Dog bite prevention: Effect of a short educational intervention for preschool children

Nelly Lakestani*, Morag L. Donaldson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate whether preschool children can learn how to interpret dogs' behaviours, with the purpose of helping avoid dog bites. Three-to five-year-old children (N = 70) were tested on their ability to answer questions about dogs' emotional states before and after participating in either an educational intervention about dog behaviour (intervention group) or an activity about wild animals (control group). Children who had received training about dog behaviour (intervention group) were significantly better at judging the dogs' emotional states after the intervention compared to before. The frequency with which they referred to relevant behaviours in justifying their judgements also increased significantly. In contrast, the control group's performance did not differ significantly between the two testing times. These results indicate that preschool children can be taught how to correctly interpret dogs' behaviours. This implies that incorporating such training into prevention programmes may contribute to reducing dog bite incidents.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2015

Keywords

  • BEHAVIOR
  • PROGRAM
  • DANGER
  • PERCEPTION
  • OWNERSHIP
  • EMERGENCY
  • INJURIES
  • VICTIMS
  • UK

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