Putting fear of dogs into children?

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Pippin
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Putting fear of dogs into children?

Post by Pippin » 16 Mar 2008, 21:18

Since having Pippin I've come to realise that many people seem to put their own fear of dogs into their children/grandchildren.

I have a friend who was bitten by a dog (not severely just nipped I believe) as a small child and when I am in her company she makes comments to her 2 year old son along this lines of 'There's a dog, you don't like dogs do you?' etc and while I do understand that she may be nervous herself of dogs I can't really understand why she keeps telling her son that he doesn't like them.

On Friday I had Pippin at the beach and I did not notice a couple of small children with their grandparents when I let Pippin off lead (if I had noticed them I would have taken Pippin further away) but of course Pippin noticed them and went bounding up, the grandmother started screaming at Pippin like a mad woman and lunged as if she was about to hit her. I called Pippin back, shouted over a sorry, although silently fuming, then a little time later Pippin bounding over again (she went back on the lead after this) and one of the children said "Oh the doggie" and made his way over to stroke her, the grandmother started screaming at him to "Keep away from the dog!!!". Now I don't know the story here but it did seem over the top, I had my youngest son with me so she is obviously a dog used to children and she was bounding about in the way a puppy can only manage, legs all unco-ordinated, very unthreatening.

I can't understand why people do this. In the case of my friend I understand she has had a bite from a dog and is anxious but I feel really sad that she is tarring all dogs with the same brush. They are fairly close friends and since we have had Pippin we have always met them at restaurants or their home, her husband has been here as he had a dog whilst growing up and isn't scared of Pippin but he brought their 2 year old on one visit and he screamed blue murder when he saw Pippin. :cry:
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patjoe
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Re: Putting fear of dogs into children?

Post by patjoe » 16 Mar 2008, 22:21

Hi
Isn`t it sad to see children so afraid of dogs and yes I do mainly blame the adults in their lives. Our next door neighbours children are both terrified of Alfie and when our 6 year old grandchild is at our house he regularly used to have them in mine to play. We used to put Alfie in another room , but more recently I have had Alfie on the lead in the lounge. I have even persuaded one of the kids to stroke him so hopefully am helping to build up their confidence. The Dad has never acknowledged Alfie and is clearly a total non dog person.
Pat

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fudgepuddle
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Re: Putting fear of dogs into children?

Post by fudgepuddle » 16 Mar 2008, 22:34

I've noticed lots of people walking in the new forest (normally summer visitors) will very quickly grab their children or scoop them up when fudgey goes over - it's such a shame, cos I always apologise (which makes it seem like she's done something wrong), and it's her place.....we walk there every day of the year (rain or shine!), and all the children that know her always come over for a cuddle (and a doodle kiss! :shock: ) when they see her. And the grown ups are even keener! :wink:
The thing that really makes me cross, is that these same people ALWAYS leave some kind of rubbish when they leave!!!

I was bitten as a child, and again about 6 months before we got fudgey (and nearly decided not to have her because of it :cry: ) but I'd not change her for the world, and know what a dopey daft mutt she is and is only trying to say hello.

Mind you, I still feel embarassed about the old ladies with their beige trousers and creamy jackets that give her eye contact - as this is clearly an invitation for a doodle bounce!!! :oops: :roll: :wink: :lol:

edited, cos I meant to say that parents are very wise to keep their children close - there have been some really horrific attacks, and if the dog isn't known to the parents/kids it's always safest to be wary.
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amber
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Re: Putting fear of dogs into children?

Post by amber » 16 Mar 2008, 22:43

Yes it is a shame. Chloe escaped out of the gate when i left to go out the other day, and she ran to the nearest child with his mother. I was rewarded with a dirty look, but Chloe just loves everyone, and thinks they should love her too. I think because of all the negative media attention with dogs does'nt help either. As was said, many who are less discerning just tar them with the same brush.

Although i remember as a child, my dad who was afraid of dogs was always saying, "don't go near, or don't stroke that doggie"
It was a good job i never listened anyway. :D
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Hel&Mark
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Re: Putting fear of dogs into children?

Post by Hel&Mark » 16 Mar 2008, 22:54

I was brought up alongside dogs in a rather free and easy way, and have received my fair share of bites. But in every case that I was bitten, I can see how it was my own fault. On one occasion I was perhaps too young to know and had escaped the supervision of my grandparents, but in each situation it was something I had done to cause it. I was always encouraged to approach, so yes - it got me bitten a few times, never seriously - but also I was taught basic doggie body language and I think this is where people make mistakes. IMO they should teach it in schools as a life skill. And also how to approach a dog with a fist to sniff under the chin, and never flappy hands above the head. I'd bite kids who did that to me. :twisted:

If parents gather their children up and flap, they are instantly giving out bad messages to dogs. Thus making the situation they fear far more likely to happen. I've been there with my kids, I know how it feels to want to gather them up "just in case" but you really have to avoid it.

Also, it just makes you feel like they hate your lovely doggie. :(

Helen
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wissymo
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Re: Putting fear of dogs into children?

Post by wissymo » 17 Mar 2008, 00:18

Well,this is a tricky one for me!!
Strange to be saying this on this forum but i am a little bit afraid of dogs!!!!!!!!!!
I havent grown up with dogs and had no friends who had dogs when i was younger so i dont know how to read doggy language.
There are a few dogs around my area that keep escaping and when im walking my kids to school and see one thats on its own i do panic a bit!
Im also a little worried about walking my dog and another dog attacking her!
Im reading lots of dog books at the moment and trying to get a crash course in their behavior so i can understand why some people dont like big unknown dogs running over to them,especially when they have children with them.
Not all people are dog people,i was one of then until recently.
( Ill remember the fist near chin thing as well!,didnt know that either)
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joan
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Re: Putting fear of dogs into children?

Post by joan » 17 Mar 2008, 00:28

It is very difficult as we know our dogs are not dangerous but they do look pretty scary runing towards you if you have no experience or a bad experience of dogs.
We had a lovely dog called Judy at home for many years who caused us alot of hassle when out as she would sit good as gold for anyone to pat her and only pounced when they withdrew their hand. Obviously because we knew this we would warn people but some would still insist in giving her a pat, something they later regreted!
Joan

amber
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Re: Putting fear of dogs into children?

Post by amber » 17 Mar 2008, 00:55

That's so funny Joan :lol:
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saz1970
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Re: Putting fear of dogs into children?

Post by saz1970 » 17 Mar 2008, 09:07

Actually I sort of have the opposite problem in that when I take Chelsea to school to pick up my youngest I find that many of the children will approach and stroke her without asking. Whilst I have every confidence that she won't bite them, she is still a mouthy pup when excited and if a child comes up behind her and strokes her tail I really have to have my wits about me just in case. One child in particular made a big fuss and said she had bit him when she had her mouth open :roll: I think education is the key. I wasn't that much of a doggy person before Chelsea either and I have always told my children to ask the owner before stroking an unknown dog.

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MrsAdmin
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Re: Putting fear of dogs into children?

Post by MrsAdmin » 17 Mar 2008, 10:50

Does anyone know of/have any experience of taking a dog into a school as part of a meet and inform for the children how to behave near dogs?

Seems to me that there is a need for this and that perhaps Doodle owners could help approach Primary School Heads to do a chat and meet the kids session as part of their lessons on animals/caring for others.

It could also tie in with 'being kind to all animals' as part of the curriculum.

We (mostly) have large dogs who could look very scarey (especially doing a Doodle Dash on a beach) but who are very friendly towards people (generally). Perhaps many of us could be advocates to help kids learn how to like dogs despite parents/grandparents past experiences?

The PAT system works wells in hospitals and homes. We could do with the same in schools.
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wet.dog70
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Re: Putting fear of dogs into children?

Post by wet.dog70 » 17 Mar 2008, 12:25

I too get annoyed by neurotics who over react to being approached by an obviously friendly dog. But on the other hand, my Mum is absolutely terrified of dogs and reacts irrationally to them. Its not her fault, so I try to bear that in mind when approaching others. With my old Newfie, it was very important because he cut a quite imposing figure. I trained him to freeze when he was approached and then took hold of his collar until I established that they would be happy for him to approach and then released him or walked him on. I am not at this stage as yet with Darcy because she is not off the lead just yet but I hope to apply the same principle. Even then some children would just walk straight up to him[Newfie] knowing he was friendly. Then I would tell the kids that they shouldn't just stroll up to any old dog until the owner had told them it was OK. I am doing the same with my 3 year old who ambled up to a massive Doberman the other day. His face is just at eye-level and he just walks right up and starts stroking them :shock: Not good because some dogs would definately not be comfortable with this. It could be that my son is better at reading dog language than I give him credit for but I am not going to chance it, so he is on a crash course :roll:
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hodgey
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Re: Putting fear of dogs into children?

Post by hodgey » 17 Mar 2008, 18:21

I have a friend who has 4 kids, and all 4 are scared of dogs, but thanks to Ellie they are brilliant around her, the youngest is still a bit nervous but is getting there.

I was bitten by an alsation on the arm when I was about 22, and then again my a yorkie who actually did puncture my hand but hey its only a dog bite at the end of the day. :D Has never put me off dogs, thanks goodness.

jasperaliceuk
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Re: Putting fear of dogs into children?

Post by jasperaliceuk » 17 Mar 2008, 18:22

Jane - what are you doing posting?!! Did you take a laptop into hospital with you?

Sue
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Pippin
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Re: Putting fear of dogs into children?

Post by Pippin » 17 Mar 2008, 19:38

wissywoo, I know where you are coming from, Pippin is our first dog and although I had some experience of dogs when younger didn't (and to be honest still don't) know that much about them.

I totally agree that children should ask the owner if they can stroke a dog first, I have always taught my children this and my other rule is that they never approach a dog that is tied up, unless of course the owner is there and they ask if it's OK.

I definately agree with being cautious but it's the hysterical ones I can't get my head round.

Not a child this time but we had an incident this evening with a client who called at the house. My OH had forgotten that there was a client coming and was playing his guitar, I was in the kitchen with my music on, back door open, Pippin sitting in the open door way, I was totally unaware that anyone was going to enter the garden, then I heard Pippin barking, when I looked my OH was showing some clients down to his office and Pippin was bouncing round the feet of the woman (not even properly jumping up), I called her back into the house and my OH tells me that when they were leaving the woman said to him, in all seriousness she was not impressed, "I hope I'm not going to be attacked by your dog again", I would have been tempted to ask her "When were you attacked by our dog? It certainly didn't happen on our premises", I don't think we'll be getting their business.
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hodgey
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Re: Putting fear of dogs into children?

Post by hodgey » 17 Mar 2008, 19:55

jasperaliceuk wrote:Jane - what are you doing posting?!! Did you take a laptop into hospital with you?

Sue

Nah Sue, but I could of done, they had wireless facilities there.....lol

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