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Dogs and children

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Nina, Mar 4, 2008.


  1. Nina

    Nina PetForums VIP

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    Millions of us share our home with man's best friend and the vast majority of these relationships are happy and rewarding. Not only do dogs make wonderful companions, they also give us the opportunity of making friends.

    Scientific evidence shows us that children brought up with pets are more considerate and responsible. They will often confide in their pet and those with learning difficulties have been shown to lead a happier and more contented life.

    I strongly believe that the majority of dog attacks can be prevented. For example, you should

    NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with your dog
    Do not play aggressive games with your dog
    Give him proper socialisation when a puppy
    Never approach an unfamiliar dog
    Spay and neuter your dog
    Never tease a dog

    There really must be an emphases on responsible dog ownership and better education. I do not believe that people would deliberately put their child in danger, but with attacks on the increase, I honestly believe that we, as dog owners, must take far more responsibility for their actions.

    In view of the above, I would like to ask the following -

    How many of you dog owners did their homework before buying a breed?
    For what reason did you chose your particular breed of dog?
    Has he/she attended training classes?
    Have they been socialised?
    Have they been neutered?
    Do you play aggressive games with your dog?

    Dog attacks will continue to increase unless we do some basic homework and start to take responsibility for their actions.
     
  2. AJ

    AJ Guest

    While I agree with most of what was said I can't say I agree with it all.

    How many of you dog owners did their homework before buying a breed?
    Nope, to be honest we went to the rescue shelter and they helped us choose a suitable dog. We were both brought up with a variety of breeds though.
    For what reason did you chose your particular breed of dog?
    We didn't choose him for his breed, he's a Lab/Staff cross and we were advised he would be suitable for us as well as a few others. We chose him because he was sat at the back of the kennels looking sad, the only dog not barking, we felt sorry for him and we had the time to spend on him.
    Has he/she attended training classes?
    No. He was seven months old when we got him, he was toilet trained and sort of knew his name and that was it. We trained him ourselves, he learnt really quickly apart from walking at heel which took a long, long time.
    Have they been socialised?
    Yes, from the first day we had him he was socialised with other dogs and people, including young children. He never went to socialisation classes as far as we know.
    Have they been neutered?
    Yes, he was neutured before we got him.
    Do you play aggressive games with your dog?
    Yes, we play fight with him, but he know's its only when we decide and he stops instantly on command.

    I really don't think that because I haven't ticked all your boxes I am a bad owner or that my dog is going to go and eat a child. My dog is well trained, knows his commands and knows who's the boss. He even knows to listen to me over my partner ;) He's great with adults, children and other animals right down to hamsters.
     
  3. andrea 35

    andrea 35 PetForums VIP

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    Great post Nina
    I have a child who is 12 this year and so we made our choice based on this fact. My partner grew up with 2 black labs and i as a child had a shitzu that we rescued . My best friend as a child had a golden lab.
    I did my homework before getting Daisy nearly 12 months ago doesnt time fly, i looked into our home life and time available , what we wanted from a dog and what as a family we could offer.
    We chose the Golden Lab eventually because they are reliable around people, children and other animals, easy to train,with a happy disposition.
    I didnt send Daisy to training classes we were lucky enough to meet some very like minded people in our local park and we were all willing to use each others dogs as soscialisation , and training came quite easy to do , Our newest dog Jessie Came at Christmas from people we new that couldnt look after her any more , she had been to some classes but i must say on the whole niether dog seems to have benefitted from either having or not having classes, they are never going to win obedience classes but we have taught them what we expect of them .
    Both dogs are very social with people and dogs alike .
    We plan on getting both dogs neutered around April time to avoid unwanted pregnancies and reduce the risk of mamary cancer.
    We generaly dont encourage rough play with ourselves but they will rough and tumble with each other .
    Andrea
     
  4. claire

    claire Guest

    How many of you dog owners did their homework before buying a breed?

    We did look around on the internet to find out about akitas, i also have a friend who has a male akita and we spoke with and visited with the kids, My partner had a bad experience with a male akita so it wasnt our first choice

    For what reason did you chose your particular breed of dog?

    The more we read about their loyalty and love of children the more we liked them and after visiting a friend who has a rescue Akita we decided we would like one.

    Has he/she attended training classes?

    Cassie goes to Vets4Pets who hold a free puppy morning on a saturday which we took her too for several weeks

    Have they been socialised?

    We live close to the town centre so she if often walked into town past people and is used to spending time with my parents as well as us but is scared of stranges sometimes but i think this is just her nature.

    Have they been neutered?

    Cassie will be in the next few months as she has only just had her first season.


    Do you play aggressive games with your dog?

    My OH plays rough with Cassie play fighting but only he does it she never tries it with me our the kids she knows who her play pal is:)
     
  5. Nina

    Nina PetForums VIP

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    Alan, I rather feel that you sometimes do not read my posts thoroughly.

    When have I said that you are a bad owner? I have made some basic points for people to digest in trying to tackle the escalating problem of dog attacks.

    Of course you do not need to attend classes, but all dogs need basic training in order to acquire social manners weather you attend classes run by professional people, or self manage.

    By chosing a breed my intention was to point out the characteristics of that breed, and just because you rescued (admirable of you), you still have some indication by appearance.

    I would also like to state that while the majority of rescue centres, but not all, are keen to point out which dog would suit what owner. This is extremely important to ensure that dogs are not returned.

    I do strongly believe that play fighting with dogs can become a problem. Dogs do not have our ability to reason, so you cannot give them human attributes by stating that they know when to stop! This is my humble opinion and owning German Shepherds for most of my adult life, I am mindful of their capabilities when out of control.

    Zak, along with my previous GSD's, loved to play and I found the best games were educational, such as hiding toys, tracking etc.

    I would also add that I do not purport to be the best dog owner. Indeed Zak having been attacked at a young age, despite my best efforts, never truly learned to accept lose dogs, hence he was always leashed in public, and muzzled when near children.

    Dog's have been my life and I have tried to offer what I feel to be good advice based on my experiences and studies. Forums such as these are I feel, a good learning tool for new dog owners and for people such as us to share our experiences.

    Personally, I would love to see dogs enjoying their freedom, without the restraints of society. However, I honestly believe that society is doing little to encourage good and responsible ownership - hence the restraints that are now being enforced.
     
  6. EllenJay

    EllenJay PetForums Member

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    How many of you dog owners did their homework before buying a breed?
    Had owned Gsd's before but needed to read up on and become accustomed to the needs of Rotts as my girl is cross of both breeds.

    For what reason did you chose your particular breed of dog?
    Had no particular reason other than having had Gsd's before so felt more confident handling this breed, also she made the perfect family companion to us as we had another gsd at the time.

    Has he/she attended training classes?
    No trained her ourselves. The Gsd that we had at the time went to training classes for 12 months as a puppy and at the end of that time was unbelievably dog aggressive. He had been growled at and pounced on so many times, he just saw all other dogs as a threat. Sadly this continued throughout his life, although it was never eradicated it improved to some degree by us continuing to train and correct him. I will say that as long as he was in 'working' mode he never reacted to any dog at all even off the lead, just when he was in 'playing' or 'freetime' mode. (Personally, I don't think that training classes are always the best option for young dogs or pups.)


    Have they been socialised?
    Yes, all our dogs no matter what the breed are introduced to as many people, animals, children, situations etc as possible. They all are taught that they can look and interact but that they must do so gently, politely and only when told they can.


    Have they been neutered?
    Yes, both sexes get neutered.


    Do you play aggressive games with your dog?
    No aggressive games such as playfighting with people, people chasing etc are not allowed nor are they encouraged. Games to stimulate the mind such as sniffing out biscuits, hidden toys etc or games such as 'catch' (me throwing the toy, them catching it) are the more usual in our household. Supervised energetic play between dogs is allowed by the way.
     
  7. AJ

    AJ Guest

    I have read your post thoroughly.

    I rather feel that you often push your opinions as if they are the only way things should be done. They are not. Just because someones dog is not neutered or they play fight does not make them more likely to attack someone.
     
  8. bullbreeds

    bullbreeds PetForums VIP

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    I have to agree with that.
     
  9. claire

    claire Guest

    i agree too
     
  10. bullbreeds

    bullbreeds PetForums VIP

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    Isnt is nice when we all agree! :D
     
  11. claire

    claire Guest

    it is.... but on here not everyone can agree someone will be along shortly to tell us were wrong lol:D
     
  12. EllenJay

    EllenJay PetForums Member

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    .......And getting them neutered doesn't necessarily mean that they become less aggressive......especially towards other dogs.
     
  13. claire

    claire Guest

    i agree with that too :D
     
  14. AJ

    AJ Guest

    I'm glad you all agree! :)
     
  15. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    I agree with Ellenjay, training classes are not the right thing for all dogs, there are so many variable factors, such as venue, amount of dogs in class, temperament of dogs in class, sometimes owners are so stressed in class it beomes an unpleasant experience for dog & owner.

    There are lots of dog owners who are more than capable of training their dogs without the need to attend a class, for other owners it can be very helpful, its each to their own.

    Play fighting really depends on the dog, some breeds such as labs and staffs seem to enjoy it, other breeds like collies and GSD's aren't so keen, they can find it threatening.

    Neutering will only stop aggression in dogs if it is testosterone driven, which in my experience it usually isn't, in a fear driven dog it can make aggression worse.

    I think the majority of people who come on here do the best they can by their dogs, we are all individuals and so are our dogs and need to be treated as such.
     
  16. Nina

    Nina PetForums VIP

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    I am sorry that people have found my posts to patronising, or trying to push my opinion. Having reread some of my threads, I had thought to be debating some interesting and topical subjects regarding dogs and their behaviour.

    It is a constant learning curve for me to read how you train and interact with your dogs. I have asked you these questions, since I am trying to understand what makes a dog attack, something I thought as responsible dog owners we should all consider.

    Jenny, I have never stated that dogs should attend training classes. Indeed I have trained all of my dogs, but when Zak was younger he thoroughly enjoyed the agility, and of course joining a club enabled us to this.

    You also state that neutering is not always the answer to behavioural problems and again I totally agree. I cannot find any sentence in which I state that neutering is the answer to all problems. My second German Shepherd continued to hump the cushions and he was castrated!! However, the health benefits are vast according to the vets, and I have no reason to dispute this!

    I would have thought that it was common sense not to leave a dog with a small baby, or approach an unfamiliar dog but of course this is just my opinion.

    Again, if I have offended anyone, my apologies.
     
  17. Nina

    Nina PetForums VIP

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    I am sorry that people have found my posts to patronsising, or trying to push my opinion. Having reread some of my threads, I had thought to be debating some interesting and topical subjects regarding dogs and their behaviour.

    It is a constant learning curve for me to read how you train and interact with your dogs. I have asked you these questions, since I am trying to understand what makes a dog attack, something I thought as responsible dog owners we should consider.

    Jenny, I have never stated that dogs should attend training classes. Indeed I have trained all of my dogs, but when Zak was younger he thoroughly enjoyed the agility, and of course joining a club enabled us to this.

    You also state that neutering is not always the answer to behavioural problems and again I totally agree. I cannot find any sentance in which I state that neutering is the answer to all problems. My second German Shepherd continued to hump the cousions and he was castrated! However, the health benefits are vast according to the vets, and I have no reason to dispute this!

    I would have thought that it was common sense not to leave a dog with a small baby, or approach an unfamilier dog but of course this is just my opinion.

    Again, if I have offended anyone, my apologies since it was never my intention.
     
  18. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    Nina I was replying to Ellenjays points regarding training class and neutering, but i don't know how to multi quote. As I said training class is right for some and not for others, we have peole who have attended classes for years and love them, but others find the situation incredably stressful, I was simply agreeing with her points.
     
  19. Nina

    Nina PetForums VIP

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    Jenny, I guess I was a bit taken back by ajsheps remarks.

    Perhaps I should sit on the naughty step lol :)
     
  20. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    I'd join you but I'm going to class shortly, with people who love training classes, but they all compete with thier dogs so are used to stress !!!
     
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