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Hi everyone,

I apologise for this mini-rant but darnit! people need to train their children better. I am so tired of it being put all on the dog to behave - it is always the dogs fault! it is never the childs fault.

I see it really often in two areas!

One: Out in public, I really really hate it when a little kid runs up to pet my dog without asking. We were taught in Kindergarten that you ask before you pet someones dog, that you never approach a strange dog without asking. That doesn't seem to be the common practice anymore! That and petting a dog wrong, I have two kids and it was not at all hard to teach them to pet under the dogs chin or along the dogs side. Mine never pet over the top of the head.

Second: Someone buying a puppy or adopting a dog and then giving the animal up because it is "child aggressive". Now in some cases this is valid! in others though - it is just that the owner didn't train their kids and expected the dog to act like a stuffed toy and put up with any abusive nonsense their precious baby wanted to dish out.

Now we have two small children, and we have an adopted Afghan hound that isn't really good with children all of the time. We make it work though! we use a crate when we have to and the children have been taught to back off and respect his space when he has had enough.

Does he growl at them? Yes - he'll give several warning growls before he air snaps. Do I correct him for growling? No - he is giving them a warning, a warning is a good thing. Do I ever leave them alone with him? Nope - never. If I have to leave the room he gets crated! but we manage to co-exist with a lot of work and a lot of drilling canine manners into the stubborn heads of two small female people.

I'm sorry - I don't mean to say that all dogs that show aggression towards children should be in situations where they have to interact with them - it's just a lot of the problems could be solved if people stopped automatically blaming the dog for everything and started to train their children better.

Bea & CO.
 

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At some point, we decided that 'it takes a village to raise a child.'

Since then, unless we put our dogs under lock and key they are not safe because I really should be supervising your child...
 

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I think a lot of adults don't know how to properly interact with or approach a dog that doesn't know them. They can't teach their kids something they don't know themselves. . .
 

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I don't have kids of my own, i do have two nephews, my bc Holly loves kids, but she like any dog does like peace and quiet, my 4 year old nephew has been taught to leave her alone while sleeping, and while she eats too, my year old nephew is being taught too, if he does something like pull her tail he is told no, or just does something around her he shouldn't, there mum tells them off too, it's not always Holly's fault hardly ever, well maybe when she knocks them over, but only by accident and she never gets told off for this, i am lucky that Holly loves kids of any age, but kids should ask before fussing another dog, i was in town once and a lady asked if her kid could fuss my dogs, i had two dogs at that time, i said yes to Holly and no to Bella, because Bella could and had just flipped out in the past, more parents should be like her.
 

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We have a 2 1/2 year old son--and we frequent pet stores where dogs are allowed on leash. We are a work in progress and probably always will be--but, our son now approaches the dogs, puts his hand down for them to sniff and then pets it, after the owners say it's ok.

But, it takes constant work. We are pretty fortunate that our dogs are very tolerant of him. He loves to hug them and even kiss them sometimes and I have to constantly tell him that not every dog likes hugs and not all dogs love little children. Not to scare him, but to make him aware. So I have him ask if he can pet the doggie, then proceed as mentioned.

At 2 1/2, he gets it. I even get compliments from other owners that he is very good about approaching new dogs. But it's something we work on, all the time and the conversation always takes place. Even if we just had it one minute ago with another dog in the store.

Even with our dogs, I constantly tell him to be gentle, easy. My poor little dog gets it worse--he wants to carry her around and we have to constantly remind him that is not ok and that he cannot pick her up, even though she is little.

We're working on it, but it's not something that happens overnight.

With that said, we have a lab x that is great with our son (though I never trust any dog--even ours-100% with him)--but not so good with other people sometimes and especially other dogs. If we have her in public, I am constantly on guard and watching for people/kids to approach her. I warn them and say approach carefully. She's always been fine, but I know her tolerance and she is pretty much a one family dog, so I respect that about her personality. She's always done ok--and even if a kid ran up and tackled her, she would probably be ok the one time--but maybe not after repeated tackles. ;) Usually the warning is enough to make parents stop and think--and after a brief hello, move on. Which is fine by me. And yes, we've worked on her for years with this (she is almost 6 now). She has always been this way.

Just food for thought, but I'd never be offended if a dog owner showed my son how to pet their dog while out and about. So if you see a child that doesn't know how to carefully approach your dog, it wouldn't hurt to say, sure you can put Fluffy, but let me show you how. I believe it's a shared responsibility if we are going to have both our kids and dogs out in public.
 

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I have a really impulsive 7yo with ADHD and I am SO PROUD of him because he's really good and resisting impulse when it comes to safety rules. I started teaching him about approaching dogs with permission when he was a toddler and he's so good about it. That and seatbelts. I don't even have to double check to make sure he has it on anymore because if I try to move the car and he hasn't buckled up yet, he'll start screaming at me :p Now, if I can just train him to wash dishes, he'll be perfect.
 

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I think a lot of adults don't know how to properly interact with or approach a dog that doesn't know them. They can't teach their kids something they don't know themselves. . .
If that's the case, then there shouldn't be any interaction. If you're walking down the street with your children and they see a dog that they want to pet, unless the owner approaches you, shouldn't you just tell the child no? If it is an unfamiliar dog/owner there doesn't really need to be any contact between them.
 

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If that's the case, then there shouldn't be any interaction. If you're walking down the street with your children and they see a dog that they want to pet, unless the owner approaches you, shouldn't you just tell the child no? If it is an unfamiliar dog/owner there doesn't really need to be any contact between them.
Unless they don't know what they don't know--that you shouldn't interact with a strange dog. Some evidently think dogs like to have people run over and pet them. It should be common sense but it's not.
 

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Unless they don't know what they don't know--that you shouldn't interact with a strange dog. Some evidently think dogs like to have people run over and pet them. It should be common sense but it's not.
You can always give them that information if it happens.
 

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I used to have this problem a lot. Or perhaps it just seemed exaggerated because I had to be so vigilant. I had a Lab that did NOT enjoy strange people. For some reason, people see a Lab and think they can jump all over it, or that their kid can ride it. Now I have two Pit mixes that would LOVE for everyone to love all over them but people cross their kids to the other side of the street. Go figure.
 

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I know this is slightly off topic, but it makes me ponder what happened last week at doggy social. We got to the door came in and the first thing I see is a great big stroller. I wanted to leave right away. Caeda is HYPER, and although she has so far been shockingly reasonable around the few children she has had contact with all I could think is "what kind of dummy would bring their KID to a place where a bunch of dogs play and get rowdy". On top of it they were clutching this little tiny puppy that was shaking like crazy.
They were warned (specifically because we came in with Caeda I think) to make sure to "sheild" the kid (about 2-3 yo) in the stroller from the dogs since the excitement was about to get kicked up a notch.
I came to learn that they'd brought this fearful puppy specifically because it WAS fearful, and were seeking help to ease this. Everybody took turns holding the puppy so it would get comfortable with new people and there was some carefully monitored sniffing. I was a bit impressed with how proactive these guys were being about it, but the kid still worried me. A little later one of the other dogs hopped up at the kid, bonked her in the nose. The parents didn't make a big deal of it, kept the kid from freaking out (though the owner was more vigilant with that dog). They told her not to grab the dogs but if one came to sniff she could pet it gently. Looking back I think the whole thing was a socialization trip for the new puppy AND their child.
It went shockingly smoothly, and despite my initial concern over a child being around it went really well! (and as a side note and minor brag, Caeda did very well with both the child and the puppy!). I was happy to see a couple being that proactive, even though all things considered it was a pretty risky thing to do.
 

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In many cases, not just with running up and petting dogs without asking, people aren't taught manners anymore. I see it all the time. Luke is fine with children and I usually tell them, "Hope you don't mind if he jumps and kisses you." If they do mind, I don't let him jump/kiss; if they're fine with it...well than Luke can do that. I try to get the child to slow down, sometimes it doesn't always work. Also I tell them gently, "Why not trying petting him under his chin and work your way up?" People usually respond to that cause I'm friendly when telling them this and they get more of a reward in petting my dog.

I think it's fine if you tell the children what's what so they don't get hurt, just do so in a nice way. You're helping them later in life when they approach another dog. And that's good that you put your dog in a crate when kids come over to prevent anything. I know you said it's not your dog's fault when he growls at them as he's telling the child what's what and I think that's fine because he's warning the child, but I still think you should correct that behavior. Luke isn't allowed to growl at anyone even if someone is invading his space. I will tell the people why Luke is growling and can defend himself. He can do all the right warning signs and I'll try to stop him and pull him away from that situation. I think it's wrong you let him growl as he'll think it's okay to do so, but that's my two cents there.

Anyway I agree with you. Kids should be taught manners on anything and how to approach a dog.
 

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Spirit_of_Cotons - I do not correct the growling thing because my trainer (and a couple of books!) have told me not to. She has given good reasons for me to not correct the growling and since I understand and agree with her reasoning I don't.

Her reasoning is: A growl is a warning, a very noticeable warning. Warnings are good - I would much rather be warned that trouble is on the way verses having it just blow up out of no where. He growls to warn people to back off - which they do. If he didn't growl because he got in trouble for it there is a good chance he would get so frustrated with being unable to explain himself that he'd snap without giving a proper warning.

We do not really have kids visit our house - we are pretty anti-social people and well honestly not a lot of people want their kids around so many animals (germs and all). My kids have learned to co-exist fine though and thus far we have avoided any serious encounters.

Unfortunately common sense isn't all that common anymore! I would love to be able to explain my reasoning to people that come up and try and pet without asking (kids or adults!) Unfortunately I live in Arizona and it is seriously the rudest state I have ever lived in! The last several times I have tried to explain anything regarding dogs to people I get a killer death glare and practically screamed at! My whole "child rant thing" came about due to a rescue dog though. This extremely sweeeeeet dog was adopted and returned. Why was she returned? she was returned because the woman's eight year old son was jumping on a trampoline, jumped off the trampoline and landed on the sleeping dog who then growled at him. She returned her for being "vicious" instead of teaching her kid to be more careful - or keeping the dog away when they are jumping or horsing around!

Bea & Co.
 

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Incoherent is right. The growl is exactly that: communication. Teach a dog not to growl and you're teaching them to go straight to the bite.

I know that if I'm doing something someone doesn't like I'd far prefer they ask me to not do that anymore rather than just punching me in the face.
 

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Incoherent--I understand what you and your trainer are saying and I know your dog is defending himself and he has every right to. I agree with you where all dogs should give warnings out to people to defend themselves and I let Luke defend himself. Then I explain to the person why he's growling.

That being said, don't you think though that your dog could just be thinking (in his dog mind as I know dogs don't think like humans do) that I can just growl at anyone and get away with it? I mean in a sense where after your dog growls, don't you think you should intervene and tell the person why your dog is growling and then stop your dog?

I'm not arguing, I'm just trying to understand why someone wouldn't stop their dog from growling cause it could escalate. Example: "I'm allowed to growl, maybe I'm allowed to snap." And then the dog (again not yours) would get punished and not understand because his owner never stopped him before. And then something really bad could happen in both situations (for human and canine).
 

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When asked I always say 'no' then my butt is covered in case there is an incident (cuz its Lways the dogs fault, you know) ppl forget that although dogs are domestic, they are ANIMALS. You'd be surprised how many ADULTS don't know how to approach a dog, it's not just kids, at least kids have an excuse.... They know not, but an adult doing that is just that.... A big, dopey adult :/ for lack of a better explanation.
 

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We are good to go!
My Rottie loves kids! They could poke at her.. and jump on her ..and wrestle with her.
She friggin loves kids...
but she really hates squirrels and plastic bags and the vacuum clener.
 

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I used to have this problem a lot. Or perhaps it just seemed exaggerated because I had to be so vigilant. I had a Lab that did NOT enjoy strange people. For some reason, people see a Lab and think they can jump all over it, or that their kid can ride it. Now I have two Pit mixes that would LOVE for everyone to love all over them but people cross their kids to the other side of the street. Go figure.
I so feel you there! Our "iffy with strangers/dogs dog" is a lab/aussie mix--but she looks like a chocolate lab, just a bit smaller than most labs. So people automatically assume, it will LOVE Me! Not quite. ;)
 
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