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Author Topic: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...  (Read 13103 times)

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Susiqzer

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2014, 12:05:39 PM »
I tend to step between DD and new dogs, and say "how do we introduce ourselves to new dogs?" That way the dog owner knows that the kiddo is in training, and it's not a reflection on their dog. 

And when my dog -- who LOVES kids, but can be a little bouncy when she gets excited -- is approached, I do almost the same. I have her sit and then allow the kids to say hello one at a time, giving instructions about being gentle, etc. Kids love being part of the dog's training, and are better at respecting her space than most adults.


Drunken Housewife

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2014, 12:10:45 PM »
This was a problem for me when my animal-loving daughters were small.  Some dogowners are going to be offended no matter what you do or say.  That does not mean that you are committing an etiquette mistake.  I had dogowners thank me profusely for being a good, conscientious parent teaching my kid careful behavior around dogs, and when I was behaving exactly the same way and saying the same things in the same voice, I had other dogowners blast me for not realizing how sweet and loving their dog was and how their dog loved strange chlldren, how dare I assume their precious dog might not welcome a toddler, etc...

It's very important for the children and the dogs alike that the children be trained not to touch a dog without the dogowner's explicit permission.  Dogowners are  a diverse group and not all of them understand parenting (and not all of them train their dogs).  It's completely polite to stop your child from touching a dog and remind the child that we don't touch dogs without checking in with the owner. 
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Drunken Housewife

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2014, 12:13:59 PM »
p.s.  I live in a city which famously has more dogs than children and in which I have noticed a trend of people not training their dogs.  Seriously, I personally know many people with untrained dogs.  They clean up after the dogs when the dogs are not housebroken, and they allow the dogs to jump up on people.  One of my neighbors has an untrained dog who even chased my cat into my house, with the owner ineffectually trailing after the dog saying "No, no" as the dog tore through my living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom.

So this issue came up for me a lot when my kids were toddlers.
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HannahGrace

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2014, 12:15:18 PM »
This was a problem for me when my animal-loving daughters were small.  Some dogowners are going to be offended no matter what you do or say.  That does not mean that you are committing an etiquette mistake.  I had dogowners thank me profusely for being a good, conscientious parent teaching my kid careful behavior around dogs, and when I was behaving exactly the same way and saying the same things in the same voice, I had other dogowners blast me for not realizing how sweet and loving their dog was and how their dog loved strange chlldren, how dare I assume their precious dog might not welcome a toddler, etc...

It's very important for the children and the dogs alike that the children be trained not to touch a dog without the dogowner's explicit permission.  Dogowners are  a diverse group and not all of them understand parenting (and not all of them train their dogs).  It's completely polite to stop your child from touching a dog and remind the child that we don't touch dogs without checking in with the owner.

I think respect for animals is definitely an important lesson for all.  Even now as an adult, if I see a cute dog out walking, I make a point of asking the human companion if it's OK for me to pet the dog or otherwise greet him/her.  Just because you're on a leash doesn't mean people should be able to invade your space.

wheeitsme

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2014, 01:20:24 PM »
Thank you for teaching your child to respect animals!  I have an incredibly friendly and social black labrador.  She is very good with "littles" (dogs and people), but I always appreciate it when a parent (or child) asks before approaching her.  It gives us a chance to reinforce our dog's good manners, as well.  And it protects the dogs who aren't as social.

Don't worry about those folks who get offended.  I believe they are doing a dis-service to their pet and your child.

And that not on a lead thing when it's clearly posted drives me nutty!  I take it as a sign of a bad pet parent.

esposita

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2014, 01:43:21 PM »
I always prompt my children to ask first. When a dog, safely restrained (or obviously, to me, incredibly obedient but off a leash) gets their attention I say "Ooh, yes, pretty puppy! You need to ask first if you can pet the puppy though!"

Pet owners always seem to respond very kindly.

At the same time, I also teach my littles to make a fist and let the puppy smell their hand first before they pet, we say "give him a fist bump" (they understand that they need to let the dog make contact first, not actually bump the dog's nose); and to pet under the chin or the back rather than bringing a hand over their muzzle, which I have heard can be threatening.

Hmmmmm

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2014, 03:15:17 PM »
I do not think the pet owners are undermining you. Instead they are saying it's fine to pet the dog if you want. You just reply with a smile "Thanks but we are teaching son to not pet any strange dogs." And you walk on.

As many PPs have said, training your kids to ask first is more common so most dog owners are reacting to the most common interaction they have with parents.

Xandraea

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2014, 03:59:00 PM »

I think respect for animals is definitely an important lesson for all.  Even now as an adult, if I see a cute dog out walking, I make a point of asking the human companion if it's OK for me to pet the dog or otherwise greet him/her.  Just because you're on a leash doesn't mean people should be able to invade your space.

I agree 110% with all of this. It's possible the dog is perfectly safe and totally friendly and would love to be chased down and patted by a young child. It's also possible the dog has a fear of strangers, or little ones, or men, or whatever, and will react aggressively, which would be bad for all involved. I take mine to the local Petsmart on leashes, for socialization. They get to meet other dogs, adults and children. I love the kids that politely ask, "May we pet your dogs?" I assure them the two are friendly and will likely give them lots of kisses (some kids don't like licks). I keep the third close to me because she doesn't handle kids and strange situations well and I don't want to risk her hurting someone. I just tell the kids "This one doesn't like kids, sorry, but those two would LOVE your attention!"

It's up to the dog owner to know their dog(s), and up to the parents to know their kids. If kids aren't allowed to be near a dog at all the parents should pick up or remove the child from the area, not scold the dog owner for being present (assuming dogs are allowed in that place), and if they're teaching their kids to ask permission first, it's easy to make that clear to everyone within earshot, simply by reminding the child to ask permission first.

purple

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2014, 04:18:18 PM »
I think it's great that you don't let your son pat strange dogs and I think it's a very valuable lesson for him.

I'm a dog owner (but not a parent) and my dogs aren't used to being around kids. Kids can freak them out a bit if they are excited, running or yelling etc. so I always like it when parents send their little ones to ask my permission to pat the dogs. I usually say yes and I get the chance to tell the little one to be very gentle when stroking the dogs. That way it's good for everyone. It teaches the child how to handle a dog and it helps my dogs to be exposed to children. Win win!

I can't tell you how many times I've encountered people who think that just because my dogs are out in public they are fair game for anybody and everybody to touch them!

Aquamarine

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2014, 04:41:01 PM »
It's good that you are teaching your child responsible dog interaction.  I tend to be of the "Keep your kids away from my dog" people.  As another poster has already pointed out just because I am walking my dog does not mean I automatically want to stop and be a teachable moment for children, that assumption is definitely out there.  My dogs are very well socialized but it's amazing how many kids will (and parents let them) come running up in a pack and get in our faces.  No, just no.  I just want to take my dog for a nice walk.

People get really huffy and offended if I pick my dog up, and go.  It's almost like since their child expressed a desire to pet the dog there is absolutely no reason they shouldn't be allowed to.  These are strangers by the way, not neighbors.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

Phoebelion

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2014, 06:07:08 PM »
Another pet parent here thanking you for teaching your son.

When we adopted Sam (3 year old Bluetick) we were told very little abut her background except that she was a forced surrender.  We knew nothing about her but shortly learned that she was terrified of everything and everybody.

Imagine the shock finding out her only must have vice was kids.   She would actually act offended they wouldn't pet her.  The consummate lady - see kid, get with in 5 feet, plant her butt, let the petting begin.   She doesn't lick, jump on them, grab food out of their hands.  The perfect dog to teach a child how to act around the species.

Then there's Skipper who we've had a little over a year.  Lab mix.  He also doesn't jump or lick and loves everyone.  The problem is he's just too enthusiastic.  We've tried teaching him to no avail.   Currently using a head halter and that seems to doing the trick.  We limit his petting to older kids simply because I don't want him knocking a little one down and scaring the poor kid.  He's not mean, just 75#'s of enthusiasm. 






Blaquerose08

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2014, 07:05:09 PM »
Our dog Marley is am American Eskimo. He's pure bred, but a lot bigger than his breed is supposed to be. He's supposed to be at most 19inches from the shoulder and 40 lbs. Marley is 24inchs and weights closer to 60 pounds. It's all muscle. He's a very strong dog. I think what you're doing for your child is very important. Marley is the most loveable dog in the world and he'd never intentionally harm a child. However, because he's so big he can accidentally knock over children. Our cousin has a 2 yr old and she loves playing with Marley. The problem is he bumps into her and she goes flying. It doesn't stop her from wanting to continue to ride him though.

We have to be particularly careful at parks. To get to the dog park you have to go passed the kiddie park. Kids unsupervised often go running up to the dogs and start patting away. Understand that most of the dogs at our park are the friendly sort, but you understand how dangerous this can be.

There have been a number of times when I've been confronted with the issue of an unsupervised child running up to pet the puppy. I know the temperament of my dog. Marley gets overly excited when going to the park and he isn't as careful with his body. The first incident that was an issue was when I wasn't paying attention and neither was the parent. I was trying to fish Marley's toy out of the trunk and was moving things around. He was on his leash and bouncing around and I was ignoring him. Next thing I know there is a crying child at my feet. Marley had bumped into him and knocked him down onto the pavement. I told the irate mother as politely as I could that she shouldn't be letting her toddler run around the parking lot. If it wasn't for a few other dog owners that had witnessed the incident it could  have gotten bad.

I also got into a problem when I yelled at a child. Marley had been misbehaving that day and he wasn't happy about having to leave the park early. I see this five year old coming running up as we are leaving. At first I tell her 'sweetie dog pet the puppy.' She ignores me and continues to go for Marley. Marley, in a bad mood, lunges on his leash away from the girl. The girl still continues to come after him. "he doesn't want to be petted honey.' She ignored me again. I'm between Marley and the girl and another dog owner with a smaller dog is running up to help since I've been twisted up in Marley's lead. She goes after Marley and he begins bark. I finally yell at the girl not to touch my dog.
The girls father hearing me finally realizes his kid is in the parking lot. He threatens to turn me into animal control. I tell him that I told the girl not to touch him and she didn't listen. He answers back that it's my responsibility to keep kids away from him. I had put Marley in the car by this point and the police arrived. The guy got yelled at by the cop. The other dog owner was witness to most of what happened.

Kids and unfamiliar dogs can be an issue. Not only for the parents but the pet owners. You need to communicate to the pet owner what you are trying to teach the child. In most cases pet owners will completely understand.
I've found it useful if you teach the child the habit of asking the owner of the dog before you pet works best. Kids want to pet the fluffy animals and being restricted altogether is something they don't understand when they see other kids petting. Making the child ask first, helps teach the child. You can tell the child that even puppies have bad days when they don't want to be petted. When they get older you can explain the concept of unfriendly dogs and why you shouldn't pet them. However, be clear that under no circumstances should a child approach a dog off the leash.

Mergatroyd

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2014, 09:22:30 PM »
My dog doesn't know he's a dog, so I try as much as possible to keep him away from places with lots of people. He'd never hurt anyone, he just has no interest in being petted or fawned over and despite being really good with our kids he's kind of meh about the whole two legged puppies thing. (He loves kitties on the other hand.)  If the situation does come up where someone wants to pet our dog, I'll either say he won't hurt them and it's ok (if he's in a good mood and they're calm) , or that he's cranky and old and it's better if they don't. I haven't had any issues with that.

On the other hand, I was walking with my kids down a narrow path, and a couple came up with their dog and very snarkily said, "stay away from the dog he doesn't like people." They didn't say it because my kids wanted to pet the dog (they didn't. My kids are not dog people, despite having one their whole lives), they said it because they wanted us to go off the path by climbing the mountain or going down the cliff to get out of the range of their leash. I have to confess I really wanted to ask why they were taking their dog on a narrow trail between residential areas that is regularly walked by lots of people if they don't want people within seven feet of their dog. I didn't ask, I just pulled my kids off the trail and tried to keep us all from falling down the mountain till they were past, but it did annoy me.  Just because one has a dog, doesn't mean they are the caretakers of God's gift to mankind. There are lots of other places to walk a dog around here.

Nemesis

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2014, 09:41:08 PM »
From my experience with my own child, I need to always start by assuming that the owner might be a bit crazy and that the dog might be violent.

It is hard to tell what will happen when an unleashed dog comes charging at your 2 year old. You cannot tell if it would be a friendly, playful dog, or a dog who just found its prey. It's simply best to be safe rather than sorry.

Similarly, it is impossible to predict the future and tell if the owner will be reasonable, or act incredibly offended by your fear of his/her unleashed dog(s). I always start with the assumption that the owner of an unleashed dog who is walking in a public area that is not specifically designated for dogs will most likely be irresponsible and unreasonable. That helps me to keep my child away from their dog without feeling guilty about being rude.

Even for approaching leashed dogs, I always put my body between my children and the dog. Or just carry them both. Whether we socialise with the dog or otherwise depends entire on the dog and dog owner's reactions. The point is that we cannot tell beforehand whether this dog and its owner are crazy or nice. So I make it my responsibility to keep my children from the dog(s) until I deem it safe.

KenveeB

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2014, 10:52:04 PM »
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.

I agree with this. If the immediate response is always "he's friendly," then maybe you're conveying fear or upset instead of just "let's learn dog etiquette." Some parents get really nervous about my dog because he's a little big (60 pounds, so not huge, but big if you're used to toy poodles) and a boxer, which some people automatically translate into pit bull and evil. (Don't get me started.) So I immediately reassure them that he's friendly. People who don't seem afraid of him get a different response. I love love love the parents who are obviously trying to teach dog etiquette and will take extra time to stop, show them how to approach and pet a dog, etc. But if I can't tell if someone is afraid or not, my default reaction is going to be reassurance. It's not intended to undermine anything, but as a PP put it, "don't worry, he's not going to bite your child."


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