AIBU in banning the dog?

(102 Posts)
birdsnotbees Tue 15-Jan-13 22:12:07

Our lovely childminder is house sitting for 6 months. House comes with a dog. She normally works from our home but sometimes takes DD (21 months) back to her house for a bit of a change. She took DD back to her new house today and introduced her to the dog without asking me. The dog is some sort of staffie cross. She said that the dog was shut in a separate room while DD napped, but was otherwise pootling about with DD and the childminder.

I haven't yet had a chance to speak to her, but I really don't want my DD in the same house as a) a staffie, b) a dog whose owner has moved away for 6 months and c) a dog that is now being looked after by someone who has never owned a dog before.

It just feels like a recipe for disaster. DD is obsessed with dogs and chases them round getting in their faces - if she's with me I tend to move her away as many dogs wouldn't like a toddler constantly grabbing at them. I would never, ever have a dog in our house I didn't know very well (my mum has a dog) and even then would be/am wary. I have had a dog in the past, and after 14 years of being lovely he did bite someone; my parents' first dog also bit my cousin who was mithering him (as kids do), so I'm more aware than most about how easily dogs can "turn".

But equally I know she loves taking DD back to her house, and I don't want to be a control freak about it... so AIBU?

Bogeyface Tue 15-Jan-13 22:15:40

a) You are going to get flamed for saying that you dont want your child around dogs, it will be YOUR fault for not teaching your child how to behave around them
b) you are going to get flamed then skinned alive and then flamed again for mentioning staffies in particular

YANBU btw, just letting you know what will happen!

It wouldn't matter to me what the breed of dog was but I would not want a dog I didn't know being around a child that young especially given that your dd will be quite boistrous with it. YANBU.

I expect your child minder has in place a safety regiment with regards to dog. And she should have no problem explaining it to you. smile

birdsnotbees Tue 15-Jan-13 22:18:20

Aw thanks, well I suppose I best prepare myself for a flaming.

Though how I can be blamed for not teaching a 21 month old how to behave around dogs is beyond me. I can barely get the little bugger to do the basics (eat, sleep, get dressed) without a major tantrum, so the concept of how to behave around an animal....hmmm, maybe in a few years!

Staffies - well, my personal experience of them (as a previous dog owner) isn't a good one. My dog got attacked by others a lot.

birdsnotbees Tue 15-Jan-13 22:20:06

Thanks wheresmycaffeine I will ask her! And thanks also missy, it's just that DD adores dogs but has no idea that they can be grouchy.

Mutt Tue 15-Jan-13 22:25:36

I can understand your fears. Why not word it that DD doesn't know how to behave around dogs and tends to be rough and you are scared she will startle it and the dog will snap. You'd hate for anything to happen and the dog to get the blame so would rather she didn't spend time with it just in case.

However, if looking after the dog is part of the house-sitting deal she will probably have to go back to the house at some time during the day. How would you feel if she promised to keep the dog in another room while they were there?

I love dogs , I think they are beautiful and amazing pets and that a few irresponsible owners with dogs who aren't properly taken care of give dogs a bad name. BUT.... It would be irresponsible of any dog owner to not have some kind of safety drill, somewhere safe to keep dogs away from child and to teach children how to be kind and gentle. As a child minder, children who are scared of dogs or allergic or even just a bit heavy handed are alwYs going to be present and I would be most surprised if she wouldn't be willing to answer perfectly reasonable questions with regards to the dog and children smile

I had exactly the same problem with my dd, she would (try to) run up to dogs in the street and want to hug them, she thought all dogs were like massive teddy bears, which is weird because my older dd had a phobia of all dogs and refused to even walk past one. Do you think your childminder will be ok about you asking her not to have the dog near your dd?

WhatchuTalkinBoutPhyllis Tue 15-Jan-13 22:27:52

YANBU. I'm just going to put the kettle on grin

austenozzy Tue 15-Jan-13 22:29:04

"pootling about with DD and the childminder" - I don't like the sound of that one bit, especially if she's an inexperienced dog owner/carer/whatever. It's too easy for a kid to accidentally startle or annoy a dog completely unintentionally.

I've got the world's most docile Lab and I don't leave her in the same room as 21mo DD unattended.

Staffies have their defenders (who will be along soon, no doubt), but of the few my dog has come across a good number have had an overly aggressive edge to them. And I'm in rural Suffolk, not Peckham!

I'd find out more, and probably put a stop to it, tbh.

fuzzypicklehead Tue 15-Jan-13 22:30:57

I have and love dogs, but would say YANBU to not want your small child in close quarters with an unfamiliar dog (regardless of breed) especially if the dog is missing it's owner and the childminder isn't accustomed to dogs. She needs to have an appropriate risk assessment in place.

Does the childminder know you don't want your child in close contact with a dog? Its one thing to come across a dog in the park etc., but its quite another to be put into someone else's house with their dog.

Incidentally she shouldn't be taking your child - if she is insured etc that will be invalid in a place she's house-sitting. I think just ask her not to do it again, end of.

birdsnotbees Tue 15-Jan-13 22:33:14

wheresmycaffeine that's good - a starting point. missy that's exactly the same as in our house. My DS (older) doesn't like dogs, never has, but DD is bonkers for them (her first word was doggy). And not sure whether our childminder will be OK - I'm not sure if the house-sitting deal includes looking after the dog in the day (if it does she's not asked me about it in advance).

birdsnotbees Tue 15-Jan-13 22:35:26

Thanks burning, I didn't know that about the insurance. Right, OK, will have a chat with her in the morning. She's so excited about the house-sitting and I don't want to rain on her parade... equally it scares the c**p out of me the thought of DD being around an unfamiliar dog.

Personally, I wouldn't want a toddler being mixed with an unknown dog by an unexperienced adult. That seems like a bad idea to me.

maddening Tue 15-Jan-13 22:43:07

Yanbu

Even if some dogs are fantastic and trustworthy around children how can the op know that these are that dog? she hasn't met this dog nor it's owner in order to make such a judgement and the nanny should have informed you.

birdsnotbees Tue 15-Jan-13 22:43:38

Thanks everyone, will def chat to childminder in the morning and ask her not to take DD back to her house anymore.

maddening Tue 15-Jan-13 22:44:29

Ps even a good tempered dog could be a problem on it's own territory with it's owners gone

birdsnotbees Tue 15-Jan-13 22:47:46

Yes maddening, that's what I'm thinking. Dog is likely to feel unsettled at the moment with its owner just gone/new person in the house, and then adding a totally nuts toddler into the mix...

YANBU. It sounds as though the childminder has changed the terms? (different house, dog) so therefore you can say that you don't agree to those terms and don't want your DD at the other house.

I absolutely love dogs, but I'd also be wary of a strange dog, let alone the situation you describe.

YANBU. I have a terrier (although not a staffy) and they do have a hard bite (if they bite).

My dog is lovely and pretty laid back but there's no way I'd leave my youngest daughter - age 5 - alone with him. She's pretty good with him, having had him since she was 2, but the potential is always there and it's a risk I wouldn't be willing to take.

Good luck tomorrow smile I hope it goes ok. I think any person who looks after anyone should be able to answer quite happily any questions a person might have with regards to keeping charges safe. And you would expect dogs to be as risk assessed as stairs and kitchen chemical
Cupboards. You don't sound crazy or over protective at all. It's for the dogs sake as much as the children's.

DoodlesNoodles Tue 15-Jan-13 22:59:02

YANBU .....not at all.

I love dogs but dogs and toddlers are a bad mix.

birdsnotbees Tue 15-Jan-13 23:00:53

Thanks caffeine and yes, it's as much for the dog - it can't be blamed if it snaps at an unknown, hyperactive toddler that's all of a sudden in its space. I just had a massive "she did WHAT" moment when I got in from work and DH told me and needed to know if I was being out of line!

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