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May 18, 2015

PetSafe® Expert

Michelle Mullins, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA

Join the Stop the 77 Campaign to Prevent Dog Bites

dog bitesEver have that moment when you find something so cool and special that you drop everything and immerse yourself in it? That is exactly what happened to me and my colleague the day we came across our first video from The Family Dog™. It was a video titled Dog Stars. It was fun, catchy, and so cool! Before we knew it, we had missed a meeting while we checked out their website and other videos. Then we started showing everyone we knew this amazing resource.

Stop the 77 Campaign Aims to Prevent Dog Bites & Keep Kids Safe

Fast forward to now, and we are sponsoring The Family Dog™ campaign, Stop the 77, for dog bite prevention. The Stop the 77 campaign is a unique approach to preventing dog bites from the dogs we all know and love. It teaches families how to change their perspective and focus on respecting the family dog like a true member of the family.

family dog trainingJustine and Leah, the mom masterminds that make up The Family Dog™ team, are a dynamic duo. Both were dog trainers before they were moms and experienced firsthand how complicated training and caring for dogs becomes with infants, toddlers, and active children. It wasn’t long before they set out to create a program designed to empower families to create an environment that's safe, fun, and enriching for all the members, including the dog! The program, videos and now the Stop the 77 campaign focuses on building a relationship with the family dog so the family has a huge bank account of respectful and amazingly good interactions with the dog so if something not so good occurs the dog doesn’t have a bad reaction.

The program provides what each family member needs to be successful in working with and establish a good relationship with the family dog. Mom or whoever acts in that role is given just one thing at a time to focus on. It might be a management skill or a training skill that enables success, but she can’t implement several things at once. We all know she needs a quick effective solution. The kids’ resources focus on being fun, fast, and rewarding. These skills are presented in the form of video, songs, and games. And last but not least, the family “Dad” is provided with an effective understanding and model for building on the skills they find most valuable to their family.

signs of aggression in dogsWe Train Our Dogs, but Who Trains Us?

We know you love your dogs. That is evident in all the pictures you post, the toys you buy, and time you spend with them. Our dogs love us too, which is why they put up with some of things we do to them. We dress them up, hug them too close, tease them with toys, and shame them on social media. Often our dogs are telling us, in so many ways, they are uncomfortable, frightened, or anxious and we don’t see it.

The Family Dog team feels there is an epidemic of bad behavior by families around their dog. I agree with them that we must “change what is acceptable.” They are correct in asking, “Why do we, so often, completely disregard the dog in the equation?” We would never want to subject one of our family members to situations that made them feel these things. It is our responsibility to recognize and look for what our dogs are saying and protect them.

Stop the 77 is going to educate us, all of us - moms, dads, kids, aunts, uncles, and grandparents - how to provide the best, safest environment for all our family members. Everyone thinks it’s never going to happen to them, but statistics show 77% of dog bites to children come from family dogs or friend’s dogs. Our dogs, our children, and our families deserve better. Help us stop the 77.

Check out the campaign and share it with it everyone so we can all work together to keep our kids and dogs safe. Visit

Written by

Michelle Mullins, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA

Michelle Mullins, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA

PetSafe® Trainer & Educator

PetSafe® Expert

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