Is He Good With Kids?

"Is he good with kids?"

I think we've all seen dogs that are being mauled by kids and they handle it better than we would ever expect. Hugging, pulling faces and ears, sitting on them, bouncing on them, pulling tails, hitting them with toys, getting in their food...kids like this are begging to get bitten but the dog tolerates it. Those are in the Yes column. Yes, they're extremely good with kids.

In the No column fall those scarce dogs that don't like kids period. Their high energy level, loud voices, and erratic behavior are too much. They see them and don't like them from afar much less within petting distance. (I sympathize but we won't veer from the discussion to my distaste for most children).

Then there's the majority of dogs that are good with kids until the kids cross the line. The dog still likes kids but he's sending the message that what they're doing is inappropriate. Sadly there are way too many of those dogs getting euthanized due to no fault of their own.

I was at my local shelter in an outdoor play yard with a dog recently and a man came over to chat. In the conversation he bragged about his dog that lets his kids "do anything" to him and the dog "loves it." He was so proud of this dog, so boastful, and the lightbulb went off. We all want a dog that loves our children so much that they'd never hurt them.

Until they do. Until the kids are given so much leeway to do whatever they want to the dog and that dog says ENOUGH in the only way it knows how. It bites. Who's fault is it? Of course it's the parents' fault but I bet the parents aren't the ones euthanized.

Is he good with kids? How about asking "am I a good enough parent to add a dog to our home?" Now THAT'S the right question to be asking

amanda hillegas