I’m on Facebook. I get annoyed. A lot. I am very annoyed by pictures of children treating dogs and cats like stuffies. Being a responsible pet “owner” is paramount but particularly so when children are in the vicinity. I trust my dog with my life, however, I do NOT trust an interaction with a child. Children do not understand how to read a dog’s body language; well, actually, nor do many adults.
The pictures of little kids kissing dogs gives me cold chills. Most dogs do not feel secure when someone is up in their faces. It makes them nervous and speaks to their most base instincts – fight or flee. Also one must consider the natural habits of dogs; they sniff everything, including poop – dog poop, cat poop, rodent poop… and you want your child kissing poop residue or perhaps even inhaling a parasite of some sort? The mouth/salivas of a dog are NOT more hygienic than human saliva/mouths.
We have to stop treating our pets like, well…pets. They are living beings with a history of their own and it doesn’t include being mauled by little children. How many of us would tolerate our ears being pulled or fingers jabbed up our noses or in our mouths? I would get pretty testy after a while, if I am to be honest.
Or having a stranger run up to us and throw their arms around us, or stick their hands in our hair? After the initial punch in the nose for protection, I’d call the cops – if the damage I inflicted wouldn’t land me in jail, of course. And just try to take my Crunchie bar out of my mouth…you’d be missing a few fingers, I can guarantee you that, yet? People permit this to happen every day, in millions of homes and then stand there, in stupid amazement, when someone, usually a kid, is bitten. And the dog is either given away or put down for something that is not their fault but the fault of the adult humans around them.
You cannot trust the interaction between a dog and a child. Neither of them is totally cognizant of the other.
We share our homes, lives and love with an American Standard Pitbull Terrier (he’s probably a mix). I, ABSOLUTELY, insist that my granddaughter and my furry buddy be kept separated. Chico, our four legged prince, is not used to children. He’s a great dog, one of the best. Terrific temperament and loving but he is a dog. My granddaughter is a child. The two should NEVER be permitted to get up close and personal. Children need to be taught, along with potty training, how to interact, properly, respectfully and above all, safely with a dog. Any dog. Even a Yorkshire terrier can bite…hard.
Human arrogance is always behind every bitten child. Every dog who ends up being kicked out of his home or in the very tragic and all too common scenario, destroyed, is the victim of an irresponsible pet owner and an arrogant human being.
Your dog “loves” you, is it so much to ask that you return that love with a little respect for him/her? Don’t allow a child to interact with a dog on a child’s level. Don’t allow them to be used as a pillow or a toy. They are living beings, with reactions conditioned by millennia of evolution and survival. They are not human. They don’t think they are human. They know who they are, if you love them? Acknowledge them and don’t put them at risk of losing their lives due to your ignorance of their species. (Click on the image for some essential education.)