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To think that if your child is scared of dogs you should encourage them not to scre and wail if my dog is 300 ft away...

(469 Posts)
Beccadugs Wed 30-Oct-13 21:50:15

Walking my dog today, she was of lead, about 10ft ahea of me waiting for me to chuck the ball. A child cycled towards us, saw my dog (who is half toy poodle so tiny) and started screaming. My dog just looked at her and then carried on our walk, if she was the type to run up to strangers/kids she wouldn't be off the lead. However, when she was a puppy and less well trained this screaming was an invitation (in her mind) to investigate.

While I accept that some children are scared of dogs, and that is fine. I would have thought that if there is a dog in the general vicinity encouraging your DC not to scream is probably for the best when the dog is ignoring you completely. AIBU, we all want to use the local facilities happily.

Back2Two Fri 01-Nov-13 21:43:00

Yeah, and what about this alternative approach:

"Teach the dogs NOT to EVER, ever run up to a small child and leap up, not to ever bark,yap or snap around them. And THEN the child won't need to GROW OUT of their horrible phobia and fear of animals"


LST Fri 01-Nov-13 21:49:54

My dog has never ever ran up to a child.. Children run up to him all the time.. And I always pick up his shit.

Spider7 Fri 01-Nov-13 21:56:30

I do & I do. All the other dog owners I know personally do & do. I also stick to the speed limit, some people don't, I don't drink & drive, some do, I don't drink so have never been drunk & disorderly, some do & have. I don't do drugs, never have, some do. I don't piss in doorways, but have observed men(& on one occasion a woman) doing so (do we start banning men?) I have never assaulted anyone, some people have. Are we seriously going to start tarring all animals/groups with the same brush? Really? I thought it was us dog owners that were supposed to be barking!

I'm gonna go bark with LST at some leaves...... makes way more sense. Polarised views! Never going to end well. Woof!

dementedma Fri 01-Nov-13 22:02:04

Go jogging often with a friend who brings her dog. Said dog is huge and boisterous but always on a very short lead. However, our walks/jogs are constantly interrupted by other dogs not on leads bounding up for sniff of friends dog, who then get growly. My friend often pleads with other dog owners to recall their dog, while struggling to control her own , but gets the " he's only being friendly" routine.
Another, very doggy friend who owns two dogs, was recently knocked over by a boisterous off.lead dog. Cue a shattered knee bone and months of physiotherapy.
Please keep your dogs on a lead and under control

FarFromTheMaddingCrowd Fri 01-Nov-13 22:07:58

I currently live in the US and in my state there are very stringent rules regarding dogs. They must be on a lead at all times, with the lead no more than 6ft in length. Dogs must also have a licence. They are only allowed off the lead on your own garden which must be fully fenced. Some parks do not allow dogs at all. Many parks have a "dog run". This is usually 2 fenced in areas - one for small dogs and one for big dogs. The dog runs very often have good facilities within them - free poo bags, water bowls etc.. Some are really fancy with tunnels and see-saws for the dogs to play on. From what I understand, this is all to do with liability - if your dog bites someone, or causes an accident you can be sued big time!

From what I've seen so far it appears to work really well, with the rules being respected.

Now, as I am a dog owner myself (and from the UK), I have a couple of comments to make regarding this system. Firstly, as most dog owners know, it is not always a good idea to gather a large group of dogs together in a small space - fights can break out and some owners will not be experienced enough to break them up. Secondly, there are many breeds of dog that would mentally and physically not do well being kept on the lead all the time - I'm thinking of breeds such as Collies.

I don't have any answers - as tax payers we all want to use the parks etc and it would be a very brave government that tried to bring in the laws above. Most dog owners would not hesitate to put their dog back on the lead if they can see that a child is getting distressed, but sometimes children can appear out of nowhere and in this instance there is not a great deal you can do if they if they start screaming.

Back2Two Fri 01-Nov-13 23:29:50

Yes, but the children who run up to dogs aren't scared of them. So fine......unless of course, the dogs are scared of kids, then we have to re-think.

But, if my little boys are walking along in the country and some dogs are ahead...I say something along the lines of "just, ignore.....walk with me..." Or "just stand still and ignore" but the dog rushes up and barks and is "over friendly" then it really feeds into the fear my children have. They have no control over it at all. Whatever they do the dogs still come up and the owners always (and I do mean always) act as if my children are silly for being scared (hence...."he'd only lick you to death" ......son just hears dog barking and "death")

As for people saving an animal rather than the human I am amazed. What about the potential children, family spouses, etc that may be left bereaved?

onthecountofthree Fri 01-Nov-13 23:38:16

I always keep my dogs on lead if walking in the towns/village/public places and allow them off lead when out in the field because everyone else's dogs are off lead as well and we've had some very friendly bouncy dogs come over and get tangled up in our leads and we've had some very nasty attacks by dogs that clearly should stay on lead and muzzled when out on walks. Children cannot control their fears but if out with parents should be encouraged to not walk/run/cycle too far ahead in case they do meet someone with a dog (I do feel all dogs should be on lead in the street though no matter how lovely and friendly).

Although I have dogs I am very wary of other peoples' dogs - even the small ones can be aggressive - some just bark and pull on lead - others are snapping and snarling away and my dogs just completely ignore all of them - they also ignore screaming children as the op's dog did. Her dog wasn't out of control just because it was off lead - it's out of control if it's running around barking, scaring people or acting aggressively which it wasn't.

The only time I have felt angry was when next door's child was told by her mother that she could come around and play at my house because her brother was also here - child was terrified of dogs but still waltzed into the house (without knocking) trailing her friend behind her and then started screaming when the dogs got up to investigate who was walking into the house. I was very angry at neighbour for allowing her child to just enter my property knowing her child was scared of dogs and knowing 3 dogs live in my house! Dogs should stay with their owners and kids should stay with their parents!

onthecountofthree Fri 01-Nov-13 23:43:06

it's worth remembering it's not always just children who are afraid of dogs - lots of adults are too although less likely to start screaming :-) I have a lady who visits me and she is terrified and I do say "They'll only lick you to death" because they basically just sniff and walk away - they don't bark at her or jump up but I do still try and keep them away from her because her fear isn't just going to go away no matter how many times she sees them and with some dogs her fears would be well justified.

Misspixietrix Fri 01-Nov-13 23:50:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Misspixietrix Fri 01-Nov-13 23:54:20

How on earth was she meant to encourage her DC not to scream hmm you might not like it/find it annoying but it is a genuine fear. I scream when I see a spider. Yes I know its irrational but it is a genuine phobia. The DC is only a child. Doesn't know it is irrational and to them it is also a genuine phobia.

Lweji Sat 02-Nov-13 04:52:58

I wasn't saying dogs are demons or even like wild animals. They have been bred to be sociable around humans.
Just explaining why there is often an instinctive fear in some children, that can also carry out to adulthood. In the same way that some people fear other animals that can cause harm to them. In the same way that most of us are not exactly keen on snakes, spiders, wasps, etc.

Of course dogs are an ever common part of our society and we, as parents, should do our best (in the sense that there are limits to what we can do) to teach our children to behave appropriately around them and/or not to fear them. I have done that work with DS.

However, and hence my posts, it is also necessary that some dog owners (e.g. the OP) realise that it is not easily controllable.

Surprisingly, children also need to go 100s of feet away from their parents, run loose, even though they may find dogs (it's a risk they will have to take). It is appalling that apparently a child on a bike should be kept from a safe cycling area (maybe he/she should have been riding on the street?), and restricted to the immediate proximity of their parents, because there might be dogs around, but a dog supposedly has to be off the lead to exercise.

The fact is that a dog will always be intruding on human territory, never the other way around (except their own homes). There is no way that a dog's exercise regime takes precedence over a children's need to exercise and to freedom. (not saying that dogs have to be reined in all the time, but don't bloody complain when you encounter a scared child, FFS!)

One of the problems is that some dog owners have dogs that need a lot of exercise and long runs but don't own large private areas for those dogs, nor can keep up with their dogs running so that they can control them on a lead while they run. A friend of mine has managed to take his 3 large dogs on a lead while running on a bike, so, it's possible to keep dogs on leads and exercise them, and control them and not entangle the leads, just as long as the owner knows what they are doing.

And having a dog that has cured 1000s of children of the fear of dogs means nothing. Some people use their snakes or spiders to cure people of their fears.
My DS is very familiar with our cat. Our cat doesn't bite or scratch (apart from a specific play). DS still screams when he's jumped on, or sometimes if the cat runs towards him, because of the surprise factor.
For all we know the child in the OP suddenly saw the dog, may have perceived some threat (even though it was probably not there) and screamed. In some cases there is no amount of "getting used to" that will prevent a child from screaming.

Live with it, OP, as people who are not keen on dogs have to live with the fact that our towns and spaces are full of dogs.

TheRealAmandaClarke Sat 02-Nov-13 06:42:29

[like] Lweji's post.

Retropear Sat 02-Nov-13 07:47:37

Farfrom love the sound of the US system.Annoys the hell out of me that over here it's so hard to sue over dog biting.My DS will need therapy at some point which we will have to pay for.

They don't take any shit re nits either do they.

Some things they can be so sensible over and some not so much, guns come to

TheRealAmandaClarke Sat 02-Nov-13 19:25:34

Well. RL reflects MN.
Today I was out with the DCs and two unleashed dogs (a staff terrier and a sturdy boxer-type) ran through the park near the duck pond. Obviously the area was crammed with small children. The boy (about 2 yrs old) in front of us was hysterical. It was awful to witness and both walkers were made aware of my opinion on their idiotic behaviour. Why can some people not see that to a small child a bounding dog is likely to be utterly terrifying? I even picked up my own ds because how the hell am I supposed to know if the animal running towards him is going to bite him or knock him over until it's too late?
Idiotic and selfish behaviour. That poor kid. His mum was cuddling him and telling everyone he was scared. I'm not fucking surprised he's scared.

Lweji Sat 02-Nov-13 19:40:47

My first experience of child vs dog was a dog (fairly small) approaching my baby (4-6 months) lying on the grass, and the stupid owner just walking smiling a few meters behind. No leash. She should have called it back even before it approached the baby.
Babies are not environmental items for a dog to experience while walking around.
Who knows what even a small dog would do if startled or scared by anything. And there was not much I could do just in case the dog turned on the baby, except looking at the owner in anger and telling her that it was not on, and trying to gently put my hand between the two.

It's a bloody uncomfortable situation to be in.

TheRealAmandaClarke Sat 02-Nov-13 20:33:33

Yes. Very uncomfortable.

IceBeing Tue 05-Nov-13 23:36:48

oh looks like another child has been killed by a family dog....and the dog has died too. I wonder what the circumstances will turn out to be. So very sad all round.

MissDuke Tue 05-Nov-13 23:46:21

I fell off my bike on a towpath 2 months ago due to a dog off a lead, it terrified me and now when I encounter a leadless dog, I just slow right down to a stop and wait on them passing. If I were a child I wouldn't have that self control and so most likely would just scream. I think it is incredibly irresponsible to have a dog off a lead in areas where there are likely to be cyclists. I still haven't fully healed from my fall as one of my wounds was infected leading to cellulitis. The dog owner was lovely though and certainly learned a lesson that day, he was very sorry and upset at what happened. I didn't actually hit the dog btw, so he was fine thankfully!

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 06-Nov-13 06:51:32

Icebeing sad

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