Bite preven­tion top pri­or­ity in dog/kid re­la­tions

Cape Breton Post - - Advice/Games - El­lie Tesher Ad­vice

Strong re­sponses to a July 7 column, in which a grandmother re­fuses to ken­nel or dis­ci­pline her small-breed dog who tries to bite her tod­dler grand­child:

Reader – “We have a child and a dog. Our daugh­ter’s of­ten ex­posed to other peo­ple’s dogs, and chil­dren are ex­posed to ours.

“Par­ents AND dog-own­ers have re­spon­si­bil­ity for ev­ery­one’s safety and com­fort.

“We taught our daugh­ter early: Don’t pull ears or tails, don’t go af­ter dog­gie toys, ask be­fore you pet some­one else’s dog, etc.

“But young­sters some­times make mis­takes.

“Our dog was also trained: Re­gard­less of pulled ears or stolen toys, to NEVER be­have ag­gres­sively to­ward a hu­man.

“Our dog is a big sloppy baby, loves peo­ple and kids, doesn’t growl, has never bit­ten any­one.

“Yet our daugh­ter’s friend/ play­mate who vis­its her is ter­ri­fied of our dog.

“So the dog’s ken­nelled when she’s at our house. He won’t bite her, but she’s afraid, so there’s no de­bate.

“If the grandma re­fuses to do any­thing about the dog, she’s risk­ing:

1 - Her re­la­tion­ship with her son, daugh­ter-in-law, and grand­daugh­ter.

2 - Her dog. If some­one com­plains about her dog and pre­vi­ous bit­ing in­ci­dents are doc­u­mented, the an­i­mal can be seized and de­stroyed.

Reader #2 – “We tried to let our Siberian Husky and grand­son get to know each other.

“It didn’t go well. Our dog over­whelmed our grand­son by pok­ing him with his nose in our grand­son’s face, body, and lick­ing him with­out stop­ping de­spite be­ing told to stop.

“When he nipped at our grand­son’s fingers, our Siberian Husky was ban­ished out­doors and isn’t al­lowed to be in­doors when they visit.

“Yes, it both­ers us when our dog cries and howls to be let in­doors be­cause he’s an in­door dog.

“But we won’t al­low our grand­son to be un­com­fort­able and scared of our dog.

“To the grandmother who says that her grand­child needs to learn a les­son by be­ing bit­ten by her dog, “Shame on you!”

Reader #3 – “As a dog owner and dog lover, I say it’s the dog and its owner that need the les­son, not the grand­daugh­ter.

“It’s a les­son they may learn the hard way by way of a law­suit some­day.

“With no dis­ci­pline or train­ing, this dog has been taught that he’s the king of the cas­tle. He does as he pleases and likely has zero lis­ten­ing skills.

”It’s par­tic­u­larly a prob­lem when it comes to small breeds, be­cause many own­ers think the ag­gres­sive be­hav­iour is “cute.” They as­sume the dog can­not in­flict any real dam­age.

“How­ever, no owner should ever make their dog an­other per­son’s prob­lem.

“With­out proper train­ing and con­sis­tent action to cor­rect bad be­hav­iour, noth­ing will change in this dog.

“Un­for­tu­nately, you can’t force an owner to train/cor­rect their dog.

“The young girl should be vis­ited by the grandmother at her home.Tell your mother-in­law “She would love to see you, but be sure to leave your dog at home.”

“If vis­its must hap­pen at your MIL’s house, try one or both of th­ese:

1)If the dog is eas­ily dis­tracted by a new chew, pick one up at the dol­lar store on the way.

2) Upon ar­rival, gather up all the dog toys and put them out of reach/sight dur­ing the visit.

“If MIL protests, say that you’d like ev­ery­one to en­joy the visit with­out the dis­trac­tion of hav­ing to worry about whether the dog will lunge and biteÖ a les­son NO per­son should EVER have to learn.”

Reader’s Com­men­tary “My ex-hus­band cheated on me while we dated and when our mar­riage be­gan.

“When ev­ery­thing came to light, I dis­cov­ered that he’d cheated with seven dif­fer­ent women.

“Three of them were in longterm re­la­tion­ships with him while we were dat­ing, then mar­ried.

“I’m un­sure whether he was ob­sessed with sex, or with get­ting away with it. I could never pin­point that one.

“To “Shocked” (July 7) - The signs of your hus­band’s con­stant cheat­ing, in­clud­ing a three-year sex­ual af­fair, were there but you missed them be­cause you trusted him. That isn’t your fault.

“Some­one who cheats to that ex­tent will not stop.

“Pro­tect your­self. Get tested for STIs and run in the op­po­site di­rec­tion. You will trust some­one again in time, but it won’t be him.

“Don’t waste as much time as I did, a sec­ond or third chance just al­lows them to con­tinue with the be­hav­ior and makes you feel like a fool.”

TIP OF THE DAY Pet dogs and small chil­dren both need love and train­ing. But a child’s pro­tec­tion from be­ing bit­ten, is a pri­or­ity.

Read El­lie Mon­day to Satur­day. Email el­lie@thes­tar.ca. Fol­low @el­liead­vice. Copy­right 2017: El­lie Tesher Dis­trib­uted by: Torstar Syn­di­ca­tion Ser­vices

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