What do you say when a kid asks, Can I pet your dog?
I love when kids ask if they can pet my canine Ace, because he’s great with them and he seems to delight in the attention.
He also doesn’t jump on them. He sits and knows to be careful and gentle. (He does try to lick their faces, however!)
On the other hand, when I’m walking a canine that is NOT good with kids, and children ask “Can we pet your dog?” I say “NO” in a firm voice and keep moving.
This has left some kids standing there shocked as though they’re about to cry, which is kind of hilarious.
But, I don’t want them to get bitten (obviously), and I can’t always stand around discussing why.
I’ve even been in startling situations where I’m walking dogs that will bite and the kids are actually running after us!
A nightmare, right?
How to teach children about approaching dogs safely
Since my canine is good with kids, I try to use this as a teaching opportunity.
When children ask if they can pet my dog, I’ll say things like:
“Thank you for asking first because not all dogs are friendly.”
But maybe I ought to really say “Thank you for asking first because some dogs will bite.”
I don’t remember anybody telling me that as a kid.
I also say, “Don’t put your face up to his face because that might scare him.” (It won’t scare my dog, he loves it! but it could scare other dogs.)
But again, I think I ought to be much more clear: “Don’t put your face up to his face because he might bite.”
I also say:
“Pet his back.”
“It’s a good idea to ask your mother or father first before petting a dog. then ask the dog’s owner.”
Because, I don’t know about you, but do you really count on many canine owners in general to make the best choices?
What else is good to instruct children about strange dogs?
I think it’s good to instruct them:
Not to stare at a dog.
Not to run or squeal near dogs.
Not to charge up to a canine head on but to method from the side and show them “like this.”
Not to pet a canine best away but to let him sniff you first (I remember my father teaching me this).
When a child just won’t leave your canine alone
Have any of you been in situations where kids just would not leave your canine alone?
This has happened to me twice. once with a group of 7-year-old young boys or so. They were very brave in their little group and did not get the hint that my foster canine would bite.
I had to raise my voice: “Do NOT pet this dog. Hij bijt!”
And even then, I had to physically reach out and block a boy’s hand, and he goes, “the canine tried to bite me!”
Echt waar? Wat een verrassing!
Saying a canine bites does become an invitation to some kids (and adults), like it’s some sort of challenge.
Because of this, I’m always ready to physically each out and block people’s hands when I’m walking certain dogs. and certainly I keep moving away calmly.
How about the rest of you?
Am I missing anything?
Heb je kinderen? What do you tell them about approaching dogs?
Ever wish people would give your reactive canine space?Should children be allowed in canine parks?How to avoid a stressed canine from biting