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?

CloudsAndTrees Tue 15-Jan-13 23:03:11

Just because I think Staffordshire bull terriers get an unfair and undeserved reputation, it's worth you reading this

However, YANBU. Whether its a breed that is supposedly good with children or not is irrelevant, you don't know the dog, your CM doesn't even own the dog, I wouldn't be happy about this either.

Kalisi Tue 15-Jan-13 23:11:18

Yanbu at all. I'm also a dog lover and keen for my toddler to have contact with them, however I would not be comfortable with anyone mixing animal and DS in a home environment(especially in the circumstances stated) without myself or DH there to hover about obsessively

And I am risking a bollocking here but Sod it - the breed would be a relevant deciding factor for me shock

SpicyPear Tue 15-Jan-13 23:14:09

YANBU on points b) and c), but YABU to single out staffies as contrary to popular belief many are excellent with children. Leaving breed aside, it is extremely irresponsible of your childminder to leave your DD to pootle around with the dog for all the other reasons you have specified. I am have two dogs (guess what breed one is smile) and no kids but would be absolutely livid if i found out someone did this with my nephews. She is clearly very ignorant about dogs and I would not trust her to manage the situation or know if the dog was getting over excited or stressed (therefore more likely to scratch, snap or bite).

It's my little personal mission to post on all the doggy threads as no truly doggy person would hold the kind of views bogey mentions.

Is she insured for childminding at a different locations than her home? Has a risk assessment been done for this house?

birdsnotbees Tue 15-Jan-13 23:14:43

Thanks clouds, point taken.

birdsnotbees Tue 15-Jan-13 23:19:20

I do understand your point about staffies... I grew up in a very rough area where dogs were basically used as weapons and my crap little mongrel got mauled more times than I care to recall. Always by staffies, dobermans, rottweilers, weimarers and the occasional german shepherd. My neighbour's dog was mauled to death in our park by another dog. So I am pretty twitchy around those breeds now - can't help it, have seen what they can do when either untrained or encouraged to be aggressive.

birdsnotbees Tue 15-Jan-13 23:20:09

(that's as an aside to explain my anti-staffie prejudice!)

I'd think u were being U if u went in there guns blazing but u sound very reasonable and you have every right to calmly express a preference for your child to not be with the dog. That's your choice and u definately have a right to know what she has in Place to safe guard both dog and child.

I don't see any reason why that's not something that can't be worked out. After all no one wants the dog or child hurt.

And I say that as someone who does think certain breeds get a bad press and who loves dogs.

TwoFacedCows Tue 15-Jan-13 23:23:07

I have a dog myself, and i do not think that YABU. She is YOUR child, you need to be happy that she is safe!

I would be very unhappy with the situation you describe- what especially concerns me is that:
a) the minder doesn't know much about dogs
b) the dog would be on it's home turf, and your child therefore could make it more 'on guard' and
c) any dog at all needs to be protected from children until they are sensible and unclumsy enough not to do the wrong thing. And even then, you have to be very careful to monitor the situation and be sensitive to the dog's mood.

Now, we actually have a dog, and an 18 month old. The dog is reasonably used to our daughter, and tolerates her, but our daughter is is still ridiculously enthusiastic about the dog, and even shouts her name out if she sees a similar-looking dog somewhere else. We never, ever take chances, and we are very careful to ensure that the dog is always given a safe space to retreat to. It has taken us time and research to find the right balance.

You are being a bit unreasonable to mention the breed, though- as I'm sure other folk have already told you!

ZooAnimals Tue 15-Jan-13 23:49:22

This is not really relevant, but if she's looking after DD in your home it doesn't sound like she's a childminder. If she isn't, please don't refer to her as one. Thanks.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 15-Jan-13 23:56:05

YABU for your prime issue with you child being exposed to a dog being based on it being a staff.

YANBU to not want your child around a dog. The answer is probably to find another child minder.

Bogeyface Wed 16-Jan-13 00:55:52

Zoo, a) why is that relevant to the issue? b) she doesnt, she looks after the DD in the CMs home and somtimes visits the house she is sitting.

Bogeyface Wed 16-Jan-13 00:56:48

Ok you said it isnt relevant, but why do you care what she calls her?

deleted203 Wed 16-Jan-13 01:16:49

YANBU. The dog is on it's own territory and may well get 'territorial'. Particularly without the owner there and with strangers in the house. Toddlers and dogs are often a bad mix, and it sounds like your DD is the sort who may well be rough with a dog without meaning to be, purely because she LOVES them. I don't think you are being a control freak - in fact I'd be saying to CM that I was really upset to discover that DD had been in the house with a strange dog. Ask her where her risk assessment was for this. And make it clear you aren't prepared to condone this happening again. I like dogs and we have two, but I wouldn't be happy at my child being in the situation that yours was put in.

ZooAnimals Wed 16-Jan-13 01:34:01

Bogey I care because a childminder is a specific job. It's not a catch-all term for 'someone who looks after my kids'. When someone posts this about a 'childminder' it gives childminders a bad name, or at very least misinforms people. When a mum goes into school to help with reading do you call her a teacher? No, probably not. Childminders are registered and inspected by Ofsted. Their home will be inspected by Oftsed. They are all qualified at least to a basic level, many to degree level. They are trained in child protection and first aid and many other things. They are not 'babysitters'. They would not be allowed to just change venue and acquire a dog without checking/being inspected by Ofsted.

and with regards to 'b) she doesnt, she looks after the DD in the CMs home and somtimes visits the house she is sitting.' You may want to re-read the OP. Here is the relevant part;

'She normally works from our home but sometimes takes DD (21 months) back to her house for a bit of a change'.

She looks after the DD in the OP's home. So she may be a nanny or an au pair or a mother's help or a babysitter. A childminder looks after the child in their own Ofsted approved home.

ZooAnimals Wed 16-Jan-13 01:39:11

Oh it's also relevant because if she is a nanny/au pair/mother's help the OP would be responsible for paying her tax/NI because she would be an employee (nannies can normally be self-employed).

Chilminders are self-employed.

Many people, I don't know about the OP obviously, call a nanny/babysitter a 'childminder' as shorthand for 'I'm paying her cash in hand'.

We all know how much we hate tax-evaders.

ZooAnimals Wed 16-Jan-13 01:40:43

*nannies can't normally be self-employed.

Wow zoo thats one hell of an over reaction. I think the reputation of childminders everywhere will still be in tact since the OP has said that her nanny/au pair/babysitter/childminder is lovely.

Bogeyface Wed 16-Jan-13 01:48:24

And perhaps she used the phrase "childminder" to avoid typing "Regular babysitter, but not a nanny iykwim. Imagine she is a CM but in my home!" every fucking time.

Over reacting much?!

ZooAnimals Wed 16-Jan-13 01:50:30

I just said please don't call her a childminder if she isn't. That's not an over reaction.

Bogey asked why, so I explained.

She's lovely apart from the possibly dangerous dog she introduced to the toddler without the parents permission/knowledge. She sounds great.

ZooAnimals Wed 16-Jan-13 01:54:41

I said 'This is not really relevant, but if she's looking after DD in your home it doesn't sound like she's a childminder. If she isn't, please don't refer to her as one. Thanks. '

How is that an over reaction! I said please and thank you. It was a small comment. I only had to explain it because you asked!

'And perhaps she used the phrase "childminder" to avoid typing "Regular babysitter, but not a nanny iykwim. Imagine she is a CM but in my home!" every fucking time.'

This is exactly the problem. Childminder does not mean 'Regular babysitter, but not a nanny iykwim. Imagine she is a CM but in my home'. Just like teacher does not mean 'mum who does reading at school and sometimes helps with painting at the pre-school'. It's a specific job.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 16-Jan-13 01:55:38

Zoo has a point. CM are increasingly required to be professional (while providing a homelike environment) and I can quite see that it might irk that someone acting in an entirely unprofessional manner should be given her role-title, when she hasn't jumped through the required hoops.

Bogeyface Wed 16-Jan-13 01:57:20

She could be a professional CM but as she works on the OPs home, she isnt at that point being employed as a CM.

I said like a CM but in my own home, LIKE.

MrsHoarder Wed 16-Jan-13 01:58:26

Whether or not she is a registered childminder may have a bearing on whether discussing insurance is appropriate for the op. Definitely ok to ask for your child to not mix with a strange dog though.

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