9 Statements You, Your Dog and Your Kids Should Run From
I have written specific articles on some of these very subjects and statements, so be sure and click on the links within this article to find out more information about certain subjects.
However I recently wrote an article about a certain pet peeve statement of mine and within it I mentioned I should write an article on all my pet peeve statements; or the statements that make me want to run the other way!
So here are some of mine. What are yours?
9. My Dog Loves All Kids
My dog loves all kids, sounds innocuous enough but I think it sets people up for unintentional bites.
I mean my dog likes kids too; but she likes good, quiet, well behaved kids.
Would she bite a kid that poked her in the eye, pulled her fur or stomped her foot? Chances are that she would.
There are very few dogs that would put up with anything or all children.
And, dogs have bad days too! They get ear infections, they get bladder infections, they rip paw pads, they suffer from arthritis or pain. Even the best dog can get irritable occasionally. Keep that in mind, parents, children and dog owners!
8. He Just Wants to Play
The biggest reason I hate this statement is because it usually comes with a flying toward you off leash dog.
Picture Beethoven the Saint Bernard in the movie with drool streaming behind him through the air running toward you as fast as he can.
Now this would send chills through most people’s body, with or without a dog or even an aggressive dog with you.
A jumping or flying dog can knock you down and do serious damage! I have seen overly "friendly" dogs who's lives were on the line simply because they knocked someone down in a greeting and broke a bone.
Dogs need to be kept on leash because not everyone likes dogs, and not all dogs like other dogs.
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Leashes keep everyone safe; and if this statement is used while a dog is on a leash it gives the other person the opportunity to decline the playful dog more easily and without trauma.
7. He would Never Bite
My mother use to say, “Anything with teeth bites”.
And I suppose even without teeth you could be “ gummed” pretty hard.
But the truth is, she is right. If a dog has teeth he can bite.
And, as we discussed earlier all dogs have their bad days. They may be hurting or tired or sick or all of the above and we can’t always tell and they can’t tell us.
6. He’s Only Aggressive/Territorial at Home/Car/In the Park etc.
I hear this a lot in my line of work.
I suppose I get it more because of what I do for a living.
BUT... people are fairly comfortable explaining their dog's aggression away.
However, when someone admits the dog has an aggression problem to me no matter where the problem exists; that still tells me the dog has an aggression problem.
A dog that will bite you at his house probably has a lower bite threshold in other places too.
And, most people who are bitten by dogs are bitten by dogs of people that they know or dogs who had previously "been fine" or "friendly"; mostly because most people and owners don't recognize the minor signs of aggression before it escalates to more obvious and hard to avoid aggression.
5. He’s a Rescue; He Was Abused That’s Why…
Saying your dog is a rescue isn’t a problem, unless you are using it as an excuse for a bad behavior or bad behaviors.
Bragging about having a rescue dog is great! I have spent a large part of my career taking dogs from shelters and training them as Assistance Dogs for adults and children with disabilities. I was PROUD to brag to almost everyone I met out training that the wonderful dog that they saw in harness, under my table or at my side was previously thrown away.
I literally saved some dogs on the day they were scheduled for euthanasia. Rescue and shelter dogs can be WONDERFUL additions to any family. They may have come with some lack of training, but that was easily remedied.
Even the dogs I knew were abused (in the program) we able to work through some negligible fear or behavior problems.
Being a rescue or being “abused” is not an excuse for bad behavior. These dogs can still be trained and controlled.
Be wary of anyone who wants to explain away or make excuses for bad behavior for more on that click here.
4. My dog is Friendly
My dog is friendly! This is often also accompanied by an off leash running dog as a shout out meaning the owner doesn’t have a lot of control.
But, as we have discussed earlier, not all dogs are friendly and just because you have a friendly or playful dog doesn't mean someone else does!
I used to have a very, very dog aggressive Rottweiler and I always kept her on leash.
Although she never had the opportunity to bite another dog, I was certain that she would attack and maul one if given the opportunity, especially small dogs!
It used to nearly give me a stroke when I saw another dog racing toward us with an owner in tow yelling "Hes' friendly", while I was thinking "She's not!" And, we live in a world where I was afraid to yell "She's dog aggressive, or she's not friendly, or she's going to eat your dog" because I knew if I ended up in court that would mean that I had some kind of culpability in her attack.
So instead, I had to arm myself with dog stop spray and a basket muzzle (more on how that works and why click here) and I got used to yelling at approaching dogs just to get them to stop... usually then the owner would do his/her best to grab or contain the dog.
And, remember not all dogs are friendly to everyone or every dog... are you willing to make that decision and "hope" that your dog or the other dog will be?
3. All Dogs Love Me
I wrote a whole article on this; for more on this person click here.
This irks me because I don’t believe this person exists. Not every dog likes every person. Some people are better reading and working with animals than others; that is no doubt, but no one is good with or loved by everything.
The problem is that some people actually believe this and they push fearful dogs or dogs that are skittish of people to the point of a bite.
AND, a bad experience with one person (even though well intended) can scar a dog for a very long period of time… or even take his life if he is to bite to protect himself.
2. It Wasn’t His Fault
It wasn’t his fault!!!! We hear owners of dogs and parents say this all the time. The truth is usually blame lies on both; at least in some fashion.
Occasionally, it is true. It wasn’t the dogs fault, but…
People like to make excuses. And, most people can’t read doggy body language. Some dogs communicate very well with other dogs, and some dogs just don’t! It is important to be able to read a dog.
But the truth is any dog owner, or parent should be weary of another dog owner who makes excuses for a dog’s aggression or behaviors. Excuses aren’t usually helpful, proactivity and behavior modification is!
1. Let Them Work It/Fight It Out
I absolutely HATE this myth!
I have seen so many dogs kill other dogs and other animals.
In the wild, that is acceptable and a part of life. In a social setting like a home, or the dog park, or anywhere else this really isn’t acceptable.
Whereas it is true on some level that dogs need to figure out a balance. Not all dogs get along!
I would rather have control and monitor dogs or segregate and have dogs stay alive than have dogs fight it out and escalate aggression.
And, aggression often feeds itself as one dogs gets more aggressive; so does the other. The odds of reoccurrence is also likely. To find out more click here.
To be a good dog owner/parent is to be a leery dog owner/parent.
Instead of listening to the words people say, try to decipher what they mean and why it might pose a problem for you, your family, or your dog.
Because, safety is the most important thing in dog ownership and parenthood!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.