Tara came home last night and shared with us a situation that happened at a rescue meeting. The group from the rescue was talking about everything that is happening with events, trainings, and more. Next to them was a couple with a beautiful dog that was well behaved. A family with two children came and sat nearby and the parents stopped watching the children. Tara was telling us that the children kept running up and being obnoxious toward the dog by picking at him, teasing him with food, charging at him, cornering him, and more.
The rescue group was distracted by this and watching the dogs body language, which was stating he was tolerating as much as he could, but was having to resist biting. Finally one of the volunteers went and spoke with the dogs owner who expressed concern over what was happening but uncertainty as to what to do. The volunteer helped the owner share with this children and parents that the dog was a nice dog but needed space and the children needed to respect the dog.
In a situation like this, it could turn ugly...FAST! It is important for parents to not only watch their children, but educate them on the fact that us dogs are just that....dogs! We don't have the words to share what is going on and rely on the knowledge of our humans to read our feelings. There are many websites for education on dogs and kids, but the real truth is that if a bite would have happened, the dog would have been blamed and not the menacing children.
Please take time to educate yourself, peers, and most importantly children you know with how to greet dogs. Thankfully our human brother does this well, even with us. He was praised twice recently when he approached a goat the same way he knows to approach dogs and once when they were out of town and he saw a dog he wanted to visit with. The owner was shocked that such a little boy knew just what to do....even grownups sometimes forget to give us the space we need!
Dog language is not human language, however you can learn to be somewhat bilingual!
With safety in mind....
Abbey and Bode