"He's really good with kids" - appropriate reaction?

(11 Posts)
Letmegetthisrightasawoman Sun 21-Jun-20 22:35:23

In the park today a Labrador came running over and barged into toddler DS, knocking him over. It then ran over to another family and frightened their child (about 4 I'd say) who started crying. Only then did the owner appear, said he was really good with kids, put him on a lead and disappeared sharpish. No apology or anything. I didn't say anything (I felt like the owner knew she'd messed up) but am now thinking I should have. The reason I didn't act straightaway to grab DS was that the dog appeared at the same time as a boy and I thought they were together, so expected the boy to call the dog over. Surely this is irresponsible behaviour on the part of the dog owner? What do I do if this happens again? We go to that park regularly...

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steppemum Sun 21-Jun-20 22:41:24

The owner was in the wrong, she was out of sight of the dog and the dog wasn't behaving well.

In her defence, she obviously knew that. he comment may have been intended to mean he is not aggressive (ie he wouldn't bite) but a dog that knocks kids over should be much closer and under control.

if it happens again (and there are many reasons why it might not - owner doesn't normally walk here and it went wrong, so she won't come back, or will use a lead; owner isn't owner but was out with someone else's dog and won't do that again and so on)

If it happens again, I would say to the owner, if your dog bounces up at small children and knocks them over then you need tohave it on a lead. The law says your dog should be under control at all times, and yours isn't.

Letmegetthisrightasawoman Sun 21-Jun-20 22:47:10

Thanks for your considered advice. I don't think she actually realised her dog had knocked DS over, so maybe I should've told her. DS actually loves "woo woo's" but hates them getting in his face, so I was very surprised he didn't cry!

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frostedviolets Mon 22-Jun-20 10:00:04

What do I do if this happens again? We go to that park regularly...

Block the dog and don’t pick up the child (encourages the dog to jump)

I never allow my children to interact with strange dogs even if the owner insists they are friendly and if loose ones are approaching and there’s enough space for the dog to not just chase after us we walk in another direction away or if that’s not possible I would get in front of the kids and block the dogs way.

I wouldn’t bother saying anything because if they are irresponsible enough to allow it to happen and not be mortified and extremely apologetic at best they’ll ignore you and at worst they’ll get defensive.

I’m a dog owner but tbh, most of them are a rude, entitled fucking nightmare!

Honeyroar Mon 22-Jun-20 10:06:18

I think you need to tell her the dog has knocked your child over and frightened another. Tell her whether the dog loves children or not she needs to get hold of it around children. (and that’s from someone whose first lab was given to us because it constantly knocked their toddler over being over enthusiastic!)

vanillandhoney Mon 22-Jun-20 10:13:57

You need to tell her what happened if you see her again - I suspect she didn't fully realise what had happened, just saw the dog slightly out of control, got the dog on a lead and disappeared sharph-ish!

I do think most dog owners have had embarrassing moments where their dogs have refused to come back, but the right thing to do is apologise profusely, not just walk off! Mine once disappeared up to a random man on the beach - luckily he was friendly but I was mortified! I apologised profusely and said dog promptly got put back on his lead blush

However that's not to say it's acceptable and you're lucky DS didn't get hurt - labs are big dogs and can do lots of unintentional damage purely because of their size. She needs to keep her dog on a lead if she can't recall it.

GeraltOfRivia Mon 22-Jun-20 10:50:28

Mine lives children and is boisterous and big. I would never dream of brushing it off. If he gets too close or causes distress, I always apologise, grab, put in lead, get out of the way.

Sometimes parents want to show the kids that dogs aren't scary, sometimes they want to leave.

The owner in this case was totally in the wrong To be dismissive.

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GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Mon 22-Jun-20 12:43:01

Our then-puppy once knocked a toddler over in an excess of enthusiasm and we grovelled - I still feel bad when I remember it.

It's basic good manners to apologise if your dog has upset a child.

frostedviolets Mon 22-Jun-20 13:47:35

Our then-puppy once knocked a toddler over in an excess of enthusiasm and we grovelled - I still feel bad when I remember it
Me too!
I felt so bad about it I burst out crying and the toddlers mum ended up comforting me blush

Letmegetthisrightasawoman Mon 22-Jun-20 14:54:42

Thanks for your replies! I just waited too long/ wasn't quick thinking enough to address it. Hadn't thought about not picking DS up as it encourages jumping. I don't want him to be scared of dogs but equally I don't want him to think every dog wants to be his friend, so I usually make a point of asking the owner and then explaining to DS that we have to be gentle and careful, and I always hold onto him.

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Letmegetthisrightasawoman Mon 22-Jun-20 14:57:14

Btw, you all sound like lovely responsible dog ownerssmile I really don't mind random dogs wandering up to me, but now I understand why the owners are (usually) so apologetic!

We went to the same park today and only saw a couple of dogs, which didn't come near us smile

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