Advanced search

I know less than nothing about dogs, but am I right in thinking that this is irresponsible?

(28 Posts)
ShowOfHands Mon 08-Jul-13 18:42:51

A friend from school has posted a 'hilarious' video of her dog and her child on Facebook. It's meant to illustrate how long suffering the poor thing is since they had their first child. It's fairly tame at first with the dog licking the child's face and the child licking back (bleurgh) and ends with the child smacking the dog round the head repeatedly while it sort of cowers, ears flat, in what to me looks like a frightened/threatened postion (again I know nowt about dogs).

The parents are filming this and laughing at the dog and hooting 'aaah, isn't she cute. Poor dog, not top dog anymore'.

The child is less than 18 months old and she is face to face with the dog, inches away and smacking it around the mouth and ears. Not stroking, properly clouting the dog who then runs away.

Now, this is wrong and dangerous yes? So, wtf do I say? Something? Nothing? So far the responses are 'awww hun, that's so cute'. Am I missing something? Do dog owners routinely let small children smack their pets and laugh at how cute it is? I suspect not.

AdoraBell Mon 08-Jul-13 18:50:59

YANBU. I know you didn't ask that.

No, responsible dog owners or parents don't allow DCs hit dogs. When the dog bites in defence they won't have a clue why it's "suddenly turned"

TotallyBursar Mon 08-Jul-13 18:56:47

I'm afraid you are friends with a stupid fucker.
That poor dog.

I would call her out personally, I wouldn't want the friendship and she won't remove her dog or child from risk. You won't be thanked whatever you say. Depends if you want to keep her as a friend and if they are such massive twats in other areas.

ShowOfHands Mon 08-Jul-13 19:09:52

I've known her for about 20 years. What irks me the most is that all of the responses to it are 'lol' and 'hilarious' or 'cute'. I thought I'd entered some parallel universe where a child smacking a dog was entertaining to everybody but me. I'm not a dog person but even I am upset by somebody not only treating a living creature in this way but also filming it and laughing about it with their friends.

I do have to say something I think and I suspect it'll see me deleted but dh saw it and said exactly the same thing. These are the people who will vilify the dog when it 'turns suddenly'.

TotallyBursar Mon 08-Jul-13 19:24:00

Hopefully the duration of your friendship will mitigate things.
It is usually the case that your last sentence is spot on - what caused the dog to bite your child? Nothing, it's just aggressive, she was just playing. Oh right, nothing at all to do with the fact you left them unsupervised and she stuck her fingers up his nose? Righto.

You never know, maybe calling her attention to it will make her realise <triumph of hope over experience>
How crap for you sad.

ClaraOswald Mon 08-Jul-13 19:24:27

Call her out. She'll do it to the wrong dog soon, and then the shit will hit the fan.

Scuttlebutter Mon 08-Jul-13 20:59:17

Please let her know that this is a/cruel and b/dangerous.

It might be helpful to point her at some of the excellent resources that are now available for parents to advise on dog/child interactions. Dr Sophia Yin does excellent work in this area - see and there are links to lovely downloadable posters etc - maybe take it round to stick on her fridge?

if the video is online post the link here and i'm sure lots of us would be happy to post polite but shocked comments pointing out that this is not the way to treat either children or dogs.

Chandras Mon 08-Jul-13 21:17:22

I told a friend that it was cruel to allow her more perfect than life toddler to feed the fish by putting sandwiches on the fishtank. She didn't talk to me for five years. The fish are still alive though.

So if you have a friend who has kept a dog for years and now finds it funny for their child to smack the dog... You can expect to be treated like that dog when you dare to criticise their precious kid's behaviour.

Having said that, I think it's a friendship worth loosing. If it is not over the dog it would be about another thing.

Personally, I stopped inviting people around who found it funny to let their children mistreat my dogs. As patient as they are they still can get hurt and I won't blame them if they bite back.

ShowOfHands Mon 08-Jul-13 21:51:10

I'm going to PM her because I don't want her to feel publicly humiliated, however much it's probably deserved. I'm going to strive for kindly yet firm.

I don't quite know what's happened to her since she had her dd. She used to dote on the dog in a sort of child replacement type way. He was almost spoilt I suppose. Then she had a child and honestly, she's the first person to ever produce a child from her person. Her whole world has contracted down to the child and only the child. She has made some strange decisions in her parenting career thus far and does not take kindly to criticism, even if it's well meant and necessary.

Thanks for confirming things for me.

Scuttlebutter Mon 08-Jul-13 22:46:02

That's why I suggested the SY links - rather than go in with all guns blazing, it may be more helpful to point her at a resource like that and lay it on with a trowel about how you know she wants her DD to be safe etc.

UnrequitedSkink Mon 08-Jul-13 22:49:59

Aah, this makes me sad. It's the poor dog who'll be put to sleep when the child ends up getting bitten. Not to mention what they're teaching the child about respect for other creatures. Morons.

You are absolutely right that this is extremely irresponsible and frankly abusive behaviour. And I am sure that when if the dog turns on the child, the dog will get all the blame and the woman will not see how anything she has done/allowed her child to do has caused this situation.

Frankly I'd want to take the dog home with me.

If she adores her child, she's a bloody idiot to allow her to hit something with fuck loads of teeth. Not only is it cruel to the dog, her child could end up seriously injured. A frightened dog that feels pushed to defend itself could do a lot of damage.

HomageToCannelloni Mon 08-Jul-13 22:52:26

Sod calling her on it, I'd forward it to the RSPCA with her address. (Anonymously, because I'm a big fat chicken.)

Limoncellolovely Tue 09-Jul-13 15:15:56

Irresponsible from both the child and dogs point of view, cruel to her dog, dangerous that it is teaching the child how dogs should be treated, her dog may put up with it but what happens if the child is out about in the park and does it to a strange dog ? The potential for that child to be bitten is pretty high I would imagine.

Chandras Wed 10-Jul-13 01:59:12

Is the video on youtube, post the link. i'm sure there will beplenty of people who will have no qualms in telling her the same things you are afrai to tell

differentnameforthis Wed 10-Jul-13 06:41:42

I'd probably write something like "I wonder how cute it will be when the dog turns on the child after it has had enough of being a toddler's punch bag"

Then I think I would alert the RSPCA to the contents of the video

MrsWolowitz Wed 10-Jul-13 12:56:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Turniptwirl Wed 10-Jul-13 17:48:16

My chi got bopped on the head by an eight month old when he was just a pup himself. Inspire of never having been around kids he just looked a bit bemused. However the parents were very apologetic and obv if was a you her child.

Dogs are very patient with children, even my little idiot knew he shouldn't react to the baby hitting him. But that patience is not unlimited and should never be tested deliberately!

Just like humans will tolerate a toddler poking them to a certain point and the shout, a dog will only tolerate these things up to a point and will then snap. Any responsible dog owner should never let things get to that point. And any responsible parent shouldn't let their child treat an animal like that

digerd Wed 10-Jul-13 22:00:22

Cowering, with ears back and slinking away with tail down is a very, very unhappy dog. If the dog is a much bigger and not a tiny toy size, i doubt that the 18 month old can do the dog physical damage, but it is the pysychological damage to it that really worries me.
Your friend is being stupid in thinking this is funny or just blinded by her love of her DC.
Poor good natured old dogsad

Owllady Fri 12-Jul-13 15:09:12

god what a pair of idiots

TotallyBursar Fri 12-Jul-13 18:13:38

Any update ShowofHands?

I hope it went as well as it could do anyway.

3boys3dogshelp Fri 12-Jul-13 18:24:33

There is a website based in America which I can't fond the link for sorry. It is excellent-written by a family whose son died when the family's Weimaraner had enough of being their children's playmate one day, snapped at him and unfortunately severed his carotid artery. The poor little boy bled to death before they could get him to hospital. If you could find the website it might give them a bit of perspective. It also teaches parents and kids to look out for warning signs that the dog is unhappy. EVERYTHING you have said about that dog's body language is on the list. Please say something to her before there is an accident.

TotallyBursar Fri 12-Jul-13 19:45:40

[[ This]] one 3boys?

Liam Perk was the little boy. So sad.
Unfortunately even that looking at that little face that will never grow up and reading his parent's words can still fail to penetrate the 'it'll never happen to us we are better dog owners/parents, our dog/child is better behaved/nicer/better trained' field. Because of course that is what many of the most vulnerable to tragedy think.

TotallyBursar Fri 12-Jul-13 19:46:37



Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now