Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Dogs bite......

Overheard walking up the high street. 'Now you mustn't touch dogs again, because they bite strangers.....' Well that's a great way to instill fear of dogs into a child. Not for a minute do I agree with some nervous noisy child waving its arms around and sticking its fingers into Fido's ears, eyes, nose, mouth, prodding him/her or pulling Fido's ears/tail. I doubt my incredibly placid dog would bite at all that but never mind him, I certainly would. But there is a happy medium. What on earth is wrong with teaching respect - both for the dog and the person with them. How about saying to the child that it would be a good idea to ask: 'May I stroke Fido? Is that ok?' You could follow that up with saying that it is always polite to ask, as the dog lives with someone else and it is important to get their permission blah blah blah..... That way no-one is upset. If Fido doesn't like children or people of any type(and I can often see why), a simple no is easy enough. 'No, Fido doesn't like that.' Or 'Yes, that's fine, give Fido a gentle pat/stroke on the head, shoulders, (wherever Fido is happy). Fido likes children/adults/everything except cats.' Telling children that all dogs bite strangers is plain wrong, and it leads to the sort of behaviour that I have seen. Children go running around the dog screaming and yelling because the dog is a frightening monster. Or worse. Maybe they throw stones and victimise the dog because they want to prove they are not frightened and that the dog won't dare bite them. Stupid over-protective irrational parent. And the child was looking very upset at being told off for doing something wrong. I felt for that child and wondered if she will grow up with all her parents' prejudices as a result of their flawed and thoughtless teachings.


Princess Eva and Brice said...

Most kids that we run into, ask if they can pet the pups. We always make a point of thanking them for asking and let them know that they can pet Brice but that Eva is scared of children.

That way everyone & pup is happy.

roughseasinthemed said...

Thanks for that - definitely a good idea to thank them for asking, thus reinforcing good practice. Not sure that we always do, must try and remember in future.

Letty - A Little Girl With A Curl said...

I have often experienced just this very thing.

And, like you, it annoys me.

The assumption from the parent, that my dog will bite, nip or otherwise frighten said child, upsetting.

The then, Adult's belief, relayed via the sub conscious to the child, "all dogs are biting, vicious and dangerous creatures" also very wrong and annoying.

I very much like the adults who ask if their children may "stroke, pet or otherwise mangle" my poor benighted boy, and of course I agree immediately, because I know, within reason, he is a safe dog.

I dislike immensely the ones who create alarm and disress without knowing Marvin.

I also particularly dislike the boring looking woman who I meet occasionally on my dog walks, who upon seeing Marvin, black and pointy faced (Marvin - not the woman - she is just beige, and pudgy faced ;)D ).....sucks her breath in through her teeth and looks highly stressed, then she hisses at him as if to indicate she wants him to go away.

He then gets his hackles up, and is not the nice, kind and loving dog we know, simply because she is acting in an aggressive way towards him.

Ah, the joys of owning dogs.....

good post!