Archie Dog & Jackson, playing & testing each other's limits
This is the journey of a boy wanting to pat his dog. You will read many texts about how careful you need to be between these two. And indeed it took a long time before we figured that Jackson had any understanding of what he was doing. This video in parts is the opposite of what some groups would suggest you allow interactions to be like.
Archie loves to lick Jackson, and Jackson loves to pat Archie but a little too rough at times. This video chronicles their adventures of Jackson between about 9 months and one year old.
We still don't allow them alone in a room together, regardless of how social and well behaved Archie has been, because at the end of the day he is still an animal. And when an animal is inadvertently put into pain by having their tail pulled or otherwise, the dog will react.
This video starts with Jackson in his walker racing around after Archie, and Archie realising that he needs to keep moving if he doesn't want to get run over. Meanwhile Jackson sees the tail as a great thing to aim for, to grab - though we never let this happen.
On the floor you can see Jackson trying to creep up on Archie, but Archie is digging a hole on his mat and quite distracted and not accessible to Jackson. It is good for Jackson to see the power of Archie and understand that he is much more than an inanimate toy.
About half way through the video we have some patting lessons, that Jackson gets in theory, but sometimes his excitement will have him want to lean on Archie and just grab him.
All during this time we have to remind ourselves that Jackson is only about one years old and may not learn to speak for a while yet, and even when he does, his comprehension and desire to follow all of his parent's wishes will not always be his top priority.
I remember reading statistics on dog bites and it turns out in America that the ages most bitten by dogs are between 5 and 9 years old, followed by 0 - 5. This it seems is because parents get more relaxed as the child because taller and physically stronger, but children always love testing boundaries and can do some mean things to dogs. They can also accidently corner a dog or take something from them that the dog is guarding. So while my dog Archie is incredibly social (getting two off lead walks most days of his life) I know that bite risk always remains, and often not due to him.
In fact recently my 18 year old niece sat on Archie's tail in the car, and while Archie barked and whined and was very animated, he looked at the source of his pain, my niece, and chose not to nip her. That is a great presences of mind, but even if he did, she would of course have much better protection than a small child.
The last part of this dog/ baby video sees my son actively pursuing Archie on the big black leather chair that Archie is sitting on. Of course Jackson is just excited and interested in Archie, but he still sees Archie as a big fluffy toy. He whacks Archie on the paws and in the face, which I keep restraining him from doing, trying to teach him how to behave, but as they say. these are 'baby steps'.
In fact in this video you will see by far the most severe interaction we have ever let Jackson do with our dog. Archie was not complaining in the video, but we don't want to encourage 'bad behaviour' by our child, or for our dog to build up resentment or jealousy to Jackson.
Archie allows Jackson to sit on his mat, feed him food and generally accept him as above him in the pack - one of the most important parts of bringing a baby into your house.
Note if a person has fear towards dogs, and teaches their children that all dogs are to be feared, that will often develop into a phobia, and increase the chance of that person getting bitten. This will happen for several reasons such as the dog seeing fear as an unpredictable unstable energy and the person not knowing how to behave around dogs. Even patting a random dog wrongly can end in a bad result.
So these best of friends (Archie and Jackson) have a long way in front of them learning how far we will let them go with each other and how to be responsible for themselves. For a long time ahead of us, as parents, we are going to have to continue close-by guidance and explaining or showing what proper interactions between these two should be. This is especially important because very few dogs are as tolerant or easy going as Archie is with Jackson, which of course is an amazing thing for such a dominant dog.
Article by Bruce Dwyer. If you wish to use any of this information please use a LINK reference to http://www.dogwalkersmelbourne.com.au
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