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Today I took my 7 month old GSD, Ammo, to the park with my kids. We have a lot of fun and he usually plays with other kids too. He does act protective when older kids act rough around "his kids." He has never bitten anyone or even growled at them, he just gets real anxious and wants to be between the kids and the "threat."

Well today when we went he played really well with my kids and a girl my daughter had met. We had been playing on the marry-go-round, my daughter and her friend pushing it with Ammo chasing them. Everyone was happy and Ammo was getting a great workout. Well as usually happens with kids my daughter fell and hit the ridge of her nose on the marry-go-round.

She was hurt (she is ok now) and very upset. She wanted to go home and was crying. Her distress got Ammo worked up. He didn't like her being upset. At that point I thought it was best for us to leave before either the dog or the child became more upset.

On the way out of the park a kid, probably about 9, came running up and ran around me to grab Ammo. Only after touching the dog did he ask if Ammo bites. Luckily Ammo acted really good and was ok with the kid grabbing his fur and pulling on him.

I was really annoyed and posted about it on Facebook, I know big mistake. Now I have someone attacking me because I let the kid touch the dog. I feel like had Ammo snapped the kid it would have been more his parents fault for not teach their kid to be careful around strange dogs. Am I wrong?


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you have every right to be annoyed. Parents needs to teach their kids how to ASK first instead of just grab and go.
 

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Kids piss me off sometimes just out of curiosity though you say your daughter was playing on the merry go round and Ammo was running with her by any chance was this inside a park setting? The reason I am asking is because here in Alberta dogs are prohibited from being within 10 meters from any park if there was sign the parents could have gotten you a ticket for being there in any case you are right these parents teach thier child better manners around strange dogs
 

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Kids piss me off sometimes just out of curiosity though you say your daughter was playing on the merry go round and Ammo was running with her by any chance was this inside a park setting? The reason I am asking is because here in Alberta dogs are prohibited from being within 10 meters from any park if there was sign the parents could have gotten you a ticket for being there in any case you are right these parents teach thier child better manners around strange dogs

not too many parks ban dogs from being there as long as they're leashed here.
 

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Kids piss me off sometimes just out of curiosity though you say your daughter was playing on the merry go round and Ammo was running with her by any chance was this inside a park setting? The reason I am asking is because here in Alberta dogs are prohibited from being within 10 meters from any park if there was sign the parents could have gotten you a ticket for being there in any case you are right these parents teach thier child better manners around strange dogs
It was at a park. We live in a small town and dogs are allowed at the park. That is actually one reason I take him there, so he can learn how to behave around other dogs.


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If you take your dog to a park where children play expect the unexpected.
You had your dog there playing with other kids chasing them on a merry-go-round.....maybe the kid saw this and thought your dog was friendly.....should he have grabbed him....no.....but you need to remember that ALOT of ADULTS don't know how to behave around a dog so the chances of some kid not knowing are going to be pretty high.
If you take your dog to a public place where there are lots of kids playing in a park and you allow SOME kids to play along expect this type of thing.
If you don't know if your dog is 100% safe then don't take him to a kids park OR if you do maybe quietly sitting with you so he can observe what is happening and you can have more control over who approaches him may be a better option than letting him play and chase.:)

Just another thought.....people who are not dog savvy and see a dog at a childrens park playing with kids, rightly or wrongly will probably assume that is VERY safe and friendly.
 

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Kids will be kids - they act before they think!

If you're worried your dog will react badly don't take him to a park with kids.
You can't expect kids to react in a sensible rational manner.
Yes they should ask before touching and their parents should teach them that - obviously the boy did now to ask, he just forgot to do it first.



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if your dog bites someone because they touched him you haven't
properly trained him.

Today I took my 7 month old GSD, Ammo, to the park with my kids. We have a lot of fun and he usually plays with other kids too. He does act protective when older kids act rough around "his kids." He has never bitten anyone or even growled at them, he just gets real anxious and wants to be between the kids and the "threat."

Well today when we went he played really well with my kids and a girl my daughter had met. We had been playing on the marry-go-round, my daughter and her friend pushing it with Ammo chasing them. Everyone was happy and Ammo was getting a great workout. Well as usually happens with kids my daughter fell and hit the ridge of her nose on the marry-go-round.

She was hurt (she is ok now) and very upset. She wanted to go home and was crying. Her distress got Ammo worked up. He didn't like her being upset. At that point I thought it was best for us to leave before either the dog or the child became more upset.

On the way out of the park a kid, probably about 9, came running up and ran around me to grab Ammo. Only after touching the dog did he ask if Ammo bites. Luckily Ammo acted really good and was ok with the kid grabbing his fur and pulling on him.

I was really annoyed and posted about it on Facebook, I know big mistake. Now I have someone attacking me because I let the kid touch the dog.

>>>>> I feel like had Ammo snapped the kid it would have been more his parents fault for not teach their kid to be careful around strange dogs. Am I wrong?<<<<<


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not too many parks ban dogs from being there as long as they're leashed here.
Dogs are banned at ALL public parks in my city. :( I have to go to the next town over.
 

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I don't think you're wrong at all. When I was a kid, you knew not to charge or run up to any dog, even ones you knew. Of course, back then, if you got bit, it was your own fault because you did something the dog didn't like.

Ralphie is not good with children, which I'm totally fine with because I'm not good with them either! :rolleyes: He's never aggressive, but is very unsure, anxious and fearful (tried to hide behind me) the few times that kids have run up to him and tried to pet him. The foster home he came from said the same thing - he had no interest in being friendly with their 5-year-old neighbor because the kid was loud, twitchy, and unpredictable.

Once, he wouldn't even walk down the block past one of the kids that had spooked him previously in my neighborhood; that particular neighbor boy's mom gave him one heck of a scolding when he ran up to us that one day and very sternly reminded him that you NEVER run at a dog and that you ALWAYS ask if you can pet so more power to her! Since not every dog likes every person, just like people don't like everyone they meet/see, children should be taught to respect an animals boundaries and if they want to pet your dog, they need to ask first. Every time.
 

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Were you wrong to be annoyed? Absolutely not! The way you described what happened, there was no way to "prepare" for that meeting. Great job to Ammo for being great with the whole thing, even considering he was upset at the time.
And I do think the parents would have been at fault if something happened... somewhere along the lines, people forgot how to teach their kids. I don't know when it happened, but it did.
If something would have happened, I would have said this was a situation that just went horribly wrong. Too many negative circumstances.
 

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I can understand maybe being a little annoyed, that happens. I have four kids and sometimes I get annoyed with them lol.

However

You had your dog, at a park for kids, your dog was playing with kids, not just YOUR kids, but strange kids also. So it can only be guessed that your dog is OK with kids.

As a parent, I would be MORE than annoyed if someone brought a dog to a park for KIDS that wasn't trustworthy. Sorry, but I'm of the school of thought that, if you don't think your dog trustworthy, don't go into situations like this. /shrugs If it were a kid in a dog park, that's different, but, this was a dog in a kid park.

You can't expect kids, especially little kids, who see a dog already playing with kids, to have the same reasoning as adults. Even then, as it was said, most adults don't know how to act with dogs. With little kids though, it should, IMO be expected and more understandable. They aren't at fault for their parents lack of knowledge, or for your dog not being able to handle a situation you put him in.


ETA: We aren't talking about kids walking down the road, or random kids just out and about. We are talking about a park for kids, where kids play and were they are expected. Taking a dog that is playing with kids it knows and doesn't know, then getting upset when a kid comes up and touches the dog, is like getting upset at a shark for swimming around you because your swimming in its water.
 

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You are taking your dog to a children's park so that he can "learn to behave around other dogs"? I understand that the town you live allows that but, you still have a puppy amongst a group of random children; neither of which are old enough to practice good judgment nor rational behavior at all times. For that matter, I know enough adults who aren't capable of that. I have 3 children and a 9 month old GSD who has a great temperament however, I don't take that for granted for one second around children. Kids can be a challenge at times, I know. My children have worked with our trainer and have attended summer camp classes to understand animals and work with them, still they sometimes do irrational things around our dog. I take our dog for long walks and allow her to interact with other dogs that are social - not all dogs are. I also have enrolled her in a "play group". I know it sounds silly but there is an organized group couple towns away that take enrollment of various breeds of dogs for socialization and training purposes. It is overseen by several trainers so that behavior is monitored.
I believe that dogs, regardless of breed or temperament and no matter how much she is loved and part of our family, she is still an animal, first and foremost. That is my jumping point and work from there. Hope your next experience at the park is better.
 

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I feel the need to share this story: My son's friend had a lab that he essentially grew up with. Both the child and the dog were about 5 years old. One day during a family bbq, my son's friend and his cousins were playing soccer and within seconds, the dog bit my son's friend in the face. The child was rushed to the hospital and the dog was eventually put down. Five years later, after numerous surgeries, the boy still has a noticeable scar on his face. He is terrified of dogs. He had been attacked by his own dog. I should also note that the family had never witnessed any signs of aggression prior hand. They don't know what had happened but are living with the aftermath. It only took seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We live in a very small town so the park is about the only place for him to be socialized. I'm always cautious of his response to every situation and how he is feeling. When I see any signs of stress I immediately remove him from the situation, that's why we were leaving.

He is normally very good with kids, never ever had any problem. I have taken him to my daughter's school and regularly walk with him to pick my kids up from school. The only reason I had any doubts this time was because of my daughter being upset and the stress it had caused him.

Also I had a very good hold on him and control of his head so had he reacted badly he would not have been able to bite the kid. The family had just arrived, the boy ran from his car to Ammo.

All in all Ammo handled the situation very well. I was just annoyed that the kid ran to the dog and the parents never reacted to it, they watched the whole thing and never said anything to the kid. It was me who had to explain to him that he should not run up to a dog he doesn't know and to always ask before touching.


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Peronally I think that bringing a large adult dog to a kid's playground is irresponsible. As a mother I would not appreciate that. It only takes a flash of a second when you are not able to "control his head (and thus his teeth). We have to realize that they are very strong animals with animal instincts. Also letting him chase kids on the merry-go-round is activating his prey drive. If a child falls and hurts itself and cries it becomes even more dangerous.
Too bad if it is the only place to socialize him, but not at the potential risk of hurting some kid some day. These playgrounds are good for taking young pups but an adult GSD, not so for me. We have to protect the reputation of these dogs and sometimes you have to be critical of your own dog. Don't blame children for being irresponsible around your dog. It takes 25 years before their brains have completed growing, especially the "judgment part".
 

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Parents should always watch their kids at the playground and teach their kids to ask before petting a dog. Where I live, I've been lucky that the children seem to be well educated about asking if they can approach Molly.

There is something called delayed gratification and impulse control. There was a long term study called the marshmellow study of children who had impulse control (kids who would not run up and grab your dog). The ones who were able to control these impulses did better on their SAT scores, had more self worth, coped better with stress, were more mature and other beneficial characteristics. These parents that are not controlling their kids are not doing them any favors and probably never learned these things themselves. Still even if you were not at fault, if your dog did bite and cause damage the parents could still take you to civil court.

I'm glad your dog did not react, but he is still young. You might want to re-evaluate bringing him to the park unleashed in a couple months as he enters adolescence. Glad your daughter is feeling better, I hope you do too.
 

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My dog isn't crazy about kids because when she was a young adorable fluffy puppy, two times she had little toddler run screaming toward her.

It's hard with very young kids, because they don't understand the danger, which is why the parents need to be hyper vigilant. I was worried my pup was scarred for life, but happily, just this past weekend she was visited by two lovely children, ages 2 and almost 5, and she was great with them. They left her alone, and let her come to them, which was wonderful.
 

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No dogs should be allowed in kids play areas period, IMO. It's a hygienic and safety issue. One minute you have one dog in and the next everybody else is bringing their dogs in and that's when problems happen. Out city has very big fines, over several thousand dollars, for having a dog in a kids playground, and I fully support that.
 
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