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To request that all parents please ask

(254 Posts)
SunshineAndShadows Tue 22-Sep-15 20:20:49

... Before you let your child loose on a strange dog!

I was just out with my two hounds, both friendly beasts but bouncy when out walking and neither enjoy contact with children as they've had unpleasant DC experiences and will avoid them as much as they can.

Both dogs off lead but under control by me when I see a nearby mum release her toddler (very small, no older than 2) in my direction. He toddles forwards and I put a hand on each dog's collar so that I have full control (no time to clip on leads) and mum cheers him on.

I eventually have to do a crazy toddler knee block whilst holding both dogs and saying 'no' very firmly, which stops him in his tracks. Mum then comes over and stands there expectantly. I was wordless with astonishment and eventually she pulled him away saying 'oh dear, the doggies don't want to play'.

I felt like asking her if she also let him play with knives and electric sockets (but of course I didn't)

AIBU to expect that my dogs and I should be able to walk peacefully without attacks from uncontrolled children?

CassieBearRawr Tue 22-Sep-15 20:24:04

YANBU, she's a fecking idiot.

NeedsAsockamnesty Tue 22-Sep-15 20:24:07

Did the toddler actually attack your dog?

The mum was probally hoping to ask if her child could stroke your dog, weirdly this is not an usual event when you have a dog. You can either say yes or no

JennyOnAPlate Tue 22-Sep-15 20:24:55

Yanbu at all. My young dds love dogs but are well trained to always ask the owner.

SmashleyHop Tue 22-Sep-15 20:25:33

YANBU- I agree she was silly letting a toddler approach a pair of strange dogs. However, I'm surprised you didn't say anything like "My dogs don't like small children" or "Not child friendly!" I bet she would have snatched her kid up sharpish!

StormyLlewelyn Tue 22-Sep-15 20:25:56

shock From as soon as they were old enough to toddle away from me I've drummed it into my DC to ask before approaching a dog. DS1 takes it to the extreme and thinks he can stroke every single dog he sees so long as he asks first. He also asks people if he can stroke their babies...

When I was a kid, a little boy we played with was bitten by a dog. He ran up to it and tried to give it a hug but stood on its paw, the dog didn't like the unexpected contact and it reacted. He had stitches all over his face and was lucky he didn't lose his eyes as one of his eyelids was actually torn. I remember him peering over his garden gate at us, no more than five or six years old, face covered in black stitches and bruises. I never want that for my DC.

poocatcherchampion Tue 22-Sep-15 20:26:20


BrandNewAndImproved Tue 22-Sep-15 20:27:02

My ds absolutely loves dogs, since he was a toddler he would ask very nicely if he could stroke the dog. What an earth are parents thinking allowing a dc whos usually head height with a dog to run up to it.

Have you heard of the green orange and red leads that are going around. They're not so much for random toddlers but more for other dogs.

Green = friendly to other dogs
Orange = usually friendly but on a lead for various reasons please don't approach
Red = everyone and every dog stay away.

Wolfiefan Tue 22-Sep-15 20:29:12

Not really an attack! confused
But parents who let their kids wander up to and grab a dog needs their heads read!
Dog may be anxious, have been abused, could have a painful ear infection or other condition, could be partially sighted and not see them coming or could leap all over them in excitement.
Kids should be taught to ask. Always.

ThighsofThunder Tue 22-Sep-15 20:30:14


It's tricky, my three year old has developed a sudden fear of dogs from nowhere, he's never had a bad interaction with a dog, both sets of grandparents have/have had dogs. I don't want to reinforce this fear by keeping him 6ft away from any dog that passes, but I wouldn't EVER encourage him to approach an unknown dog without me!

Must have been stressful for you and your dogs, because you know if dog had so much looked askance at the child the mother would be blaming you!

PolishRemoverOfNail Tue 22-Sep-15 20:30:44

I have always taught my children to ask dog owners before touching dogs, and even then to be careful so you are definitely NBU.

Woman sounds barking.

SunshineAndShadows Tue 22-Sep-15 20:31:53

Hi was literally smaller than they were sad
And no, mum was in no way 'about to ask me' she turned him and set him off in my direction whilst standing back and watching. I was carrying a large bag but fortunately my dogs are well behaved so I could hold them behind me.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 22-Sep-15 20:32:10

I, too, question the word 'attack'. Really?

Yes, parents should teach their children to be wary and respectful of dogs.

SunshineAndShadows Tue 22-Sep-15 20:33:57

Yes I've seen the leads Brand my friend has a bright yellow one with NERVOUS all over it. People approach her dog to look at his special lead confused

Floralnomad Tue 22-Sep-15 20:34:08

YANBU , that said my dog loves it if any human of any size wants to have a cuddle he always wags his tail and smiles at everybody in the hope they will have a hug !

KittyandTeal Tue 22-Sep-15 20:35:20

Nope, she's nutso.

My dd loves dogs but she already knows we don't touch dogs unles we know them. I'm even a bit reluctant to let her pet dogs that owners claim to be friendly.

I does go the other way though, it drives me mad when I hold my dds hand to keep her away and dog owners let their huge dogs bound up and jump at her all while shouting abut how friendly they are and they want to play.

TenForward82 Tue 22-Sep-15 20:35:28

For those pedants questioning the word "attack", just think for a moment whether a dog that is afraid of / hostile to children would view a child running straight towards them as an "attack" or not?


SunshineAndShadows Tue 22-Sep-15 20:37:24

So if I turned my dogs towards a child that was scared of dogs, and set them moving towards that child with the intention of making contact, whilst I stood back and watched, you as a parent wouldn't perceive that as some kind of attack on your child?

My dogs are scared of children, children are unpredictable and scary to them. I don't expect parents to know that. But I do expect them to show basic sense and courtesy, just as I do.

Georgethesecond Tue 22-Sep-15 20:37:50

Silly woman. All children need to know to ask the owner if they can talk to a dog.

Thurlow Tue 22-Sep-15 20:40:46

YANBU. Young children should learn from very early on that they shouldn't approach strange dogs. Obviously no one wants kids to grow up scared of dogs, but dogs can be vicious if they are scared or unsettled, so everyone should ask. Everyone, not just kids.

Wolfiefan Tue 22-Sep-15 20:42:35

He toddles over = an attack?
Grabbing a dog or hitting it is an attack.

Osolea Tue 22-Sep-15 20:42:59

YANBU! I was amazed when we had a puppy at how many parents actively encouraged their small children to play with him. Once it even happened when the puppy was asleep, on a lead that I was sitting on in a pub garden. I wanted to ask if they expected their toddler to be perfectly behaved all the time and if they thought said toddler was likely to be friendly and playful after being woken up with a finger in his face, but I restrained myself.

SunshineAndShadows Tue 22-Sep-15 20:44:41

Two if I purposefully sent my dogs towards a dog-fearful child to make contact that's not an attack ?

Right I'll be sure to remember that!

SunshineAndShadows Tue 22-Sep-15 20:46:22

From the point of view of the dogs it would be an attack. Why would you justify putting a child in that danger ? confused

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Tue 22-Sep-15 20:46:59

YANBU. I always remind my children (and have done since they were toddlers) to never ever approach or touch any dogs without the owners permission. To be fair, I never encourage them to ask the owner either, I simply steer them out of the way. My dcs both have SNs though, and their boundaries are a bit sketchy.

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