For immediate release:

Implementing safety measures to prevent dog attacks:

         [BOWRAL, NSW: March 19, 2018] — Following the call to introduce tougher legislative measures with dog owners after the recent spate of dog attacks on young children and community service providers, professional dog behavioural trainers are urging the public to understand and practice the importance of responsible pet ownership to help prevent further incidents from occurring.

“Dogs are often blamed for their aggressive and disruptive behaviours but they’re mostly a creation of their living environment, especially if the required instructions to manage boundaries, rules, and social interaction have not been put in place,” says DogSmart Australia’s director, Olga Hromow.

A 20-year veteran in dog behavioural training, Olga Hromow was the longstanding colleague of the late John Richardson, author of two best-selling books, The Dog Whisperer (2001) and Whispers of Wisdom (2006). John was one of Australia’s foremost authorities on instinctive dog behaviour and the pioneer of holistic rehabilitation for dogs.

“I believe that it’s vital to promote responsible pet ownership, which is the key to creating a safer environment for dogs and the community-at-large,” adds Ms. Hromow. “Dogs instinctively read our level of energy and react accordingly, irrespective of our good intentions. In the same way, a dog will protect his territory if he feels that it’s being compromised. If the territorial boundaries within the home have not been established and the dog has not been taught how to socialise with people including young children or other dogs, any form of territorial aggression can escalate with terrible consequences.”

Understanding the mind of a dog:

Understanding how a dog thinks and responds are the first steps in creating mutual trust, leadership, and a lifelong bond. “Everyone in the household plays an important role in the care and wellbeing of their pets. For this reason, I make it a priority to instruct all household members on the rudiments of instinctive dog behaviour and the importance of socialising their dog from an early age or as soon as possible,” says Ms. Hromow.

This includes teaching dog owners and carers competent leadership, handling skills and safety principles in any form of interaction and how to establish and maintain a safe, calm and well-managed environment for the dog. Additionally, prevention strategies are prioritised in the training process to counter potential dog attacks and how to identify the triggers that create them.

There are other techniques applied in the management of dogs and taught in dog behavioural training — especially on dog walks, in risky situations when dog owners encounter other dogs and excited children, and when a community service provider is entering a property. For young children, there are also direct-instructional Pet Safety and Care programs in place.

“What concerns me is how dogs are behaving more aggressively and how vulnerable children and adults have become. It’s easy to blame it on the perceived lack of legislation but dog owners need to remain apprised of the required legislated duties and responsibilities,” says Ms. Hromow.

As such, all dog owners are required by law to erect safe and secure fencing and for dogs to be on a leash and under the control of a competent handler when it’s out in the community. The Companion Animals Act 1998 and the Companion Animals Regulation (2008) outlines the dog owner’s legislated duties and responsibilities in NSW. Further information can also be sourced directly from Local Council.

“Professional dog training provides many untold benefits. We owe it to our children and the public to create a safe, loving and harmonious environment for all pets,” adds Ms. Hromow.