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Discussion Starter #1
So what do you guys think about kids walking dogs?

My friend and I were walking our dogs on our usual circuit and we cut through a small park for a change. There were three preteen (I'm guessing around 13 or so, maybe younger) with this youngish, very hyper lab. It was on leash, but I could see we were going to have problems. Luckily for us both our dogs are friendly because sure enough the dog pulled so hard she got loose from the girl and tore towards us. Also luckily the dog was friendly.

But they had zero control over this dog. The girl came running to get her because the dog didn't even acknowledge her name being called. She said "Sorry. She's real strong and crazy". I hardly even knew what to say so I just said "Be careful we're right by a busy street" which we were.

So we walked on and I they lost her again and just caught her before she tore across the street!

I have no problem with kids walking trained dogs, and definitely think old enough kids should take part in training dogs. Heck there are plenty of young people on this forum who are more responsible with pets than many adults I've met! BUT these kids (or I suppose the parents) were just asking for an accident to happen!
 

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I depends on the kids and the dogs....this is something I've struggled with myself, as my 10 year old has been dying to walk the dogs and frankly I would appreciate the help...I finally have started letting him walk the shelties one at a time around the block or up and down the street...but yeah, I've encountered kids with dogs they are just not able to physically control...dunno what their parents are thinking.
 

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I let my son walk the dogs. Both are totally trained and will not pull him, or tear loose after small animals though.
 

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Depends on the age of the kid and the dogs temperament. I'd like to say no, I'd never allow a child to walk any dog just in case, but at the same time, I don't even weigh 100 lbs. I'm in the same weight class/size of most children.
 

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If I had kids and/or dogs, I would only them them walk my dogs if everyone involved was trained and supervised. I myself got dragged around on a daily basis as a child by our untrained dog, and me not knowing what I was doing anyway did not help matters.
 

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I wouldn't let my kids walk my dogs right now because they aren't leash trained very well. However, when they are better trained I would let them, provided they were big enough to hang onto the leash. I'm a little shocked that a preteen would just lose the leash like that...
 

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I'll feel sorry for the kids/dog/owner if their dog runs up to a dog that doesn't like other dogs...
 

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If the dogs are under control then I have no problem, but with young kids they should be supervised. I remember once looking out my window and saw 3 young kids around 6-8 years being walked by a large lab. The dog looked happy enough to drag them around the neighborhood. I went out to grab the leash and helped them walk it back home. The mom didn't seem to care that the dog had been dragging the kids around the neighborhood. I felt bad for the dog since I had never seen that family walk him before so he probably didn't get much of any exercise.
 

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My 12 y.o. walks his Aussie and brings her for bike rides but she is well trained, has her CGC and he has worked with her in the house/yard and with us prior to being able to take her out by himself. My 7 y.o. who has cerebral palsy and hip dysplasia can walk all dogs as well. Both kids can walk all three dogs and work with them almost daily. We go for family walks and will switch dogs so that they are all trustworthy with everyone. But all the dogs are trained and calm on leash and we live in a very quiet neighborhood.

Untrained dogs, kids no. We also don't let kids walk our dogs in a new environment such as park, too much can happen. I don't worry about our dogs, I do worry about other dogs though.
 

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When I was 11 I was training dogs for my friends! Most of this consisted of getting some mutt to walk nice on a leash... and to sit and to come when called. I weighed less than 100 pounds, but I also understood things like leverage (Dad was a mechanic).

That being said, when I walk my dog and I see kids walking a dog I usually avoid them. Kids have a propensity for allowing the pooch they are leading (or being lead by :roll eyes) to come up to strange dogs so they can "be friends..." Atka is good with Face to Face meetings but most other dogs are not.
 

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My nine-year-old walked my 115# lab with no issues. The leash was a legal formality. The dog could not be persuaded to leave her side and he would keep himself between my daughter and anyone they happenened to meet.

Yeh, dad was watching from a distance and it was a beautiful thing to see.

Man, do I miss that dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
When I was 11 I was training dogs for my friends! Most of this consisted of getting some mutt to walk nice on a leash... and to sit and to come when called. I weighed less than 100 pounds, but I also understood things like leverage (Dad was a mechanic).
Now I think all kids should be like this! :) That would be awesome! I really do like to see kids walking dogs, but this poor dog is either going to be hit by a car or attacked by an unfriendly dog.

Kids should be taught to train and understand dogs!
 

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I think it depends on the situation.

I can't say they shouldn't be allowed to walk dogs, but in a case like that it's an accident waiting to happen one way or another. I walked Pit Bulls just fine which are strong dogs too. They just say the lab is strong and crazy, let it break free, that isn't going to cut it and wonder if they parents say that (maybe not though).

I'm not even that big of a person now and I still have no problem walking strong and/or large dogs.

ETA I do recall that tragic story when a boy was walking his GSD which pulled the leash. The boy died from being hit by a car where the dog had pulled him out into the road.
 

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Now I think all kids should be like this! :) That would be awesome! I really do like to see kids walking dogs, but this poor dog is either going to be hit by a car or attacked by an unfriendly dog.

Kids should be taught to train and understand dogs!
This was over 40 years ago...
 

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Jilly is 6.5 and is able to walk Ruby our 7lbs mini poodle. But I have to get her tired first or she pulls, my dd is 24lbs, so a 7lbs dog pulling can hurt. so after we do a good workout I hand ovr the leash and all is well.

Quincy on the other hand won't walk with/for anyone but me, He just sits there and refuses to move, so no she doesn'tw alk him at all.
 

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It depends on the kid and the dog. At my obedience class, there was one family that brought their two kids (maybe 8 and 10) and had them working on leash control on their 80 lb. Bloodhound. At that point, the kids weren't very good at it, but it was pretty obvious they were getting better, and was only a matter of time if they kept working at it. I think it can be done.

On the other hand, strength is a skill, and there comes a point where the size disparity becomes a risk even with a well trained, well-behaved dog. Unexpected things happen all the time, and I think that to be unsupervised, the kid has to be strong enough to control the dog should something happen. Maybe the dog gets spooked when somebody drops a flowerpot; I don't expect the handler to be able to muscle the dog into position (a lot of adults couldn't do that with some powerful breeds), but they have to be strong enough to provide enough resistance to break the dog's concentration and calm down.
 

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On the other hand, strength is a skill, and there comes a point where the size disparity becomes a risk even with a well trained, well-behaved dog. Unexpected things happen all the time, and I think that to be unsupervised, the kid has to be strong enough to control the dog should something happen. Maybe the dog gets spooked when somebody drops a flowerpot; I don't expect the handler to be able to muscle the dog into position (a lot of adults couldn't do that with some powerful breeds), but they have to be strong enough to provide enough resistance to break the dog's concentration and calm down.
Just to add to this point. Walking a dog that gets spooked or gets confronted by an aggressive stray/off-leash dog, etc... can be a very scary experience for someone who doesn't know how to handle it. We talk a lot about how bad experiences while being walked by a kid can affect our dogs, but we also need to realise how kids can be affected by a nasty episode while walking a dog. If a kid was walking a dog and the dog happened to bolt after an inconveniently-placed squirrel, possibly causing the kid to fall and hurt himself, the kid could very well end up hating dogs or never wanting to own one.
 

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When/if we get out puppy, my daughter will be a HUGE part in the training of her. She will help get her used to the leash (by putting it on and off, and allowing her to drag it in the house and all that), and then will help leash train her, as well as all other training. She will not walk the dog alone for quite some time, though. My daughter is still young to be out and about alone, and they dog will have to be older, stable and through all of it's stubborn stages. LOL
 

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I remember walking my dogs as young as 10-11 years old. Lady was a collie/shepherd mix, I got pulled down and drug more times than I like to remember! Of course that was 20 years ago when it was safe to allow kids out with the family dog for company.

I now have a young (16 weeks) Saint Bernard pup and 4 girls. The only time they are allowed to walk Buster is if I am right with them, he's already burned some energy. We're working with him now so that even my almost 4 year old has a chance to walk the pup...she's 35lbs, he's almost 50lbs yet follows her around like a perfect gentleman.
 
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