I have just read a very disturbing article, about a three-year old child that was bitten by a Parsan Russell. I will post the article at the bottom, but be warned it contains distressing images.
There are calls for the dog to be put down. Before I comment on this, I want to give you a little background on the story, as told in the website linked below. The mother of the three-year old was busy locking the door, and the three-year old was dancing out on the pavement outside their home. The owner of the dog (a neighbour) was taking his dog out at the same time, on the lead. The little girl then jumped towards the dog, frightened it, and it jumped up and bit her above they eye.
It could have been a lot worse, the injury is not too severe, but the mother is calling for the dog to be destroyed.
This is such a sad story. There was fault on both sides, but I don’t believe the dog should be destroyed for protecting itself. I believe that children should be taught to respect animals. Firstly, the mother should not only be close to her child but be watching her too. It is all fine and dandy, but what if she ran out into the road and got hit by a car? Would the car be destroyed?
My daughter loves dogs, but is also very wary of them, and she respects their space. And that is exactly how it should be. I am a pet sitter, so I get to look after all sorts of different dogs. Some of them are great with kids, and some of them are not. You have no idea how many children think it is their automatic right to come up and stroke a dog. Even ones with muzzles on!! And the parents don’t seem to blink there is anything wrong with it. But if a dog bites their child, suddenly they are in uproar and it is all the owners fault.
I want to make it clear that I am talking about children that come up to dogs, not dogs of the lead that attack or attack when a child is not approaching them.
On the flip side, in the article the owner mentioned that he crosses the road when children are near. To me that indicates there may have been problems before, even if those problems did not involve biting. The easy solution? muzzle the dog. They may not like it, but it is worth it to avoid something like this happening. They are not expensive and do not harm the dog in any way.
It breaks my heart when I read stories like this, because they are so preventable. If you are a reader that allows your children to approach dogs without permission from the owner, please reconsider your stance in the future.
I think it is great children interact with animals and have pets, it teaches them responsibility, life lessons (when their goldfish dies) and safety. It also teaches them to respect animals.
I have had the blessing to be able to volunteer at a big cat sanctuary. When working with such amazing animals, you absolutely have to respect them. After all, they could kill you in a second. On top of that, you learn little things about them, about when they are feeling affectionate and want to be stroked, and when they are feeling angry. I could always tell when a fight was brewing with the lions. It may well be worth doing a quick internet search to learn about warning behaviours in dogs (such as bearing teeth, hair standing up on their backs, stiff tails held up high and moving side to side and warning barks and growls). That way you can have an indication of when a dog does not want to be approached and act accordingly.