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New DVD teaches safety around camp dogs

Dog bites and attacks on children and adults in remote Indigenous communities are frequently under-reported. Dangerous human/dog interaction has become an accepted part of life in some communities, but it’s one that has a huge impact on the people living and working in those communities.

Living with Camp Dogs – Staying Safe is one of AMRRIC’s latest projects: a DVD guide to understanding dog behaviour, reducing the incidence of dog bites and educating people about staying safe in communities. The DVD has been generously funded by the NT Department Local Government (Animal Welfare Branch).

Two outstanding individuals have committed to assisting with the development of the DVD. US-based animal behaviourist Dr Sophia Yin (see From San Francisco to Yuendemu) and photographer and author David Darcy.

Topics covered will include:

  • evolution – why dogs do what they do
  • danger signs – dog body language
  • avoidance – staying safe
  • worst case scenario – what to do if you get attacked
  • practical sessions – such as translating ‘dog speak’
  • animal welfare issues and who to contact in an emergency
  • zoonoses – diseases that can be shared between animals and people, their prevention and treatment.

AMRRIC staff are in constant demand to present dog safety workshops to stakeholder groups with employees working in communities. Presentations have been delivered to Power and Water Corporation, Mobile Outreach Service Plus, NT Department of Health, the General Practice Network NT and Dog Awareness Presentation Day (contact AMRRIC for more information).

The DVD will be invaluable for educating and assisting these groups, as a value-add in the animal management training programs AMRRIC already runs for Shires across the Northern Territory, and for inclusion in the education package Be a friend to your dog, currently being delivered across many NT Schools.

David Darcy with his four dogs


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