Monday, May 16

I'll control mine...

if you control yours (kids).
There is no child bashing here.  I don't have kids, but that doesn't mean I'm anti-child.  I love kids. I love dogs.  Just so we're clear from the get-go.

This is Dog Bite Prevention Week.
A subject near and dear to my safety. This might be a long one, so run now.  You've been warned ;)
I rambled on so much I'm waiting to post the other part of my *PSA* tomorrow.

First and foremost, my dogs are public safe. They are always leashed and kept under our control, they are well behaved.. we train for calm behavior in public spaces.  None of them have behaved aggressively towards anyone.  We walk them on 4 ft leashes, we chose campsites that are as remote as possible..not everyone loves dogs or is comfortable around them and we try to respect that.
 Likewise, people should respect that not all dogs LIKE being handled by strangers.  Nice dogs, safe dogs..but they, like us, have levels of comfort.  3 out of 4 of my dogs fall into this category, so I'm especially touchy about this.  They are happy to wag their way on by strangers, or accept a treat, but prefer not to be loved on.  That should be ok, but so often it isn't.
I will never utter the words "MY dog would never bite."  Any dog can bite.  So, we operate from that standpoint.
I don't let my dogs greet children too young to grasp the basics of dog meeting and greeting.  It's nothing against kids.  It's a safety measure for all of us.

  My dogs will never be allowed to behave in an inappropriate manner , they will never be allowed in a position to harm your family..but it takes two of us.
I control my dogs, but you control your kids.  Neither of us wants harm to come to your child.
We hike and camp with our dogs. I am always astounded at the number of people who allow their kids to charge straight up to my dogs.
Never, ever assume that a dog is *safe* because they are out in public.  You don't assume all strangers are safe, so why put that assumption on a dog?  There are a ton of dogs out in public that shouldn't be there.
Wait..that's for tomorrow.
Once, I asked to pet a pretty black lab..the owner said "Sure! Just don't touch his head or back and don't make eye contact."
Holy mother of Good Dogs, that dog should NOT have been off leash in a park.  Don't make eye contact!?  Sure, don't stare intently at a dog..but no eye contact!?

(There I go again.  That's for tomorrow.  Dog owners and our responsibilities.)

Teach your children to approach calmly and ASK FIRST.  Teach them to ask you to come along and meet dogs..I am far more comfortable if Mom/Dad/Whoever is there to help Kid Manage while I Dog Manage.
Teach them to greet dogs properly.  Read up on dog bite prevention.
Most children are bitten in the face..their little faces are Right There at teeth level.

I was told I should not have my dogs in public if they don't love everyone and want touched by everyone.
I'm doing my part.  I want kids to be safe and I don't want kids to fear dogs.  I have four dogs, of course I don't!  I want my dogs (and myself) to be comfortable while out and about.
I understand kids can get away from you, so please, don't get angry if I step up for my dogs and say "Stop!" if your little ones are heading for us at full speed.
 I'm not trying to traumatize your child.  I'm trying to manage a situation to keep everyone safe and comfortable.
We can all get along, with respect from both parties.

Also, please don't get upset if your kiddo samples the dog treats they were feeding my dogs.  They are organic. :D