Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.
- Gertrude Stein
I get it. You’ve just had the cutest baby in the whole world, just like everyone else. You want to document as much of your child’s first years as possible via pictures and videos. Especially with your first baby: your dog. But here’s where I revoke your parent card, because obviously you aren’t using it:
Um, anyone else notice a problem here? Not cute, not funny, not responsible.
By using your dog as a prop, what are you teaching your child about animals? Children learn from example. If you are treating your dog as a photo embellishment for your precious child, then that’s how your child is going to see them. Another toy to play with. You’ve missed one of the most important lessons having a pet can teach a child: empathy. Respect for the pain that another animal can endure, and not being the one who inflicts it! Animals are sometimes the only sibling some children have, and we all know that siblings are how practice being a socialized adult. One who doesn’t treat other humans like toys. Who understand respect for others. In other words, someone who isn’t an award-winning Christian Bale character.
Your child isn’t cute. They are being trained to be irresponsible pet owners. Just like you. No, I don’t want to see another pic of an “adorable” toddler choking some poor dog who’s body language is practically screaming, “Make him stop! I don’t want to bite him but I will if you don’t make him stop!”. They’re called kids for a reason: because they aren’t mature enough to make rational decisions. That’s where you come in. Teach you kid how to respect animals. Read about it here. (Coincidentally enough, when searching for the post to link to, I used the search term “respect” and found it.)
Yes, kids can be physical with their dogs: in an appropriate manner. It’s up to you to intervene on the dog’s behalf if there’s trouble.
Teach your children to respect dogs/animals. How to cuddle without constricting. How to give gentle hugs and snuggles that allow an animal to escape if needs be. Most importantly, supervise. Kids and dogs. Pilot them both.
Now grow up and get your kid some real toys.