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To think children should ask before running up and stroking a dog?!

(118 Posts)
lovetheskinyourein Tue 12-Jun-18 08:54:06

I have a dog who is great with children, she loves them and would never do anything untoward to a child who comes up and says hello... HOWEVER after being in the park Saturday, I had 6 (!!) different children just come up and stroke my dog. (we were sat having a coffee and my dog was sitting behind my chair in the shade so very easy to sneak up behind me and say hello!)
It's all very well for a dog like mine- however I've had rescues before who may not have been so happy about it, and to be honest, ANY dog could snap if taken by surprise?!
AIBU to think that you should teach children to ask if it's ok before going full steam ahead and stroking a strangers dog?!

Beaverhausen Tue 12-Jun-18 08:56:34

I agree, and my daughter knows to do this.

The dog can either turn around and bite for whatever reason and there are some dog owners out there who do not like strangers petting them.

x2boys Tue 12-Jun-18 08:57:46

i have a dog i have never encountered this every child i have met always asks if shes ok to stroke .

Peachesandcream15 Tue 12-Jun-18 08:58:33


Perhaps all dog owners could also keep control of their dog and not let it run up and jump at me or my child. But I won't hold my breath.

sleeveface Tue 12-Jun-18 09:04:39

My dog is a cute looking dog, and occasionally children do come up (with parents right there saying nothing!) and try to pet her. She does not like strangers coming into her face and especially children. If she's off lead she can escape easily no harm done but if I'm walking her on lead and the child is getting right in her face (even if I'm trying to drag dog away) she will get snappy. Then I get funny looks from the parent and disappointed looks from the child! Well sorry but you can't just walk up to a strangers dog and expect it to love you! Winds me up

JellyBears Tue 12-Jun-18 09:05:54

That’s my rule when around dogs.

TrudeauGirl Tue 12-Jun-18 09:06:32

I once asked a child not to stroke my dog because she had a sore leg after an operation. I was sitting on a bench with my dog and the child chased her under the bench while her mother watched angry

This was after I politely told her to not stroke it for the sore leg reason. The child then tried to grab her fur. It was at this point that I had to stand up and leave. All while the mother did nothing but watch her daughter ignore my wishes.

This did annoy me as I asked nicely for her to just look and not touch because of my dogs leg.

MidnightAura Tue 12-Jun-18 09:10:33

I agree. I don't walk my dogs when children are going to school for this reason (if I can help it) they are both great with children but the amount of kids that come running up and shove their face into theirs is getting beyond a joke. All the while parents just smile indulgently.

But then I wasn't allowed to touch strange dogs growing up, I have no problem with people petting my dogs but at least ask first.

MatildaTheCat Tue 12-Jun-18 09:11:48

As a dog owner who met this lovely Mum and toddler recently, I 100% agree:

Mum: can we stroke your dog please?
Me: of course, he’s really friendly but well done for asking ( aimed at toddler)

They stroke. Then Mum says ‘we are finding friendly dogs after an incident.’ I then look properly and the little girl has quite fresh bite marks all over her face. Absolutely shocking. Such kudos to that Mum for teaching her dd that dogs can be friendly but must be treated with respect.

lovetheskinyourein Tue 12-Jun-18 09:13:12

This is also along with the child teasing her with an ice cream cone while the mum stood there laughing at him waving it in her face... he did it once, I expected the mum to say not to, then he did it again so I had to step in! Poor dog was sat there desperately wanting the cone that was being waved around her nose hmm

lovetheskinyourein Tue 12-Jun-18 09:14:35

@MatildaTheCat oh no! Good on the mum though!

EnglishRose13 Tue 12-Jun-18 09:17:11

My dog is smaller than your average cat. Children always just come up and stroke her without asking. Luckily, my dog is friendly and has always been around children, but the breed can be aggressive. In fact, it's been argued they're the most aggressive breed of dog.

MrsMozart Tue 12-Jun-18 09:18:23

I was once at the counter in a PO, turned and looked down to see someone's small child cuddling my Rottie x GSD... He was a big dog with a mouth slightly bigger than the child's head. Luckily he just looked very confused. Child's parent was stood watching going "Ah, isn't that lovely ". Fecking idiot. The gist of this story being that while there are idiot adults in charge there'll be children not learning the right way to do things.

Footnote: The dog was fine and whilst protective of me and mine, he wouldn't 'just go for' anyone. Most people though gave him space, probably simply due to how he looked. I'd got him at six weeks old as he was about to be put in a sack.

Queenofthedrivensnow Tue 12-Jun-18 09:19:37

Of course yanbu. I had it drummed in to me by my parents to ask the owner and if the dog is alone not to approach - or any pet really.

We have a beautiful golden cocker and kids approach him all the time. I hold him on all 4 feet tightly by the harness I don't trust him not to jump on kids though he is now older and very good at sitting nicely.

Lots of children ask permission I reckon more than half. It's not that bad around here

PutOnAHappyFace Tue 12-Jun-18 09:46:43

My DD is obsessed with dogs and I've had to drum into her to ask owners before stroking them, she now just waves and says hello unless the owner says they are OK with a quick stroke.

Gin96 Tue 12-Jun-18 10:08:22

A parent asked if his child could stroke my dog I said no, not because he will bite but gets very excited and knocks people over, they came up and stroked him any way, luckily he behaved because he was tired

Handsfull13 Tue 12-Jun-18 10:18:42

I'm sure when I was younger it was just something ingrained into you that you ask before going to touch a dog.
My sister bought patches to put on her dogs harness that say not to stroke and that she isn't child friendly.
The dog can be good with kids but not the over excited ones you get at the park.
Doesn't help the toddlers the can't read whose parent let them wander over unattended.

Caribou58 Tue 12-Jun-18 10:29:09

I have an elderly, large-ish rescue dog who actually isn't keen on being stroked by strangers. She doesn't bite - she just makes it plain (by moving away) that she doesn't want the attention, possibly because she's almost blind now and suffers a range of ailments. She is never off-lead, I might add.

Adults are the worst for thinking it's acceptable to approach her, without asking if it's OK, and waving their hands around her head. I've had a number of children ask politely if they can stroke her and I usually explain she doesn't like it, but that she'd enjoy sitting for a treat and I give them a biscuit, tell them how to offer it (ask for a paw, etc, offer it on the flat of your hand) and the kids always do it nicely.

So - I think many children are being brought up to ask.

SomeKnobend Tue 12-Jun-18 10:35:13

I agree children should ask first, but I think some people on here are being a bit U. Taking a big gsd/rottie into a post office for god's sake! It's obviously going to be in very close proximity to a large number of people, if that dog isn't fucking bomb proof when it comes to being touched by strangers then you'd be a complete fucking moron to put it in that position. Similarly in a park really, you don't take a dog which may be any level of reactive and put it in a position where children could touch it without you being able to prevent it. It is the parents' job to protect their children, but they do wander out of arms reach sometimes, especially in a park, so it's definitely the dog owner's job to make sure the dog is never in a position to be a danger to a stray child.

FreudianSlurp Tue 12-Jun-18 10:38:34

Literally every time we go out we get this! I think it's mainly because she's somewhere that people don't expect to see a dog (and is not a typical breed for an AD). She's wearing a jacket that says she's an Assistance Dog, and a slash on her leash that says Please Do Not Distract, but still children (and adults!) think it's ok to just come over to fuss her.

I have heard from a distance some parents say to their children "that's a special dog, it's working to help that lady and we mustn't get too close" and I am so grateful to them for teaching their children. Other parents come and stand about half a metre away and say "look at the doggy" and start talking to her, and it drives me mad! When my dog is lying next to me whilst I'm looking at things on shelves or having a coffee, she's not just resting, she is constantly alert to my needs and is still working. So, not only do I want you to stop distracting my dog I also want you to appreciate that I'm trying to do my shopping/chat/have lunch and it's rude to think you can just interrupt.

PumpkinPie2016 Tue 12-Jun-18 10:42:35

I agree but also parents should ensure they supervise their children and don't allow them to just touch random dogs without asking!

I am trying to teach my four year old to always ask but DH is terrible for saying to him - oh go and say hello to the dog! I really got cross with him a few months back and pointed out that a dog can look very friendly but may not appreciate being touched! He is better now!

We had a German Shepard when I was growing up and although he was great with the family he was not keen on strangers approaching him. My parents always used to ask people to please not touch him as he didn't like it and they would often say 'oh but I like dogs!'hmm erm... maybe you do but it doesn't mean the dog has to like you!

ChardonnaysPrettySister Tue 12-Jun-18 10:42:36

Happens to us all quite often.

Mine are bomb proof, and I watch them all the time so can anticipate it coming, but sometimes I really wish parents would actually watch their children and use their common sense.

My dog is not a toy and he doesn’t like being poked with sticks.

Springersrock Tue 12-Jun-18 10:45:21


I always drummed it into my kids not to touch other people’s dogs without asking first

My dog is really quite poorly at the moment and we were in the vets yesterday when a small child came bounding up to doggo and threw his arms around doggo’s neck while parent stood watching. I had to ask several times for child to leave him alone. I was so annoyed, we were in the vets - where there’s a pretty high chance that the animals you encounter might not be feeling great so leave them the feck alone

chitofftheshovel Tue 12-Jun-18 10:46:38

knobend quite frankly that is bollocks.

These dogs are under control. People, that is both children and adults, should ask before they approach a dog. Both my children knew to do this before they turned two. It is up to the parent to effectively parent and control their offspring. And also show them how best to approach a dog if the owner has said it's ok.

Spanglyprincess1 Tue 12-Jun-18 10:47:56

If a dog is on a lead then the owner is taking reasonable steps and it shouldn't be touched without asking the owner if its friendly first.
My dog is lovely and isn't used to children. She ignores them if out and wouldn't bite but I'd never trust her completely around children without close supervision as she isn't used to them.
I always teach kids to ask as some dogs are scared or can bite thee same as some children are scared of dogs or can end up hurting the dog accidentally

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