Tuesday, July 25, 2017
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How to not get bitten by a dog

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Preventing people from being bitten by a dog is the number one priority of Tauranga City Council’s animal services education coordinator Cheniel Powell.

Cheniel goes into both workplaces and schools to teach people how to avoid being bitten by a dog. Many people don’t know how to behave around dogs, she says.

“They think it’s okay to approach a dog they don’t know and pat it, and that’s how bites happen.”

Cheniel’s work over the past 12 months has so far taken her mainly into workplaces – educating people such as meter readers, posties, midwives and others who have to have to go onto private properties that might have dogs.

“I teach them how to neutralise a situation with a dog, how to avoid confrontation and how to avoid being attacked by a dog.”

Working with schools is something the council is looking to develop further, including designing its own teaching resource for schools featuring an animated dog mascot.

“Once it gets underway I hope to take a real dog with me so kids can practice on a calm dog and develop their confidence,” says Cheniel.

The first piece of advice Cheniel gives to both adults and children is to stand still if approached by a dog. “Stand still, don’t move around. We tell children to ‘be like a tree’. The dog will eventually get bored and move away.”

The main message for children is not to pat a dog in the street. “If you’re walking down the street and see a dog on a lead with its owner, don’t think it’s safe to walk up to the dog and pat it. Ask the owner and if they say yes let the dog sniff your hand. Again, don’t just pat the dog as the dog needs to give permission itself.”

Children are advised to then pat the dog on its chest, not the head.

“If you’re walking down the street and see a dog that doesn’t have an owner, don’t approach it. Leave it alone,” says Cheniel.

Any schools that would like a presentation on how to stay safe around dogs can contact Cheniel on 07 577 7498.

Comments on SunLive

Great Job Cheniel

Posted on 07-07-2017 11:16 | By tgacentral

Dogs aren’t going anywhere with a third of kiwi households having at least one dog. There will always be good and bad dog owners just like there are parents and people like Cheniel enable us to all live together as a happier and safer community. Dog owners fund the education through registrations and everyone benefits. Happy Days

Posted on 04-07-2017 10:41 | By Papamoaner

With respect, she is already a council officer, so no extra cost involved. No different from other dog rangers who give talks etc. As to your advocated punishment, it’s a bit extreme to use a 2kg sledge hammer to crack a walnut. Or was it just a throw-away comment in the heat of the moment? It seems to me that the work this dog expert is doing is of value to the community. What non-dog folks don’t seem to understand is that most bites happen on a leash when well-meaning people rush in to pat the dog without realising there are right and wrong ways to approach dogs. Educating kids on these important points is all Cheniel is doing, and to her I say thanks - you are doing a damn good job like many others who get criticised
Did I miss something ???

Posted on 03-07-2017 22:33 | By The Caveman

We RATEPAYERS now have to employ somebody to teach people how to not get bitten by a dog.!!!!! I would have thought that the FIX is very simple - dogs in public that are NOT under the direct control of the owners - YES - on a lead - should be impounder and PUT DOWN - no if’s or but’s. If a dog is on the loose in public and it bites a person - why is it necessary to "educate" the person that got bitten? The dogs owner should be in court for failure to control their dog - charge is well proven - it bit a person in public - big fine ($1,000 at least), plus a ban from owning a dog for ten years. AND the dog in question - well its a gone burger !!
Somebody can't read

Posted on 03-07-2017 17:23 | By maildrop

I don’t see where Hot Stuff was advocating dog registration at all, as Papamoaner states. Funny how people make stuff up to try and suit their own rubbish. Over to you for last post as always.

Posted on 03-07-2017 10:25 | By Papamoaner

I agree. You are quite correct. I haven’t heard Cheniel speaking, but I’ve had similar experiences to you where dog rangers have given talks. Their knowledge and common sense (dare I use that expression on here?) is quite remarkable.
@Hot stuff

Posted on 02-07-2017 18:53 | By Papamoaner

Your rationale is difficult to follow. First you advocate dog registration (rightly so). Then in the next breath you imply dissatisfaction with bureaucracy and paperwork. A self contradiction. Which is it to be??Then you insinuate I am moaning about something, vide your snide reference to Papamoaner. Actually, all I did was praise the excellent work being done by Cheniel. Are you Pot calling the Kettle black? Or are you akin to Minib - "the emperor has no clothes"
Heard Cheniel talk before

Posted on 02-07-2017 17:55 | By Tgaboy

It’s interesting, thought provoking and informative. I’ve owned dogs for years and picked up some handy hints off of her.

Posted on 02-07-2017 17:36 | By peter pan

If Dogs were muzzled and on a leash when in public places the problem is solved.I am very wary of unleashed dogs on some of the walkways in the district.
Here we go again

Posted on 02-07-2017 14:11 | By Minib

@Papamoaner I’m pleased to see you are at it again, this a country of free speech you know, or have I forgotten you are always right and other folks are wrong.

Posted on 02-07-2017 13:42 | By Hot stuff

You’re true to your name alright , a good dog owner would have there dog under control and if they didn’t trust it around people they would warn them first or have it muzzled in public and on a lead , that’s common sense . Any good parent would tell there child to keep away from a dog they didn’t know or trust . It’s the bad owners that don’t do this or pay registration. The trouble is now you have to have everything written down and recorded so that they can point the finger at someone when something happens .
Good on you Cheniel

Posted on 02-07-2017 10:48 | By Papamoaner

Your’s is an important job with so many dogs around these days. Easy for people to say it’s common sense, but small kids don’t know that. I’ve had dogs for 45 years, presently Fox Terriers. They are certainly man’s best friend and masters of body language, very gentle, but I still wouldn’t trust them around strange kids they don’t yet know. This seems to be the one situation where dogs can misinterpret body language, and if they end up biting a hand, it will probably be because they are frightened. Don’t be discouraged by negative comments from folks lacking common sense, who shoot from the hip before thinking it through.
Common Sense

Posted on 02-07-2017 09:14 | By Hot stuff

Is not allowed anymore so we have to pay people like this to tell us how not to get bitten by a dog .Reciculous waste of money by the Council ,I hope Trustpower are paying for her to come and give talks on how not to get bitten by a dog as it should be part of there H@S.
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