Is it always a dogs fault when they bite??
Recently I've been thinking about a Shih Tzu we used to own when I was younger. We had to give him to a friend to take care of for a while, when we moved into a temporary living situation that did not allow pets. The plan was to get him back as soon as our other place was available to move into.
Well, Bailey was put down with out our knowledge. Why was he put down?? Because two kids who were walking their dog, decided to tease and aggravate Bailey through the fence, until he nipped. He didn't even break skin, but the little rats went home and told mommy, I guess. And she came back telling them to either do something with the dog, or she'd go to the city and they'd get fined. I guess for whatever reason, they decided putting him down without telling us, was their best option.
Bailey was still fairly young at this age. (Please don't say anything about being irresponsible by getting a puppy and then moving. For one, I was only 9 at the time, so there was nothing I could do about it at the time. And secondly what happened to cause the move, was pretty unforseen, and couldn't be helped at the time, and we'd already found another place that would allow us to take him, we just couldn't move in there for a few months)He was about 6-7 months old. He was still in the process of learning not to nip at people.
Now from what I know, these kids were 4 and 5. That for me is a problem right there. Im not quite sure who lets their 4 and 5 year old out alone to wander the streets. Particularly in a trailer park, because there are no sidewalks, only roadways. Secondly, if you do decide to let your young children roam around unsupervised, I would think you should teach them some fairly common sense rules. Like, don't stick your fingers through a fence with a dog on the other side. Right?? Also from my understanding, my dog and their dog were both getting riled up. Barking, growling at eachother, etc.
So, I guess my question is, if someone sticks their fingers through a fenced yard, particularly towards an already aggravated dog, should the owner and dog still be responsible, or should the person (or in my case, parents) take responsibility??
my opinion on it varies. If I've invited someone over and they're in my front yard, and I know they're there and I know my dogs in the back yard..and they go say hi to my dog through the fence, and get bit - it is MY fault. I was well aware of the situation and could have prevented it. However if someone I havent invited into my front yard, who I DONT know is there, is teasing my dogs...I don't think I'd feel bad, or responsible if they get bit. I can't be responsible for everyone on the street, or accomodate the stupidity of others by inconviniencing myself and my dogs by keeping them locked in the house, on the off chance someone might be dumb enough to bug them through the fence.
I do, feel bad for the kids though. Even though they weren't hurt, probably just scared more than anything. I feel bad because they're obviously insufficiently supervised, and lacking some very important lessons in their life.
I learned very very early to NEVER approach a strange dog without first asking the owner if it was okay to pet them. To this day I still wont pet a dog I see outside of a store, or in the petstore unless the owner is present and says its okay. I also learned to never tease an animal, or stick my fingers through a fence to pet an animal, probably from the day I started walking. I guess I just got lucky and have parents who felt it was extremely important for me to know this, being that almost every second house in my city, has a dog in the yard through out the day.