Author Topic: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"  (Read 12514 times)

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m2kbug

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Re: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"
« Reply #90 on: April 24, 2013, 09:30:16 AM »
First of all, I think this mother, clearly needed to be take control of her child.  That goes without saying.  I think the dog owner in this situation could have been more forceful.  She's the one that's going to have to deal with the aftermath if someone gets injured, rabies quarantine, fines, medical expenses.  As a pet owner, you need to take on certain responsibilities for your own animal.  My dog has always been really, really good around little kids, but still, you have no idea if she might nip or bite someone.  Now my dog is an old lady who doesn't really see all that well and isn't really used to tiny people anymore, so I really have no idea what she would do if some tiny person came launching in her direction or if she might get startled and snap at some hand that comes at her just to pet her, so when I have her out in public, I'm taking extra precautions.  Overall, I don't have a lot of worries, but if some little kid is mauling all over the dog and the dog is unpleased with this, I think this person should have and could have spoken up, to the child, and also the parent.

As a once-upon-a-time veterinary technician, I can relate to the OP's dilemma.  You do the best you can to assure the safety of the pets and people, but we're not running a daycare here.  She was running in six different directions and didn't even notice the child to begin with.  I have been that person trying to get the food and the prescription refill and answer the phone and pull the chart and certainly once you see the dog and the person in distress, you're jumping in to correct the situation.  You expect pet owners to know their pet's temperament.  I think the dog owner should have been more vocal with the child, with the parent, and also to get aid from the tech if she needed it.

LadyDyani

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Re: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"
« Reply #91 on: April 24, 2013, 09:37:28 AM »
One of my dogs makes a growly noise in the back of his throat when he wants to play.  If a toddler started walking toward him like that, I would have to SIT on his back, with both arms around his neck, and hold him down, because he doesn't know how to play gently.  Brutus is 80 pounds, most toddlers are less than half his weight.  A toddler would be knocked down and licked, which terrifies kids. 

Even if the dog wanted to play with the toddler, even if the dog wasn't being vicious at all, it is the toddler's caregiver in the wrong, and the OP would have been justified in telling the caregiver to control the child.
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gen xer

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Re: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"
« Reply #92 on: April 24, 2013, 09:47:14 AM »
I am sorry if I offended anyone - I truly think muzzling is just the best option in a vet's office where there is such an unpredictable mix of animals and people....

Rosewater I agree that you would be within your rights to tell a child to go away and leave you alone....but a child's safety is infinitely more important than an animals.

This is a blanket statement that is not true of how everyone feels and is quite offensive to me.  I will choose my animal's wellbeing over that of a child in the situation of the OP.  My dog has seen me through the death of both my parents and gives me comfort and joy every day of my life.  I owe my dog protection and safety, I owe a strange approaching child nothing except to keep my animal away from them for my dog's safety.  I don't see why a child's well being should automatically trump that of a beloved animal that depends on me to protect them.  My job would have been to protect my dog from the child and I would have done so by aggressively telling them to go away.  Too many children and parents view the world as their free petting zoo, they need to learn to go away and not approach us without asking first.

Not everyone agrees with the thinking that children trump the wellbeing of everything else and I would appreciate not being told that one is automatically more important than the other, because, at least for me that will not always be the case.

Oh good lord.  I don't even know what to say to this...except I really wish you were kidding.

And as far as the other posters who asked how I can judge the temperament?  Well what more do you need to know - from what the OP says it was snarling, trying to attack that poor little girl?  It might be great - at home, when the sun is shining and nobody else but the owner around...but frankly I don't give a rat's behind if the dog is 'absolutely the sweetest thing in the world"....most of the time.  This is where it counts - when there is a potential attack!

And like Rohanna said - my children have their space too - playgrounds etc....but it is not their domain exculsively and they certainly don't get a pass on their behaviour as such.  Dog owners are not exempt from maintaining control over their animals simply because they are in a vet's office and that's where dog's "should" be.   I just don't think the owner was especially in control of that dog if she was struggling to restrain it like that.  It looked like a bad situation.


*inviteseller

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Re: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"
« Reply #93 on: April 24, 2013, 10:30:23 AM »
If I was at a playground (where kids are in great number) and someone's dog was running around, jumping and barking, I would tell the dog owner to please control their dog.  Whem I am at the vet's and someone let's their kid loose to have fun at the petting zoo, I will tell the parent or child to use control.  I know you have problems with people putting a pet before a child, but if a child is threatening or teasing a dog (and to the dog, this is what was happening) you want to protect both, but my dogs well being and comfort is above your (general) childs need to pet the doggy.  Just because it is a child doesn't mean we all have to stop and concentrate on their well being, especially when they and their own parent doesn't seem to care.  My dog (who is over 100 lbs) loves to go out with my DD to wait for the bus (the stop is the next door neighbors driveway).  My dog stays in the yard and is ok with the kids coming to pet her (she loves the attention)  but 2 unattended little boys (5 yrs) always run at yell yelling DOG!!!. She hasn't done anything yet, but her body language clearly shows she does.not.like.this.   No matter how many times I have told them not to do it, they still do it, so they are banned from coming in my yard.  I guess you would see it as my dog should be leashed, muzzled or in the house because she is just an animal and they are just little kids.  Sometimes though, Darwin has to rear his head for people to understand that everything is not sunshine and roses in life and kids need to learn that just because they're kids, they don't get a pass for inappropriate behavior and parents have to learn their kids are not as cute as they think and they need to exert some control.

drivenbonkers

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Re: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"
« Reply #94 on: April 24, 2013, 10:53:15 AM »
No , my dog would not be muzzled either, not when they are at their appointment with their doctor and waiting in their designated waiting area.  I would have told the child to go sit down and leave my animal and I alone.  This isn't an etiquette issue, it's more a safety issue to me and I would have had no trouble telling the child to go away.  If the mother or child didn't like that, that's too bad, the most important thing of all would be that my animal was protected and that we were left alone.  My animal's welfare is more important to me than an some random child with no manners and an absent mother.  Children do not always come first in every situation in life, at least to me they don't.  Apparently the mother is OK with her child learning things the hard way.  So be it, but my animal won't be involved.

As has been suggested in this thread muzzling all dogs at the vet's to protect the random children of the world is honestly quite offensive to me. 

pod

The smartest thing the practice could do is to dismiss that individual from the practice and tell her not to come back.  They can't afford the liability of having her as a client.

drivenbonkers

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Re: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"
« Reply #95 on: April 24, 2013, 10:54:44 AM »
I am sorry if I offended anyone - I truly think muzzling is just the best option in a vet's office where there is such an unpredictable mix of animals and people....

Rosewater I agree that you would be within your rights to tell a child to go away and leave you alone....but a child's safety is infinitely more important than an animals.

This is a blanket statement that is not true of how everyone feels and is quite offensive to me.  I will choose my animal's wellbeing over that of a child in the situation of the OP.  My dog has seen me through the death of both my parents and gives me comfort and joy every day of my life.  I owe my dog protection and safety, I owe a strange approaching child nothing except to keep my animal away from them for my dog's safety.  I don't see why a child's well being should automatically trump that of a beloved animal that depends on me to protect them.  My job would have been to protect my dog from the child and I would have done so by aggressively telling them to go away.  Too many children and parents view the world as their free petting zoo, they need to learn to go away and not approach us without asking first.

Not everyone agrees with the thinking that children trump the wellbeing of everything else and I would appreciate not being told that one is automatically more important than the other, because, at least for me that will not always be the case.

pod

Janice

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Re: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"
« Reply #96 on: April 24, 2013, 11:16:35 AM »
This is a safety trumps etiquette situation, like yelling at a kid who is about to run into the street.  From the OP's description, this happened fast and she wasn't aware of it until it hit crisis point, but she could have yelled at SS Mommy as she was coming around the counter "Please hang up the phone and get your child NOW."

Had I been the dog owner, I would have raised my voice to attract SS Mommy's attention and said something loud and sharp to the child like "NO! STOP! Go back to your mother RIGHT NOW and stay AWAY from dog." And then physically blocked the kid if necessary and possible. Even a 4 year old should get that tone, and often younger kids don't "get" nice phrasing like "he doesn't want to be petted" - they want to argue "but *I* WANT to pet him!"

I don't let strange kids approach or touch my dog. Period. I don't know what they've been taught about animals and I'm not risking my dog over their ignorance. If they approach, I will just say "Please don't touch the dog." If they continue to approach, I will say "I said NO. Go away and don't touch the dog." and either remove myself and the dog if possible, or get between them to block access.

gen xer

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Re: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"
« Reply #97 on: April 24, 2013, 11:17:08 AM »
Here's the thing though...at a playground I would still control my child....it is still my responsibility to do so.  I have acknowledged repeatedly that the child's mother was negligent and she should have not permitted the little girl to approach the animal...but it does not excuse a lack of contol on the owners part.

Yes we DO have to concentrate on achild's well-being - we don't throw our hands in the air and say "well her mother is an idiot so come what may if she gets her face chewed off."

Did you contact those little boys parents about their behaviour with your dog?  It is unacceptable - believe me I totally agree with you that they don't get a pass for inappropriate behaviour.  I do.  Just understand it is hard for me to accept that a small child should pay for a parent's negligence.  My reason is that I think everyone loses when there is such a debate over who should be "more" in control - a child gets hurt - and yes that is more important to me - and the dog could end up getting put down.

It's like I have told my own kids - you need to watch for cars that might not stop at a traffic light.  They should stop, they're supposed to stop.....but they don't always stop....and you need to have some responsibility for yourself because it won't make you feel better to know you were in the right when you're dead or in a wheelchair.   Same thing with dogs and kids.....both need to be under control - proper control - because as I said - everyone will lose if someone gets bitten.  It sure wouldn't make me feel any better ito know i was in the right if my pet mauled someone. 

TootsNYC

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Re: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"
« Reply #98 on: April 24, 2013, 11:19:21 AM »
This is a safety trumps etiquette situation, like yelling at a kid who is about to run into the street.  From the OP's description, this happened fast and she wasn't aware of it until it hit crisis point, but she could have yelled at SS Mommy as she was coming around the counter "Please hang up the phone and get your child NOW."

Had I been the dog owner, I would have raised my voice to attract SS Mommy's attention and said something loud and sharp to the child like "NO! STOP! Go back to your mother RIGHT NOW and stay AWAY from dog." And then physically blocked the kid if necessary and possible. Even a 4 year old should get that tone, and often younger kids don't "get" nice phrasing like "he doesn't want to be petted" - they want to argue "but *I* WANT to pet him!"

I don't let strange kids approach or touch my dog. Period. I don't know what they've been taught about animals and I'm not risking my dog over their ignorance. If they approach, I will just say "Please don't touch the dog." If they continue to approach, I will say "I said NO. Go away and don't touch the dog." and either remove myself and the dog if possible, or get between them to block access.

I'd worry about getting the right tone of voice. Because if *I* speak in a tone that underscores my dog's assessment of this child (as a threat), I worry that the dog will take that as an indicator to increase or maintain hostilities.

Some people could get that "tough, firm, alpha male" voice (even women can be "alpha male"; I'm using it in the doggie sense). Others might just sound hysterical, which could amp things up.

But yes, the dog owner needs to use her words. And the vet tech could use her words. Both of them speaking directly to the child.

BeagleMommy

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Re: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"
« Reply #99 on: April 24, 2013, 11:51:05 AM »
I know when DS was small we told him "Some animals at the vet are sick, some are scared and some are fine.  You don't know which is which so you shouldn't touch them or run at them because they could bite if they are scared.".

Most kids understand that.  Perhaps the dog owner could have controlled her dog better.  It sounds like this happened rather quickly.  However, the dog owner was at least trying to restrain the dog while the OP was running to assist.

The child's mother, on the other hand, was doing nothing to make sure her child was not in harm's way.  All she would have needed to do was put the phone away and keep the child by her side.

Erich L-ster

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Re: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"
« Reply #100 on: April 24, 2013, 01:46:43 PM »
I don't understand the insistence that the dog was not under control. It wasn't free to go after the kid. Even if the dog had been muzzled in this scenario, the unrestrained kid keeps approaching and could very well have been scratched or knocked down. The kid could stick her fingers inside the muzzle and get her fingers bitten. It seems like the kid is the one who was in desperate need of retraining.

You shouldn't have to "hannibal lecter" your dog up on the off chance that some inattentive twit will let her kid wreak havoc.

If the dog didn't have any problems with the cat or with the kid until the kid came after the dog, it doesn't seem like it had an aggression problem.

Bexx27

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Re: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"
« Reply #101 on: April 24, 2013, 02:26:09 PM »
I don't understand the insistence that the dog was not under control. It wasn't free to go after the kid. Even if the dog had been muzzled in this scenario, the unrestrained kid keeps approaching and could very well have been scratched or knocked down. The kid could stick her fingers inside the muzzle and get her fingers bitten. It seems like the kid is the one who was in desperate need of retraining.

You shouldn't have to "hannibal lecter" your dog up on the off chance that some inattentive twit will let her kid wreak havoc.

If the dog didn't have any problems with the cat or with the kid until the kid came after the dog, it doesn't seem like it had an aggression problem.

I agree. The fact is that the owner did have control of the dog. She was struggling in the process of controlling him because he's large and takes some strength to restrain; that doesn't necessarily mean he would have been able to get free. The owner was also telling the child to back off. I really don't understand what more she could reasonably have been expected to do. Muzzling is a drastic step - it's quite uncomfortable for a dog not to be able to open its mouth - and it's way OTT to suggest that dogs should be muzzled for no good reason. And there was no good reason for this dog to be muzzled because the owner had him under control.

Yes, it's possible that if I take my (hypothetical) non-aggressive dog to the vet or on a walk, an unattended child could run up and startle him into biting. It's unlikely that would happen without my being able to intervene, but it's possible. That tiny risk would not outweigh the harm to my dog of having to wear a muzzle all the time. Similarly, there's always a risk that an unattended child could leap in front of my moving car and I wouldn't be able to stop in time to avoid hitting her. That doesn't mean I will never drive, or will never go above 10mph, just in case.
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edgypeanuts

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Re: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"
« Reply #102 on: April 24, 2013, 02:31:03 PM »
I don't understand the insistence that the dog was not under control. It wasn't free to go after the kid. Even if the dog had been muzzled in this scenario, the unrestrained kid keeps approaching and could very well have been scratched or knocked down. The kid could stick her fingers inside the muzzle and get her fingers bitten. It seems like the kid is the one who was in desperate need of retraining.

You shouldn't have to "hannibal lecter" your dog up on the off chance that some inattentive twit will let her kid wreak havoc.

If the dog didn't have any problems with the cat or with the kid until the kid came after the dog, it doesn't seem like it had an aggression problem.

POD POD POD!!

And as far as the other posters who asked how I can judge the temperament?  Well what more do you need to know
If the dog had ever bit.  If the child reached the dog if he would have bit.  YOU do not know this, you just think you do.  I see several patients (mostly felines) who will growl and snap, but when I ignore it and touch them, they will not bite.  They are not mean, just trying to scare me away.  Obviously this is not something you want to test out, esp with an unknown animal and a child, but growling and struggling to not be held still does not automatically mean he would have hurt the child.

Dog owners are not exempt from maintaining control over their animals simply because they are in a vet's office and that's where dog's "should" be.
But once again she DID maintain control and the parent did not.  It may not have looked pretty, but it got the job done.  Kind of like grabbing a kid a little harshly so they can't run into the street- yanking them back by the arm may not look good, but you do what you have to.  You may not have been happy with the owner holding her dog, but that does not make it inappropriate behavior.

As far as the any child over any dog thing, it just doesn't make sense.  First of all no one is suggesting the dog is more valuable.  The dog owner was the one doing her darndest to protect the child and the mother was not, yet it is the dog you keep complaining about.  My dogs are my family.  I will never have children.  In my day to day life they provide me a lot more love and support than a child I have never met.  That doesn't mean I want any child to get hurt.  But it also means that I am not going to cause them more distress and fear (a muzzle) because a child's mother doesn't want to parent.  I keep my dogs safe and out of harms way and I expect the parent to do the same for her child.

It reminds me of the opening of a book (fiction) were a mom was a school monitor and there was an explosion and a fire.  She got her charges to the hallway just in front of the exit and told them to go outside and then ran back to get HER child who she knew was in the bathroom.  One of the other children ran back in and got hurt and they argued that she put her own daughter's safety ahead of the other kids.  To me it is the same idea- I would never leave a kid in a burning building, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't run back those I am attached to and responsible for. 

MariaE

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Re: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"
« Reply #103 on: April 24, 2013, 02:50:35 PM »
Yes we DO have to concentrate on a child's well-being - we don't throw our hands in the air and say "well her mother is an idiot so come what may if she gets her face chewed off."

Nobody is saying that. Not even close. Claiming that adds nothing to the discussion and just pulls it off course.

What people are saying is that pet owners should control their pets (which she did - just because it was a struggle doesn't mean she wasn't in control) and that parents should control their children (which she didn't).
 
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cass2591

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Re: "Excuse me, your child is about to be eaten by a Labrador!"
« Reply #104 on: April 24, 2013, 02:55:05 PM »
Back on the second page, reply 18 I asked what was the etiquette question in this thread. I fail to see how a discussion of snarling dogs and unattended children is related to etiquette at all. I think it's time to move on folks. There are many ehellions in need of our help and wisdom!

I don't know what to say. For someone with less than 40 posts and a member for only a few months, you sure feel comfy here don't you?

Your comment was out of line and in the realm of "excuse me?"
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