I hear frequently that you should have a license and training before you are allowed to own a dog and I would be all for that, I also think having that be a requirement before having children would also be a good idea.
Wait let me qualify that, small children that are hyperactive, run around like little nutcases screaming and throwing things. Small children that their parents let them do whatever the bleedin heck they want with no regard or consideration for others = Potential Scooby Snacks……………………Small children that are quiet they ignore.
I am amazed by how parents will be so ignorant as to let kids be uncontrollable around dogs, especially dogs they don’t know.
We went out to Block Island this past weekend and as usual we brought our dogs. The ferry was quite crowded both ways and it can sometimes be a challenge because everyone and their brother wants to look at the dogs, pet the dogs etc. and of course throw into the mix, families, drunk people on the boat and few dozen other pups always makes for an interesting trip.
The problem on the way back was 2 families with 6 small kids, 4 of the children looked at our pups and were not interested, but of course the two smaller kids couldn’t resist being pesky little demons. Whilst Mum was standing there ignoring the kids, they proceeded to try to get close to the dogs, stare at the dogs and run madly about screaming and in general pestering other passengers and making my blood pressure go up.
To add on top of that, the ferry trip back was not a gentle ride, lots of seasick passengers from the many wave swells we were going through and the small devil children were running around and losing their balances and pitching into other people.
My husband and I had formed a bit of a protective barrier up against one wall of the ferry and using arms, legs and bags tried to keep the dogs from getting stepped on. But I had visions of small foot encountering bushy tail or tender toes and mayhem insuring.
I had remarked to one of the other passengers that had commented on how watchful we were around the kids that our pups had never eaten a kid…..yet. The parent had overheard the comment, you would have thought she would get the point. The point being that no, our pups have never bitten anyone or gone after a child, but they are dogs and small children do unpredictable things and in my opinion, better to not mix the two.
I’ll disregard the fact for a moment that letting little kids freely roam around a pitching ferry boat is a horrible idea in the first place, i.e. they can fall overboard, they can fall into a metal stairwell, etc, its just not a safe place for small children unsupervised, throw into the mix a few dozen dogs (including ours) that the parents know nothing about. A potential recipe for disaster.
What do you do in cases like this?
We had asked the parent to not let the kids near the dogs and had also tried to speak nicely to the children (with the mother overhearing within a foot away) asking them to not stare at the dogs and please don’t try to touch them (quite a few times), The boat was very full, so we didn’t have the option of moving elsewhere. The temptation to just say to the parent, “Look chickie, tell your kids to leave our dogs alone or I give the command to “eat small child” was quite overwhelming.” Also to say to her several things that are not polite to repeat came to mind.
I really wish some parents would not be so permissive of what their kids do and teach them that you don’t go up to dogs you don’t know and you have to be careful around dogs. i.e. dog safety etiquette.
How many of those dogs biting small children incidents have been provoked by the kid rather then the dog just biting them out of the blue? I have seen small children throw sticks at dogs, scream at dogs, pick up handfuls of gravel and pitch them at dogs. If I was a dog and someone threw things at me, I’d want to bite them to.
It’s frustrating being a dog owner and getting driven out of places literally because a family will come with uncontrollable children near us. While our dogs are great dogs, they are………dogs and just because some idjit parents can’t control their children means that I don’t like having to be hyperalert and have high pressure and will end up going elsewhere to be able to enjoy the quiet park that had 2 acres to roam in, but the family had to come and plop their rears right next to us.
So this is what I would like invented.
They have “Dog Away” for joggers and mailmen. I would like someone to invent “Small Child Away”.