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Hi @Rabidwolfie,
From what you've described, I don't see any reason to be concerned. Your dog's been really patient just avoiding contact the best he could, he's done his part. Controlling kids around your dog is your (and his parent's) part.
However, when parents don't seem to manage, sometimes I think you can actually do them a big favor by stepping in.
One of my neighbors is a single mum with a 5 yo hyper boy and she seems to be quite overwhelmed (keeps saying "don't do this and that" but her word is never taken seriously).
Her boy keeps molesting their own dog, pretending to hit him in the face, shouting to his face, pulling his skin, etc. and so he probably thinks he can do the same to any dog... Very dangerous to let a 5 yo believe that IMO.
The other day at the beach he started acting that way to my girl, I grabbed his elbow, pointed my finger at him with my face close to his and simply said "you do NOT do this to my dogs. Got it ?"
Oh my god... you should have seen the drama lol
His face literally melted, chin started to tremble, he was so shocked another adult stepped in. He went to sulk behind a bush for like 15 minutes :rolleyes:
The good thing is he behaved for the rest of the afternoon, and his mum was glad... free holidays for her.
 

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NO Personal attacks! You may or may not agree with how wonderful children are or are not. I taught children of many ages for many years and I love children but some ARE hard to deal with. Yes, words could have been chosen more carefully. Instead of focusing on a few harsh words, lets focus on how we need to keep our dogs and kids safe from each other on those less than stellar days.
 

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Dogs can pick up on our dislike of someone. You hating children can certainly be telegraphed to your dog, and affect their behavior.
This. even if you liked children, you didn’t like this one and your physical and verbal cues where clearly present for your dog to get the message.

We don’t have small children but do spend a lot time near them camping. We have worked on desensitization around them. After all they are loud, move fast and act crazy.

The only smaller children my dog is allowed to interact with are those that already live with a GSD and have responsible parents that are actively involved in the meet and greet.
 

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I noticed a lot of kids aged more or less 3-6 yo, especially boys, tend to act confrontational towards animals (pretending to hit them, etc.), mostly to trigger a reaction from their parents, "no Gabriel, don't hit the dog, be nice to the dog Gabriel".
And if you make it very clear to them, it usually sinks in quickly. The problem is when parents are uncomfortable and unsure in social situations - which happens a lot actually -, kids can feel it and they take advantage. Some parents are actually "scared" to take charge in public. So of course the kid won't quit :)
And all of this actually applies to dog owners too. I've observed a lot of situations where dog owners couldn't control their dog in public just because they were scared to take action and be "seen".
Your rules should be exactly the same in public as when nobody is watching. I'm pretty sure if parents and dog owners could do this, a huge lot of issues would vanish.
 

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If you have to step in, do it. Most parents won't grudge you, they may even thank you.
Sulking for a few minutes is better than getting disfigured one of these days because adults didn't set the right limits for you.
 

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Sutter Cain (dog), Jori (cat), Skeeter (cat)
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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I do believe that you love him very much and want what is best for him. He needs to learn to accept and respect people of all ages. His life may literally depend on it one day.
Thank you. I DO love my baby boy. As I mentioned, he showed no aggression to anyone, and when he's not on guard duty, he's fine with anyone being around, but if someone tries to pet him without his permission, he moves out of their reach. He doesn't bark, growl or any of that. He has to be allowed to approach you on his terms or you don't get to pet him. I would consider that to be quite accepting and respectful. BUT, he is also a YOUNG dog.

I don't always explain myself in the best of ways so my concerns may not be coming across correctly. He did not want the child to touch him. I understand this because I didn't either and kids are terrible at respecting personal boundaries. For THAT FACT ALONE, I was concerned. I didn't know if he should be taught to accept this violation or if he would be fine in a brief, unavoidable incident if I simply removed the both of us from such situation.

He was loose in a safe environment that allowed him plenty of room to escape, which he made use of, and I did not force him to stay. When he hid behind me, I remained calm and told him he was being a good boy, thus giving him reassurance that he was in no danger.

From what you've described, I don't see any reason to be concerned. Your dog's been really patient just avoiding contact the best he could, he's done his part.
Thank you. I think that is what we will continue to do in the future, just avoid contact as much as possible. As I said, all of my previous dogs always loved children. They were terribly patient and even enjoyed playing. I had no problem with that. Once in a while when I took them into public, kids would come running up to us wanting to pet them.

Thankfully I now live in an area where there are far fewer children but it DOES happen on rare occasion, like yesterday. That is, I believe, his second encounter in his life.

However, when parents don't seem to manage, sometimes I think you can actually do them a big favor by stepping in.
Not bad advice but I don't think it wise for me to be anyone's disciplinarian beyond a simple "Please go away." LOL
 

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It’s safe to say I grew up in a very different world than most kids. The only telling off I got was that dogs going to bite the you know what out of you. Afterwards I would get a I told you or a hurts don’t it? Now leave that dog alone. If someone tests your dog’s patience, it will be fine up until it’s not. Then you could get anything from a growl, to teeth showing, to an air snap, to a nip, to a pretty good bite. Any combination or anything in between. It’s best to avoid such scenarios. You can’t always control someone else’s kid, but you can always control your dog. You need to know when it’s time to remove them from a situation for everyone’s benefit. If a situation escalates to a point I believe the child is putting themselves or the dog in danger. I have no problem firmly grabbing them and telling them to knock it off.
 

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Perhaps you can dress like Cruella Deville it may help keep the little kids away or better the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz. I remember those types of people growing up the ones hated kids and puppies. If you plan to go take your dog out anywhere in public which consist largely of kids plan on running into many kinds of scenarios and plan ahead. When you are taking a large dog out in public the responsibility is on you just as much as parents need to watch their kids. It’s important when taking your dog out in public places that your dog would handle himself well if there are mistakes to be made.
 

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If I did not trust my dog around children or people if approached inappropriately and felt I could not intervene to prevent it, my dog would be muzzled when out in public.
I agree. I've never had the experience of having one of my dogs bite someone, but my 10 month old is wary of squealing toddlers so I carefully monitor him around kids until I'm more confident that he'll act appropriately. I'm not willing to take a chance of a child getting hurt or of authorities taking him from me to be put down.
 

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My dog is not demonstrative and after sniffing someone that approaches, he's done. He doesn't like petting and actively moves away from them. He will greet and allow a pat from a child, but I step in at that point and call him back to me and we move on. In a setting like above, the least stressful thing would have been to remove the dog so your resentment (and your dog's awareness of your feelings) didn't escalate. If I'm there to socialize with humans, I would leave the dog home. Not every home wants to have dogs visit anyways. With random strangers, I have no problem with the word 'no' . It doesn't actually damage a child's psyche to be denied everything they want to do. I know ... that's shocking. ;)
 

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We got a harness that says "In training, do not pet", and it really helps when out and about with our puppy. I don't have kids, I also don't dislike them, but some people dislike kids, dogs, cats, we're all different. I had an incident with Dexter when he was a puppy where we were at the pet store standing at the register to pay and talking to the cashier and when I turned around, some maybe 6 year old girl was hugging my dog tightly. Thankfully Dexter was cool about it, but when I told the mother that her child shouldn't approach a strange dog without permission, she scoffed at me and told me that they had 2 dogs at home and the kid had dog "experience", and that I shouldn't make such a big deal out of it. Seriously? I don't dislike children who don't know how to behave, I dislike their parents.
 

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The worst experiences I've had have been with adults. Children actually listen much better to adults than other adults do. That whole bristling 'you're not the boss of me thing' that other adults exhibit when told theirs is not the perfect way and they can't do precisely what they want, even with something that doesn't belong to them. Varik is a resource guarder, always has been. He is comfortable with us and don't guard his food or toys, however, he doesn't extend the courtesy to anyone else. At the pet store, Varik was checking out toys (I was there to buy him something new), and he had selected one and was trying it out. A man that I had avoided earlier finally got us cornered up by the check out. I had blocked him bodily because Varik had dropped the toy and was picking it back up. He reached around my back to try to pet the dog, not his back but reached wayyyyy forward trying to reach his head.. Was quite astonished when Varik warned him away. He made a comment .. "I" made a comment and he finally got the hint. Not only did he encroach on the dog, he had to encroach on ME to reach him.
 

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Yeah... really dangerous.
I had to deal with such a surreal scene one evening at my place: a surprise visit by couple of Portuguese friends of my BF who just dropped by with their 2 kids.
I swear the kids were all over the place, they started climbing my furniture instantly, touched everything they could touch, and the only thing their mother said for the next hour was "go kiss the dog Joao" (with a very strong accent, which made it all the more comical).
I wish a small hidden cam would automatically start recording in these situations.
 

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I have a 2 different outgoing, well-meaning, dog-loving friends who immediately want to play aggressively and rev up my dogs. All in good fun.

Harley is OK with it as he knows them.
Rogan is definitely not OK with it. Not aggressive at all, just stand offish and aloof. He's one of those dogs that has to reach out to you. (breed standard)
 

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Sutter Cain (dog), Jori (cat), Skeeter (cat)
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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
My father loves to tease Sutter Cain when we're leaving and he has his head out of the window. He's just playing, but sometimes my boy barks quite viciously at people passing by now and I wonder if it's related. Thankfully he stops when I ask him to (my dog, not my dad. I've asked dad to stop but I may as well ask a goldfish to fly for all the good it does)

For reasons I don't feel the need to explain, my father can not be avoided. Him teasing my boy can only be minimized, not avoided. So it is with my original topic, exposure to children, well behaved or not, can only be minimized, not avoided. The harness is a good idea and I may have to look for something similar.
 

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I am hesitant about the cute internet kid-dog pictures. This picture might show a good relationship between the two or the kid could have been bitten after the picture was taken. We have a distorted idea about kid-dog relationships I think. Too much risks are taken for a good picture and it sends the wrong message for what to expect when a dog is in contact with a child.
 
Bear - 7.5 mo old male GSD & 5 cats - Benny (6), Nani (6), Kingston (6), Rigby (4) and Hazel (3)
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I am hesitant about the cute internet kid-dog pictures. This picture might show a good relationship between the two or the kid could have been bitten after the picture was taken. We have a distorted idea about kid-dog relationships I think. Too much risks are taken for a good picture and it sends the wrong message for what to expect when a dog is in contact with a child.
That's my son and our dog. That was a tender moment I wanted to share in a lighthearted manner. My son respects our dog and Bear has NEVER bitten him or anyone.

Are you saying I'm taking a risk by allowing my son to be tender with our dog? We would never do anything that made him uncomfortable. And a dog that is going to snap will snap regardless. We know Bear's boundaries and I see nothing wrong with it. Taking a risk would be allowing my son to do that with a dog we don't know. Or pushing Bear beyond what he is comfortable with. I would never put my son in a dangerous situation. And I don't appreciate that jab assuming I'm just trying to take a "good photo" while risking harm. Sure, YOU don't know the story behind the photo but I do and that's why I posted it.

I could say that about multiple photos I've seen on this forum but I wouldn't because that would be rude and presumptuous.
 
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