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Dogs and children

(63 Posts)
DizzyDancer Wed 13-Jan-16 10:12:32

I know I started a controversial thread yesterday and this one will probably gain as much flak but please look at this and take heed of the pictures

Let's have no more children hurt or anymore dogs put to sleep because some parents do not take responsibility around dogs

www.lolathepitty.com/my-dog-bit-my-child/

BernardsarenotalwaysSaints Wed 13-Jan-16 10:43:23

It amazes me the way some parents let their children treat/interact with animals. Mine have grown up around cats & dogs & had regular imteractions with small furries. They were always told & shown how to be gentle , let them come to you etc. I also encourage them to wave at cats & dogs when we're out walking because they may not like being stroked.

If we ever get a Saint from a puppy ( my original & current bitch came to us as adults) I'm planning on taking Pat Dog training & seeing if local schools would like me to go in to help them teach correct behaviours around dogs. I know they have 1 lesson a year on this for all years at most of our local schools. I'm lucky Saints are naturally tolerant of children & the sheer size of them makes it difficult to be truly rough with them as we attract quite a crowd when we take her out anywhere. I always ask children that come up to us to be gentle with her & show her their hand to sniff 1st though.

DizzyDancer Wed 13-Jan-16 12:05:42

The amount of stupid videos on the internet where the dog is giving clear leave me alone signals and the parents are still encouraging child to annoy said dog is infuriating. If that dog ever but the kid, it's not the kids fault it's the dogs, or the owners for not training the dog properly.

Problem is, dogs are not robots. There is only so much training you can do

WaitrosePigeon Wed 13-Jan-16 12:11:23

<waits for Anthony to make himself look like a twat again>

PhilPhilConnors Wed 13-Jan-16 12:16:29

YANBU. This is one of the things I have a bee in my bonnet about.
Last week there was a video on FB of a little girl using a dog's tail as a paintbrush. The dog was giving off subtle but clear signs that it was unhappy.
A FB friend keeps putting on posts of her toddler dd sitting on the family Labrador, who again, is giving off signs that it is not happy. And this family are very experienced dog owners.
People are stupid and rely on their dog's placid natures to put up with the abuse they receive.
Dogs are not toys. They can't talk, so anybody who has one should respect it enough to learn how to recognise whether it is comfortable or not.

mrsjskelton Wed 13-Jan-16 12:30:11

They are animals with the tools to kill. They only have so many ways to tell you to stop! YANBU because it's all so "tragic" when the dog is put down - should be the bloody parents put down. Poor pup.

Karoleann Wed 13-Jan-16 12:35:23

I cannot understand why anyone would keep a "potentially" dangerous animal in their house when they have children.

All dogs have the potential to bite, so why on earth would you put your children at risk by keeping something that could possibly kill them.

KaosReigns Wed 13-Jan-16 12:41:04

This drives me nuts. Staying in a hotel with our rather large dog (who to be honest looks rather intimidating) and children kept coming over to play with her, not a single parent in sight. We spent every day supervising other peoples children.

One little girl in particular had a stick and kept waving it in the dogs face, teasing her and just winding her up. Told the child to stop, explained that it was teasing the dog. She said "no, I'm not" and kept doing it. Asked her to leave and she wouldn't. Couldn't take the dog inside and couldn't find a parent to discipline/remove the child. Aged years that day.

Spent a lot of time training my dog and 'child proofing' her, but that only works if the children are trained too, and supervised.

In saying that I got bit once as a kid, I lied and tried to convince the adults that my obvious puncture wounds were from falling over. I knew damn well it was my fault I got bit (tug of war).

Millionprammiles Wed 13-Jan-16 13:20:49

As well as parents educating themselves and their children about dogs, some dog owners need to educate themselves about children.

Young children in particular are not robots anymore than dogs are. Their behaviour can be impulsive, uncontrolled, erratic and illogical. Despite attempts at 'training' by their parents.

So your dog that is lovely, calm and well behaved in an all adult household may behave very differently around young children. A young child won't necessarily have the knowledge, awareness and control to behave appropriately all the time around dogs. Its unreasonable to expect them to, however hard their parents try, especially in public places.

So don't just stand there with your dog and say: "Don't run away he thinks its a game"
"He's never done that before you must have scared him" etc.
If you're in a public place and there are young children, the only sensible thing to do is keep your dog under control.

Thinking about it, dogs and young children have a lot in common, in theory they should get along very well smile

KaosReigns Wed 13-Jan-16 13:31:23

My dog was on a lead and supervised. The child was running loose unsupervised and ignoring us. When I am physically standing between a child and my dog and the child continues to try get around me and hit my dog with a stick, you can bet you ass I'm blaming the parents.

Also I do not consider the porch of a hotel room to be public property, and think we should have been able to leave the dog unsupervised (but on a lead) for 5 minutes, without children approaching her.

Do not approach a strange dog, especially an unsupervised one. It's a simple rule, like don't run out in to the street. If you cannot trust your child to obey this rule then you should be in a position to intervene. Or you know tie them to your own porch...

KaosReigns Wed 13-Jan-16 13:38:18

Sorry if that came across as snappy, but nothing in my post implied that my dog was not under control. Yet you assume that this was the case. Can a dog be any more under control than being restrained, supervised and commanded to sit and wait?

Also what more could I have done? Other than standing with my dog and telling the child to stop their behavior, short of dragging the kid away.

ExAstris Wed 13-Jan-16 13:42:53

Karoleann, because bicycles, balloons, 5 gallon buckets, and playground equipment all cause more fatalities to children than dogs. Dogs bring a lot of good to children, including improving health by reducing asthma risk and reducing stress.

You're right though, OP. Many bites are avoidable and many parents/dog owners/both are numpties.

Themodernuriahheep Wed 13-Jan-16 13:47:26

My poor DSis had to put her lovely dog down. Dog had been given to new nice owners as DSis was moving abroad. New owners had four year old but maintained they were experienced dog owners.

Dog was in cage after some days, retreated to safe place. Four year old insisted constantly on going in with stick and poking dog in eye despite bring told not to. But not supervised adequately. Dog eventually bit. New owners contacted DSis. Were not prepared to take dog to vet so DSis had to do so.

Honestly. Dog normally brilliant with children.

Millionprammiles Wed 13-Jan-16 14:04:27

Kaos - sorry I wasn't referring to your post, I hadn't read it. Was making an unrelated point.
A two yr old will be told a hundred times not to climb that/touch that/go near that etc. They'll eventually get it but there's a learning curve where the parent is running after them to stop them.

In the same way that until a puppy is eventually trained not to jump up at strangers, it will do probably do some jumping. Sometimes dog owners will get there in time to stop them. Sometimes they won't. Just like parents with their two yr old.

Everyone needs to be aware of the limitations of the other.

My dd's reaction to dogs (she's naturally wary and will keep away unless its a dog she knows well) is determined by the dog's behaviour. Everytime an unleashed, unknown dog comes bounding over to sniff her she becomes scared and tearful around all dogs for weeks. Everytime she has a good experience (calm dog, asked if she'd like to approach and stroke it etc) its the reverse. It would be lovely to feel we could go to the park without trepidation.

DizzyDancer Wed 13-Jan-16 14:05:18

Sad to hear thermo sad poor dog

Boutonneux Wed 13-Jan-16 14:38:34

My dog doesn't like small children (this is quite difficult; as a Dalmatian he's a bit of a child-magnet), he's scared of them since his first meeting with a child as a 9 week old puppy went badly sad It was my friend's son, he's a "spirited" child, he chased him, shouted in his face and generally pestered him. 4 years on I'm still angry with myself for how I handled it (badly), I was all "oh don't do that please, be gentle around him", whereas what I should have done was remove him and told my friend to control her child, or leave. I genuinely didn't realise the damage would be done so quickly and leave such a long term impression.

If we are approached now when out, I have no problem telling people (politely of course) that no, their child can't say hello, I tell them quite honestly he's not friendly with strangers. I'm protecting him as much as them.

DizzyDancer Wed 13-Jan-16 14:52:03

It's parents who allow their kids to bother the dog with "but he loves dogs" and then gives you death stares if you tell little Tarquin to stop pulling its tail.

My nan has a yorkie cross shih tzu and I'll never forget whilst at a services station ( we were travelling home from a holiday) a man, plonked his child down in front of the dog and walked off.
The child could only have been 18 months or so.
Luckily this dog was pretty bomb proof but if my nan wasn't too scared of speaking her mind she would have given the man an earful

Yokohamajojo Wed 13-Jan-16 14:55:29

These threads are always so one sided, I don't have a dog but I do have children! My DS2 were a nightmare around dogs (Grand parents have dogs) and had to be supervised constantly and not left alone with dogs. It was exhausting. Eventually he has learned of course and this is no longer a problem, but the amount of times we were in our local park and dogs ran up to him and owners of the dogs would just say don't worry he won't hurt him, he loves children. I used to answer yes that may be so but my son may hurt your dog. I just don't see the point of responsible dog owners and responsible parents telling each other how you should behave, there will always be stupid dog owners as well as stupid parents

AnUtterIdiot Wed 13-Jan-16 15:53:38

Everyone needs to be realistic. I grew up with dogs. There was always one in the house from long before I was born. My parents loved and trusted their dogs, but they understood that dogs have limits. They did not take risks. They never left me on the floor with the dogs and they would never just have plopped me down next to one of their dogs on the sofa or let a dog nose at me in my cradle. The dogs did not have the run of the house, they only had access to some of the rooms downstairs. As I grew up, my parents told me and kept telling me not to wake the dogs when they were sleeping, not to touch them when they were eating, not to go near their bowls, not to take food away from them, to stroke them rather than patting or slapping them, never to put my face down to theirs or stare them in the eye, and to let the dogs leave as soon as they wanted to go.

I am horrified by some of the photos that I see on Facebook, of tiny babies lying on top of or next to Rottweilers in their cribs or (worse) on the floor. Dogs have emotions and personalities. They have good days and bad days. The best dog might one day just lose its temper if poked once too often by a well-meaning toddler. Those people are not just putting their children at risk, they're putting their dogs at risk too. And yes, much of the time the dogs being hugged by children just look demented with pent-up stress to me.

The other thing that gets my goat is parents who let their children swarm all over dogs without any restraint, regardless of whether the dog is panting or licking its lips or trying to pull away or walk away, and then go apeshit and start accusing the dog of being out of control if it growls. Generally speaking, if a dog has growled at your child, it has already tried to let your child know a hundred other ways that it does not want to interact.

AnUtterIdiot Wed 13-Jan-16 15:55:37

I did also mean to say that some dog owners need to be a lot more careful with their dogs. If we want children to love dogs, we need to teach our dogs manners or keep them clear of children. (And actually, some dog owners could control their dogs a lot more effectively around my dog, and yes, I do mean the man in a suit whose Labrador nearly knocked my boy over whilst barking and lunging fit to bust within an inch of him despite being on the end of a lead.)

glitterbomb80 Wed 13-Jan-16 16:52:37

Yep, this gets me too. My rescue dog is nervous around children, and I die a little inside whenever an unsupervised, boisterous child comes over to see the "doggy". It's not fair on me to have to monitor the entire interaction like a hawk to make sure the child doesn't terrify my dog and gets bitten. It also puts my dog's training and socialisation around children, which I've worked really hard at, right back every time a random kid yells in his face or runs at him. Usually the parents are some distance away, watching their little angel with indulgent smiles while I'm frantically trying to give them a crash course in safe dog approaches.

When my dog has growled, I've had people comment about how their overexcited child is usually fine with "nice dogs". It's such a dangerous way to think. Dogs aren't humans, they don't live by our rules. That "nice dog" may, one day, get sick of having its ears pulled - and who gets the blame then?

I'm about to have a child of my own, and we'll be using house muzzles (the kind that allow the dog to pant and get treats) and baby gates for as long as it takes for the two of them to be comfortable with each other. And the baby will be trained along with the dog, to treat animals with respect and kindness. Part of being a parent - and a dog owner - is being responsible and putting the measures in place to make sure everyone stays safe.

AnUtterIdiot Wed 13-Jan-16 17:47:32

(To be fair, I am about to wake my dog RIGHT NOW by showering love on him and he will love it.)

NoncommittalToSparkleMotion Wed 13-Jan-16 17:59:56

This really irks me too.

My MIL has a border collie that is badly mannered and she treats her like a baby. The dog is such a PITA and has been too nippy and boisterous with my DD. So we avoid her. We invite MIL to ours where she can't bring the dog (we have cats.)

As a result, DD is wary around dogs. I can train her to be gentle around dogs all day, but the reality is I just don't know what dogs, any dogs, will do around my child.

Sad but true.

juststeppedoutofasalon Wed 13-Jan-16 18:07:51

I always say 'careful, he may nip' as little fingers descend on his eyes. In twelve years, he never has but you can't be too careful with little kids.

Themodernuriahheep Wed 13-Jan-16 18:24:49

Dizzy, thanks, it was dreadful. She is still traumatised.

If children approach my dog, I am there...he's a bouncy JRT, but with reasonable recall and he is not allowed to approach children. If they are nervous I offer to introduce them, and try to teach them how to approach a dog. Getting a small fan club in the local park ( he's quite a noticeable JRT.).

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