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Story in Daily Mail

(13 Posts)
LordOfTheFlies Tue 09-Aug-11 15:48:57

Can't do links but basis of story:

Southend Beach last week
2 out of control rottwellers according to DM .One attacked a 7 yo boy in the water.
Grandmother had to pull the dog off him.She feared he would drown.
Police looking for owner.

I've no reason to not believe the story but at the same time, take the Daily Mail with a very large pinch of sodium chloride.

Point of my post.
We had taken the DCs to Southend on Sunday before last.
My dog phobic DD kept asking "Is it off season for dogs on the beach".
I assured her it was (I hope this was right)

If my DD had witnessed this or it had been her and the dogs. OMFGshock

I know I can't mollycoddle her and protect her 100%. I know 99.99% of dogs are fabulous creatures.
I tell my DD that dogs have every right to go to the beach (in dog season) to the park and even walk down the street!

She is getting better (slowly) with dogs, but there are places I'd avoid. Wouldn't take her into woods as I know there are off-lead dogs and as we can't beat them (not literally!) we won't join them grin

But if my child wasn't safe on a family, busy beach?

sad for boy who was bitten/mauled.

emptyshell Tue 09-Aug-11 17:44:10

So... this is essentially a very rambling dog-bashing post?

RedwingWinter Tue 09-Aug-11 18:09:28

I haven't seen the story. It is terrible when dogs attack like that, but as you say the vast majority of dogs are fabulous.

Have you tried teaching your DD to ignore dogs (i.e. not look at them or talk to them - or to touch them but she should know not to do that without permission from the owner anyway). I only say because I used to be terrified of dogs. Learning that if I ignored a dog it would probably ignore me made a huge difference. I know I'm an adult now but even as a child if she can ignore the dogs it will really help. And if you already know this, apologies for preaching to the converted.

minimu11 Tue 09-Aug-11 21:19:11

freedownload to help your DD overcome her fear of dogs and show her how to behave around them

MotherJack Tue 09-Aug-11 21:31:57

LOTF.. you just can't account for everyone in the world.

Think the current riots show that community is well and truly broken, certainly in cities (and I caught a trailer for something on TV reigniting the community in six villages. If TV needs to step in to villages, we're all fooked.) Basically, there are some people who do not care about others and their feelings and think they can say or do anything regardless.

I doubt you would find many in The Doghouse that would disagree that out of control dogs and their owners are a menace.. but generally speaking we all love dogs and hate bad owners and many of us know that the scenario you describe wouldn't have happened at all if the dogs were with good owners.

Plus I'm pretty sure you can't guarantee you are safe anywhere with anything... not just dogs on family friendly beaches. I could (probably, if pushed) bring up an example of something going wrong somewhere where one part of the equation theoretically shouldn't have been there in amny aspects of life.... not just dogs. We shouldn't go about life wrapping our children up in cotton wool.

I fully support Redwingwinter in suggesting teaching your daughter how to ignore dogs. Yes, I do agree that in an ideal world it would not be necessary but this is not an ideal world and I teach my dog savvy son how to ignore dogs who are not as well behaved as my own and others we know.

Enjoy your holidays! Such occurrences are rare smile

LordOfTheFlies Tue 09-Aug-11 21:48:54

Thank you RedwingWinter and minimu 11, We are working on the 'ignore' principle.
I don't expect my DD to like dogs but if she could co-exsist with them ( I don't mean own one, just to share airspace would be good enough!)
My DS loves dogs and is very sensible. He helps her alot.

emptyshell FFS where am I dog bashing?
My girl is scared of dogs. I don't march into a park and demand everyone put their dogs on leads because my little princess is there.
I don't take her to woods because I appreciate dog walkers want to walk their dogs off lead.The situation isn't nice for anyone.

A little boy was attacked on a public beach.Which has a dog free season.We were there a matter of days before.
It could have been my daughter!

Have I said "all dogs should be muzzled/banned from beaches/put down".
No I bloody haven't.
These aren't your average dog on the street. These were 2 large breed-irrelevant dogs without an owner in tow who have now maimed a little boy.

Why they went for him I don't know. Maybe he had a toy. Maybe he called them over to 'play'.
I very much doubt they just picked him out of a crowded beach but I suppose we'll never know.

Enjoy your dog(s) but don't assume I'm 'dog-bashing' because I fear for my childs safety when incidents like this -thankfully rare- happen.

DogsBestFriend Tue 09-Aug-11 22:00:14

LOTF is there a particualr reason why DD is scared of dogs? I'm asking as it's puzzling me - I'm almost sure there are more DC scared of them when I was a child. Tis odd. If you can identify the reason perhaps you'll be closer to the solution, together with the excellent advice offered by Minimu.

When I was a kid most of us were either pleased to see a dog or indifferent to them, with the odd nutcase mad on them like me. The only DC I can really recall being scared were the ethnic minority children (I'm a South Londoner by birth and upbringing). These children, mainly West Indian, appeared to get it from their parents, a cultural thing. (Not suggesting here that your DD has got her fear from you, just explaining my experiences).

LordOfTheFlies Tue 09-Aug-11 22:39:24

DogsBestFriend I've chatted to her about it several times, but she just says "I don't know"

She says she doesn't like them breathing on her!
She's never been bitten or nipped or even growled at.
She has-very tentatively- patted 2 dogs in her time. A Siberian Husky on holiday and a large lurcher who she'd known for a couple of years.(It was because she liked the huskies fur)
She gets most freaked out if they come up unawares(understandable).Her elder brother is an excellant child with dogs.Respectful,always asks, doesn't make the dog uncomfortable and can read the dogs body language.

She was knocked over by a boxer in the snow when she was 18 months old but I don't even think she remembers it TBH.It didn't stop to breath on her wink

DogsBestFriend Tue 09-Aug-11 23:07:46

LOL... am chuckling here! Kids, eh?

Something that has worked for me when I've done this with friends' DC - but is NOT as far as I know "professional advice", so please take it as just IME is this.

Ask a friend/family member/better still mum of DC at school or nursery with a small, friendly dog if you may walk with them one day. Perhaps on the way home from school/nursery?

Check what treats pooch is allowed and carry some and start off just walking. If you're out in the open air, perhaps via a park, DD will feel that the dog is less in her face (and not breathing on her! grin ). Get pooch to sit for a treat and carry on then ask DD if she'd like to either offer a treat when she has got pooch to sit or to hold the lead (with you or owner sneakily holding the top end of the lead for DDs reassurance and control of the dog, plus in case DD drops the lead). Make a game of it, explaining that dogs are dopey creatures but they need rules and that this one needs her help to learn that he doesn't get a treat UNTIL he's a good boy and sits, that she's his "teacher".

The trick is to make DD feel in control and to normalise being near dogs. Of course the minute she looks uncomfortable take the lead back or "back off", act calmly and carry on walking, change the subject. If you talk about dogs there's the time to enforce the "Only touch when owner AND Mummy/Daddy/Carer says it's okay and all will be well" message.

The reason why I suggest a school/nursery friend's dog is the familiarity aspect for DD's reassurance and that you can be pretty sure that if the dog lives with a similar aged DC he will be used to them and good with them... and thus so will your DD. Also you can make a habit of that walk, maybe starting off with JUST walking home with the dog and owner and building up DDs confidence to gettinh her to hold the lead and treat the dog.

As I said this is not any special method, just something which has been successful IME.

Scuttlebutter Tue 09-Aug-11 23:49:27

To be honest, I'm struggling to understand why you've posted this here, especially as you say you take it with a large pinch of salt. If you wanted a predictable anti-dog rant, AIBU would be a fruitful hunting ground. No responsible dog owner is going to condone or defend what happened, but will probably be hmm at the source of the story.

I'm fed up with people saying apologetically "I read this story in the Daily Hate" and then posting about how sausages give you cancer, dogs are either plucky pooches or slavering out of control beasts, and any woman who isn't worried about being a size zero is letting the side down.

If the story is accurate, then I'm desperately sorry for this little boy and hope he recovers soon. I don't think we can say any more than that.

emptyshell Wed 10-Aug-11 00:27:33

WHy exactly did you come here with it? What do you want us to say? Pledge never to walk our dogs during the off-season? Nodd sympathetically and publicly flagellate ourselves for daring to own a canine because your kid has issues?

You came onto the DOG forum basically doing a very passive-aggressive bash about all dogs on beaches. Whad did you think we werte going to do? Hang out the welcome mat and kill ourselves to keep you happy?

(typing shit - too many twitter bits open trying to work out wher the fuck they've petrol bombed around here and PC text input is lagging to hell as a consequence)

LordOfTheFlies Wed 10-Aug-11 01:18:52


'all dogs on beaches.' No ,two large,unnattended dogs on a busy beach at Off Season

'kill ourselves to keep you happy'. No, I've already said I deliberately DON'T take my daughter to places where dogs are, especially loose.
Most dog owners will put their dogs on a lead to pass us. I especially take the time to talk to dog owners when I walk home from dropping DCs off. I meet them in the park and chat to them about their dogs so that if I see them, they will recognise my DD and I , and will talk to her with their dogs beside them.

I might come across as Pass/Agg IYO, but YOU come across as Aggressive/Agressive.

But hey- don't bother to read my post before you wade in.

Thanks to everyone else who has given advice. There are dog owners who will help a little girl come to terms with her "issues".
Owning a dog comes with responsibility and that includes people who are scared.

I'm not a dog-hater BTW.I just wouldn't have one.
But I won't bother with DogHouse again. I'll just stick with my knitting.

emptyshell Wed 10-Aug-11 07:49:32

There was utterly no point in you posting the link.... utterly no point at all - it was just a dog-rant and we get enough of them on AIBU. So yep I'm aggressive... deal with.

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