People should be leashed (kinda rant) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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People should be leashed (kinda rant)

I don't know whether I should put this post here but I wasn't sure in what other forum category to put it.
Yesterday, Sunday, I took my puppy to the zoo once more. We went a couple of times already for socialization and as she seemed very comfortable there the last few times I wanted to see how she would be doing with more people, especially kids there. It was definitely stressful for her (and for me) but she did better than I could have expected from her with how people were behaving. Kids were running around in front of the animals yelling and jumping and the parents didn't even care. I heard multiple parents even encourage throwing stuff into the enclosures or petting the animals which are clearly prohibited.
We stayed mostly on the side and I just let Gaia calm down and watch everything which she did very well.
I am glad she is naturally good at ignoring people cause the number of people just randomly trying to lure her was insane, not even the kids, more so the parents.
There was one incident where a kid, very clearly intended, threw a stick at Gaia only missing because I stopped quickly enough to take a step back. The parents didn't even care, luckily Gaia didn't either but I was torn between being angry and just shocked. We only walked a very short distance before leaving again so Gaia wouldn't be too overwhelmed but when we left another kid came racing at Gaia with his scooter, the parents were laughing about it, again Gaia was fine and praised for not caring at all.
When I was little I was taught not to approach unknown dogs and when walking past them not to run or yell, basically just be respectful to the animal. The zoo wasn't my playground and when visiting I was taught to be quiet around the animals and my grandparents and parents were actually educating me about the animals instead of just walking after me running like a maniac.
I am not even mad at the kids more so at the lack of interest the parents display at the behavior of them.
On a side note, one kid tried to run up to Gaia to pet her, her mom came running after her screaming "No don't that's a German Shepherd they are dangerous" and then proceded to let her kid run up to a random labrador that was clearly uncomfortable in that situation...

To end this positively, attached is a picture of Gaia just practicing calm behavior on a playground and her first time training in a book store.
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“But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” ― Albus Dumbledore
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 10:36 AM
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Not going to lie, I’ve wanted to punt a few kids before. It’s shocking what parents let their kids get away with. It seems like few raise them to respect elders, their environments, and animals. If I saw any of my kids displaying that type of behavior, I’d be spanking their behinds in front of everyone at the zoo, and we would promptly be leaving immediately after. It’s sad to see where society is heading with these children as our future. I correct anyone’s kids that harass me, my kids, or my dogs if their parents don’t see the need. I don’t spank other people’s kids, obviously, but I will be loud and rude about the behavior they are displaying, and if the parents still ignore it, I have no problem speaking directly to the parent and tell them if they allow their kids to strike my kid or dog again, I’ll allow my kid or dog to return the favor. They generally tend to leave after that 😂. I have no patience for ill behaved children and their parents.

The exception is children with special needs. There are some that will act out in a negative fashion, but the parents are always right there by their side. With parents permission, and depending on what dog I have with me, I’ll show them the proper way to treat a dog, and the excitement in their eyes when they actually get to pet and get dog kisses is so worth taking the time to show them the right way to approach and pet.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 11:05 AM
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She is beautiful! Great job on her attention to you and her neutrality.

You didn't ask for advice so forgive me for the unsolicited bit..but, maybe if she is even a little stressed try easier less kid populated venues than the zoo. You can unintentionally make her dislike kids if she gets flooded and stress during her formative months. Then increase your world as time goes on. I 100% agree with you, parents should stop their kids from bum rushing other people's animals. But they don't always as you see lol Puppies in particular make people lose their minds. Another reason to wait until she is a bit older. It is easier to control wayward encounters when you are not surrounded by so many children, like at a playground or zoo. Zoos in particular are often viewed as Amusement parks without the rides, which is wrong but it is what it is. People allow their kids to be animals at the zoo.

I would have flipped at the kid who threw a stick!

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 11:14 AM
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I have two kids of my own, one with special needs hence our awesome service dog trainee. Needing to watch and guide my son constantly probably shaped me into a very different parent than I would have been otherwise.

But even considering that, I'm still shocked by the general lack of interest other parents have in involving themselves in their kids lives. Teaching them about the animals at the zoo or talking to the friends their kids have made. I find most of them would rather serve content than their kids. It's hard work being a parent, I get it, but those parents you saw at the zoo were probably pretty proud of themselves for taking their kids to the zoo.

I'm not looking forward to managing other people's kids once we get to socialization training with my pup. You look like you're doing a great job staying calm around that challenge.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 11:14 AM
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I'm jealous! I wish I could take my dogs to the zoo. Have you considered socializing your dog to children at recess time at a grade school? The kids are usually fenced in.

@Jchrest, the kids walking the streets are bad here, even the little ones walking with their parents. The parents say nothing. If you do, then the parents spring into action, might even come back with a gang to harass you. What are you going to do? Life in the city.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 11:15 AM
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I'm jealous! I wish I could take my dogs to the zoo. Have you considered socializing your dog to children at recess time at a grade school? The kids are usually fenced in.

@Jchrest, the kids walking the streets are bad here, even the little ones walking with their parents. The parents say nothing. If you do, then the parents spring into action, might even come back with a gang to harass you. What are you going to do? Life in the city.

If you need equipment to maintain control of your dog, understand you’re hanging on to your dog’s body because you’ve lost his mind!

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 11:15 AM
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People should be leashed (kinda rant)

Very nice looking puppy and do love the focus. Probably best to visit during the zoo during the week for quiet hours at first. It is important that the pup has fun. My kids and I had went to the Bronx zoo to meet other family members there. We had a nice pack of kids with us. I did hear there was a woman that same weekend that jumped over the fence separating the lion and danced right in front of a lion. There was also a moat in front of the lion. If that lion reacted and attacked the woman it would of been put down and no fault to the lion.

It is different experience taking the dogs out to crowded places when I am out by myself they may get less attention or I may see someone cross a street on occassion versus with my kids or friends/family. I found people and kids often zone in on Max because he is largest dog in the group. I had went to the beach in season after hours late in the day. This was the bay and a smaller beach. It was such a hot day and still so crowded with people and kids. Not sure how many people were happy to have a dogs swim in the same water with the kids but it was unusually hot. I had a man walk over to us (bypassed a Labrador who had actually barking at us a few times every time we passed them ) hold a screaming baby over max. The baby was 6 months old crying her head off and had no interest in petting the dog. He asked if the baby can pet max. The baby was a real young baby her head was beet red and absolutely hysterical. Max was soaking wet with wet gobs of hair falling off him at the slightest touch and max was zoned in on his kids in the water - max would not have noticed is the baby and the man pulled his tail. I said no he likes to jump. Which he does he can also get mouthy when playful gentle but that could get him in trouble with wrong person. He likes to check strangers out but does not have any interest in getting attention from them unless they become part of his pack. He does enjoy kids and babies. The man stood there a little bit small chit chat but his only intention was to place the babies hand on my soaking wet globs of hair shedding dog. As he turned around to leave he placed the screaming babies hand reach out to pet Max’s rump. All kinds out there.

I met my sister and nephew at the local park over the weekend with my kids. My nephew playing on the playground. It was crowded with kids as to be expected on a weekend. I did sit a few feet with the dogs to avoid an ambush as the kids are often amped up from running around- As over exuberance meets with equal exuberance in young pups. I have had the dogs share the playground equipment if it was not so crowded and depended who was there. The dogs did get lots of compliments. One man said they were are a site for sore eyes that he has not seen German shepherds in a very long time. I can be assured there will be times the dogs may not be so welcomed sitting a few feet from the playground if it was just me. All kinds of different experiences going out there out in crowded places.
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Last edited by Jenny720; 10-14-2019 at 11:29 AM.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 11:20 AM
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We used to go to this one rally trial every summer and always stayed at the same campground. One year, we booked late and they were full so we booked at the only other campground within driving distance that allowed dogs. Holy moly what a mistake. This campground was having some sort of pirate themed water war event. We had no idea. Set up RV, take dogs for potty walk, why is everyone dressed as pirates, drunk, careening around in gold carts shooting massive water cannons at each other!?

#1, I could not have been more proud of my white dog for putting up with all this. It was literally insane. The smell of pot in the air was so strong. I think every single person was drunk or high or both, throwing water balloons.

ONCE--- and sadly only once, someone called for the action to stop so the dogs could pass without being hit and it wasn't an adult. It was a child, who called out to his friends to stop and not throw balloons or shoot guns in case they hit the dogs by accident.

No one else seemed to care one bit whether they hit innocent bystanders or dogs. What a nightmare. Better believe I'll never go back there again. Major kudos to my dogs who conducted themselves appropriately despite the melee.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 11:35 AM
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Good for her! Sounds like Gaia handled herself well despite the "kid chaos". Times have changed. Zoo Berlin was a nice place to visit and I don't recall kids running amuck during visits (late 80s). Zoos typically discourage running, but as with anything anymore few rules are enforced.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Thecowboysgirl View Post
why is everyone dressed as pirates, drunk, careening around in gold carts shooting massive water cannons at each other?!
Oh geez. I know we are supposed to be very seriously complaining and I'm sure that was a very stressful RV trip at the time but...

That's hilarious! We've stumbled on festivals and unexpected events before but never anything to that level. What a story, thanks for making me laugh.
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