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Author Topic: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...  (Read 13072 times)

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Hollanda

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S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« on: September 02, 2014, 05:32:12 AM »
Interesting one here.  I am trying to teach DS that it is just not done to go and pet/stroke a dog we don't know. He loves dogs, and his childminder has 2 herself, so he is used to being around small dogs (Bichon Frisses).

It really doesn't help when DS is out of his buggy in the park and a dog approaches.  DS immediately goes to stroke the dog, I have to hold him back and say "No." The owner then completely undermines me by saying "It's fine, he's friendly." Usually, the dog is either on a very long leash or unleashed completely. No, no it's not fine.  I am trying to teach my son for his own safety that some dogs don't want/like to be touched, and here you are telling me that yours does like to be touched. It confuses DS as to why Mummy tells him one thing and this strange lady is saying something else.
 
What say you e-Hellions? Is there an acceptable way to say it?
 
I have gone with
 
"I am trying to teach my son here that touching strange dogs is a bad idea.  Not saying yours bites or anything, but you can't be too careful!"
 
Most people accept that but some owners push the point and actually tell my DS to touch the dog.  I take serious upset against this and actually feel quite cross about it. 
 
Is there any other way of saying it?
Knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


menley

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2014, 05:38:23 AM »
I think it's mostly just a miscommunication between you two and the dog owner. I'm a dog owner and have been in this situation many times. If the parent just says "no", it's unclear to the dog owner what the parent wants. For example, some parents want me to give their child permission before petting the dog, some want me to keep the dog far far away, and some would like me to stand there with my dog firmly held while they look at the dog.

I'm not sure how old your son is, but instead of just "No", I'd say "No, don't pet dogs without permission from the owner." That clarifies to both your son and the dog owner what the expectation is.

Sharnita

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2014, 06:08:50 AM »
Honestly, if you want him to stay completely away from the dog then it seems like there is at least as much responsibility on you to restrain the child.  I get not petting a strange dog but one way a strange dog stops being "strange" is by having the owner introduce it and invite you to pet it (if owner and dog are willing).

HoneyBee42

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2014, 06:54:51 AM »
Honestly, if you want him to stay completely away from the dog then it seems like there is at least as much responsibility on you to restrain the child.  I get not petting a strange dog but one way a strange dog stops being "strange" is by having the owner introduce it and invite you to pet it (if owner and dog are willing).
How so (re: "restrain the child")?  It's the dog that's totally out of control and approaching the child, not the other way around.  The owners' responses are also telling--they don't control/discipline their dog.  Great that they've got a good natured dog, but a large dog or one that's less good-natured can be a real problem.

I think that teaching the child "Ask permission first" before touching another dog and "Don't pet the dog before asking permission" is the best way--clearly communicates expectations without being so easy for a stranger to contradict.

HannahGrace

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2014, 07:09:39 AM »
Honestly, if you want him to stay completely away from the dog then it seems like there is at least as much responsibility on you to restrain the child.  I get not petting a strange dog but one way a strange dog stops being "strange" is by having the owner introduce it and invite you to pet it (if owner and dog are willing).

I agree.  Also, I think by saying "it's fine, he's friendly" the dog owner is just trying to give you and your son another piece of information with which to gauge your possible behavior relative to the dog. With regard to "mummy tells him one thing and a strange lady tells him something else," I gently suggest that this is part of parenting and the burden is on you to help your child understand that different people in the world have different perspectives, not on the third party to try to imagine what kind of parenting lesson you might be trying to teach today.

DavidH

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2014, 07:12:24 AM »
I think you need to make it clearer what you are tying to teach, since the lesson itself is very valuable.  I'd say something along the lines of, "DS, remember, don't just go up and touch a strange dog, ask the owner for permission first".  That way the owner won't be temped to contradict you, since you aren't commenting on whether or not DS should pet the dog, just the steps he should take.

LadyL

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2014, 07:16:43 AM »
Rather than say "no" to your son, how about something like "Ask the man/woman if you can pet the dog" in a cheerful tone? If you glance at the dog owner they can also then chime in with a "sure it's ok, they're friendly."

Black Delphinium

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2014, 07:31:18 AM »
Rather than say "no" to your son, how about something like "Ask the man/woman if you can pet the dog" in a cheerful tone? If you glance at the dog owner they can also then chime in with a "sure it's ok, they're friendly."
Or, "Wait", and to the owner, maybe "We're working on waiting until the dog is sitting before we pet." or something.
When angels go bad, they go worse than anyone. Remember, Lucifer was an angel. ~The Marquis De Carabas

suzieQ

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2014, 07:57:02 AM »
I've been in those situations as the dog owner. I agree with PP, the parent needs to give more verbal communication to the person with the dog. I'm happy to keep my dog away from your child, but without some more communication, I don't know if you want the child to wait for the dog to sit, to get my permission, or more info about the dog from me.
I usually tell the parent (as quietly as possible so I don't undermine them) that the dog is friendly if they do want to allow their child to pet it.

gen xer

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2014, 08:06:10 AM »
Honestly, if you want him to stay completely away from the dog then it seems like there is at least as much responsibility on you to restrain the child.  I get not petting a strange dog but one way a strange dog stops being "strange" is by having the owner introduce it and invite you to pet it (if owner and dog are willing).
How so (re: "restrain the child")?  It's the dog that's totally out of control and approaching the child, not the other way around.  The owners' responses are also telling--they don't control/discipline their dog.  Great that they've got a good natured dog, but a large dog or one that's less good-natured can be a real problem.

I think that teaching the child "Ask permission first" before touching another dog and "Don't pet the dog before asking permission" is the best way--clearly communicates expectations without being so easy for a stranger to contradict.

Yes.  This is what I've done for my kids - they have to ask permission before touching.  If there is nobody available to ask then they have to avoid it.

m2kbug

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2014, 08:36:49 AM »
Take the boy by the hand and get down with him and help him pet the puppy safely or walk away.  "He's learning not to touch strange dogs, but thank you."  "He has to learn ask permission first," and then tell your son, "You have to ask permission first," and then help him ask or you ask for him (which might be faster).  You're making a little show for your child and a demonstration.  For someone to say, "That's okay, he's friendly," they are not undermining your authority, they are letting you know that the dog is friendly and they are okay with your child petting him.  It's your responsibility to restrain your child and collect him when you see an approaching danger.  What I don't understand is people encouraging a strange child to pet the dog after his parent said no.  This is where some other responses, my suggestions above and others, might be useful.  You deal with your child.  If the dog owner says, "Go ahead, it's okay to pet the puppy," respond with, "He needs to learn not to rush strange dogs and ask first." (and follow through by helping your child)  There's nothing wrong with, "He's not allowed," and walk away.  If you are happy with your son petting strange dogs and the goal is to teach him to do so safely, you need to be doing the work to stop your child despite strangers' encouragement and take the time to teach him to do it right. 

You can't rely on people to adequately restrain their animals, as we all know, and the burden is really on you to deal with teaching your child. 

Hollanda

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2014, 08:50:27 AM »
Sorry,m only just got back to this one.
 
To clarify, I explain to DS "We don't touch other people's dogs unless we already know them." I get right down and tell him that, and the owner can hear me too usually.
 
The reason for this is I have had some bad experiences with dogs, and whilst not wanting to project my fears onto DS, I do feel it is a good idea he learns how to respect that someone else's dog is just that, someone else's dog.   :-\
 
There have been occasions where we've seen friends with their dogs and, once I know DS isn't going to chase the dog (which he would try to sometimes) or grab the dog (again, he would try), I will allow him to gently pet the dog and show him how to do it. This gives DS a good example and also helps me get over my own fears! 
 
Sometimes it does irritate me slightly in a park with huge signs saying "ALL DOGS ON LEADS", only to see a huge dog haring about the place, and the owners seemingly oblivious to folk who might not be that OK with dogs.   I don't want DS to be scared of dogs, any more than I want to be scared of dogs myself...I see they can make great pets and companions. 
 
But yes points taken.  I will be more clear next time! :D
Knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


twilight

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2014, 08:53:02 AM »
I think the onus is on you to communicate more clearly both with the dog owner and your child and enforce your own rules about animal interaction.

Many times have I have had kids run up to my dog and immediately start petting her while a parent says "no."  Well, it is too late at that point, you didn't say no until after your kid was already petting my dog and I cannot pick up my 40lb dog nor will I touch your child to block him or her from the dog.  If I respond by saying, "She is friendly" my intention at that moment is to not undermine parents but to allay any fears that my dog is about to bite their little one.

GratefulMaria

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2014, 09:16:46 AM »
Rather than say "no" to your son, how about something like "Ask the man/woman if you can pet the dog" in a cheerful tone? If you glance at the dog owner they can also then chime in with a "sure it's ok, they're friendly."
Or, "Wait", and to the owner, maybe "We're working on waiting until the dog is sitting before we pet." or something.

I like "wait" for a child and was about to suggest it.  "No" sounds more final, and I'd use that only if I wanted my child to completely avoid a given situation at all times. 

When walking with my dog (Bernese Mountain Dog), I'd usually try to slow kids down when they'd rush towards her with a cheerful "hold on, ask your grownup first!"

Lynn2000

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2014, 09:57:14 AM »
As others have said, it seems like your goal isn't being clearly communicated. If you don't want your son petting any strange dogs (only dogs you know), then I think the first step is to physically restrain/remove your son when you see a strange dog approaching in his sight. You know he's going to go for it, so prevent that first. Then he will only be, at best, reaching for a dog he can't possibly get to, and maybe vocalizing.

I wouldn't worry about what the dog owner says; I think from your body language (picking up/moving your child away) it will be clear that you don't want you child to pet the strange dog, and even if they persist and say, "Oh, he's friendly!" you are the parent and the one holding the child, so you can say, "Thank you, but no, we don't pet dogs we don't know." DS will hear that even if you aren't directing it specifically to him. Lots of people in the world suggest doing stuff--that's the entire world of advertising, for example--and it's good for kids to learn that it's their parents who set the limits.
~Lynn2000


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