Do you trust dogs around your children?
I know he is friendly and “great with kids”.
I know he is “part of the family” and “wouldn’t hurt a fly”.
I can see he is gentle and sweet and has eyes as brown as the chocolate fountain in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
I can see how he whimpers sweetly when you tie him up and sits nicely on command.
I can see this, I can see how you love him, how your children love him, but I’m sorry, I still don’t want him near my children.
Don’t get me wrong I love dogs. They are terrific companions; they love you devotedly and are loyal and trusting. But they could also, at any given time, attack my children without warning.
Friends who want to bring their dogs to parties in parks, to kids' sporting matches, to the school playground.
I am sorry to say that your dog does look scary to children. Your dog is large and stocky and strong. When he jumps at a child they shriek with fear and this seems to only excite him more so he jumps more and they shriek more.
I’ve seen dog owners berate parents whose children have approached their on-leash dog. “Teach your child to ask before they approach a dog,” they say. The dog owners are right. We should teach our children to ask, but you, as a dog owner should also be aware that children don’t always listen or obey and it is your responsibility to make sure your dog isn’t near my child.
Dog owners of breeds like yours talk about a form of discrimination that occurs, of being singled out for having a “dangerous breed”.
They can recite statistics about small dog bites and quote experts about breed specific legislation not working. They can defend each dog’s breed over and over again but you won’t change my mind.
I don’t want your dog around my children.
It isn’t just you. I own two dogs myself. My kids are devoted to them and treat them like members of the family. Ours are those breeds that you see everywhere these days, the soft fluffy ones, with an “oodle” attached to its name. My daughter tries to dress them up in dolls clothes and to get them into her pram. Her brothers cuddle them and pamper them and kiss them each day.