Episode 432 – Canine Emotional Blindness

Studies like the one mentioned in this podcast that explore the ability of adults to interpret canine body language during child-dog interactions provide valuable insights for three groups of people. Heading the list are parents with dogs. Parents whose children spend time with  caregivers who have dogs with whom the kids interact in the caregiver’s home form another group. Those in these   groups and their dogs and kids can get into trouble because they don’t know that they don’t know what they need to know about dog behavior to keep kids safe. They think their dogs are fine with the kids when they’re not.

Trainers and those who teach dog-child safety form a third, equally important group. Unlike parents and dog-owners who formally or informally provide childcare for others, trainers and those teaching dog-child safety are perceived as knowledgeable by the public. Consequently, if those people don’t specifically describe and discuss the behaviors that signal a dog’s anxiety or confusion, parents and child caregivers could dismiss these as important too.

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