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Old 09-03-2005, 08:43 AM   #31
whisper
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Default Re: Pets, Kids and Families

Thanks Julia. I know very little about animals but my children are extreamly interested in them. I found their approach to respecting the animals interesting, you called it horsemanship. I would be interested in finding out more about this gentle approach from other sources. I agree that it has spiritual overtones that I am not in agreement with or comfortable with, hence the caution. The very word "horsery" conjured up thoughts of "sorcery"

I just ponder the connection in animal & child "training" and the aproaches we as human's use. I do not agree with shamenism but I do wonder why the Native people had such a natural connection to the creation. Adam and Eve would have before sin. And we are new creations in Christ are we not? Just wondering.....

If you have more to share I'd be interested
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Old 09-15-2005, 04:21 PM   #32
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Default Re: Pets, Kids and Families

My experience is that family dymnamics are the key to deciding when/whether to get a pet. Dh and I always thought we'd get a dog when the kids were older (I grew up with dogs) but we were "found" by our shiba inu when the boys were 2 1/2 and 4 months. Bartok is a fabulous, low-maintenance dog, and it was really good for me to have him (I think I suffered from PPD, and he forced me out of the house to walk him, and was really theraputic.) I got involved in breed rescue, and a year later, we adopted Ziva, our basenji. She is WAY needier... loves people, is glued to my side, etc. My boys are really good with the dogs... (Merrick is the animal lover, and we adopted a rat from the Humane Society for his last birthday) and things were good until Giselle arrived. All of a sudden I have way less patience for the dogs, and am giving them way less attention. Bart is un-fazed, but Z started chewing things up, losing weight, and in general was being really annoying. When I finally decided I was being unfair and needed to give her more attention, she stopped the negative behavior. It definitely takes time and commitment to be a good pet owner... it's not fair to ignore their needs. (BTW, dh, we now know, is NOT a dog-person. We are committed to the two we have, but after they are gone, no more doggies... maybe a cat, but we'll see.)
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:36 AM   #33
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Default Re: Pets, Kids and Families

We have a dog and are about to have a baby. We've seen him around kids before and while he never bites, he will give you a piece of his mind if you grab him too much. We have some friends whose young son will not stop chasing the dog and grabbing his bum Our dog just keeps running away and trying to hide. Hopefully, being around the same kids all the time (our kids) will help the situation.
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:27 AM   #34
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Default Re: Pets, Kids and Families

bananacake, I would encourage you to be very proactive and cautious with your dog. Showing avoidance behaviors like running away and hiding (very late signs of distress, actually) means that your dog is under stress when he is being chased and grabbed. Once his stress threshold is pushed to a certain level, he will react with a warning growl, snap, or bite. No dog is "child proof". However, you can definitely help to raise that threshold by rewarding your dog with petting and praise around kids, or feeding the dog treats while a child is petting him gently or roughly. Unfortunately a "neutral" experience (just being around kids) will not decrease his stress threshold - you must actively pair it with something *positive* that he enjoys in order to teach him that being touched or prodded by a child is safe and even enjoyable. It is very important that we respect the very real fears that our animals have, and work with them to find a safer comfort level, not just rely on a dog "knowing better" or being a "good dog" to keep our children safe.
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Old 06-18-2007, 01:31 PM   #35
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Default Re: Pets, Kids and Families

Quote:
Originally Posted by DixieKitten
bananacake, I would encourage you to be very proactive and cautious with your dog. Showing avoidance behaviors like running away and hiding (very late signs of distress, actually) means that your dog is under stress when he is being chased and grabbed. Once his stress threshold is pushed to a certain level, he will react with a warning growl, snap, or bite. No dog is "child proof". However, you can definitely help to raise that threshold by rewarding your dog with petting and praise around kids, or feeding the dog treats while a child is petting him gently or roughly. Unfortunately a "neutral" experience (just being around kids) will not decrease his stress threshold - you must actively pair it with something *positive* that he enjoys in order to teach him that being touched or prodded by a child is safe and even enjoyable. It is very important that we respect the very real fears that our animals have, and work with them to find a safer comfort level, not just rely on a dog "knowing better" or being a "good dog" to keep our children safe.
Thanks for the advice. Our dog has been around kids all his life, just not our kids He's 9 years old and we just got him a year ago. He's never bitten anyone, and the household he grew up in had a bunch of kids, all ages, and a single mom. He's very protective of family members and seems to prefer boys, so I'm hoping that works in our favor, at least for our first child

I grew up with a dog who did bite, so I've seen both sides of the spectrum. I'm not sure how much training we can do at this point, but I have been reading materials of acclimating dogs to children and vice versa. His life expectancy is only 10-13 years.
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Old 12-05-2010, 05:50 PM   #36
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Default Re: Pets, Kids and Families

We have 3 cats and 2 dogs. Had all but one of the dogs before my ds was born. Two of the cats are in their teens so they mostly just sleep out of reach, although Thomas will come down to be petted if I'm right there. The other cat is only a couple years old, so he has wild moments, but mostly keeps them out of reach of ds. (Smart cat!) The older dog knows he can jump up on the couch and stay out of the way, so he spends a ton of time there. The other dog is under a year (he showed up on our doorstep and didn't leave for days so, soft hearted as we are, we adopted him). He thinks ds is a great playmate, but tends to be more gentle than he is with the cats and other dog. Ds pulls his ears, feeds him food, sits on the doggie bed... Doesn't matter what he does, Dusty takes it.
My parents had two cats before I was born and adopted another when I was 3 months old (she was hit by a car and my mom found her and nursed her to health). Our little rescue, Annie, was the best kids' cat ever! I used her as a pillow, dragged her around the house... She just loved all attention.
We're at the stage with ds where hitting is fun so I'm trying to convince him not to hit any of the animals. Any time he heads for a pet, I follow and help him pet them properly, saying "gentle touches, kitty/puppy likes that" the whole time. He loves it because Thomas will actually purr at him! Thomas has slept in my bed since I was 9, so he shares space pretty well and takes a lot. If I let him, he'd sleep in the crib with ds at nap time.
When I found out I was pregnant, my doctor (who knew we have a bunch of pets) told me outright the cats had to go immediately. Obviously, I ignored him. I wasn't scooping the litter so the risk during pregnancy was gone and I've done everything I can to keep things safe since ds was born. He has a screen door on his room so on the rare occasions he's actually sleeping there, the door can be closed, but I can hear him and there's plenty of air circulation to keep him warm.
Oh, and ds loves horses! He's already ridden a pony (with me walking beside holding him). He loves it. Any time I visit the friend who owns the horses, he gets all excited, looking to see if they're in the corral to pet.
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