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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?

Xihha Mon 29-Jul-13 12:53:10

Well this has gone round in circles a bit! I hadn't really expected it to be such an issue, ah well.

You're talking about socialisation in a context of consent - people have volunteered to have a puppy in their home or have been asked whether they are happy for their children or other pets to be part of a socialisation process.

Actually Janey68 you will find that the children/parents have not always been asked, my daughters playschool is near a guide dogs charity and towards the end of the guide dogs training they intentionally walk past the playschool as the kids are leaving to check the dogs can cope with guiding people through lots of excited toddlers running around. I only know this because after 2 years of watching whilst picking dd up I asked the volunteer why they always chose that time when its an otherwise quiet road.

saintlyjimjams Mon 29-Jul-13 12:50:04

Hm well I think it is an excuse really. Much the same as if my son sniffs someone. Much as I do my best to prevent it happening he is occasionally faster than me or I haven't clocked the possibility soon enough. It happens on rare occasions when out and about. All the time at home - but don't come into our house if you can't cope with severe autism. If it does happen to strangers I apologise & most people accept that graciously. Some people are twats and say 'well he shouldn't be allowed out then' but I ignore them.

The dog is a lot more predictable so mistakes rarely happen tbh and they've only ever been of the 'dog sniff' variety. At least out in public (slightly different matter in my house - but don't visit us if you don't like young retrievers). If my dog does sniff someone I apologise & pull him away (thinking about it he only sniffs people on leads in crowds). It's up to the person how they respond to that. We haven't had a problem to date tbh.

Likewise when someone's young child comes over and does something slightly annoying I don't immediately go off the deep end. Or if a kid kicks a football into our picnic - annoying but no harm done. It's just about being aware of how others are using shared space, doing your best to prevent problems & apologising if something goes wrong or affects other people. It's very rare that the thing that has gone wrong needs more intervention than an apology.

Lambsie Mon 29-Jul-13 12:42:35

The problem is Hercy that if you allow your dog too close to my son he may behave in a way that may hurt your dog and possibly result in my son being hurt.

merrymouse Mon 29-Jul-13 12:33:37

But I agree that with friendly dogs and children mistakes can sometimes happen and then you apologise.

Lazyjaney Mon 29-Jul-13 12:33:02

Exactly Saintly. I think some of the posters who think that a dog shouldn't be off the lead or shouldn't go to places where children are, don't appreciate how training and socialisation work

The point the dog nuts continually seem unable to grasp in 1000 posts is it that dog scialisation is not the problem of the non dog owning, child owning parent.

janey68 Mon 29-Jul-13 12:32:40

You see, we seem to get to a reasonable point of agreement and then someone starts up with the comments that its 'miserable' if you don't want dogs jumping up or sniffing etc Its not miserable at all. I have no problem with people choosing to have a pet dog if that's what they want. It doesn't mean anyone else should have to put up with any annoying behaviour it might exhibit.

merrymouse Mon 29-Jul-13 12:32:11

I assume that if somebody wants their child to meet my dog they will ask me.

merrymouse Mon 29-Jul-13 12:31:15


merrymouse Mon 29-Jul-13 12:30:48

To be fair Hercy, I assume that any child I meet is terrified of dogs (DS was for a bit) and give them a wide birth.

merrymouse Mon 29-Jul-13 12:27:21

I don't think we are in disagreement janey.

Hercy Mon 29-Jul-13 12:27:01

Exactly Saintly. I think some of the posters who think that a dog shouldn't be off the lead or shouldn't go to places where children are, don't appreciate how training and socialisation work. I would also love to know where I can walk my dog away from other people, do these places actually exist? I'm in Beckenham (SE London/Kent) if anyone can let me know.

I don't expect everyone's young children are perfectly behaved 24/7 and sometimes that imperfect behaviour might impact on or annoy a member of the public. So is it really that unreasonable to appreciate that my 10 month old dog isn't going to have perfect recall in all situations, and that I do the best I can with training (have had classes, one to ones with a trainer, used long line etc etc), but if I don't let him off the lead, he'll never have the exposure necessary to excel at recall in all situations.

I really do think that some people are just being miserable. Is it really that big a deal if a dog sniffs you? You might prefer it not to happen, but is it really worth getting upset over?

It's just common courtesy really, I will recall my dog, put it on a lead when I see children etc as I try to be responsible and courteous. So if I do that, is it too much to ask that children don't run up to him making a lot of noise or kick a ball in his direction etc, it's just reciprocal courtesy. That's all the OP is asking really. And if I mess up on the rare occassion and don't get my dog on the lead in time and he jumps up at you (or shock horror sniffs you), I will apologise profusely and hope that you can accept that even with the best will in the world, accidents happen, and I am probably more worked up over it than you. In turn, if you child is screaming his lungs out on a train etc, I will just live and let live and assume you're having enough of a bad time trying to quieten them without me tutting or telling you to keep it down.

janey68 Mon 29-Jul-13 12:11:19

That's fine then saintly, as you can guarantee your dogs in training won't cause any annoyance to anybody

I was describing situations, as I made clear, where dogs have come running/jumping up, and their owner has 'explained' that they are only young and still learning and being playful, as if that's some kind of excuse.

saintlyjimjams Mon 29-Jul-13 12:05:53

Puppies have to be trained in public Janey - or they won't end up socialised & trained. That doesn't mean they end up bothering people. You use a lead or long line & are close enough to grab them when you have to.

If you never allow your puppy to meet people or other dogs it will not be socialised & will prob forget all training on sight of it's first dog.

Chiggers Mon 29-Jul-13 12:03:44

<<shrugs>> Like I say, I wasn't there so I don't know the intricate ins and outs of the case, or what the judge was thinking when he ordered the parents to go to parenting classes. I could guess and say the judge may have thought that he needed to make the parents aware that it was their responsibility to make sure their child was safe and that failing to do so amounted to neglect in a situation that had the potential to be dangerous to the child. I can see why the judge ordered the classes though.

I know we can't keep our DC under watchful eyes 24/7, but if you don't know what a dog is like, then why would you take the risk and let your child stroke a dog that may well be an aggressive dog rescued from an abusive and neglectful home. It's obvious that any dog has the potential to bite and I don't think dog owner will say that their dog won't bite, BUT, most responsible dog owners know what their dog is capable of and know better how to keep a child safe than Joe Public would.

janey68 Mon 29-Jul-13 12:02:17

Thing is, merry mouse, one persons loveable puppy is another persons annoyance.

A bit like the loveable little toddler who approaches your table to 'talk' to you when you want a quiet meal out, is a pain in the neck.

It's about accepting that dogs ( like children) are a choice, and you cannot assume that just because you love yours, anyone else will

LackingEnergy Mon 29-Jul-13 12:01:58

My parents dog is going blind and deaf but still loves his walks and loves to meet nice children....

But due to a nasty child ignoring my parents the child was bitten very mildly. No fault of the dog, the child (about 8 so should at least know right from wrong) ran up and whacked 'patted?' the dog, being almost blind and deaf the poor dog had no idea what hit him and reacted with the only deffence he had. If he wasn't so child friendly I doubt the bite would have been so mild

He still goes on walks but now wears a muzzle, not to protect children but to protect him from some lazy parent and their ill mannered brat. He still gets lots of cuddles from nice children at the park, even more from the ones whos parents are aware of the incident and have known my parents and their dog for years (he doesn't have many more years left). It would seem that this child is also nasty to other children.

merrymouse Mon 29-Jul-13 11:57:21

Sadly I am very rarely approached by a loveable little puppy as generally their little legs don't get them far beyond their owner and they are easy to catch before they get into mischief.

My very unreliable rescue dog is learning recall but always on a very long lead.

janey68 Mon 29-Jul-13 11:54:27

So what you now seem to be saying, jimjams, is that it is acceptable for puppies to be in public places during training, when they are unreliable and could cause an annoyance to people! Which is very different to the responsible owners on here.

At the end of the day, it's up to me if I volunteer to have a guide or police dog in training, in my home. It is up to me to accept or decline if someone approaches me in the park and asks if my children can stroke his dog (or asks if my dog, if I had one, can play with his) for the purpose of socialising his dog.

That is very different from a dog bounding up, jumping, slobbering etc uninvited. No one should have to put up with that.

saintlyjimjams Mon 29-Jul-13 11:36:29

And the puppy isn't in the home for short periods. It lives there with the family & is treated exactly as a pet dog. At the end if the year if it has something that will prevent it from being a good guide/police dog (such as being dog reactive, or anxious around children, or very into chasing birds) then it is usually to offer the puppy walker families the option to keep the dog as a pet. If not they get rehomed. But at that stage they are no different from a (hopefully) well socialised pet dog.

saintlyjimjams Mon 29-Jul-13 11:31:55

It's not different at all. That police dog puppy was treated exactly the same as my pet puppy for the first year of his life. He was off lead in public parks.

janey68 Mon 29-Jul-13 11:29:54

You're talking about socialisation in a context of ^ consent^ - people have ^ volunteered^ to have a puppy in their home or have been ^ asked^ whether they are happy for their children or other pets to be part of a socialisation process.

With all due respect, that is entirely different to mr bloggs deciding that its good for his puppy to be around kids in a public area even though the animal is unreliable and could go bounding up or jump at people, simply because in the long term mr bloggs wants his pet socialised

saintlyjimjams Mon 29-Jul-13 11:29:18

And aside from socialisation a dog needs to be trained with distractions. So if you only recall train in an area with no-one else around & achieve 100% success that doesn't mean the dog is recall trained the first time you try around another dog or a person or a squirrel or whatever. Training is an ongoing process. My dog has reliable recall around other dogs, people & cats. He has not had enough exposure to sheep, cattle or ponies for me to assume he would be reliable around them so he stays on a lead on the moors.

saintlyjimjams Mon 29-Jul-13 11:23:57

How do you think guide dogs & police dogs train janey? They spend their first year living in a normal family home where the volunteers are asked to socialise them - that means take them to as many different places as possible. When my dog was a puppy a potential police dog puppy was often walked in the same park & the volunteer puppy walker asked to let our dogs play. This was not private land, & the potential police dog was as untrained as mine at the time. It was a park with a fenced off children's play area - & one of the things the puppy walker was doing was trying to expose & socialise the dog to children because his had grown up.

Other than special training days held (I think he said) once a month that dog was treated exactly the same as any pet dog with an owner that is sensible about socialising the dog. Training the dog in isolation would be a very bad idea indeed because for a puppy the most important part of ensuring it grows up to be friendly is socialisation - to people, other dogs & to a lesser extent (depending on where you walk) other animals.

saintlyjimjams Mon 29-Jul-13 11:17:11

No one has said if a child slips or trips they deserve to get bitten.

janey68 Mon 29-Jul-13 11:10:58

Agree tabulah.
I just wish other dog owners could see sense like you.
It's not even just an issue of whether a dog is harmful- as you rightly say, people have a right to walk down the street without a passing 'friendly' dog sticking a slobbery nose against their coat (something else which has happened to me on occasions- and I bet the owner wouldn't be too pleased if my passing child has grabbed their clothing with sticky hands!)

Having a dog isn't compulsory. It you want a pet dog, you should only get one if you are able to train it properly, away from the public, and if , when it is trained, you continue to manage it properly. Dogs such as guide dogs or hearing dogs are of course different from someone choosing to just have a pet, but IME these are likely to be the best trained and behaved anyway. Any other sort of dog is a choice and I really do not understand why anyone would choose such a pet if they don't want the responsibility which goes with it

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