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Author Topic: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...  (Read 13907 times)

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perpetua

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2014, 02:00:05 AM »
OP, like a few other people I can see a disparity between what you want to achieve and what's coming across because of the way you're wording it.

What you want to teach your son: "Don't pet a strange dog until you've got permission from the owner/the owner tells you it's safe"

What's coming across: "It's not safe to touch any dog!"

That explains the responses from the owners along the lines of "It's OK, he's friendly". They're not trying to undermine you, rather trying to reassure you that their particular dog does not bite. Which, actually, is what you're trying to get across to your son, isn't it? "Get reassurance from the owner that *their* dog is safe to touch before you do so".

I think it's just a communication issue, and other posters have given you great wording ideas.

gen xer

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2014, 08:19:36 AM »
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.

Yes.  An unleashed dog bounding up to me or my kids instantly has me thinking "bad owner".  Dogs are unpredictable.  How many times have we all heard of a dog biting with a shocked owner protesting that "he's never done this before" or "but he's always been so calm and friendly!"

If someone is offended that I'm not charmed with their unleashed dog then tough.  I won't be going out of my way to reassure them.  It never fails - unleashed dog runs up ( usually on a walking trail - not normally a problem on the street ) and the owners are a distance away with a big, moony grin on their face calling out "he's friendly!" while their dog is jumping on me and snffing in places in places I don't care to be sniffed.  The big moony grin fades when I tell them to get their bleepity bleep dog off me.  Words are exchanged.  People stomp off in anger on both sides.

My kids have had it drilled into them that they have to be given explicit permission to pet a dog.....and that they have to be prepared to hear "no".  For what it's worth they only seem interested in dogs they already know and tend to ignore random dogs on the street.

Xandraea

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2014, 08:24:50 AM »
OP, like a few other people I can see a disparity between what you want to achieve and what's coming across because of the way you're wording it.

What you want to teach your son: "Don't pet a strange dog until you've got permission from the owner/the owner tells you it's safe"

What's coming across: "It's not safe to touch any dog!"

That explains the responses from the owners along the lines of "It's OK, he's friendly". They're not trying to undermine you, rather trying to reassure you that their particular dog does not bite. Which, actually, is what you're trying to get across to your son, isn't it? "Get reassurance from the owner that *their* dog is safe to touch before you do so".

I think it's just a communication issue, and other posters have given you great wording ideas.

Very well said!

Hmmmmm

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2014, 12:12:56 PM »
OP, like a few other people I can see a disparity between what you want to achieve and what's coming across because of the way you're wording it.

What you want to teach your son: "Don't pet a strange dog until you've got permission from the owner/the owner tells you it's safe"

What's coming across: "It's not safe to touch any dog!"


That explains the responses from the owners along the lines of "It's OK, he's friendly". They're not trying to undermine you, rather trying to reassure you that their particular dog does not bite. Which, actually, is what you're trying to get across to your son, isn't it? "Get reassurance from the owner that *their* dog is safe to touch before you do so".

I think it's just a communication issue, and other posters have given you great wording ideas.

Very well said!

While I agree that this is what many of us want to teach our children, what I got from the OP is actually she is teaching her child to not pet any strange dog even with owner permission. She doesn't want the owners giving permission to pet the animal.

gramma dishes

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2014, 12:32:14 PM »


While I agree that this is what many of us want to teach our children, what I got from the OP is actually she is teaching her child to not pet any strange dog even with owner permission. She doesn't want the owners giving permission to pet the animal.

That was also my interpretation of the initial post. 

Lynn2000

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2014, 12:50:04 PM »
While I agree that this is what many of us want to teach our children, what I got from the OP is actually she is teaching her child to not pet any strange dog even with owner permission. She doesn't want the owners giving permission to pet the animal.

That was also my interpretation of the initial post.

That was my interpretation as well, especially with a later post. That's why I suggested the best course of action would be to pick up/restrain her child at the first sign of an approaching dog, given that the child seems to still be young and impulsive. Then even if he reaches out to touch the dog, he can't possibly get to him, and the OP can say, "No, we don't pet dogs we don't know." I don't think it matters what the owner says, the parent is the one in control and it's good for the kid to learn that--especially clear if the parent is holding/restraining the child. As her son gets older he will presumably learn to restrain himself, as this is the family rule. There are lots of times when someone other than a parent will encourage a child (directly or indirectly) to do something--a commercial on TV, someone at the grocery store offering samples--and kids need to know that they can't have something just because it exists, only with their parents' permission.
~Lynn2000

sparksals

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2014, 01:02:33 PM »
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.


This.


m2kbug

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #37 on: September 03, 2014, 01:38:41 PM »


While I agree that this is what many of us want to teach our children, what I got from the OP is actually she is teaching her child to not pet any strange dog even with owner permission. She doesn't want the owners giving permission to pet the animal.

That was also my interpretation of the initial post.

My impression was that she was okay with her little boy petting the animals and wanted him to have the exposure, but he needs to learn to stop and ask permission first, right now from both his mom and the pet owner.  The biggest problems are owners encouraging the child to pet their dog even after mother clearly said no or unleashed dogs where you don't even have an owner around to say the dog is friendly.  No matter what the intention is, the little boy has to learn to stop, don't touch, and ask permission. :)  Later on when mom doesn't have to hover as much, both with stranger danger and doggie danger (critter in general danger), he needs to learn good judgement. 

I don't have any fear of dogs, which is probably why my impression leaned in other direction.  :)

lakey

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #38 on: September 03, 2014, 03:25:03 PM »
I agree that your child needs to be taught to ask before approaching or petting strange dogs. But as a dog owner, what I see from most parents is that they want their children to ask first, then they are okay with their child petting the dog.

I haven't run into anyone who doesn't want their child to pet the dog after asking the owner if it is okay.

You have a right to not want your child to pet the dogs, even after the owner says it is okay. Dogs do sometimes bite, and there are owners out there who are irresponsible and a poor judge of their dog's aggressiveness. You have a right to ensure that no chances are taken with your child.

I would say very clearly, right at the start, "I don't want my son petting other peoples' dogs." It's your child, you have this right.

Hmmmmm

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #39 on: September 03, 2014, 04:12:59 PM »


While I agree that this is what many of us want to teach our children, what I got from the OP is actually she is teaching her child to not pet any strange dog even with owner permission. She doesn't want the owners giving permission to pet the animal.

That was also my interpretation of the initial post.

My impression was that she was okay with her little boy petting the animals and wanted him to have the exposure, but he needs to learn to stop and ask permission first, right now from both his mom and the pet owner.  The biggest problems are owners encouraging the child to pet their dog even after mother clearly said no or unleashed dogs where you don't even have an owner around to say the dog is friendly.  No matter what the intention is, the little boy has to learn to stop, don't touch, and ask permission. :)  Later on when mom doesn't have to hover as much, both with stranger danger and doggie danger (critter in general danger), he needs to learn good judgement. 

I don't have any fear of dogs, which is probably why my impression leaned in other direction.  :)
In her second post she states:
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.

That is pretty clear to me she isn't instructing her son to ask permission but instructing to not pet dogs he does not know.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #40 on: September 03, 2014, 04:46:36 PM »
I agree that your child needs to be taught to ask before approaching or petting strange dogs. But as a dog owner, what I see from most parents is that they want their children to ask first, then they are okay with their child petting the dog.

I haven't run into anyone who doesn't want their child to pet the dog after asking the owner if it is okay.

You have a right to not want your child to pet the dogs, even after the owner says it is okay. Dogs do sometimes bite, and there are owners out there who are irresponsible and a poor judge of their dog's aggressiveness. You have a right to ensure that no chances are taken with your child.

I would say very clearly, right at the start, "I don't want my son petting other peoples' dogs." It's your child, you have this right.

In the scenario described in the OP, neither the OP nor the child asked the owner about petting the dog. The OP merely told her own child not to pet the dog. I can see why many dog owners would be inclined to proactively tell the parent that the dog was friendly and they were willing to let the child pet it. However, this isn't a matter of asking permission to pet and then not letting the kid do so. As described, the OP gave clear signals that she wanted to prevent (or at minimum delay) contact between her child and the dog. A polite dog owner should react to those signals by first restraining or calling the dog away, before trying to clarify that touching the dog is ok with them. Also, "right at the start" of the interaction, the OP was busy instructing her child and physically preventing him from touching the dog. Any clarification to the dog owner would have to happen after the OP handles the immediate issue of her child's actions.

That being said, I agree with PPs that it isn't rude for the dog owners to say "It's fine. He's friendly." as long as they're simultaneously stopping the dog from touching the humans uninvited. The dog owners (mostly likely) aren't suggesting that the child disobey the parent. Instead, they're clarifying that the child has the dog owner's permission to pet it. It's up to the parent to teach their child that they need permission from both their parent and the dog owner before touching is ok. (Once the child is old enough and familiar enough with dog body language, still another layer of "permission" should be added--the dog's. The kid should learn not to ignore signs of hostility or fear from a dog just because the owner says to go ahead.)

m2kbug

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #41 on: September 03, 2014, 05:32:41 PM »


While I agree that this is what many of us want to teach our children, what I got from the OP is actually she is teaching her child to not pet any strange dog even with owner permission. She doesn't want the owners giving permission to pet the animal.

That was also my interpretation of the initial post.

My impression was that she was okay with her little boy petting the animals and wanted him to have the exposure, but he needs to learn to stop and ask permission first, right now from both his mom and the pet owner.  The biggest problems are owners encouraging the child to pet their dog even after mother clearly said no or unleashed dogs where you don't even have an owner around to say the dog is friendly.  No matter what the intention is, the little boy has to learn to stop, don't touch, and ask permission. :)  Later on when mom doesn't have to hover as much, both with stranger danger and doggie danger (critter in general danger), he needs to learn good judgement. 

I don't have any fear of dogs, which is probably why my impression leaned in other direction.  :)
In her second post she states:
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.

That is pretty clear to me she isn't instructing her son to ask permission but instructing to not pet dogs he does not know.

I'm not arguing this fact, I just reached a different conclusion. :)  Even in her second post, it seemed as though she would like for her son to not have the same fears she does, which (to me) means petting strange dogs, with permission and supervised and learning to do it safely.  Like I said, I don't have these same fears with animals, so I wonder how much that played in where my mind went compared to others.  I always allowed my children to pet dogs if the owner was okay with it.  She can simply tell the pet owner, "We don't touch strange dogs, but thank you anyway," (in addition to telling her son) and if the pet owner takes offense and thinks she's a big meanie (:)), so be it.  She just needs to walk away.

SingActDance

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #42 on: September 03, 2014, 06:02:13 PM »
This is seriously one of my biggest pet peeves with dog owners. Luckily, most of them don't do it, but I absolutely hate it when I'm out and about with my children and strangers allow their dogs to approach us. First of all, I might be in a hurry and herding two toddlers along without the distraction of a dog is hard enough as it is. If you let your pwecious approach, now I have one more thing to deal with while trying to get from point A to point B. Second, I don't want my kids around dogs that I don't know. We have plenty of dogs in our life that we can use to teach our kids safe and polite ways of interaction. We don't need to use strange dogs. Third, even if I was okay with interaction with strange animals, by allowing the dog to approach, the stranger has taken away my opportunity to explain anything before the interaction has begun.

I get that it's not all dog owners but I can not for the life of me understand why so many of them just don't keep their dogs under control.

I'm confused what you mean by "allowing to approach" you. If you are in a large park or something, of course, a stranger shouldn't be just walking up to you. But on a sidewalk or street, you're going to inevitably pass by animals on occasion.
Most people look at musical theatre and think "Why are those people singing and dancing in the street?" I'm sort of the opposite. I see a street full of people and think, "Why aren't they?"

Hmmmmm

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #43 on: September 03, 2014, 08:43:57 PM »


While I agree that this is what many of us want to teach our children, what I got from the OP is actually she is teaching her child to not pet any strange dog even with owner permission. She doesn't want the owners giving permission to pet the animal.

That was also my interpretation of the initial post.

My impression was that she was okay with her little boy petting the animals and wanted him to have the exposure, but he needs to learn to stop and ask permission first, right now from both his mom and the pet owner.  The biggest problems are owners encouraging the child to pet their dog even after mother clearly said no or unleashed dogs where you don't even have an owner around to say the dog is friendly.  No matter what the intention is, the little boy has to learn to stop, don't touch, and ask permission. :)  Later on when mom doesn't have to hover as much, both with stranger danger and doggie danger (critter in general danger), he needs to learn good judgement. 

I don't have any fear of dogs, which is probably why my impression leaned in other direction.  :)
In her second post she states:
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.

That is pretty clear to me she isn't instructing her son to ask permission but instructing to not pet dogs he does not know.

I'm not arguing this fact, I just reached a different conclusion. :)  Even in her second post, it seemed as though she would like for her son to not have the same fears she does, which (to me) means petting strange dogs, with permission and supervised and learning to do it safely.  Like I said, I don't have these same fears with animals, so I wonder how much that played in where my mind went compared to others.  I always allowed my children to pet dogs if the owner was okay with it.  She can simply tell the pet owner, "We don't touch strange dogs, but thank you anyway," (in addition to telling her son) and if the pet owner takes offense and thinks she's a big meanie (:)), so be it.  She just needs to walk away.
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply I thought you were being argumentative. I was trying to clarify why I didn't think she wanted her child to ask permission.  I thought she was willing to encourage her child to pet friends/neighbor's dogs. But I could be interpreting her statement too literally. And I agree that the easiest response is to say thanks but we are teaching him to not pet stranger's dogs.

HannahGrace

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Re: S/O - Keep Your Dog Away from my child...
« Reply #44 on: September 03, 2014, 09:02:34 PM »
This is seriously one of my biggest pet peeves with dog owners. Luckily, most of them don't do it, but I absolutely hate it when I'm out and about with my children and strangers allow their dogs to approach us. First of all, I might be in a hurry and herding two toddlers along without the distraction of a dog is hard enough as it is. If you let your pwecious approach, now I have one more thing to deal with while trying to get from point A to point B. Second, I don't want my kids around dogs that I don't know. We have plenty of dogs in our life that we can use to teach our kids safe and polite ways of interaction. We don't need to use strange dogs. Third, even if I was okay with interaction with strange animals, by allowing the dog to approach, the stranger has taken away my opportunity to explain anything before the interaction has begun.

I get that it's not all dog owners but I can not for the life of me understand why so many of them just don't keep their dogs under control.

I'm confused what you mean by "allowing to approach" you. If you are in a large park or something, of course, a stranger shouldn't be just walking up to you. But on a sidewalk or street, you're going to inevitably pass by animals on occasion.

I am referring to dog owners who allow their dogs to leave their immediate vicinity and enter mine or my children's. Leash laws prevent this some of the time, but dog owners who walk their dogs on leads longer than three or so feet need to physically restrain their animals if they are approaching other people. I don't have a problem with passing dogs on walking paths and sidewalks and I'm not offended by them accidentally brushing up against me as they walk by. But that is the most interaction that I'm okay with. If a dog starts sniffing one of us, or sticks it's head out for a pat, the owner has allowed it to approach us and that irritates me.

"Immediate vicinity" begs the question.  Plenty of toddlers enter my immediate vicinity without an invitation but that's part of living in the world, so I deal with it.  A dog sniffing at you is really a problem?


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