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What is your idea of "Supervision"

This is a discussion on What is your idea of "Supervision" within the General Dog Discussion forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Originally Posted by Acey I think it's easy to criticise others for not supervising well enough but the fact is that accidents happen. Of course ...

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Old 05-01-2014, 01:44 PM
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I think it's easy to criticise others for not supervising well enough but the fact is that accidents happen. Of course in hindsight there are many things that could be addressed in all situations but sometimes unexpected things happen.
Some of these definitions of supervision sound exhausting!! lol. Obviously everyone has a level of responsibility and degree of care to uphold but honestly, when I come home from a hard day at work etc the last thing I want to do is make playing with my dogs/kids a strict job surrounding supervision.
I do think that as long as I am within distance of interrupting something that I am supervising. I can be aware of where my dogs are and what they are doing without being intensely observant.

I'm not picking on you but your response was a good example of why supervision, as you describe it, doesn't always work. This article is an excellent resource for people with kids and dogs or anyone who has a dog that interacts with children.

Why Supervising Dogs and Kids Doesn’t Work | Robin Bennett
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:47 PM
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This reminds me of Why Supervising Dogs and Kids Doesn’t Work. The key idea from the article is "The problem is not lack of supervision. The problem is no one has taught parents what they should be watching."

On the surface, supervision means actively watching those being supervised. On a deeper level, it means understanding what you're seeing and knowing when and how to intervene. For example, I could supervise my young niece, but I doubt her parents would think I had done my job if they came home to find crayon drawings on the walls, mud tracked through the house, and decapitated Barbie dolls.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:03 PM
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@cookieface, we must have been posting at the same time.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:18 PM
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@cookieface, we must have been posting at the same time.
Ha! We must have been. Great minds...
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:27 PM
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I absolutely agree that a lot of people do not know what to look for in terms of early warning signs. But I also do not blame anyone in the general vicinity of an unfortunate incident necessarily for not 'supervising well enough'. These incidents can happen in just a split second regardless.
With regard to children specifically, I prefer management in terms of not letting my dogs around kids, but my friend brings her child around them every so often who plays with the (very tolerant) greyhound. The child walks her from room to room and around the yard - I will be the first to admit that I do not walk around behind them for hours making sure nothing untoward happens.
I understand responsibility but I think constant overbearing supervision is over kill. Am I not supposed to sit and have a coffee and talk to my friend because my attention might be detracted? Or am I to tell the child she cannot interact with a friendly dog and lock my dog in her crate just in case she were to possibly act out of character?
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:48 PM
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I have been noticing that a lot of incidents happen when dogs are supposedly being "supervised". A girls was mauled to death near where I live and the family claimed the child was "being supervised" by an adult. It later was reported that the adult left the child in the yard, alone with two large dogs, "just for a minute" when the attack happened. Another one where a woman and her child were attacked in their house by a dog. It later turned out that there was also a female dog in heat in the house at the time the attack occurred. A recent post about a puppy being choked to death by a choke chain at a training facility, but the dogs were "supervised". There are probably more, but you get the idea of what I'm saying.

What is your definition of "supervision"?
I agree with the others - active supervision is being there at the time, observing dogs & children. However, it's virtually impossible to supervise a dog 24/7. Even if you worked at home you'd still have to leave the dog for some reason unsupervised with others - example, answering an inside phone call.


And for the record - not to be rude - but only a fool uses a choke on a puppy. 1st it's a half assed way of training and 2nd you may, I'm told, damage the dog's throat before it's matured. 6 months is earliest a choke can be used with caution.



However how many reports [in the news] of children being mauled / attacked, people being attacked, etc. happen to involve dogs from the lower quarter of society where training is not to piddle in the house and that's about it. I mean people widely blame pits - a breed that was never supposed to be human aggressive and which has been ruined really solely through want-a-be thugs and gangsters looking for a dog to defend their illegal activities and poor BYB breeders looking for a quick buck.

I'm just saying this because my uncle has a Boerboel [African mastiff] and he leaves his children with this dog and does his own thing. I've watched this dog myself, as I am not 100% with leaving kids with big dogs, and she will lie down and merely ignore what his kids [8 and 11] are doing. The most she'll do is thump her tail and go back to sleep if one of them pets her.

Athena is 8, he's had her since she was a pup and trained her thoroughly. But long before he even allowed his kids to stay unsupervised he was training both the dog and the child how to react to one another... essentially training his kids in the to dos and not to dos. That's something I think a lot of people overlook when getting dogs particularly with kids.

Not sure about you but if I was a dog, if some brat was tugging on my ear I'd get a little annoyed.


Sorry, got a tad off track.


However, as you can't supervise 24/7 instead of waiting for an issue to occur nip it in the bud

if your dog isn't good with kids - tell the parents
train your kids how to treat dogs - they're not toys, you want a toy buy one of those "robot" dog things
if your dog is nervous to strangers - tell them

and on and on.

Sorry I have done some shelter work and the absolute stupidity I've heard about the "history" of dogs turned in makes you wonder half the time if the owner is "playing with a full deck".
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:51 PM
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I constantly supervise the dogs around my youngest niece (1.5) and nephew (7mo). With Boston and Phoenix, that means I'm standing right next to the baby with my hands on him/her. With Augustine and Pike, I'm within touching distance. With Nola alone, I'm in the same room with my eyes on them. No matter who they're with, I'm watching and listening to both the child and the dog.

I don't always supervise the dogs together. In fact, I rarely do (supervising meaning watching closely). I did supervise Nola and Pike for the first day he was here, and Pike and the other dogs up until now, but now everyone's good.
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:31 PM
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I supervise my dogs when Lily is awake and by supervise I mean stop what I am doing and really watch ready to intervene that being said Lily is quick and there have been a few occasions where I couldn't stop a fight before it broke out.

They are not around kids except on walks when they are leashed and kept away from all kids.

When my two little pups meet anyone I watch them a bloody hawk and in doing so I realized Hailey is actually really uncomfortable being pet by strangers. She lets them pet her no problem and her body remains relaxed but her eyes tell a different story.
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:36 PM
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I think it depends on the situation. If a dog is playing with a doggie friend, supervision can be as simple as staying within the area and keeping an eye on them to make sure that the play stays friendly. If a dog is interacting with a small child, supervision often involves being very close, monitoring the dog's and the child's behavior, and staying completely in control of the situation until the small child leaves.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:01 PM
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I may have been misunderstood. I didn't mean that a dog has to be under scrutiny 24/7. My own definition was for active supervision when it is warranted, not general 24 hours a day. Sorry if I wasn't clear.
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