I haven't been online much in the past week so hope there hasn't already been a post about this but it has come to my attention that a local Husky that has become a fixture on chapel street has "mauled" a 20 month old child.
The dog belongs to the owner of a Hairdresser across from the Jam Factory. It has become well known as the shop has water cascading down its front windows and it stand on the inside and licks them in hot weather. Although I have never been inside the store, I have walked past hundreds of times over the last couple years and marveled at this seemingly well behaved dog that never seems phased by having a huge crowd of people around it.
The few and brief reports on the incident claim the toddler was the daughter of a 21year old man who was in the salon getting a hair cut. No news on the outcome for the dog.
It really scares me that a dog that for so long has been behaved and sociable (you would hope that if there had been any previous incidents the owner would be cautious and keep the dog at home) has demonstrated such behaviour. It begs me to ask why would the dog behave in such a way. Although speculation often does not lead to good things, my guess is the dog was provoked, and the child was not adequately supervised.
I have said it many times on this forum before that I am constantly having to put myself between young children and my dog as they run directly towards his face screaming. I have also written about my dog learning the bad habit of barking at children as they have, on a number of occasions run up to him and 'woof woofed' right in his face. I am constantly amazed at the lack of interest or control parents have with their children around a 'stranger' dog. As my dog's owner, I know that he doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body, but if he was someone else's dog there's no way I'd let my child go rushing up to him, 60 kilos and all- even his wagging tail is so big it could knock a child to the ground!
I understand that dog owners have the responsibility to socialise and train their dogs so as they are safe and sociable dogs in public. But I also believe parents have the responsibility to educate and supervise their children around dogs (I understand though that at 20 months, you can't really train a child to be wary of dogs- even more reason to sit the child AWAY from the dog and supervise) ESPECIALLY dogs that they don't know.
Going into a store that has a dog, I believe you can expect this dog is not a danger to you or your child, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep a close eye on what's going on. It saddens me that this dog's fate is probably sealed, through what seems to be a freak accident.
Details can be found at Victoria Police Online News Centre - Dog attack South Yarra