Black Belt Dog Trainer Robert Cabral Says How to Protect Kids and Pets
A “family dog” is often a rite of passage for many parents with kids. Yet many parents fail to consider that there can be dangerous and even fatal consequences if they choose a dog to keep their small child or children company.
“I see so many pictures on the Internet showing a large-breed dog such as a Rottweiler, pit bull or mastiff next to a baby or a small child,” says Black Belt Dog Trainer Robert Cabral (http://www.blackbeltdogtraining.com). “It’s not unusual to see the child on top of the dog
Big mistake, says Cabral. He points out that the dog may be fine with it — for the moment. It’s what happens next that is anyone’s guess. “If you show this picture to friends or post it on your Facebook or Flickr page, it gives the impression that it’s OK to put a child in such a dangerous situation.” According to the Web site dogbitelaw.com, about 1,000 Americans per day are treated in emergency rooms as a result of dog bites. In 2007, there were 33 fatal dog attacks in the USA. Most of the victims who receive medical attention are children, half of whom are bitten in the face. The majority of dog attacks (61%) happen at home or in a
familiar place. When a child less than four years old is the victim, the family dog is the attacker half of the time (47%), and the attack almost always happens in the family home (90%). Cabral wants people everywhere to know that this is not OK, and that dogs and children are a very tricky if not potentially lethal combination. “Just winging it and hoping for the best puts a child and a dog at great risk,” he explains. He believes that no matter how good a dog is, why take chances? He recommends five general guidelines for families with small kids and a large dog:
- Never lay a child on top of a dog or a dog on top of a child
- Train, socialize and monitor all dogs regardless of size
- Do not under any circumstances leave a child alone with a dog
- Refrain from putting a dog and a child in a potentially dangerous situation, i.e. “riding”
- the animal
- Remember that no two dogs are alike. Do not assume that what is OK (for the moment)
- for your pet would be OK with someone else’s dog or child.
For more information, visit www.blackbeltdogtraining.com or call 310-308-5555; or email
About Robert Cabral
Robert Cabral is a professional dog behaviorist and trainer with a background in Japanese Martial Arts. He applies many of those principles in his Black Belt Dog Training, a Zen-like approach to transform dogs with difficult behavior patterns. In addition, his passion is the nonprofit he founded called Bound Angels (boundangels.org and boundangels.tv), which is dedicated to giving a voice to animals, in particular those living in our nation’s shelters at risk of being killed: some for bad behavior, some just because they are no longer wanted. Robert has worked with countless shelter dogs, and as a result of his work, these animals have found loving homes. He also serves on the advisory board for K9 Connection in Los Angeles where he
tests their dogs and speaks to at-risk teens and those in foster care about animal behavior.