Friday, July 30, 2010

Train your kids

I have been having an interesting Facebook conversation with several other 'dog people' in regards to kids and dog bites. More specifically, how kids who hang, hug, drape and flop over dogs and the parents who allow it. I recently had a family who came to puppy class with their 8 week old golden puppy. Mom, dad and 2 kids (a 7 year old girl and a 5 year old boy) arrived to class with the puppy they just picked up from the breeder. During my lecture piece of the class, the little boy kept popping out of his chair and hugging the puppy. I repeatedly asked the boy to not hug, while mom and dad kept nagging him to stay in his seat. I spoke in detail to the family about dog safety and to not allow the boy to hug the puppy. The response I received was 'he is just really excited' (ugh...)

After the class ended the family decided to have me do in home lessons instead. So fast forward a few weeks the puppy is now about 10 weeks old. The boy is still obsessively hugging. But now the puppy is starting to snap at his face. The parent ask me to 'parent' him on not hugging the dog...what?? 10 years ago I would have shook my head and walked away. But after having numerous nieces and nephews drift into my dog life, I am more comfortable talking to young kids about dog safety. However, I always had parents who were there to back up my words. These parents were clueless. Typical overworked people who needed a Golden Retriever to complete the idyllic picture-esque life in their upper class zip code, with no idea that Golden's are dogs and have the ability to bite just like any other dog. The puppy will never be allowed in any other room than the kitchen, and will be ignored in its beautifully manicured yard surrounded by an invisible fence. They cancelled the second visit as they were going out of town for 4 weeks and will contact me once they return. I cringe the day I get that call, but as numb as these people are, they are the ones who need the most help.

According to the CDC the rate of dog bite–related injuries is highest for children ages 5 to 9 years, and children are more likely than adults to receive medical attention for dog bites. So Parents... please train your kids to respect dogs and to be dog savvy! I don't want to see this (or any) dog come to the shelter for biting when it was the people who set the dog up to fail from the get-go.

1 comment:

Jules said...

GREAT post. Very unfortunate situation.