Children and dogs: How understanding nature enables us to nurture
Dog ownership provides so many benefits to humans, particularly children. And pet ownership is continually on the rise world-wide, especially since COVID-19 made us more available to accommodate a new pet. Yet with all good things in life, there are risks. Children in particular are most at risk of being injured by a dog and their injuries are more severe when compared to adults. The media provides biased accounts of a ‘savage’ attack, often directly or indirectly blaming the dog’s breed, and stating how it was seemingly ‘unprovoked’. Sadly, the real reason WHY is completely misunderstood. Only by correctly understanding the true ‘why’ can we prevent future similar disasters. But there’s another possibly greater benefit of understanding why. There is immense potential for enhancing the very rewarding human-animal bond which is the underlying reason that humans and dogs live together in the first place. It’s not only our children who will thank us but the dogs!
BVSc(Hons) - Small Animal Veterinarian in Brisbane, Australia.
Leonie graduated from The University of Melbourne in 2002. She worked in many rural and city practices, loving the variety of the work and choosing the next working destination based on what new area of Australia she wanted to explore. Eventually she settled in Brisbane, Queensland and concentrated on small animal practice. Leonie has a penchant for the unusual case and was lucky enough in 2016 to be able to publish an article in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery about a new finding in a rare orthopaedic syndrome in cats - Digital Flexor Musculotendinous Contracture in two Devon Rex Cats. Despite thinking medicine was her main field of interest she gradually developed a fascination for behavioural medicine and completed a year-long course with The University of Sydney Centre for Veterinary Education in 2018. She offers behavioural consultations as part of her general practice skillset and conducts puppy school classes focusing on understanding dog behaviour and effective communication between dogs and humans. Her favourite type of behavioural case is the new puppy or kitten consultation where owners are hungry for information on how to get things right from the beginning.