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How do you defend your toddlers from dogs not on leads?

(568 Posts)
Flatearthersphere Thu 14-Jun-18 16:39:39

I have 3 children 3 and under, we often go to the park, on walks to different places, our local reservoir with a play area, picnics etc etc..
Anywsy all these areas say dogs should be on leads but they aren't I would say about 50 percent of the time, not exaggerating but just seems the norm round here.

Anyway I am guessing most people could pick up their toddler if a dog came bounding up to them but I have 3, usually 2 in the pushchair and one walking. I thought this would be OK but I was in a situation a few days ago which scared me.

I had 2 in the pushchair, an elderly woman had a big collie which bounded up to us, on one of those extendable leads and she just let it run up to us, I shouted "please pull your dog away" and picked up my eldest but she just said "don't be silly he's being friendly" and I said "I Dont care pull it away" but she refused and it jumped up into my pushchair and scratched all my sons legs even though I was trying to push it away because I was holding a child.

This isn't the first time I've been in this situation, even me and my husband have struggled when we've been holding hands with all 3 and there was a big pit bull cross or something which knocked one of our toddlers clean off his feet.

Genuinely, how do other people deal with these situations? I feel like I can't ever take the children out on my own and like we have to keep them in the pushchair all the time even if there is 2 of us. I'm finding I am avoiding going out now and it's getting depressing.

Trinity66 Thu 14-Jun-18 16:42:45

People who use the "he's just being friendly" line piss me off. Some people don't like dogs or are afraid of dogs, keep your dog away from strangers who clearly don't want to be around them....I say this as a dog owner

IWantMyHatBack Thu 14-Jun-18 16:45:04

"control your dog or I will" usually works. If it doesn't I hold their dog by the collar until they come and get it.

IWantMyHatBack Thu 14-Jun-18 16:45:29

Appreciate you have to be confident with dogs to use that though

missmouse101 Thu 14-Jun-18 16:45:46

Teach children to fold their arms and turn their back on the dog. This works with exuberant, over friendly jumping up dogs. Owners can be such bloody idiots though, letting them do this.

SweetCheeks1980 Thu 14-Jun-18 16:50:55

Your going to teach your children to be scared of dogs by reacting the way you do.

Just be like "oh what a big doggy, or what a clumsy doggy up you get..."

The owner is far more likely to be apologetic if you're nice about it rather than all shouty and stroppy, after all they like their dog more than your children.

steff13 Thu 14-Jun-18 16:51:27

This happened to me once, with just my daughter, and I blocked the dog with my body; literally stepped in between it and her.

SweetCheeks1980 Thu 14-Jun-18 16:51:59

Oh yes, and teach them what @miss mouse suggested.

Flatearthersphere Thu 14-Jun-18 16:52:30

I haven't been shouty and stroppy, I don't think my children should be covered in scratches because of a dog out of control. I won't teach them to tolerate that. And what makes you think one of the dogs won't be dangerous?

Flatearthersphere Thu 14-Jun-18 16:53:38

Thank you @missmouse I didn't know that (love the name BTW!)

AsAProfessionalFekko Thu 14-Jun-18 16:55:45

Much as I love dogs I dont like badly behaved ones or incompetent owners.

Not everyone likes dogs and ownder need to realise this. And parents neeed to realise that not all dogs will eat your children. I've seen dramas and hysterics from both parties.

I have perfected a loud, stern 'go away dog' (directed at the owner).

SweetCheeks1980 Thu 14-Jun-18 16:56:42

What makes you think it will be dangerous?

Dogs very, very rarely attack children -
and if a child is bitten it's usually from their own dog or amother known dog. Statistically, children are far more at risk from their own parents.

Trinity66 Thu 14-Jun-18 16:57:21

The owner is far more likely to be apologetic if you're nice about it rather than all shouty and stroppy, after all they like their dog more than your children.

Yes and equally parents like their kids more than some strangers dogs, why does a parent need to tiptoe around the dog owner when they're dog is invading their childrens space like that?

Flatearthersphere Thu 14-Jun-18 16:58:54

But why should they be put at risk in the first place just so I don't hurt a dog owners feelings? I don't have a dog and don't see why my children should be scratched and knocked down. Very odd.

SweetCheeks1980 Thu 14-Jun-18 17:01:15

Because Trinity if a parent is picking up their children, swinging their buggy in circles and generally being a massive drama llama then the dig owner of the friendly dog is just going to think they're ridiculous and call their dog in their own time whilst shaking their head at the sheer craziness of the parent acting like they're being attacked by a grizzly near.

SweetCheeks1980 Thu 14-Jun-18 17:02:09

Sorry about the typos!

Twofishfingers Thu 14-Jun-18 17:02:54

I am completely with you OP. I used to be a childminder and regularly had 3 kids with me and the number of times I've had to pick up a child/turn the pushchair the other way/give the evil eye to a dog owner is unbelievable. I even had a risk assessment for what to do if dogs approached us.

On one occasion a dog snatched a bread stick that a little one was holding in his hand, sitting in a pushchair at local park. The dog owner then accused me of being irresponsible because I'd let a child hold food when dogs were around. These people are so entitled it's unbelievable.

And yes, I have shouted at dog owners.

Kids get nervous around dogs because of their unpredictable behaviour, not because a carer/parent insists on a dog owner to control their dog.

AsAProfessionalFekko Thu 14-Jun-18 17:03:06

It's not all that likely that they will be harmed by the dog - but I have seen children hysterical with fear of an approaching dog trip over as they run away.

I think that's a shame if a child is taught to fear all dogs (and that is likely to get the dog over excited and barkey/jumpy).

And yes, I was brought up with dogs and yes I have been badly bitten (by someone else's lunatic dog).

Trinity66 Thu 14-Jun-18 17:04:12

SweetCheeks1980 thankfully most dog owners aren't assholes and will respect the fact that some people don't like/are afraid of dogs and would be more respectful than that. Always the minority spoiling it for the respectful and responsible majority of dog owners

farfallarocks Thu 14-Jun-18 17:04:34

Some people don’t like dogs why can’t dog owners at least try and understand that? The situation described by the op is totally unacceptable. Get your animals under control ffs

Lethaldrizzle Thu 14-Jun-18 17:05:07

Carry a water pistol to spray at the unruly dogs

AsAProfessionalFekko Thu 14-Jun-18 17:05:22

Two - I've yelled at a dog owner whose huge mutt snatched a sandwich off a tiny woman after stalking her through the park. The owner pretended it wasn't her dog but I knew her.

SweetCheeks1980 Thu 14-Jun-18 17:06:06

Never trust anyone who doesn't like dogs.

Trinity66 Thu 14-Jun-18 17:06:13

Carry a water pistol to spray at the unruly dogs

Brilliant idea actually

AsAProfessionalFekko Thu 14-Jun-18 17:06:56

I thought that was for cats pooing in your garden?

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