Child and Dog Safety

Life-long love of dogs leads trainer to author book

April 29, 2010 // 0 Comments

Jeanette Groner hates to hear stories of children attacked by dogs, although it happens every year. She hates it because she believes it doesn’t have to happen. “The dog community needs to step up to the problem,” she said. The Rockford dog trainer took a step in the right direction herself by authoring Child and Dog Safety, a book she believes is good for any  parent or dog owner to read. The mother of four said she often sees situations which could be dangerous. For example, she rarely lets her daughters pet a strange dog on a leash. She said a dog on a leash has limited options to escape should it feel threatened. “It just takes a second for something to go wrong,” Groner said. Groner said her first work was training law enforcement search and rescue dogs in her native Netherlands. She gave up the career when she took time off as a full time mother. “One of my proud brag moments was to see a dog I trained in body recovery at an earthquake site on CNN,” she shared. Here in Rockford, she is often asked to help with family dogs with behavior problems. Local business owner John Shattuck of Car Star and River Valley Auto had a dog with problems. His adopted a golden retriever—a breed known for its loving personality. This dog was not true to the breed. The Shattucks, who have a daughter who is adopted, took the dog to a trainer, who said it was too aggressive and would have to be put down. They didn’t want their daughter to go through the trauma of losing a loved pet and tried another trainer. The answer was the same: the dog is unsafe. “She took him for a week and had him at her home with her own family and children,” Shattuck said. “Now the dog is fine.” He said he had the opportunity to show the canine to the first trainer, who couldn’t believe it was the same animal. Prior to Groner’s intervention, Shattuck said the pet was completely aggressive and had no qualms about biting or attacking. Groner said the dogs actions stemmed from never learning proper behavior. This can happen when an animal is taken away […]