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To think parents should teach their children how to behave round dogs

(1000 Posts)
Xihha Fri 19-Jul-13 21:27:07

There have been a few posts lately about people needing to control their dogs more (and I agree, if you cant control our dog and clean up after it then you shouldn't have a dog imo), but is it unreasonable to expect parents to teach children to be a bit more careful round dogs?

Whilst walking my dog (on his lead) a child who looked about 10 ran up and stuck his head in my dogs face to make a fuss of him whilst i was picking up doggys poo, without checking if it was ok, there have been other times kids have just walked up and started pulling doggy around, this sort of thing happens a lot, especially in the summer when there are more kids out playing and the parents rarely say anything about it.

It's not really an issue with my great soppy lump of a dog because he loves kids and will put up with anything for a bit of fuss but shouldn't these kids know that you should check with the owners before approaching strange dogs and that even a nice dog can get pissed of if you start pulling it around?

Sparklingbrook Fri 19-Jul-13 21:31:43

I agree to some extent. I have told my DC to keep very still if a dog is giving you a sniff and not to wave their arms about and make loud noises.
They know not to touch any dog, or go near one without the owner's permission.

However DS1 (14) has a huge fear of dogs due to me getting bitten when he was a toddler, but a dog that ran out of a drive.

Sparklingbrook Fri 19-Jul-13 21:32:01

*by a dog

babybythesea Fri 19-Jul-13 21:32:40

Yup - totally agree. It's not rocket science to get a child to learn that they must ask the owner before they touch a dog. DD (age 4) has to ask, or she's not allowed to stroke. And we have a dog so she does understand about being gentle etc. She's just been told from the word go that not all dogs like being touched by someone they don't know so she must always always ask. We suffer from this a lot though. Our dog looks like Lassie so attracts people wanting to make a big fuss of her. Just because she looks like a dog who saves kids from wells doesn't necessarily mean she's fine to man-handle. (Although she's a dope, and it is fine, but you're not to know that if you don't know her).

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Fri 19-Jul-13 21:33:16

I do agree with you because a dog can snap very suddenly if frightened by a marauding child, but you might get flamed for suggesting it.

Some kids could do with being taught some manners full stop but that's a whole other thread

timidviper Fri 19-Jul-13 21:40:11

I'm with Sparkling here. My DCs were always told not to provoke or frighten dogs and not to touch one without permission but I am very wary of dogs myself and we have never had one so their experience is limited.

Xihha Fri 19-Jul-13 21:48:29

My dog looks like a white version of the hound of the baskervilles, with odd eyes and tends to trot along with his mouth open so you can see his teeth so its not even like he looks cute and harmless!

Ilovemydog yes some kids definately could!

Teaching them not to touch strange dogs is enough, that gives the owners the chance to say if theres anything their dog really hates.

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 19-Jul-13 21:51:57

I've taught my children to stand still and not flap while dogs run up to them and jump up. It's taken a while though, my younger one was scared for a while after being knocked over as a toddler "don't worry, he's only being friendly".

I've also taught them to look out on the beach because dogs like pissing on your sandcastle.

imademarion Fri 19-Jul-13 21:53:48

I was attacked by a dog as a child and subsequently terrified of them.

Like a chump, I let my DC see this fear when they were small.

A man got cross one day in the park and pointed out I was doing them no favours and showed us some basic tactics as well as how to tell if they mean you harm or not (hint, it's in the tail!).

Ten years on, am fully paid up member of the Soppy Dog Lover Brigade and always offer to stop and let kids stroke my dog to get used to them.

It's astounding how many parents act like I've offered them an arsenic sandwich.

Kids need these skills. As discussed.

babyhmummy01 Fri 19-Jul-13 21:54:39

I was brought up not to approach a dog I didn't know. I love dogs, have grown up with them and have my own but I still wouldn't go up to one I.don't know.without checking with the owner.

IME its not just kids but adults as well who do this. I have a small patterdale and she is brilliant with kids however she is a rescue dog and absolutely terrified of adults, esp men. Because she is small and very cute ppl automatically think she is safe. It pisses me right off cos when she then barks cos she is scared they get nasty and have a go at me. Not my issue chum, my dog is on a lead and under control, you approached her without invitation so f*#@ off

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Fri 19-Jul-13 21:57:21

I think you are completely right. I'm trying to raise dd so she's not scared of dogs (dh is scared of them).

I would say at the moment I am doing really well with making sure she isn't scared but need to work harder at getting her to understand she needs to ask the owner if the dog is friendly. She is only 2.5 and doesn't run up to dogs but it does worry me she has zero fear of them.

ILovePonyo Fri 19-Jul-13 22:08:55

Imademarion what does the tail do please to indicate aggression/friendliness?! (I'm sure it's wagging if friendly but not sure about aggressive grin)

Op yanbu. Dd is 2 and always wants to stroke dogs we see out and about, she's learnt now to wait and ask the owner then hold her hand out to let the dog sniff it, and try and keep calm if she gets licked wink

imademarion Fri 19-Jul-13 22:16:07

Mad wagging (whole body in case of my pathetic specimen!) = v happy and friendly

Low = wary

High = possibly unfriendly

More specific wag-ish here

ShellyBoobs Fri 19-Jul-13 22:19:01


It's the responsibility of the owner to make sure the animal doesn't rip the face off a child.

If they can't do that, they shouldn't be taking them out in public.

teaforthree Fri 19-Jul-13 22:19:38

YANBU. A couple of weeks ago a child ran up from behind me and smacked the dog on her back. She jumped and twisted around, whimpering, poor thing.

She's a rescue and we've had her six weeks, so although she's good with children, she's still scared and not used to being walked. I was so shocked I didn't know what to do, looked around for the parents and the dad said to the boy, "I hope it eats you up."

I wonder who's fault it would have been if she'd snapped out of fear.

ILovePonyo Fri 19-Jul-13 22:25:43

Thanks imademarion! That's useful. My sis has a dog and although he's lovely, I'm wary of him around dd, some of that article rang true for my sisters dog. Interesting reading smile

babyhmummy01 Fri 19-Jul-13 22:34:41

shellyboobs are you serious? So I walk my dog on a close lead and some random comes running up to her and she snaps cos she is startled and that is my fault??? Get a grip!

imademarion Fri 19-Jul-13 22:35:12

Ilove you're welcome, am rather an evangelist! I am grateful every day that I got the chance to experience the absolute joy of a dog in my life.

However, I do think erring on the side of caution is always the best plan.

Sleep404 Fri 19-Jul-13 22:37:38

Depends, I teach my 4yr old dd to always ask the owner if it is ok to stroke the dog and never to approach a dog when it's owner isn't there. She follows the rules because she is not afraid, but her friend whose mum gives her 5yr old ds the same lessons, is completely petrified and runs around screaming uncontrollably if a dog is anywhere close. And nothing his mum does seems to be able to calm him.
His screaming excites the dogs not on leads so they don't respond to their owners and this of course just makes everything worse. In this situation I think it is up to the dog owner to control and remove their dog from the situation. Most of whom I believe are obliging.

Turnipinatutu Fri 19-Jul-13 22:44:02

I totally agree. Children (and some adults) should learn how to behave around dogs the same as they should learn road safety.
This is especially true if they are wary or afraid of them. If people who were afraid of dogs feel threatened, they should avoid eye contact, sudden movements and shouting/screaming.
Dogs read fear in humans as aggression. Wide staring eyes, quickened pulse, sweating etc and can feel threatened themselves and therefore may bark and act aggressive in return.

Yes dogs should be kept under control, but if people knew the basics of how to behave around them if a situation should arise, then many problems, including phobias could be avoided.

Numberlock Fri 19-Jul-13 22:47:00

shellyboobs are you serious? So I walk my dog on a close lead and some random comes running up to her and she snaps cos she is startled and that is my fault??? Get a grip!

Sorry I'm 100% with Shelly. If the dog attacked, you'd seriously blame the child or parents?

babyhmummy01 Fri 19-Jul-13 22:50:07

I'd blame the parents for not teaching their child to stay away from a dog they don't know.

Lazyjaney Fri 19-Jul-13 22:51:41

I grew up in the sticks in another country, where big and badly trained dogs were all too common. We were taught to hit rogue dogs very hard with big sticks. Is that the sort of training you meant?

Purplecatti Fri 19-Jul-13 22:52:18

Yanbu. I was always taught to ask the owner if I could pet the dog and then to calmly say hello and hold my hand to it before stroking.

Justforlaughs Fri 19-Jul-13 22:53:58

It's the parents responsibility to teach their children not to approach dogs they don't know and how to treat a dog that they do, but it shouldn't have to be their responsibility to teach their children how to cope with of control dogs who approach them. It should be the responsibility of dog owners to keep their dogs under control.

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