I should have known. This encounter makes me feel like I’m a bad owner. Chazz nipped at a little girl yesterday. It broke her skin slightly. I think the little girl was more scared than anything; once her Mom was holding her, she stopped crying and acted fine. Chazz seemed like he was a lot of people around him (I admit, there were a bunch of people outside talking, 3 families plus a bunch of kids running around). He seemed fine with the kids, letting them pet him, he was even laying down when my careful neighbor kid came to pet him again, but I guess she must have made a sudden move and this scared Chazz. We went to the veterinarian this morning (just for a routine check up), and she told us about reading a dog’s body language. She also told us that Chazz was probably just tolerating the interactions with the kids, but not really liking the petting and extra attention.
It’s my fault [as the owner], I should have known better, that Chazz was getting overstimulated with all the people around. The vet told us not to let Chazz around other young kids anymore, and showed us a video on when dogs don’t want to be petted. Don’t worry kids, Chazz won’t stay to hang out around anymore; when we walk by and see everyone, we’ll say ‘hi’ in passing and I’ll leave Chazz at home before socializing. I am so sorry Bri and Winter, and Mom, I know its my fault and I shouldn’t have let him hang out. As with everything else, we can only learn from our mistakes and take precautionary methods in the future.
I do not have a dog but I have one cat who permits me to pet her but for only a brief period. She has a strong hunting instinct and I believe animals like that had to have sharpened senses, even hypersensitivity. I learned to watch her tail and ears. Her ears flatten and her eyes track my hand like a hunter would. Her tail switches faster and faster. I stop and put her down. So happy there was no more damage. Don’t blame yourself or your dog. You just didn’t know.
You are being much too hard on yourself! You had no way of knowing your sweet Chazz would do such a thing to a young child and you have accepted full responsibility and are being fully accountable for his sudden actions that hurt and frightened that young child. Continue to be aware of his surroundings and give him the love and attention he deserves.