From Wag to Growl
An essential course in basic canine body language and bite prevention
Coming July 10th!
Dogs are an integral part of American society - like apple pie and, I don't know...facebook? Almost 70% of American households have one or more dogs living in them. Even if you don't have a dog of your own, chances are you see or interact with dogs regularly. Cool, right? Well, most of the time.
There's just one problem:
Most people do not understand basic dog body language and this leads to bites.
Each year there are 4.5 million reported dog bites in the United States.
Children are victims of more than half of those bites.
80% of bites to children happen inside the home with familiar dogs.
Dog bites are the second most common reason children visit the emergency room.
Dog bites to children are far more likely to be severe or fatal by virtue of their size and where they are normally bitten (head, neck and face).
Dogs often bite out of fear. Usually they have given every signal possible that they are uncomfortable and the bite is their last resort.
I believe most bites could be prevented by understanding basic dog body language, especially signs of stress and discomfort. Dogs do an amazing job figuring out what we are trying to communicate to them (that's why they're still around after thousands of years), the LEAST we can do is return the favor and obtain a basic understanding of what they are trying to communicate to us.
So I created a course to help!
Dogs and kids are both here to stay. The goal of this course is to help families keep both their children and their dogs happy and safe by teaching them how and even more importantly, WHEN to interact with dogs.
What the course covers
This is not a training course. This course is designed to teach the most basic dog body language to help people understand when dogs are uncomfortable, what to do, and to prevent bites.
While this course veers toward bite prevention for children, EVERYONE can learn from it. This course is for you if...
you have a dog and you often see children inside or outside your home
you have a dog and are planning to start a family
you are planning to bring a dog home to your family with children already in it
you have a new dog and want to socialize them with children properly
you have a child (because they will inevitable come into contact with dogs at some point whether at a park, a friend's house, etc.)
Module 1: Dog Language Basics
Basic body language: eyes, ears, mouth, tail and posture
knowing your individual dog
Module 2: Bite Prevention
The Fear Ladder
Never punish the growl
Module 3: Environment and other considerations
Safety Inside and outside the home
What a friendly dog looks like
Why take my word for it?
Hi, I'm Melonie. I have a masters in canine science, am a certified trainer and have owned a successful dog walking business, Wanderpups, for over a decade.
Everyday I see interactions between people and dogs, where dogs are clearly stressed or barely tolerating the interaction, and the people are oblivious to the signs.
On a more personal level, I have a rescue terrier mix named Jax. He's got the perfect amount of scruff and the most inviting face and strut. Every adult and child wants to pet him, but he is extremely uncomfortable with strangers. Having to navigate an urban area with a dog that is not good with people in a culture where the mindset is "pet all the dogs all the time" has been a constant challenge stressor. After having my daughter three years ago, and having to constantly monitor her interactions with him to keep them both safe, I've learned that:
1) it's possible to even teach an infant to leave dogs alone
2) dogs need and deserve a safe space away from children
3) it is not the dog's or the child's responsibility to "be good", it is YOUR responsibility as the adult to create an environment that keeps them both safe.
Education and Experience
BS, Social Sciences
United States Air Force Academy
I was recruited to play basketball and soccer at the United States Air Force Academy. In 2004, I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force and became a logistics officer. I still serve in the Air Force reserves.
Masters in Journalism
I graduated with a masters in journalism and loved everything about the program, so naturally I started a dog walking business (sarcasm). My goal is always to write, but writing is hard, so here we are. I am working on a children's book to help teach children how to interact with dogs safely, which will hopefully be released in the next six months.
Masters in Canine Science
I used my GI Bill to get a second masters degree in Canine Science. I This three-year program opened my eyes to so many things in the dog world. I had an opportunity to work with service dogs in training ranging from five weeks to three years old, learned the importance of socialization at every stage. I also learned the importance of responsibly breeding dogs for special jobs that do so much good for so many people. Dogs are truly amazing!!
I run my my dog walking business, Wanderpups, full time in Washington, DC. I love long walks with my dog, working out, and spending as much time with my family as possible. I am expanding into more educational ventures to help dogs and people understand one another and live their best possible lives together. This course COMING JULY 10TH, is the first step in that venture. Please join me!
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