Sunday, April 11, 2010

Photos and Videos of Dog and Baby/Toddler

Dogs and babies or toddlers often make adorable subjects for photos and videos. Examples of these abound on the web. Proud parents post cute videos of dogs with babies and toddlers. You can find dozens of these by doing a search on YouTube. It is difficult to open a magazine without seeing a "cute" photo of a dog being hugged by a child. We will talk about this more in a future blog post.

Here is an example of a popular video that has circulated several times:



This is a lovely dog and is not threatening the baby. What we want to point out is that the dog's intentions are completely misinterpreted.

The dog is uncomfortable with the actions of the baby. The dog is unsure about how to react. The dog is not showing love or concern for the baby. Note that the dog flicks it tongue, yawns and turns away from the baby. Parents should intervene when they see signs like these that indicate that the dog is tolerating, but not enjoying the attentions of the baby or toddler. It is not fair to expect a dog to tolerate this type of situation and in fact the dog may not continue to be so tolerant if this type of interaction continues over time.

If you think that you would be quick enough from behind the camera to prevent a bite if your dog did get to the point of being so fed up with your child's attention that he finally did decide to reprimand the child, take a look at this page which contains a video that shows how fast a dog can be. Imagine that the puppy in the video was an child annoying the dog. This is a typical doggy reprimand. It did not hurt the puppy because he has a lot of fur and the adult dog did not intend to hurt him, but it would have done a lot of damage to a baby or toddler. This page also shows a number of other videos from YouTube that illustrate inappropriate interactions between dogs and babies/toddlers. You can read more about some of these at the Dogs and Storks blog.

Parents, do yourselves, your child and your dog a favor by having your own hands on both the dog and the baby/toddler if they are close by each other. If there is no adult in the photo or video, then this is an unsafe situation and the supervision is not close enough. Both dogs and babies/toddlers are unpredictable. Don't take a chance!

Even if you are certain that your dog would never hurt your baby or toddler, surely you wouldn't want your canine family member to be full of stress and anxiety - such as we see above with the boxer. Your dog needs protection from this type of situation.

In the words of Doggone Safe co-founder Teresa Lewin: "trust is a dog's worst enemy". Think about that.

Listen to an interview with Jennifer Shryock of Family Paws in which she refers to the video included above and gives important information for parents of young children who have a dog in the house.

Visit the Doggone Safe site for more information for parents about safety around the family dog for kids and babies.

Visit our body language pages for photos and videos that teach kids and parents how to understand what the dog might be thinking.

1 comment:

  1. I am hoping someone contacted Bonnie Hunt and explained to her what was really going on. It might be an excellent platform for her to educate Mom's who watch TV during the day!

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