to wonder why anyone with young children would have a dog as a pet or on their home?

(295 Posts)
needtobediscreet Tue 18-Feb-14 14:24:06

In light of the many incidents of death and injury caused to young children by dogs, even those not previously considered a danger, I can't help but wonder WHY anyone would. The latest seems to involve a six day old baby in west Wales.

Don't get me wrong, I love animals. I grew up with cats and had a pet dog myself when I was in secondary school. But the nicest of dogs can 'turn' it seems and the results are a lot worse than when a cat gets a bit upset.

Clearly in the majority of cases the affected families weren't deliberately neglectful but why take the risk?

I'm prepared for lots of responses from dog owners....!!!

needtobediscreet Tue 18-Feb-14 14:24:45

in their home!

Frusso Tue 18-Feb-14 14:26:55

Are you deliberately starting a bun fight?

Catsmamma Tue 18-Feb-14 14:27:02

yes, cos all dogs eat babies.

shall we go off and examine how many children die in car accidents? And ban cars?

RunRabbit Tue 18-Feb-14 14:28:37

biscuit

HeartShapedBox Tue 18-Feb-14 14:29:06

hmm

DustyBaubles Tue 18-Feb-14 14:29:09

Well, probably because the risk is small.

Children have been killed by falling furniture, carbon monoxide, parents, all sorts of things.

Most children with furniture, gas boilers and parents in their homes will be fine.

We can't have a dog, though we'd love to. If I ever own a house, I'm getting a dog.

Pagwatch Tue 18-Feb-14 14:31:15

Dogs are life enhancing. They are usually a positive aspect of family life.

Ignoring all the positives in order to avoid a relatively rare event is not a sensible way to live ones life.

GhostsInSnow Tue 18-Feb-14 14:32:54

<eyes 17 week old killer Scottie dog snoring on feet>

Yep. Lethal.
grin

TheScience Tue 18-Feb-14 14:33:33

Well, children don't tend to get killed by the family spaniel/labrador/bichon frise do they?

It tends to be idiots with poorly trained, poorly cared for fashion dogs - American bulldogs, mastiffs, I think the latest one was a malamute?

So, I'd say the actual risk to children from a family pet is pretty low. The risk from having useless parents/grandparents/uncles is higher.

cathpip Tue 18-Feb-14 14:34:27

I have two dogs and am expecting baby no3 in 6 weeks. My dogs are very child friendly but that does not mean that I would leave them unattended with any of my children. Small children do not know how to behave around dogs, if we were being continuously poked in the nether regions we would say something. The problem I find (IMO) is that people are not respectful enough of what a dog can do and believe that there dog would never do anything like that!

Joules68 Tue 18-Feb-14 14:34:30

which breed of dog was this?

cathpip Tue 18-Feb-14 14:35:59

And I have been bitten by a family Labrador!

Jess03 Tue 18-Feb-14 14:39:15

Ridiculous. Why don't we all done hazmat suits and never get on planes with babies etc? Life is about knowing which risks to take. My properly exercised retriever puts up with anything my toddler will do. If other kids are round and he seems a bit over excited, he goes in another room. The dogs that hurt children are either not properly looked after or have owners that haven't got the sense to realise they cannot be family dogs.

AlpacaLypse Tue 18-Feb-14 14:39:46

Because usually the dog was there first.

And dog-proofing the baby's environment is one of the many changes in the house you make when you have a child. We all quit smoking indoors, put in stair gates, stop leaving mugs of hot tea within toddler grabbing distance... ensuring the family pet isn't left unattended with the baby is just one of those things.

sonlypuppyfat Tue 18-Feb-14 14:40:54

We had a well trained Springer spaniel it did anything my DH asked of him. But when he went out he completely resented us he would snap and growel he went for our DS and bit his arm the dog went to the vets and didn't come back. Now I don't trust any dog even a small one could scar a child's face.

needtobediscreet Tue 18-Feb-14 14:41:20

The latest report is about a malamut, like a husky apparently. It's not confirmed but dog has been seized following the sudden death of a six day old, so presumably it's connected.

Yes, they're usually pit bull types and there are usually other factors but a Pomeranian killed a one year old in the States in 2000.

Cathpip - that's the exact advice from the experts according to a Google search i.e. no matter how well you know your dog, NEVER leave it alone in the room with a young child, but how many dog owning parents can say honestly that they've never, ever done that?

Not deliberately starting a bun fight, no. Just asking a genuine question that I'd love to debate but am stuck working at home while listening to the news so came on here....

MrsBennetsEldest Tue 18-Feb-14 14:41:33

Oh dear!!!!!!

There are records of huge numbers of dog attacks each year. Only the worst get to the papers and we can assume there are even larger numbers that don't get reported to anyone at all.

Royal Mail alone say that in 2008/09, there were 4,810 attacks on staff.

So I agree with the OP, but you will get lots of people hating you for saying it and claiming that their fluffy has never bitten anyone! Usually adding something like "Well not counting uncle fred, the postman, and a couple of the neighbours kids, but that was just playing...."

There's no real way to convince people of the problem except one at a time when someone they care about gets hurt. Then they post about it and everyone else says "are you trying to start a fight".

And of course we learned from a recent thread that many people count dogs as more important than babies anyway.

Oh and the "but cars kill people too" would also justify leaving boiling pans within reach of toddlers. Apparently doing anything to make children safe is pointless because cars kill people too.

gordyslovesheep Tue 18-Feb-14 14:42:02

Yabu unless you keep you children in vaccum jars, away from cars, airplanes, fire places, people, ponds, food, bikes, and, well everything else ever

GimmeDaBoobehz Tue 18-Feb-14 14:42:26

I think there is a big difference between having a pet dog when you have a baby/young children and leaving them alone with said child.

I have a 10 month old and my partner has a guide dog. Even though he is the most placid of animals I supervise when my daughter touches around him and I never leave them in a room on their own. If I need the toilet, the phone rings or someone else gets hurt in the house I get the dog out first or my daughter depending on the situation.

When she's 5 or 6 I'd be fine with her being in the same room alone with him but not in the house alone with him. I'd still be able to get to her quickly if things got nasty and I highly doubt that would happen as he just sulks and runs when she starts prodding him but every dog has the potential to turn, no matter how placid they are.

But he is very easy going and she loves to stroke him (gets taken away if she gets rough) and loves him to run past her quickly, his tail nearly brushing her face. She squeals in glee.

I think what we do is sensible to be honest and I don't think I'm putting her at danger with these rules. I will always be careful just like I am with other peoples dogs, cats, budgies, whatever it is they have because her safety comes first.

Doesn't mean having a family pet that the child loves dearly means an attack is going to happen.

These stories do make me sad really bad though - those poor babies. It just breaks my heart. What terrible parenting/choices!

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Popcorn anyone?

phantomnamechanger Tue 18-Feb-14 14:44:32

you can't ban all families from having dogs OP, but I was shocked and saddened by todays news and groaned "oh no not another one" my overwhelming feeling was when will people learn from these tragedies. This sort of thing need never happen again. Its not the same as saying ban cars because they kill too, parents can take responsible precautions with cars- drive safely, drive well maintained cars, use correct car seats, don't drink & drive , stay alert etc etc. Even then there will be a few unavoidable freak accidents involving other drivers or obstacles. Dog attacks can be completely avoided. At 6 days old my babies were never out of my sight! we had 2 cats & they were never left in the same room together. My parents have always had dogs - even now we do not leave the children alone in the room with the dogs and the youngest child is 9. we pick and choose which friends with dogs they are allowed to go visit without us.

my heart goes out to that poor poor family and I don't know how they will ever come to terms with this loss, but the sad truth is these things should not happen, people are lax, they treat their pets like people and forget that they are unpredictable animals, they lack common sense and do not train their dogs properly.

PhantomMenace Tue 18-Feb-14 14:45:07

I have a Shih Tzu, He is the softest dopiest laziest dog in the world. No I can't say he would never turn, but from what I have seen so far of how he is with my 2 year old DD he would rather run and hide than harm a hair on her head.

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