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This is probably going to sound like an incredibly dumb question : WIth young kids that have grown up around a well behaved, very kid tolerant dog, what steps do you go through to teach them the right ways to behave around dogs? My DD loves our dog and she loves looking at other dogs and wants to go talk to all of them. I dont let her, of course, I hold her or go down to her level and we talk about the dog, wave hi/bye to it, maybe talk to the owner. But, I worry that one day we will be out, she'll see a dog, I wont see her run over to it and something terrible might happen. There have been some instances, also, with dog owners insisting that my DD pet their dog. Weird, huh? I dont want to be rude to people, but I dont want DD thinking she can just run up and hug any dog she sees. What have you all done? (My DD is 14 months, btw, so shes at the stage wher she points out EVERYTHING she sees and wants to check it out. Shes very young still and I want to start her off right!)
 

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I totally agree with you Rosie
, we should teach our kids not to reach into everybodie's dog.

I have a little dog that is not kid-friendly, she will snap at them and growl. I was at the park the other day with my doggie and this girl came to pet her. Her mom was like on the other side of the park and was totally not paying attention to the kid. I couldn't explain the girl why she wasn't able to pet my dog, and she didn't understand so I grabbed my dog and left. I felt so bad for the girl who looked very sad.

I say that you have to teach your girl to ask before petting, even whit your own dog. Get her into the habit and do it yourself as well she will learn from watching you.

-Cuau, owner of a
: and
in her 2nd trimester!
 

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We've always had large, gentle dogs, so my kids are used to seeing large furry beasts. I tell Jack (since my twins are too young to understand) that he can't approach or pat a dog without asking the owner first, and then, to slowly extend his hand out, palm up to allow the dog to sniff him. No sudden movements, no yelling, and if the dog growls, to back away slowly and stay with me (or DH).

I love the fact that my kids are growing up with various animals around them (dogs, cats, horses) but I also don't want them to become complacent and assume that EVERY dog is like ours, you know?
 

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My 15 mo dd is dog/cat obsessed. the last 2 days at the park she has followed a cat EVERYWHERE...and driven me batty over a little dog that was tied to a tree. fortunately the cat was very friendly and i was able to get the lowdown on the dog from its owner. She literally walked right back to her every time I picked her up and had her wave bye-bye. She could not leave this poor dog alone.
My mrule of thumb is to always ask the owner first if the dog is okay to be approached, then we do or don't. I explain to my kids that we never know how a n animal will feel about us (scared/mad/excited) so we have to move kind of slow and calmly. I always model everything for them.
It just takes many many times of doing this to actually have them understand. It also takes lots of patience on my part--it can be very frustrating when you are at the park tpo play nad all your dc wants to do is pat the littloe dog, or try to follow the cat into the dense bushes!

I have found that if we always go by the same rules, my kids are more apt to be careful and listen to my lead.
 
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