When I wrote that title I forgot you don’t understand me when I talk. Even my Human sometimes has problems understanding what I’m telling her.
There were 6,120 hospital admissions from May 2010 to April 2011, up from 5,810 the previous year, figures from The NHS Information Centre show.
One in six dog injury admissions in the year up to April involved a child aged under 10.
This report may have been in the U.K., but it should wave red flags to all of us with dogs. The U.S. has a very active legal system. We have 75 breeds on the Banned/Restricted list. This list includes your favorite breeds for service dogs, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers.
When a child runs up to a dog its little face is often eye level with his jaws. If the child rushes up into the dogs space, a snap can result in a serious injury.
Once at the vets, when my Human was busy paying my bill, I was sitting in a “sit stay”, on my leash, behind her. I’d had an ear infection treated and my ears were sensitive and sore. Some lady walked up and reached to pat me. When her hand brushed my ear, I snapped a warning. She jerked her hand back and my Human felt my leash tightened and turned around.
If that had been a child, I might have accidently snapped its face. It was an adult who should have known better than to just walk up to a strange dog, especially one going or coming for treatment at the vet, which is never our most popular place to visit.
Because we live in a society where any confrontation could end up in court; because we live in a society where I could be removed from my happy family by just being a dog and reacting like a dog, I’m not allowed to receive pats from strangers.
Yes, I’m well socialized. If you follow me, you know I am well trained in obedience. I’m good around other dogs and children. I don’t have any children of my own, although I’ve been socialized around them. I’m well traveled, too.
So, you want to pat me? My Human will say to you “I’d prefer you not pat him”, and she’d tuck me slightly behind the “heeling” leg. (If you missed yesterday, I heel left or right, away from oncoming pedestrian or other traffic).
Teach your children to respect others, both people and animals, especially strange dogs. Be the example for your children.
Do not approach service dogs or other working dogs.
Even if the owner says a dog is safe to approach, be aware of the dogs body language. A waving tail does not always mean a welcome. An owner may not know his dog is not feeling well. Just because he owns the dog doesn’t mean he understands his dogs body language.
Take heed humans! Train your dogs. Socialize your dogs. Keep your dogs safe. Don’t put your dogs in a compromising situation where someone could be hurt.
Y’all come back now.