Awwww! How sweet! But I too would have been annoyed by a sudden ice-cream interruption. One time someone did that to Bella but she cowered and ran away!!! Haha but she's a very friendly corgi as well and corgis are generally a child-friendly breed, except for some minor nipping (lol)!
If you train him for therapy work and get him certified, you can not only do the volunteering and get him used to the various circumstances before you open your practice, but also have him be an asset to your practice in that capacity once you open it. The training is also for the person and you'll benefit from that too. There have been many studies on the positive effect dogs have in getting people to feel at ease and open up in therapeutic settings that would be otherwise stressful. This is true for both children and adults. He can also be a good ambassador for the breed. Many here have therapy dogs and will gladly help. If you have questions, post them to the forum or do a search for past discussions. Although I don't have the specifics, i know that some certifying organizations also offer group liability insurance for therapy dogs and this may be particularly useful to you in private practice. You can start with checking out Delta Society, but there are others. Best of luck.
You are right to be proud of Sterling, he accepted the child's attention and let you know when he had had enough. Good breeding and good training will always show.
My first corgi, Arnie, was a rescue. His previous people had a child after he had been an "only child". Nothing wrong with that but I came to the conclusion that they did not teach the toddler any manners nor did they protect the dog. They gave him to a rescue saying he bit the toddler tho othey admitted there were no teeth marks. He probably did nip him but what did the child do to him. Just as we teach a dog how we want them to behave around others, we have to teach children how to behave around animals.
When we had Arnie he would only tolerate kids around him for a very short time. I supervised and removed him immediately when I could see he had enough.
This tells me that your dog's breeder did an excellent job choosing his parents, and that you did a wonderful job socializing him; it takes both genetics and experience to deal with this sort of situation well, so good for you both. I am always watchful with children and if they are smaller or clearly not used to dogs, I stay very close so I can physically intervene if needed.
Our worst experiences have all been with adults. The absolute worst was when a mentally challenged man tried to pick Jack up by his head. Yikes! Very scary for everyone, and we no avoid such situations because I have learned that my good intentions are not enough to manage that situation.
You should be proud. I always give my dogs praise and sometimes a treat after we walk away from kids, so they know they handled it well. Now they look at me and smile when we leave behind children. I'm pretty sure they are saying "Is there a treat?" but I like to think they are saying "I did good, didn't I?"
You are rightfully proud of how Sterling behaved, and you should also be proud of how you handled yourself in that delicate situation! You can also be happy this happened, because it taught you something about Sterling. Some dogs seem to have a sixth sense and an affinity for people who have physical disabilities. You said the boy was in a cast. Many dogs would be spooked by this, not your Sterling. He also related well to a child who spoke a language he did not understand and who behaved in a way he was not accustomed to. He is a very good candidate for Therapy Dog training and work. If this appeals to you, I would recommend looking into it. It can be very rewarding for you, Sterling and for the recipients of his affection and understanding. That little boy had been through a lot and Sterling helped him laugh, love and just be a kid for a little bit. With training, you both would know how to handle this type of situation in a more structured manner and you could make a real difference to people who need a smile.
Sterling really did you proud! I am always watchful, too, in terms of child/corgi interactions because they can go "south" in the blink of an eye. Kids probably don't appreciate it much when I tell them emphatically to leave the ears, muzzle and nub alone - it's for their own protection really. Sometimes the parents look at me screwy - but it's my duty to protect my three corgis from overzealous children and those who might not have had proper lessons in approaching animals. I hope you got another ice cream!!! Share it with Sterling!!!! Corgi hugs, kisses and high fives from: Nancy, Bear, Tasha and Linus
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