• Richard Chan

Please ask “Am l friendly to the dog?”

“The animals in the petting zoo are so friendly, they let my kid do whatever she wants. Why can’t l do that to your dog? Why can’t your dog be that friendly?” What kind of animals do you see in petting zoo? Will they let your child do whatever she wants to a wolf or a coyote? Petting zoo animals are not predators. A dog is a member of the wolf family. It is a predator. 

When a petting zoo animal is scared, it will usually just run away. A dog will not only flight but will also fight. A dog will attack when threatened.

Petting zoo animals were not bred to hunt. Dogs have prey drives. They will chase squirrels or a small running child. Petting zoo animals were not bred to guard. Dogs will guard their territory, will guard their own personal space, their food/toy and belongings. We cannot expect a wolf to act like a sheep. We will not treat a wolf like a sheep. And we should not expect all dogs to act like petting zoo animals - because they are genetically different. It is not about whether a dog is friendly; it is about whether you are friendly. Do you respect the dog as you do with your friend - do you try to understand the dog as you try to understand your friend, do you honour the dog’s feeling the way you honour that of your friend’s? When your friend tells you no, do you respect that? When the dog says no, will your child respect that? If you don’t respect the dog as your friend, you have no right to demand the dog to be friendly to you. A dog is not a petting zoo animal. It is ignorant, disrespectful, inconsiderate, and highly dangerous to demand all dogs to be “friendly” so your child can do whatever she wants to the dog selfishly. 

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