At-risk interaction of children and dogs in Kuujjuaq (Nunavik) - Géraldine-G. Gouin, Cécile Aenishaenslin, Francis Lévesque & André Ravel
9:00 AM, Sunday 6 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
Sherbrooke Pavilion (SH) - SH-3140
Dogs in Inuit villages present a public health risk regarding dog bites and zoonotic diseases such as rabies, with children being the most at risk. The unique nature of dogs and children interactions in this context asks for a better understanding of their relationship before creating a dog bite prevention program. The aim of this work was to better understand interactions between children and dogs and why they were taking place. A mixed-method study, based on some principles of the ecohealth approach, was used. The results showed that children fleeing, intervening during a fight, aggressing dogs and letting tied dogs roam free were the most perceived at-risk interactions. Regarding behaviors’ motivations, perceptions were complex and diverse: lack of care and education of dogs, form of activities for children, dogs’ trauma from past attacks, poor perception of dogs value, dog’s dynamic (formations of packs, territoriality, breed…), children’s fear of dogs and lack of knowledge about dogs. Therefore, this study offers unique guidelines and novel data to create a socio-culturally-tailored education program to improve the relationship between children and dogs and thus, reduce dog-bites’ incidence in Northern villages.