The other day, I was in a store with my little Poodle and this woman started talking “dog” with me. She told me about her rescue Jack Russell that was about two years old. She had rescued him at one year old and he had come with many issues… a crazy dog that was not well behaved. She loved him, of course, regardless. She went on to tell me that the dog and her one-year-old granddaughter did not get along. She had to keep them separate when they were in the same house. She was hopeful that now that the baby and dog were older they would start getting along better.
Well, I have done several “Dog Bite Prevention” classes with DOC and learned many things.
One of them was to keep dogs and children separate and under constant surveillance. Dogs don’t always understand children and their actions, and it can scare them or confuse them or threaten them. In turn, their reactions can be fast and physical. This is one of the more common scenarios where dog bites occur. A dog bite to a child can mean not only physical harm but a life full of being afraid of dogs… a truly unfortunate way to live. And for the dog, it may mean being taken out of its home or even euthanized because it can no longer be trusted.
I tried to warn the mother, without being overly dogmatic, that this was a potentially dangerous situation and that she might want to rethink bringing them together, do some hard work training the dog, and make this joint experience a gradual encounter. She seemed unconcerned. She thought things would be just fine. Well, I could not really say more than what I had said. I had already overstepped my bounds, but I left feeling frustrated and afraid for the whole situation.