feelings that they don't want to hear that slimy food. Right, so what are your suggestions there for the trainers to kind of navigate this and learn more? So this is going to be a little controversial in a way, but I often think that the dogs and cats are not that different from each other. So even to professionals who don't have children and there's so many of them and I completely respect that decision, might also be outside of their own decision anyway. But think of the kids who are working with as dogs. Some dogs will really like the hot dogs, some really like chicken, some really like cheese, some are really happy with kebble. So there'd be different I would say be prepared for anything when you go to your client, have your pouch with different bags of different rewards and treats and each bag should have their individual bits of treats. So one little bag would have the chicken, one little bag would have some Kebbles, one little bag will have cheese, for example, and keep them separate. But also in case there are allergies as well. That way when there is a child you can just get the bags out and go, which one do you want to use? And then it will be up to the child. You can even if the child is happy and old enough to do it. If not, it would have to be the parents helping stepping in or the parents themselves. They can even do a little game to find out what the dog likes best. And they could have, I don't know, a little bit of humming one hand and a bit of kebble in the other hand and close them to fist and then present it to the dog and see which one the dog will go for first. That way they might even be more interested in holding a little bit of ham because their dog prefers it. So they might want to do something that the dog really like. That could be also a little alternative but definitely be prepared for anything, just like you would if there were no children in the house and you just go and see a dog and it's the first time you see the dog, what food is he going to prefer? So yeah, I normally have literally like a little buffet in my pouch. What are you going to like then? We do that even if there were no kids in the family, I'll just go and see the dogs the first time I see the dog. What's your favorite thing? Generally, I don't know, so I'll shop with everything just in case. Do you feel like there's some cases where it's kind of almost essential you do have some experience with children or maybe have worked with children in some other regard? So a case that might come to mind, a child with a certain disability and learning more about how to accommodate that particular aspect in the case to make it more successful, do you recommend maybe bringing in a colleague or somebody else or even talking to somebody with knowledge about that particular aspect? Absolutely. If you're going to see a child of a certain age range or certain special needs and you just either don't have the experience or you're not sure you can handle that situation, I really do hope that a professional will think, actually I could do some help. So rather than going in alone, they could learn from someone else. So they may ask a colleague or someone else that they know have this kind of experience and maybe ask to shadow them so that they can learn. And if that's not possible, then just recommend them. But definitely I wouldn't try to just wing it and see what happens because there is too much at risk. And also I feel it would come across a bit unprofessional in my opinion. We don't know everything and we don't know what we don't know, but we can always learn. So I learned from a bit of experience with having a child, but then when it comes to special needs, I work with other professionals, I studied on that, otherwise I wouldn't have known either. So yeah, definitely, yeah. And if you think about the flip side of the coin there too, even, it's just the picture it creates for the client that they see you seeking out that additional information for their particular case. I think there's a lot of benefits to that from building trust and rapport with that client as they can see that. So I'm going to shift gears to sort of a heavier topic and that is a couple of different things, but one of the topics I want to start with is kids that are bitten by the family dog and now they're afraid of the dog. And I was talking about this on other podcast episodes about the lack of resources for dog bite victims. There really isn't much out there when somebody is looking for professional help on that particular topic. There's lots of options for therapy and support in that aspect but not a lot on the specific topic of I've just been bitten or attacked by a dog and experiencing significant trauma or distress when I see your dog. When it comes to children especially. We can all I'm sure recognize the potential impact later on down the line as they get older and how it affects them into adulthood if that issue is not addressed or worse. We continue to try to keep that dog in the home with a child that's afraid or we're not recognizing that or maybe the goal is maybe the child's showing some fear but everybody's agreeing we could continue to work with that case in hopes of a successful outcome keeping the family dog in the home. So what are your thoughts there? Do you have any resources or additional strategies for working with the kids that have been bitten or have experienced some behavior directed at them that they're afraid of? So I designed a protocol to help children who are scared of dogs overcome their fear and is touchwood very successful so far. What happens in the protocol is that we do cover the therapy side with cognitive behavioral techniques. We have some online sessions and in those sessions we actually teach children and those are without a dog present first we teach children about dogs so we use canine body language, we use the knowledge of what dogs do effectively, why are they here kind of thing. So that in those sessions the children are not put in any situation they don't want to be. So everything is on screen and there is no direct interaction with the dog straight away but we're getting the kids to get to know dogs so it's almost like a rebirth into the dog world. So what they have learned after a bite is that dogs bite and it's painful when it happens so they should be scared of them but what we want to teach them is that there is something else that you don't know about dogs and we're teaching you that and we are emphasizing it and then during the week. During the time the child is not with us in the session. Basically it's up to the parents or the parent to keep up the work we give them weekly tasks to do and we use cognitive behavioral techniques to basically change their mind about dogs. CBT is basically when your brain forms an idea and what we do, we get the idea out of the brain, we play around with it like a rubic puzzle. We play around with it, we make it better, we make it positive and happy and then we chuck it back into the brain so the child keeps a positive attitude towards dogs instead. So then during the week that happens with the procedure of the parents and then after the online lessons or as we do. In them, see how the child is progressing, then we start to introduce a dog. The dogs are assessed as well, so we want to make sure that the dogs are happy to be working with children because we don't want to push any dog to do what they don't want to do. We chose a location the child knows very well. Literally, the first session is in front of the house. We don't even go anywhere. And again, we don't push the child into do anything they don't want to do. Do they want to hold the lead with us? Fine. Do you not want to source? Okay, so we go with the child's limits, if you like, never pushing those. And I think he's been so successful because the child never feels like they have to do something they don't want to do. And that's also why I don't agree with parents. That should have been a bite that would keep the dog if the child then has become scared. And I don't agree so much with parents who adopt a dog because the child is scared of dogs. So they think, oh, that's it, let's solve it like that. That's not a great solution because effectively the child then is completely forced to live with the object of their fear in the same house. And I always feel that children should be safe in their home at least. So I don't really like to see them. I discourage family. My child scared a dog, so I was thinking of getting a dog. What do you think? I would discourage that. And I think that when we give them so much power, we give the children so much power to choose, very often they go, oh, that I could choose maybe to help you walk the dog with the same lead. I wouldn't just keep the lead to the child and I'll see you later, we hold it together. Or maybe I can ask the dog to lie down and I'll chuck a little bit of food to the dog. Things like this little way of engaging with the dogs, they might feel that they have more power over that decision. So much so that they decide to do things that they wouldn't have thought of before. And it's lovely to see it's lovely to see how empowering it is for them. Yeah, choice and control is something we talk about all the time with dogs because you are using it with children, which is exactly really cool to see. And that's what I was saying. Very often it sounds weird, but very often when we work with dogs and children go, oh, you guys are quite similar, actually. So even if you don't have kids but you work with dogs, I can relate the two. So I'd love to talk a little bit more about some of the more severe cases here. So we were talking about just before we hit that record button about the child's fatalities and the differences between different countries. You're in England, I'm in the US, but there's a lot of similarities in what happened and the number of fatalities that are happening to certain age group children has slightly increased over the last couple of years here in the US. What are your thoughts there? Are you seeing the same things happen in your area of the world where you're getting a fatality to a child and you're seeing the same circumstances? The reason a lot of those are speculation, of course, because we're going on media reports, but as a trained professional you can kind of sometimes profile a case or make some assumptions about it based on your expertise. So what are you seeing there on your side of things? So. Just like you. I agree that you can see there is an increase on dog bite and fatality as well. Unfortunately. Again on litter kits. Toddler age seems to be bigger. Although there has also been a very young baby not long ago in Wales and although. As you say. A lot of it has to be speculation because the media talks about that case for that one day and it leaves you with the police is investigating and then you never hear about it again as if it never happened. Which is actually quite disappointing because if you talk about it and people will be more aware and perhaps they will question having a dog in the first place before anything happens. The thing I've seen happening more and more is that adopting a dog or getting a dog is almost as easy as getting yourself on your pair of shoes and I don't think it should be that easy. So that's something I've noticed and then, I don't know, a week or two later something happens and you go, oh my gosh, a week? The dog doesn't even know where it is in a week. And yet the family might again speculation. But might assume that the dog has become familiar with the location. With the house. With the family. And so they may take more liberty around the dog. But effectively it's perhaps a lack of research before adopting a dog and too much trust in the animal and not having given the animal enough time to effectively get into the place and to even reveal his real personality in a way there is just not enough time. So it's a series of events that you see coming together too often and it could have been due to the pandemic and how I think we all seen during the pandemic and massive increase of adoption of dogs. And even though the prices. I think in America is the same. Prices for dogs went up an incredible amount of money and yet people were paying them because it was finally time to be home and we can finally have the dog that we always wanted or we need a companion. So let's spend that money and that has obviously increased in number of breeding of dogs because people could see money in that it's a chain of event. It's not a pretty one. And now I think that now that life is back to normal, we see still a lot of people breeding dogs, but they realize that the prices need to go down because people are not buying them like before anymore. And you get, like I said, a dog, like a pair of shoes but cheaper. I'll give you a discount because the sky is blue today. You get a discount on a dog like you get a discount on a new top. It's so much wrong with it, isn't it? And again, people might just get a dog on a whim because they go, oh look, it's cheaper today, I'll get a dog and there isn't enough thought of research behind. I think, yeah, I think it's a supply, it was definitely a supply issue, supply and demand, as many other things that we experienced during the pandemic and just a back up to your point too, about not giving enough time to the dog. So they go out and get a dog and then you hear about these really tragic cases where a week later, even the same day that they bring home, and this is usually in the cases of infants or newborns in which something horrific happens and it's usually in a shorter time frame. And my suspicion, again is, again, there's no definitive research on this because unfortunately, a lot of those cases nobody can go and investigate after because the evidence is destroyed, meaning the dog. And it's a tragic outcome, of course, for all involved. But I suspect that if we took more time just to build that relationship. The relationship aspect of the dog learning who's part of the family and the dog learning to be part of that family. I'm not certainly equating humans to other species. But if you look at it in similar aspects of a dog that has a history of maybe killing or chasing and hunting down small critters cats or squirrels and then that same dog goes home to a place with a cat. There's a high risk of injury to that cat until the dog has learned that that cat is part of the family. Based on the interactions and observing how the rest of the family interacts with that animal or maybe another animal of a small species, a ferret or some other furry critter. And at first you're often as a professional going like oh my gosh, how did this ever get successful? Or isn't there a severe risk of death or injury to this animal? But after some time it completely changes. The dog gets along marvelously with that other animal in the home, whether it's a ferret or a cat or a human. And I think a lot has to do with that. It's just establishing that relationship so the dog knows who is part of the family because the dogs aren't being adopted because of their aggression towards every human. They're perfectly fine with the parents when they bring the dog home and they go and meet the dog. And then that tragedy happens when the dog meets the infant. That is not sure, maybe that's even part of the family. If a dog has, for instance, never seen a child or a baby before, it must be really weird. And they make those super cute but strange noises and they move funny. Some don't even walk yet. So when they walk, like I said, they're not stable and they wobble a little bit. It must be super strange for a dog to see these small creatures, we might argue. Yeah, that instinctive drift is happening there where that particular stimulus is eliciting, that sort of overt response uncharacteristic of the dog. But it can happen, unfortunately. I certainly don't want to end the episode on that note. So if you had a kind of a takeaway from all the work you're doing, if you had one piece of advice for all parents out there to ensure a successful outcome, whether it's a dog they just adopted or a dog they've had for years and maybe showing some issues, what would that be? I love to involve children in anything to do with the dog, from training to feeding to changing the water, picking up the poo if they want to. That novelty went off real quick. Exactly. But if you can really involve the children involved, the children, anything, you can do a little game like hide some treats in the living room and get the kids to hide the treats for the dog and then let the dog find them, play some hide and seek. All that also helps with training. But get the kids involved in activities with the dog so that the dog doesn't only see the child as a toy or something that could be problematic, but they actually see someone that is helping them with fresh water, that is getting the bowl of the breakfast ready, that is inventing new fun games for them to do together. Get the child to read to the dog if they're the right age or to just tell funny stories to the dog. They don't have to be able to read, they just come up with fantastic story, little ones. Get them to be creative or do a little portion of the dog. There are so many creative activities that they can do around the dog. So I would love to see more of that because I think it's so important, especially. Yeah. So getting back to that theme of relationship and the human animal bond really is such an important piece of this. Debbie, thank you so much. Where can people find you and what are you up to these days for projects? So, as you mentioned before, and as you know, because you've been also a guest for kids around dogs. You came to have a great mentor session for us. Thank you very much. So Kids Around Dogs is, as you mentioned before, an association of professionals and we help children and dogs to live happily and safely together. So that's what I do. We are all over the UK and Canada, US and Ireland, and we welcome professionals from all over the world. So if anyone is interested to join us, they can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can go on the website, kitsaronddogs Co. UK and get the information there. Excellent, everybody. Look for those links in the show notes. I'll be sure to put them there. Debbie, thank you again and I hope to see you again in the future. Thank you so much. It was great chatting to you. Really lovely. Thank you. It was a pleasure chatting with Debbie and hearing her insights on helping families with children and dogs live in harmony together. I'd also love to hear what you would like for additional topics in future episodes of both The Biting and The Dog and The Help For Dogs With Aggression subscription series, you can reach out by emailing. Podcast@aggressivedog.com. That's email@example.com I'd love to hear from you and I thank you for turning into the show. Stay well, my friends.