You Do Have to be Careful..

By: Rebakah Bestol

Dogs and kids don’t always mix - or they may take time to get used to one another. Much depends on the temperament of the dog.

New parents are particularly concerned about having their youngster around dogs with whom they are unfamiliar or uncomfortable. Some dogs are more high strung than others, more prone to be unpredictable. My parents dog Pip, a brown Cocker Spaniel, could be trusted with anyone. Our last dog, Molly, a Cocker-Bichon cross, had a very different temperament and you weren’t always certain how she would react.

The arrival of our first grandson was a cause for concern. Molly reacted by wanting to get very close to the baby so as to lick him, making the mother understandably anxious. This kind of behavior lessened over the years but there remained a degree of uncertainty. If a three-year old is standing in front of a dog, snapping her fingers, is the dog going to react? We were very cautious with children and Molly for that reason.

It was the same with “new” adults who really wanted to pet this cute little dog. We had to warn them that Molly could snap. Some people she took an instant dislike to. We knew that because she started to growl. To be honest, we were part of the problem because Molly wasn’t trained in the first place. Had that happened, we might not have experienced the unpredictable nature of this dog.

It also meant that you had to be very careful not to tease her. If you did, sometimes in what you regarded as in the tiniest way, she’d snap at you. Sometimes even a particular hand placement on a chesterfield provoked a reaction.

I rarely have problems with dogs. I approach them correctly, I give them time to feel out who I am and things are fine. That wasn’t the case with a female Dalmatian my brother owned. Just a few years ago my wife and I were visiting him in England. We’d taken the dogs for a walk on the moor and came back to have tea at their house. On the moor the dogs had been fine. In the house, the Dalmatian snapped at me and my brother had to shut her in another room. What triggered it? I don’t know. However I was told they had had similar problems with this dog in the past – always with men.

I guess what I’m saying is that it’s smart to be cautious. Until you’re familiar with a dog, and even then, be careful how you approach them. And if you have kids, especially very young ones, be extra careful. Give the dog space and time.

If you’re looking for a dog, or you’re a breeder with a dog for sale, Pet Match Park offers a friendly atmosphere where customers and breeders can interact with one another one on one.

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