Well Christmas has come and gone, but, if you are lucky, the holiday celebrations are continuing.
I have been fortunate enough to be invited to some great Christmas parties this year, also to be part of some lovely smaller gatherings with family and friends.
The dogs, Oscar and Minnie, have been invited to almost every one! (The list of benefits of training well behaved dogs is endless.) But this isn’t an entry about how important it is to train your dog. It’s an entry about how important it is to train adults and children about the correct way of approaching a dog.
During one of the Christmas parties I asked my dogs to drop in the corner of the garden so they would be out of the way. I was happily chatting to friends I hadn’t seen since last years Christmas party when my husband grabbed me by the arm, pointed to the dogs and asked if he should intervene.
What I witnessed was surprising, in a are-people-really-that-stupid? type of surprising.
A woman had walked over to Minnie with her toddler and was pushing the toddler into Minnie’s face. Neither toddler, nor Minnie were that impressed with the forced introduction. Minnie was edging away, trying her best to maintain the drop command and crawl to safety at the same time. Toddler was pushing at Minnie’s face to create some distance. Out of the three of them, it was only the adult who couldn’t see that this situation wasn’t a good idea.
My husband released Minnie from her drop and gave a false smile to the mother. Minnie ran away to a safer part of the garden. The mother, clueless as ever, walked the toddler away, saying ‘Wasn’t she a nice doggy!’
My husband and I just glanced at each other - we knew what the other was thinking… “Who walks a child up to a Ridgeback cross Doberman without asking the owner first!?!”
I knew Minnie is usually fine with children (it’s her job to be fine with children, after all), but the mother didn’t know that - she had never met Minnie before in her life!
So I was prompted to put a list of common sense do’s and do not’s when it comes to approaching a dog.
Here they are...
When approaching a dog
That’s about it. All common sense. But, as Voltaire once put it “Common sense is not so common.”
And, finally, my last bit of advice for getting through the Silly Season -
Pat the dogs (safely). Drink good wine. Enjoy the parties.
About the Author
Contact us here.