Dog owners in Hartlepool are being invited to a talk about how to control their pets this weekend.
Dave Shaw, who has worked with and trained dogs for 30 years, has set up the information afternoon following the death of Sunderland baby Reggie Young, who was bitten by the family dog.
I think dog owners need a bit more education and factsDave Shaw
It will take place at the Scout Centre, on Stockton Road, from 2pm on Sunday, and will be run by Mr Shaw’s Dog Positive Training School.
He said: “The recent incident in Sunderland pulled on my heart strings as to how important it is to educate all dog owners. I think they need a bit more education and facts. Sometimes dog owners can get complacent. They might have a very well-trained dog that they would never expect to cause a problem, but you need to make sure you can read their body language, as any dog can be dangerous.
“In the talk, I’ll go over simple things the dog owners should do, particularly when there is a baby in the family.
“I’m hoping this will educate people, and reduce the chance of something like that happening in Hartlepool.”
Mr Shaw is hoping to hold similar seminars throughout the North East over the next month in an attempt to raise awareness of how to ensure safety, and understand why dog attacks take place.
He added: “I feel dog owners have a greater need to be responsible than ever to ensure they are doing and know everything possible about how to read their dog’s body language and behaviour.
“It’s due to the fact the dog owners are dog lovers, but not very clued up on what they are doing wrong.
“A dog should never be fed by hand, particularly by a child, and should never be left alone in a room with a child, regardless of how friendly they are.
“Owners should also be very careful when making up babies’ bottles and food, and have the dog in a different room when you’re eating.
“Hopefully if they come along to this session, they will think more about what they can do to ensure the safety of their family and friends with their pet dog.”
The event is free to attend.