Children walking dogs(11 Posts)
I've just had a small incident whilst out with floral dog . We were on one side of the road on a short lead dog had a ball in his mouth . 2 young boys , probably 9&7 walking a pug on an extender lead coming the other way down the opposite pavement . The pug starts barking and growling so they stop and bend down to try and calm it , my dog carries on walking along with no noise . As we got level on opposite sides of the road one of the boys says 'oh ok go and have a sniff ' and let's the lead extend so the pug now runs across the road towards my dog . On seeing this my dog drops his ball and takes interest as he doesn't like flat faced dogs having been previously attacked by a bulldog . I called out to them 'no don't let him come and sniff , my dog might bite him ' . At this point a car appears ( quiet residential street) so they then have to try and drag the pug back from where he was in the middle of the road , they remained on the pavement at all times . I then followed up by saying to them to never let their dog go up to a strange dog on a lead unless they have checked first . I've probably upset them , even though I was very polite and calm , and they will probably go home and tell their mum that some mad woman shouted at them . So no harm done but I do wish parents would ensure that their children know what to do in these type of situations . Would you be cross if I'd said it to your children ?
I feel nervous letting my 15 year old walk the dog but he's very capable and does understand the behaviour of dogs (and is empathetic towards owners).
It's mad to have kids walking a dog. I see this infrequently and my thinking is that it's the result of some parent with the brilliant idea that they're teaching the kids responsibility.
You did those kids an enormous favour! They learned something they should have been made aware of by their own parents.
I agree , I think it's too young to be walking alone , particularly with a dog that has obvious issues of its own .
I thought legally you had to be 10 to be allowed to walk a do alone - not sure where I heard that in hindsight.
My 11 year old has taken our dog out on his own a couple of times. He would never let him go to any other dog and would be more likely to cross the road to ensure he didn’t go too close.
I suppose it’s like adults, no one regardless of age should walk a dog unless they are going to be considerate of others - and unfortunately that’s a lot rarer than it should be.
When I was a child I let our dog out of the front garden (accidentally) and he ran across the road. I shouted at him to come back and scolded him when he did so (this was the late eighties before current insights into dog psychology were anywhere near as prevalent). A man in the street told me off for doing that saying if I shouted when he came back he'd 'never come back again'. He both upset me and made me ashamed of getting it wrong & I cried a bit and never forgot it. He also was the reason I never shouted at a dog again for coming back - no matter how long they take to do so or what they have done immediately prior to running off. Good for him. If I saw him today I'd shake his hand. Upsetting anyone (inc children) doesn't automatically make it the wrong thing to do, imo.
I hope I didn't upset them , I didn't really shout I was just assertive , they looked shocked more than anything . My other concern was this pug just milling about at the end of a lead in the middle of the road with cars coming . It didn't help my mood that when I picked up the ball that my dog had dropped I discovered it was covered in blood where he had caught his ear on a rose bush just before the incident , so I ended the walk with blood dripping all over the place.
To be fair I wouldn’t worry about upsetting them. You weren’t being horrible - they were in the wrong and it’s better that they learn that now instead of possibly ending up in a bad situation.
I trust my DC not to behave in the way those boys did - but if they did I’d rather someone did say something to them than even if they didn’t like being told off!
Anyone that allows young children to walk their dog is an idiot, regardless of how well trained/small the dog is. I have 2 well behaved dogs and no way would I let a child walk even the small one, what would they do if another dog was aggressive or someone tried taking the dog?
I think the first time I was allowed to walk dogs alone I was 10/11 but then we'd built up to it with me walking them with other people supervising so I knew how to handle situations. I never had anyone tell me off but in the situation you describe I'd of taken it on board and counted my bloody lucky stars they weren't haven't to ring the dogs owners from the vets!!!!!
DS, 16, has walked ours alone since he was 14 but he's a real dog person and very assertive about their wellbeing.
I remember seeing a girl of around 9 being regularly pulled along the road by her Labrador on our school runs.
The dog would overexcitedly drag her over to us and our dogs and once nearly knocked my pushchair into the road. I think I might have upset her that day!
You did the right thing telling them off. They need to learn how to behave safely. I too hate to see young kids out responsible for dogs. Extender leads should never be used near roads etc. The other day I found 2 young girls with a beagle puppy who had slipped out of its harness and had no collar on. I ended up putting my dog's collar on him and taking it back home. Parents weren't interested in what I had to say. They had a crappy extender lead that didn't lock. Seethe!!
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