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Every time there is a disaster in the world, photos of stranded, injured and abandoned animals inevitably surface on the Internet. Since Hurricane Katrina leveled New Orleans, it seems awareness of the plight of domesticated animals has increased. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan have produced their share of animal-survivor stories too.
Children have little inhibition around strange dogs and often will charge right in for the hug. While a well socialized dog may tolerate such an approach, a more shy dog may move behind its owner, try to run or even bite.
Whether the dog is well socialized or not, children should be taught how to approach a dog, and owners should understand how to handle the inevitable approach of children.
Perhaps the most fulfilling part of my work as a dog trainer in Denver, Colorado, is seeing the bond between dogs and their owners deepen. Bonding is extremely important; the deeper the bond, the less likely a dog is to be relinquished to a shelter. Not only that, but the quality of life for both the owner and the dog increase when the bond deepens.