Some advice about DD and strange dogs, please.

(12 Posts)
horseylady Mon 31-Dec-12 09:08:26

I pretty much know all shed have done to the child is lick it. It was the lady falling and grabbing her I was less happy with. There was no time for me to give a command.

To add, if the dog barked and the child ran off scared, the dog may well have chased the child, and then you could have a serious problem!!

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Mon 31-Dec-12 00:46:17

She is far more likely to scream at them than run away. The screaming would upset the most placid dog so I'm keen that she doesn't think that is OK. I think we can do standing still at some point, no reason not to start practicing now.

The owner on the beach just seemed not to get that a dog barking at a toddler might make the toddler or the parent scared. I love dogs and I was worried. Someone who was nervous of dogs would not have been happy at all.

It's such a fine line, I think. I want her to be completely fearless of dogs while still understanding that they are sometimes dangerous. I suppose that goes for strangers who are two-legged as well.

Thanks for all your kind words. I feel a lot better about having DD around new dogs with some advice. I'll be back at some point to ask about getting a dog for the family. Not a poodle X though!

Arseface Sun 30-Dec-12 22:41:56

Sounds like you're doing a great job. With the poodle cross on the beach, as with so much else, trust your instincts rather than the word of a stranger. Getting between your daughter and the dog is much better than picking her up too.

Often a sharp, 'sit!' or a 'leave,' in a deep low voice can work better with dogs. Those two are commands most understand whereas they may not know what you want them to do when you say 'no'.

Fab to hear of a parent who is teaching her daughter to enjoy being around dogs sensibly. My toddler got the hang of standing still with overly bouncy dogs quicker than I thought as the instinct to freeze is pretty strong. As long as she's not screaming and running away that's the main thing.

RedwingWinter Sun 30-Dec-12 22:21:43

Someone's toddler ran up to my husky x today. The parents looked terrified - the kid's head was lower than the dog's head - but I said he was friendly and they relaxed. My husky just stood there calmly, and then licked him once when he stopped stroking him. The toddler was delighted. But I always prefer it when people ask first, and then I get to warn them that the child will likely get a kiss (some people really hate it). That's the worst that will happen but I always think with dogs that aren't used to children, it must be quite frightening for them sometimes, and it would be awful if the interaction went badly.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Sun 30-Dec-12 19:04:47

I like the websites, thank you. She is a little busy and crazy young for the be a tree thing yet but I can certainly teach that by example.

I agree that it is hard for the owners when parents just let the children run up and grab the dogs. If a dog growled or nipped it would be awful for all concerned.

horseylady Sun 30-Dec-12 18:56:37

I wouldn't pick up but yes put yourself between dd and the dog.

Great you being so responsible. I remember being on a beach with dh and my big curly (we didn't have little curly at the time). And a very young child about 2 or 3 came running up to her, bear hugged her saying doggy doggy!! Thankfully big curly just stood, and took it. The parents of the child looked petrified!! I just praised her. She also did the same on snowdon when I woman fell and grabbed her. She's just a nice dog!! As an owner though where do you stand if your dog retaliated? The incident on snowdon really made me think as IMO the dog could have nipped in shock/pain?

foolonthehill Sun 30-Dec-12 17:12:09

Also teach your child to "be a tree" ie stand still, arms in and look boring when you tell her to (it takes practice!) then you place yourself between your child and the dog...being a tree yourself hopefully observing out of the corner of yur eye rather than facing it down.

this website is good for dog body language www.liamjperkfoundation.org/talk.html and help with dog/child interractions.

RedwingWinter Sun 30-Dec-12 17:05:28

I think it's great that you are teaching her to ask before petting strange dogs, and that she is getting to have nice interactions with them. You were right to trust your instincts with this other dog. Have you taught her to 'be a tree' or stand completely still and not move if threatened by a dog? Sophia Yin has some great info about what to teach children about dogs, including posters of dog behaviour, on her website

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Sun 30-Dec-12 17:02:41

I didn't pick her up because I felt it was wrong to do that. Afterwards, I thought how terrible I would feel if the dog had gone for her and I hadn't picked her up.

Saying NO loudly is a good idea. My DM was there and we both moved in front of DD so the body language was definitely telling the dog we were there and protecting DD. The owner seemed to find this slightly annoying smile.

BodyOfEeyore Sun 30-Dec-12 16:51:46

I don't think picking her up would be the right thing. Probably saying 'no' loudly at the dog to let it know you are there is very.

GrumpySod Sun 30-Dec-12 16:48:06

I think your instincts were probably good with the poodle-mix and just trust your instincts. Part of what you are doing is teaching your DD when a dog is and isn't safe to approach, can't do that without some of the dogs being unfriendly/unsafe ones.

I feel that knowing how to interact with dogs is one of the basic essential life skills, so carry on as you are.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Sun 30-Dec-12 15:46:45

DD is two and loves dogs, wants to pet them all the time. We have a policy right now of asking the owner, making sure it isn't a guide or working dog, she gets to pet the dog when it is calm etc.

However, we were at the beach the other day and something happened that scared me. There was (I think) a poodle cross off leash and away from the owner. It came towards DD and I didn't like the look of it. The owner was approaching and said that dog was fine but the dog barked a couple of times at DD (not us, definitely DD) and kept coming towards her. It is difficult to describe but the bark sounded unplayful to me. I had dogs as a child and know that I-love-you-play-with-me yap. This wasn't that. It also seemed very intent/fixed on DD.

So, the advice I need is some clear warning signs to know myself and teach DD. Also, when this happens do I pick DD up and remove (I don't like to have no hands free in this case and don't like to move when dogs are unhappy) or shield DD, or pick her up and stay still? Also, I didn't trust this owner at all with her assessment of her dog. I'm not normally like this. I've let DD pet Rottweilers bigger than her because they were well trained and the owner was very reassuring.

Also, am I being too naive and should I not let DD near strange dogs at all? I love dogs and want DD to have what I have; love with a bit of healthy respect. Because I let her pet dogs normally, I'm now worried that she won't be as wary of strange dogs like this one.

Please be gentle with me, Doghouse grin

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