Advice on how to react when dogs run up to toddler

(9 Posts)
JinglyJanglyJungleBigGameTours Tue 16-Jun-15 15:17:42

I'm hoping to get some advice on how to handle this situation when it occurs to help prevent my DS becoming scared of dogs.

My family never had dogs when I was growing up and I was scared of them, especially bigger dogs. I'm mostly fine with them now with the exception of jumpy dogs. I do still tend to jump if they bark close to me.

There's a lovely park near me which is popular with dog walkers and today a dog ran up close to my DS who likes the concept of dogs very much but isn't very sure that he likes them that close to him. I picked DS up out of the way and the owner called the dog back and apologised, but then DS was running around and the dog ran back over. I picked DS up again and this time the dog jumped up on me towards DS and I shouted "down!" at it.

The owner came over and said that the dog was just a baby too and was playing by jumping up while I just talked to DS in a calm voice saying things like "oh, look, there's the dog". To be honest, I would have rather he put the dog on the lead until he was past us but didn't want to get into a argument so didn't say anything except that DS doesn't like dogs that close to him.

Basically, did I handle this OK and if not, what should i have done? I don't want DS to grow up scared of dogs too, but obviously I don't want to let dogs jump up on him. I do tend to pick him up when dogs come near him because I worry about them jumping on him.

Thanks if you managed to get though that!

Floralnomad Tue 16-Jun-15 16:33:06

Quite honestly I don't see what else you could do in that situation ,whether the dog is young or not it shouldn't be jumping all over people - if the owner can't control it it needs keeping on a lead around other people ( and dogs) . Do you know anyone with a dog that your son could actually stroke as a way of getting him used to them - if not pick a random ,responsible looking person with a suitable dog and ask if your DS can stroke the dog . you can teach your son that the best thing to do if a dog is coming near him is to stand completely still .

EasyToEatTiger Tue 16-Jun-15 16:37:35

Have you seen the Be a Tree stuff? www.doggonesafe.com/be_a_tree_program

WeAllHaveWings Tue 16-Jun-15 16:46:42

I think you did great, I would always lift a toddler if an out of control dog approached (it is out of control if it is being allowed to approach toddlers) as you cant guarantee the dog or your ds's reactions.

The only things I would do differently (with hindsight being a great thing) is not say to the man that DS doesn't like dogs that close to him as that could possibly ingrain that idea in ds's mind.

Also, and I'm saying this as a dog owner, I would have given them short shrift when the dog ran up to ds second time and insisted he went away or put the dog on a lead, once is possibly a mistake/error in judgement twice is unacceptable to let a dog run up to toddlers.

Be a tree is great for older kids, but I'd still lift a toddler.

lilacblossomtime Tue 16-Jun-15 17:01:14

I think the thing is to act as if you like dogs. I love dogs but would lift up a toddler. I would say he was a bit bouncy like a Tigger, and we don't want him to knock you over. If I saw a lovely calm looking dog with a friendly owner, I would stop and ask to stroke it.

JinglyJanglyJungleBigGameTours Tue 16-Jun-15 17:02:29

Thanks for the replies!

I do have a friend with a very well trained dog, I'll talk to her about letting DS stroke him, thanks!

I haven't seen the Be a Tree, I'll have a look now, thanks too!

JinglyJanglyJungleBigGameTours Tue 16-Jun-15 17:13:07

Oh, my phones keyboard is acting up and it took me so long to type that I missed the last two replies, sorry!

That's a good point about saying DS doesn't like it in front of him, I'll keep that in mind for the future.

Yes, I think we'll practice be a tree at home and make a game of it but I'll still lift him out and about until he's old enough to understand!

I was tempted to say something about putting the dog on the lead but figured it wasn't worth it if he didn't do it himself!

I'm trying that fake it till you make it approach, I don't want to let him see I'm scared.

Thanks for the replies!

tabulahrasa Tue 16-Jun-15 17:42:03

Just to reassure you, most dogs that run up to people are just being happy and friendly, not that that makes it ok that they're being allowed to or any less heavy if they jump up.

Tbh, I'd have told him his dog wasn't going to grow out of jumping up magically if he didn't actually teach it not to hmm and to keep it on a lead if he couldn't control it.

I like dogs, I mean I own one, lol, but toddlers are little and easily knocked over, it's not on to let your puppy bounce at them.

JinglyJanglyJungleBigGameTours Tue 16-Jun-15 22:08:19

Oh, that's a good response, I'll remember that!

I know, I've only had one bad experience with my dad's friends dog, all the other jumpy ones have been playful, but you're right about toddlers being easy to knock over!

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