Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Children and dogs

A young mother and toddler, near the park playground, stood smiling and watching the pups and I on our walk yesterday. I have to admit, the three of us do have some humorous moments. Izzy bounds from one interesting spot to another, while Hope looks like a miniature bloodhound on an important search and then there's me--doing my best not to be hogtied with the twisting, retractable leashes. You're right, we should take some basic training classes together, but it's not on the schedule of priorities right now.

I had this feeling that the mother wanted us to walk over to the two of them, so her toddler could pet and meet the pups. While small dogs often look furry and adorable, they're not a sure bet for a child. I know our two aren't. Izzy hasn't been socialized with children and her first experience with a child wasn't a good one {smack on the head with a toy!}. Dogs probably don't forget those moments, plus they have that pack mentality of just knowing a small person doesn't have as much authority as an adult.

N and I have witnessed parents bringing their (very) young children to the dog park. We're not alone in being concerned. A child's first instinct, when they feel threatened, is to run and a bite or snap can happen quickly. I certainly don't want to be a part of a child's horrible first dog encounter memory.  I understand there are some good resources to help you and your child learn some basic dog safety tips (local Humane Society?), but a good rule to remember is, always ask an owner before approaching their pet.

No comments: