June 3, 2014

interacting with dogs. a guide.

i found these wonderful infographics about how kids should not/should interact with dogs that i thought i'd share on the blog. 

when i take piri out for walks, sometimes the neighborhood children want to come and play with him. piri gets overwhelmed by sudden attention and he particularly doesn't care too much for little kids so the first thing he wants to do is go the opposite direction, which then prompts the kids to chase after him. piri is also deaf so sudden pats and "in your face" hellos startle him.

and it's not necessarily just kids. the same goes for adults. i had occasions where instead of holding out their hand for piri to sniff first, people would quickly come up and give a hard pat on his head, which would cause piri to jerk his head around quickly, which would then startle the person and react as if piri was vicious or aggressive.

the best scenario is when i'm able to quickly explain to folks that piri gets a little overwhelmed {and if it's a bigger male i have to explain that he gets scared by their physique} and that he is deaf, but that he would love a nice friendly hello and pat. i then get down to piri's level and give him a good scratch on his neck and pet him and then i invite kids {and adults} to do so as well {but not his ears because he doesn't like to have them touched. people love to touch cocker spaniel ears! i had no idea how popular his ears would be}. 


it's important to teach kids how to interact with dogs. i have seen cases where toddlers and kids drag the dog around by its neck because they don't know the proper way of holding it and showing the dog affection. and it just kills me when the adults don't do anything about it {even while the dog is yelping and looks clearly distressed}. 

i know that kids are just kids and sometimes they don't know any better and so the first thing that comes to mind is to give them a pass {at the expense of the dog}. like the time when my former neighbor's son threw a stick at piri thinking that he was asking him to play fetch. the stick ended up hitting piri in the face and i told the little boy that we don't throw stick at dogs. his mother just looked at me like i was crazy for telling his son what i did when all he was doing was just having fun, but she eventually gave a belated apology. 

i think if we do this, giving kids passes, we don't give them enough credit. i believe that kids have big compassionate hearts and have the full potential to understand the proper way of interacting with a dog when taught properly. it's really up to us, adults, to guide them. 

what are your thoughts about kids interacting with dogs? 

images via dr. sophia yin


27 comments

  1. I agree with you! I think it's a parents job to educate the children about it. My dad always told me how I should approach a dog, sit down, let him come to you, let him sniff you, gently pat him on the side, not from above etc..
    I come across a lot of kids when I walk our dog and only a few of them know how to approach a dog, and even fewer of them ask me first if they can pet him.
    It's common sense if you ask me, but... :x

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    1. i must admit i was an excited child who loved dogs so i was eager to always pet them but having piri made me change my thoughts and the way i interact with other dogs. that's so great that your parents taught you!

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  2. When I was in Germany in April, my fiance's friend's little girl was approaching this dog that was tied up to a bike rack outside of a store. She playfully walked up to the dog and started barking, getting a little too close to the dog's face. I noticed the dog's upper lip snarl ever-so-slightly and I ran over to pick her up and bring her away from the dog. That could have ended badly. I love these infographics and I think it would be good for parents to teach their children these rules!

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    1. that could've ended badly! i don't think dogs are ever born vicious or aggressive. i believe that it probably became that way because of people. whether it's a timid dog that won't bite no matter how it's treated or dogs that snap back i do believe that it's important for kids and adults to know how to interact with them!

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  3. We've had dogs before, so I would like to think that the kiddos know better, but my eldest one is scared to approach doggies now because he got bitten once by a neighbour's big pup....sigh....
    I do love the graphics, Jane:) That first one....LOL

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    1. ouch! so sorry to hear that he got bit dog a dog once! i do believe that dogs are not born aggressive and sometimes that behavior is encouraged by people. sigh. i guess my only wish is for dogs and children and people to always get along. :)

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  4. I think this is great.

    I grew up with dogs and my parents still have dogs, so I have experience around them both now and as a child. These day when my daughter and I see a dog and she gets excited I ask the owner first if we can pet their dog. If it is a go, I pet first gently and calmly and then my daughter follows suit. This way I am modeling good behavior for her. So far so good-- she is gentle and calm!

    ~Alexis Grace of North On Harper

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    1. that is so great alexis! i haven't always asked and i was one of those kids that was so excited to see dogs because i loved them so. but having piri has taught me a lot.

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  5. So that explains why I've always been bitten by dogs when I was young. :)

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    1. awww. i think whether it's a dog that doesn't react based on how it's treated to dogs that do snap back it's important for kids and adults to learn how to interact with them! :)

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  6. I agree with you, Jane. Luckily, Louie does well with little kids so she has fun when my nieces and nephew come over to our house. However, I have to constantly remind the kids to be a little more gentle with her and to remind them that she is not a stuffed animal {even though she might look like one sometimes}! I am guilty of hugging Louie, though. I like to put my arms around her.

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    1. aww i hug piri too. i think once he is comfortable with people he is more open to hugging. i have seen a few folks who just let the children be as they throw things, ride and do other things that make the dog uncomfortable. but i do believe that children are great learners and can understand how to show affection to their hurry friends. :)

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  7. My girls are terrified of most dogs! They have unfortunately had a few scary (and unprovoked!) experiences with unleashed bull mastiffs and pitbulls which understandably really scarred them. I get really nervous now around people with large dogs that are not on leashes. :( Needless to say, we are very timid/hesitant to get near or touch other people's dogs!

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    1. oh no so sorry to hear! i think it's unfortunate that bigger dogs and especially pit bulls get such a bad rap. i think they are one of the most sweetest dogs around. dogs aren't born vicious or aggressive and that kind of behavior is encouraged by people. it's really the owners who should be getting the bad rap and not the dogs. and i think you do bring up a good point on how dog owners should interact with their dogs! i hope your daughters will meet the sweetest bull mastiffs and pit bulls one day! :)

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  8. I am going to print these and put them in my husband's bag! He talks to every dog he passes and says things like...have a good day mr!

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    1. awww haha. i always talk to piri and other doggy friends in the neighborhood :)

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  9. I agree. ashamedly when I was little, I didn't leave my aunty's dog to sleep, kept bothering it for an attention and ended up being bitten! ever since I have learnt to interact with dogs better and perhaps why I use cats to dogs ;)

    Katrina Sophia Blog

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    1. aww katrina! i was an eager overly excited child that always wanted to pet and hug dogs. i didn't know how to really interact with them until i started to take care of piri and understanding his needs. whether a dog is timid and doesn't react or snaps back i do believe it's important for children and adults to know how to interact with dogs! :)

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  10. Agree, kids need to be shown how to interact with dogs for their safety and for the dog's too

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  11. these are really good reminders. I often see kids in the neighborhood approach the dogs and see how dogs can get scared, nervous or aggressive. The infographics are great in this post!
    xo,
    nancy

    http://www.adoretoadorn.com

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  12. I read this ebook :). We lived in this neighborhood where a little girl, who had a dog, came up to our Coco with her hand outstretched and low to the ground. Coco was immediately drawn to her. I could tell she was good with dogs. It's such a contrast to kids who just run up yelling "can i pet your dog" and then forcing themselves on my dogs without even recognizing that my dog doesn't like them. Well, the puppy does. The older does not. Plus, she can probably tell that I don't like those kids too ;). As for my kids and our dogs, we definitely teach gentleness and that hitting and chasing are not allowed. I wish I spent more time with my dogs so that our kids would model us one day. Maybe then the kids are older. Right now, the kids just need so much attention. One day, I want the dogs to be able to sleep in the kids' room and have a special relationship.

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  13. I've seen these handy icons before and I think it's really
    important that kids + adults should know the basic of
    approaching a pet. Me myself know to pull out my hand
    first to snif up my scent, even inside of me can't wait
    to play and hug (sorry :P) with them!
    Xx

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  14. Jane, these charts are excellent! It's really important for adults to explain this to their children. There needs to be a chart for children and children too! HAHAHA Some parents just turn their children loose when they go outside with no clue. Great topic! It needs to be addressed.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  15. These are great charts!! My girls tend to hold out their hands to the animals and wait for them to come over. Maybe pet them softly. My youngest will of course try to give a cuddle, but she's gentle, though she'll only do this after she's been around the animal after a bit. It is important to teach children how to be around animals as they can startle the animals and cause the animal to react in their natural way & some might see this as the animal attacking, so it's not alway fair. And some kids are mean to animals, so they need to be told off. These is a great way to start from when their small to have understanding for not only animals, but people too!!! xx

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  16. It definitely comes down to education for sure, I think kids are naturally quite rough without guidance! I would be a totally culprit for wanting to touch Piri's ears! I love those super wavy curls they have going on but I'll always check with the owner first if I can have a pat :) And I ALWAYS let animals smell me first, that should be the number one rule we teach kiddies!

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  17. This is such great info for kids! I'm a little ashamed to say I break 2 of these rules consistently: putting my face right up to Toby's and bothering him when he's sleeping :-) I just can't resist!!

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  18. Definitely important to know how to act around dogs. Sometimes the fear that humans have of dogs is completely provoked by the human (more like most of the time). Great post.

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