Husky Horror

Reporter: Andrea Burns

Dr Graham Adams is an animal behaviourist. He says when a child is introduced into a home with an existing dog, the animal MUST have it's place redefined. "The doggy child has to be completely displaced so that it knows it is just the junior, so there's no competition, it has to know firmly it's new place which is well below the small child" Dr Adams says what humans mistake for adoration can actually be signs the animal is jealous. "I've seen dogs where they're very interested, they seem quite obsessed by the new child, they will rush from one window to another, they will follow the child around the whole time. They will be trying to push past the mother to investigate the new member of the family."

Graham if you were bringing a baby home and you had a dog like surabi , what would be some of the things you'd have to do? I'd have to make sure this dog really knew her place - how would you do that? I'd be making sure she was fed last , I'd make sure she was moved out of the bedroom, she loves the bedroom and she needs to learn she's the lowest of the low.

A University of Western Australia study showed forty five per cent of kids aged one to three and twenty seven per cent of four to six year olds are bitten by dogs in their own home. Of those attacked, seventy eight per cent are family or friends or the dog owners. Kidsafe's Sue Wicks..."the average presentations at PMH over the last 12 months have been in the vicinity of 160 presentations per year" New mum Alison Videmanis says she made sure her Siberian Husky Kes understood when she brought new baby Naomi home.

Kidsafe recommends these tips for children.

Never approach a dog they don't know.

Don't look a dog in the eye

Don't disturb animals that are sleeping, eating or looking after puppies.

Tell kids to "be still like a tree" when an unfamiliar dog comes up to them.

and if they're knocked over, roll into a ball and stay still.

Graham says "most dog and child interactions are fun, they've been happening for thousands of years, dogs and children get along so well , but unfortunately there are some cases- just a few, when things go wrong"