What do you expect when a child runs at your dog? - Page 5 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #41 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 02:16 AM
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Well, I went for another walk today. Same as always.

Once again, the young girl and her brother were along the path that we have taken every day for the past three years. I used all of the advice I was given - stern voice, very obvious “do not approach” hand language, and put Ryka in a sit behind me. Surprisingly - or maybe unsurprisingly? - she listened to none of it and kept approaching. I simply turned around and walked away. Ignored her completely and just walked in a different direction with my SIL and our dogs. That seemed to work.

Thankfully, Ryka was her normal aloof self. No barking. No growling. Just watchful. And when I ignored the girl and went on our way, she was happy to follow alongside with me. So there’s that. She got plenty of praise and pats for that.

Of course shortly after when we were walking along the strictly on-leash, bi-law sign riddled park, an off-leash dog charged at us. This is the third time this has happened in the past two weeks, each time a different dog. Ironically, the “sit, stay behind me while I sternly say NO and put my hand up” worked with the dog. He tucked tail and ran, though not towards his owner yelling after him... lol.

I feel like the crazies are out. I’ve been doing this walk for two years with Ryka, and three with my SIL. We’ve rarely, if ever had these kinds of constant issues. Maybe once in a blue moon, but lately it’s basically once a week and goodness is it frustrating.
Well, there is something you can do. You can approach your local school board and police department, with a suggestion that during a safety town-type pre-kindergarten program or a grade school demonstration, where police/school can use dogs (kids do pay attention when there is a dog present at school), to teach them to be safe. Schools SHOULD be teaching kids not to approach stray dogs or wild animals, not to approach a working police k9, not to approach a service dog, and HOW TO approach people with dogs. This should be taught in our public school systems as a matter of course. Far too many children have been attacked by dogs and need medical care for these attacks, and have lasting fears/phobias about dogs.

So get the word out there. Make a suggestion that if your police department is going to do a demonstration for the kids, they can add a little blurb about how to approach and ASK permission to pet a dog.

ETA: And folks, please do your part, NEVER, under ANY circumstance, reward a child who does not ask to pet the dog, or who runs up to a dog, by letting them pet your dog. Put on your ugliest BITCH-face, your wicked Witch of the West face, and tell them No! If we continue to reward kids for being rude, they will never learn not to be.

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Last edited by selzer; 05-08-2019 at 02:19 AM.
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post #42 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Femfa View Post
Well, I went for another walk today. Same as always.

Once again, the young girl and her brother were along the path that we have taken every day for the past three years. I used all of the advice I was given - stern voice, very obvious “do not approach” hand language, and put Ryka in a sit behind me. Surprisingly - or maybe unsurprisingly? - she listened to none of it and kept approaching. I simply turned around and walked away. Ignored her completely and just walked in a different direction with my SIL and our dogs. That seemed to work.

Thankfully, Ryka was her normal aloof self. No barking. No growling. Just watchful. And when I ignored the girl and went on our way, she was happy to follow alongside with me. So there’s that. She got plenty of praise and pats for that.

Of course shortly after when we were walking along the strictly on-leash, bi-law sign riddled park, an off-leash dog charged at us. This is the third time this has happened in the past two weeks, each time a different dog. Ironically, the “sit, stay behind me while I sternly say NO and put my hand up” worked with the dog. He tucked tail and ran, though not towards his owner yelling after him... lol.

I feel like the crazies are out. I’ve been doing this walk for two years with Ryka, and three with my SIL. We’ve rarely, if ever had these kinds of constant issues. Maybe once in a blue moon, but lately it’s basically once a week and goodness is it frustrating.
It is exhausting, isn't it? I had a Maltese hanging off my dog's face a few months ago. He broke door on his owner which can happen. Valor was good until the dog jumped at his face super aggressively, biting him for all it was worth. Valor gave him a warning roll without putting his teeth on him. Guy was charging down the street screaming. All in all a bad situation. Guy looked like he was sidling up to kick at Valor who was merely growling at his very aggressive toy breed. I turned to leave and the guy is shouting about having a dog like Valor that is aggressive..what if it was a child? WHAT??? Hold on. By this time the guy has his dog in his arms and I pointed out that a child generally wont be biting my dog on the face and that his dog was in fact the vicious one that was loose..what if his dog bit a child? Or chased it into the street? (which my own Chihuahua did in like 1970s and at a high school reunion recently the girl is STILL upset she has a big dent in her leg because my dog chased her into the street).

That is what I mean, right wrong or indifferent even a leashed GSD that is visibly pushed to the limit can be called dangerous if he defends himself. I keep meaning to put my GoPro on before or walks in town..but I also keep forgetting :/

And FUNNILY enough our Governor just signed into law that dogs can't be deemed vicious if they bite because they are defending their owner or themselves. The is so much other b.s tied into it though as per usual.. they are looking to prohibit putting dogs down for biting incidents and it also prohibits confiscated fighting dogs from being put down. He feels they should be rehabbed and adopted out to be the family dogs they were meant to be. Anyway, that doesn't belong here, sorry. Just the headline I woke up to.

I am having one of those mornings where everything is annoying me lol

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post #43 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:07 AM
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Of course shortly after when we were walking along the strictly on-leash, bi-law sign riddled park, an off-leash dog charged at us. This is the third time this has happened in the past two weeks, each time a different dog. Ironically, the “sit, stay behind me while I sternly say NO and put my hand up” worked with the dog. He tucked tail and ran, though not towards his owner yelling after him... lol.
For that purpose I have trained Deja to immediately come back to me, when I blow a referee whistle as hard as I can for a few seconds; at the same time it has startled every dog so far and gave me the time to use this brief break to tell that dog "GO HOME!!" and pointing to where that is. I don't hesitate to do this anytime I see a dog coming at us who is not under voice control. I have stopped caring on opinions from their owners. It has even worked at the time when two Aussies came charging at us. So whenever in public I have a whistle ready. For Deja it means good treats so it doesn't startle her.
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post #44 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:37 AM
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It is exhausting, isn't it? I had a Maltese hanging off my dog's face a few months ago. He broke door on his owner which can happen. Valor was good until the dog jumped at his face super aggressively, biting him for all it was worth. Valor gave him a warning roll without putting his teeth on him. Guy was charging down the street screaming. All in all a bad situation. Guy looked like he was sidling up to kick at Valor who was merely growling at his very aggressive toy breed. I turned to leave and the guy is shouting about having a dog like Valor that is aggressive..what if it was a child? WHAT??? Hold on. By this time the guy has his dog in his arms and I pointed out that a child generally wont be biting my dog on the face and that his dog was in fact the vicious one that was loose..what if his dog bit a child? Or chased it into the street? (which my own Chihuahua did in like 1970s and at a high school reunion recently the girl is STILL upset she has a big dent in her leg because my dog chased her into the street).

That is what I mean, right wrong or indifferent even a leashed GSD that is visibly pushed to the limit can be called dangerous if he defends himself. I keep meaning to put my GoPro on before or walks in town..but I also keep forgetting :/

And FUNNILY enough our Governor just signed into law that dogs can't be deemed vicious if they bite because they are defending their owner or themselves. The is so much other b.s tied into it though as per usual.. they are looking to prohibit putting dogs down for biting incidents and it also prohibits confiscated fighting dogs from being put down. He feels they should be rehabbed and adopted out to be the family dogs they were meant to be. Anyway, that doesn't belong here, sorry. Just the headline I woke up to.

I am having one of those mornings where everything is annoying me lol
I am angry for you. The worst aggression I have experienced is from small terrier type dogs. Their owners never once stop their dogs. One of the little nasties got a series of puncture bites from two Mountain dogs who are normally pretty mellow. I asked the owner of the little dog if her dog had been barking and aggressive when he was attacked and she said Probably. She wasn’t even paying attention.I’ve seen her dog and it’s small but very confrontational. Another friend has a Maltese that always goes after bigger dogs. Her dog tried to bite a medium sized dog that snapped at hers. My friend was bitten pulling her dog away. Six months later the story had changed to the medium dog being the aggressor. These are two very nice women who don’t have a clue about dog behavior. My dog was charged a year ago by a mixed rescue dog. Looked like a smallish fluffy designer blend. The owner stood there frozen while his dog stood in the middle of the street aggressing at mine. I finally shouted, Pick up your your dog! I don’t walk mine down the street anymore, because I’m tired of being chased or barked at. Then they wonder why mine barks back, if he does. Or by I am ignoring them to focus on keeping mine sitting and calm. I don’t think any of those people are mean or intentional, they just don’t understand dogs and probably should not own them.
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post #45 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 08:04 PM
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The parent or child caregiver should be the one that needs training.
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post #46 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 08:08 PM
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I was walking my dog in the street about 10 feet from the curbing. A little mutt that was loosed in the front yard came running at my GSD. My Nick did not respond but I did - almost made a field goal and the people knew that had not better say a thing.
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post #47 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 08:13 PM
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Excerpt from my book, LIFE WITH OUR GERMAN SHEPHERDS:

"No Matter How Well You Know Your Dog, Sometimes They Surprise You

Remember a dog's a dog. No matter how much training your dog gets, there might well be a time when she or he doesn't respond to your command. I love to hike with my dogs. I enjoy being out in the woods miles from civilization. And I like to let the dog explore on his/her own. So I don't like to have the dog on a lead when we're hiking. And I know better than to walk the dog off lead.


But I have in the past done exactly that. A number of excellent trainers have stated in their books that their dogs are never off their property off lead. Why? Because you just don't know what a dog's going to do one hundred percent of the time. Guess that this is something I'm going to have to work on too.

I know. You're sitting there thinking that you've had your dog for five years and you know exactly what the dog's going to do. I thought so too with Shalimar. I'd had her for either thirteen or fourteen years when disaster nearly struck.

The previous week we had been to a German shepherd rescue picnic at a local park. Shali had attracted the attention of an eleven or twelve year old girl. She literally hung around and on Shali the entire afternoon, and Shali was just fine. I had Shali on a lead and was close at hand, but Shali seemed content with the love and affection she was getting.

Shali even let the girl hang on her, something she wasn't use to and we generally avoided. But that Sunday, Shali was exceptionally patient, almost as if she knew that this girl had fallen in love with her.

The following weekend we were at an adoption day, and this woman with her toddler in hand came over to us. She asked if Shali was all right with kids. I had no sooner said that she was when Shali snapped at the toddler.

Fortunately I had Shali on a short lead and the mother had a good grip on the toddler's arm. I was shocked.
This was a dog I had had for well over a decade. She had never snapped at anyone, much less a child. I would have bet my life on Shali not trying to bite anyone. Nonetheless Shali had done exactly that.

Maybe the toddler had bad breath. Maybe Shali didn't like the face-to-face "meeting". Maybe the child did what most kids do with dogs: she went to pat Shali on the head, a clear sign of dominance for a dog. I don't know what started that. But I do know that Shali and I would have been in deep trouble had she connected with the child. I guess I need to remember this incident when I think about unsnapping my dog's lead.

I've had dogs that I'm not one hundred percent certain of when it comes to kids. And whenever we'd be out walking and a child approach or anyone else for that matter, I'd always tighten the lead, bringing the dog close to me. Then I'd kneel down so that if the dog made a move I didn't like, I could get my hand in the between the dog and the child.
If the parent does instruct the child on how to approach my dog, then I will take on the task, obviously handling it gently."
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post #48 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:10 PM
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What parent would let their kids run up to a dog they don't know? And where were their parents? Although you were understandably upset, your dog was just doing a warning. I am sorry but I would have flipped out at the parents!😒
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post #49 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:36 PM
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I know this is an article you didnt write but...

[QUOTE=rabsparks;9163453]Excerpt from my book, LIFE WITH OUR GERMAN SHEPHERDS:

"No Matter How Well You Know Your Dog, Sometimes They Surprise You

A number of excellent trainers have stated in their books that their dogs are never off their property off lead.

good idea in general unless off a main trail backwoods type deal after very good recall is established with a mature dog, or otherwise clear area like a training field for an exercise

The previous week we had been to a German shepherd rescue picnic at a local park.

last place id have one on anything but a short lead, if they were crowd friendly..but probably not here because rescues aren't always understood before they are paraded around

Shali even let the girl hang on her, something she wasn't use to and we generally avoided.

would not have allowed that for a second

The following weekend we were at an adoption day

again no to the nah

Fortunately I had Shali on a short lead and the mother had a good grip on the toddler's arm.
definitely good technique on both

Maybe the toddler had bad breath.

that is a given

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post #50 of 68 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:40 PM
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or maybe you did write it..my apologies for that oversight. I agree with it. Just wanted to point out that all toddlers have banging breath lol

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