Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Instilling a fear of dogs into your kids

We were out and about this weekend with Jack (it was his first experience of crowds while standing on his own 4 paws, he did fantastically well, and with true pug pride was his usual fearless self.)

It was an interesting social experiment - as we all know, puppy's tend to draw a lot of admirers, and Jack is no exception. There were 2 very clear groups in the children that spotted him - those that ran up to him and asked if they could make a fuss of him and those that stood and pointed at him, whilst being dragged away by parents - twice I heard "don't touch, he might bite". What a terrible prejudice to instill in a small child. Yes, we should be concerned about "problem" dogs (and that is a whole other discussion), but to tar all dogs with the same brush is unfair to both children and dog kind. Parents should be teaching their children to treat all animals with respect, and fear does not teach them this.

I was brought up with numerous pets, have been bitten, clawed and scratched from a very young age (not to mention being kicked and stood upon by horses!), but learnt from that and have continued to love and respect pets. The fun and affection you receive in return is one of the best things in life, and it's very sad that many children miss out on this because of parental ignorance.

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