Overheard walking up the high street.
‘Now you mustn’t touch dogs again, because they bite strangers…..’
Well that’s a great way to instill fear of dogs into a child.
Not for a minute do I agree with some nervous noisy child waving its arms around and sticking its fingers into Fido’s ears, eyes, nose, mouth, prodding him/her or pulling Fido’s ears/tail.
I doubt my incredibly placid dog would bite at all that but never mind him, I certainly would.
But there is a happy medium. What on earth is wrong with teaching respect – both for the dog and the person with them.
How about saying to the child that it would be a good idea to ask:
‘May I stroke Fido? Is that ok?’
You could follow that up with saying that it is always polite to ask, as the dog lives with someone else and it is important to get their permission blah blah blah…..
That way no-one is upset. If Fido doesn’t like children or people of any type(and I can often see why), a simple no is easy enough. ‘No, Fido doesn’t like that.’
Or ‘Yes, that’s fine, give Fido a gentle pat/stroke on the head, shoulders, (wherever Fido is happy). Fido likes children/adults/everything except cats.’
Telling children that all dogs bite strangers is plain wrong, and it leads to the sort of behaviour that I have seen. Children go running around the dog screaming and yelling because the dog is a frightening monster.
Or worse. Maybe they throw stones and victimise the dog because they want to prove they are not frightened and that the dog won’t dare bite them.
Stupid over-protective irrational parent.
And the child was looking very upset at being told off for doing something wrong. I felt for that child and wondered if she will grow up with all her parents’ prejudices as a result of their flawed and thoughtless teachings.