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Woman asks if she's wrong to not apologize for her dog scaring a little boy.

Woman asks if she's wrong to not apologize for her dog scaring a little boy.


Few topics trigger more intense feelings than parenting and pet care.

The way people care for their animals is deeply personal, and any judgment from friends and family can feel like a personal attack. Being told your animal is dangerous or 'badly trained' when you've communicated about their behavioral patterns can feel like willful ignorance.

That dynamic is turned up to 100 when it comes to parenting, how your child acts, and what other people think of your kid's behavior.

In a recent post on the Am I The A**hole subreddit, these two big feelings came to a head, when OP refused to apologize after her dog scared a kid who didn't respect boundaries.

She wrote:

'AITA for not apologizing for my dog scaring off another kid?'

My 7-year-old son was having a birthday party the previous weekend and a number of his friends and schoolmates around his age came over, along with their parents.

I have a male mastiff-mix for context. I know people always love to exaggerate and say their dog is so loving regardless of whatever their dog's true personality is. My dog is friendly towards my family and people he's familiar with. But he's very aloof towards strangers. He doesn't bark towards strangers but will have a low growl if he's patted/touched without the proper introduction.

So anyway for the party, I decided the best solution was to have him kept upstairs on the 2nd/3rd floor, with a dog gate installed at the stairs. The party will be confined to the first floor and the garden.

Halfway through the party, my son and his two friends wanted to go upstairs to see my dog. These two friends have come over to my house frequently and three of them have spent unsupervised time around my dog without any incidents for the past two years.

They are very aware of the rules and boundaries I've set. They can go play fetch and stuff with him but they are never to play with his tail or face or try to sit on him.

Another boy (let's call him B) and his mum apparently heard that my dog was upstairs and wanted to head up too. I said nope, sorry, my dog doesn't play too well with people he doesn't know and I can't be around upstairs all the time.

B's mum insisted that it will be fine and her son loves playing with dogs etc. I cut her off and said nah, another time, and directed them both toward the other toys/party stuff going on.

Less than five minutes later, I hear some barking and some screaming from upstairs. I run up to see B crying and his mum yelling at my dog and me. All sorts of accusations were hurled at me, including having a rabid dog, untrained dog and she said she was going to ensure my dog was put down.

I tried to ask the other kids (my son and his friends) what happened. So, it turns out that B and his mother came up on their own and while my dog was lying in one corner, he decided to go over and start pulling his tail, even though the other kids told him not to. His mother waved them off and allowed B to continue.

That resulted in my dog getting up, and barking at them as well as growling. I checked B for any injuries and found none. My CCTV recording showed exactly what my son and his friends had described and there was no contact between my dog and the boy at any point.

B's mum brought him to the doctor anyway for a full checkup (no injuries found) and wanted me to compensate for that along with apologizing for the incident. I said no, and she would be lucky if I didn't pursue anything about trespassing into my house's upper floors. So AITA?

The post quickly inspired a flurry of passionate responses.

Excellent_Care1859 wrote:

NTA you told her to stay away from your dog. She didn’t listen. I wouldn’t invite them to my house ever again. That is so rude of them.

Rollingagate wrote:

NTA I am astounded every day by how many people think they know a dog better than the owner and feel entitled to do as they please! You clearly set a boundary, they thought they knew better, and clearly found out differently. Be grateful you have a camera proving their abuse toward your dog, led to your dog's reaction.

And be very glad that no one was bit (despite deserving it). To avoid future problems, it may be best to keep your dog off limits until all guests have left? It may help deter future issues of people not respecting your boundaries.

Known_Patience_3303 responded:

The stupid thing is...this does happen to dogs that are more unforgiving. And then the dog needs to get put down, while the human is 100% at fault.

People like B's mum make me sick to my stomach. Owners warn you and prevent access in his house. You break in. You cry when things go wrong. They want it all, except the responsibility of their actions. And the dog always pays the price. F*ck them hard in their pooper.

Annasittonrogers shared their take:

As a person who has owned numerous dogs of a breed with a bad reputation, I cannot suggest strongly enough that, during future events, you ensure there’s a physical barrier more effective than a dog gate. Such as a door that can be securely latched at the top of the door.

For some odd reason, some people consider themselves to be dog whisperers, yet want to blame the owner when the dog reacts exactly as the owner said it would, and dog breeds with aggressive reputations often are immediately blamed for any incident even if the human acted in a way they were explicitly told not to.

Hence the latch being at the top of the door - a person (adult) has to willfully ignore instructions in order to access said dog.

You’re NTA. Mom was the AH for trespassing in your home and ignoring your instructions regarding your dog. Would this have happened if your son and other kids had been kept away from your dog as well?

Maybe, but less likely. Don’t ever invite Mom back to your home - if she’s so bold as to snoop in an area she was told to avoid, she’ll disrespect your privacy and belongings in any way she sees fit.

Internal_Progress404 had a different take:

You're not TA for not paying for the doctor visit or not letting other kids upstairs. But you did trigger this situation by allowing your son and his two friends to go upstairs during the party in the first place. First off, it's rude, but it also set up a situation where other kids were interested in going there.

If the party is downstairs, that needs to apply to everyone. Your son's close friends can stay late after the party if they want to see the dog. ESH.

vmt_nani's response sums up what a lot of people felt:

Came here for an irresponsible dog owner post; leaving a NTA instead.

As of now, a lot of the internet feels OP was in the right, with a few outliers calling her out for the double standard she held for her son and his friends vs. the other little boy.

What do you think?

Sources: Reddit
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