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


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!

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.

Bogeyface Wed 16-Jan-13 02:01:33

Actually it also has a bearing in whether the OP claims free hours too, could be very dodgy, so she needs to check that out too.

I was just shocked at how a title, that could have been used for ease, illicited such a strong response!

ZooAnimals Wed 16-Jan-13 02:02:45

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

I don't understand this bit?!

The OP didn't say she was 'like a childminder' did she? She said she was a childminder. Which you then explained as '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.'

I object to her using the term childminder to describe someone who is LIKE a childminder, but isn't qualified or ofsted registered i.e. a babysitter.

Well there are plenty of threads on here from parents who are displeased with their real Offsted approved childminders for doing a lot worse than that. I would say those threads are more likely to give childminders a 'bad name' than this one.

And a 2 post rant about why she shouldn't be calling the woman who minds her child a childminder is an over-reaction imo.

The issue for the OP is still the same whether she is a friend, childminder, babysitter or anything else.

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 16-Jan-13 02:05:46

A) yabu
B) yanbu
C) yanbu

Have you discusses this yet with the CM?

Bogeyface Wed 16-Jan-13 02:09:26

That is my point, she may have said CM in order to avoid a torturous explaination of hiring a CM as a nanny blah blah.

ZooAnimals Wed 16-Jan-13 02:12:33

Again, I made a small comment 'please don't use childminder if she isn't one'. That's not a 'strong response'. The rest was in answer to your question, not the OP.

If you're not involved with childminders I don't expect you to understand how annoying it is, but you could acknowledge that someone who is maybe as more of an idea than you do.

'And a 2 post rant about why she shouldn't be calling the woman who minds her child a childminder is an over-reaction imo.'

This was in response to Bogey's question. Not the OP's misuse of the word. To the OP there was 2 lines that included a please and a thank you. No rant. If you read the posts carefully you can see this and I wouldn't need to keep explaining it.

'The issue for the OP is still the same whether she is a friend, childminder, babysitter or anything else'

Actually it's not because a childminder will be insured and oftsed registered. This changes how things can be dealt with.

A babysitter is an employee and can be 'fired'. A childminder is self-employed so the process will be different.

ZooAnimals Wed 16-Jan-13 02:14:20

'That is my point, she may have said CM in order to avoid a torturous explaination of hiring a CM as a nanny blah blah. '

I don't doubt that she did do it for that reason.

My point was to ask her not to. Please.

Then you asked 'why?' and I tried to explain why it's important that we seperate childminder and 'general person who looks after my kids'.

ZooAnimals Wed 16-Jan-13 02:17:42

and is she is currently employed as a nanny she could have just said 'nanny', that's even fewer letters to type than childminder!

Bogeyface Wed 16-Jan-13 02:19:00

And tbh I still dont really get that it is important in the context of this thread, I really dont!

Yes, I agree in principle to what you are saying, but I feel that bringing it up here was at best pointless and at worst, counter productive.

ZooAnimals Wed 16-Jan-13 02:23:15

It's important to pick-up on it when you see it. I read through first and was suprised no-one else commented. I don't know if everyone else is just more polite than me or if no-one else saw the problem. The fact that I've had to hammer home the point to you and others though makes me glad I did because it shows that people just do not understand the issue.

I think it was fine until you asked why and then I responded and the whole thing went completely off track. I didn't feel like I should ignore the question. Maybe I should have answered you in a PM?

Sorry for the thread de-tour OP!

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 16-Jan-13 02:23:50

I actually wondered why it took so long for someone to point out that she's clearly NOT a childminder if she's working from the OP's home.

If the woman was a childminder she would know that most parents would want permission for a dog to be introduced to a child.

As the woman isn't a childminder then it's quite possible she hasn't thought of it as anything other than a lovely opportunity for the child who loves dogs.

Bogeyface Wed 16-Jan-13 02:25:03

Shall we agree to stick to the point?


wine zoo? Or hot chocolate as its late?!

Bogeyface Wed 16-Jan-13 02:25:39

I am having hot choc btw!

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 16-Jan-13 02:27:22

It's no less important to 'pick up on it' on a random thread that it would be to 'pick up on it' if the comment was racist or homophobic or whatever and Zoo did do it politely. To Childminders it is important <and no, I'm not one! [Shudder] If I wanted to do that much paperwork I'd be a lawyer! wink>

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 16-Jan-13 02:28:01

brew for me thanks smile

ZooAnimals Wed 16-Jan-13 02:31:32

I'd love a hot chocolate thanks grin

and just for the record....I'm not a childminder either.

JusticeCrab Wed 16-Jan-13 08:09:42

Small children and dogs should never be left together unsupervised, whatever the breed of dog. Not with Staffies, not with Bedlington terriers, not with Italian greyhounds. End of!

The word 'childminder' is defined in Chambers dictionary - the go-to resource for all crossword solvers worth their salt - as 'an officially registered person who looks after children, especially those with working parents, in return for payment'.

I'm not normally one for appeals to authority, but, in my view, this means ZooAnimals wins that particular debate.

INeedThatForkOff Wed 16-Jan-13 08:32:14

We had a Staffie when I was a kid. He bit my younger brother once, and a male friend on two separate occasions (we were playing kiss chase on one of them - the dog was trying to protect me). I'm talking clothes-tearing, skin-piercing bites. He attacked sheep and killed chickens if ever he found an opportunity. Ok the dog could have been better trained but his aggression wasn't encouraged.

As he got older, he got more aggressive, refusing to be handled by my dad, growling and getting his hackles up at my friends and even being grumpy with me if I woke him in the night (he slept on my feet).

There's no way my DCs will be in contact with Staffies.

Jayne266 Wed 16-Jan-13 16:01:25

Why is a staffie the issue?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ineed I have 3 children, 2 staffies and about 8 foster staffys over the years. And they have never bitten anyone.

I just thought I'd throw that in as anecdotal evidence seems to equal absolute fact here.

OP YANBU not to want any breed of dog free to run around with your child.
You don't know the dog, your DCs does not know the dog or have much experience around dogs and your childminder is not the dogs owner.

D0oinMeCleanin Wed 16-Jan-13 16:23:36

I see Staffie bashing has made a return then? <sigh>

OP, based on what you've said about your child, I wouldn't want her being given free range access to a dog either, it hardly sounds fair on the dog.

Oh and dogs don't "easily turn" it takes a hell of a lot to push a dog into biting or nipping, especially a patient, robust breed like a staffy. The dog gives plenty of warnings before moving to that stage, unfortunately most people refuse to educate themselves and their children on these warning signals because they don't have a dog so why should they? So when they're bitten by the Uncles/Aunts/Grans dog they can blame the dog because "it just turned for nothing"

How's your new puppy dOoin?

D0oinMeCleanin Wed 16-Jan-13 17:30:41

hasn't arrived yet angry

The foster co-ordinator crashed her car and is off road (but physically fine, luckily) so I am trying not to sulk too much. Although I have access to a car on Friday, so I might just go and steal a different dog from the kennels they use nearby wink

yanbu to not want your dc in a house with a strange dog. yabu to pinpoint the fact that its a staffy and you know it. but I'm biased I've got a staffy Sat on my knee and one at my feet. I know the risks of having a dog and don't leave the kids alone with them but neither would I if I had a dalmation. by all means speak to the woman looking after dd about the dog in general and how you feel. staffy slating comments really fuck me off angry

PandaOnAPushBike Wed 16-Jan-13 17:52:49

We had a Staffie as children. We used to wrestle with her, stick our arms in her mouth while play fighting, tie teddy bears to her back and chase her round the garden and generally annoy the shit out of her. She never so much as growled at any of us.

My current dog is a gorgeous, tiny, fluffy Westie who's as cute as a button. He's also an intolerant little bastard who hates children. You just cannot judge a dog by it's breed.

birdsnotbees Wed 16-Jan-13 23:55:28

Wow, thanks everyone for that. And yes, I take the point entirely about me being U about the staffie thing. I stand corrected.

As for the frankly weird comments about my childminder: no, it's not relevant (but yes, she is one, and yes, she is Ofsted registered and yes, she's utterly brilliant and professional, which is why this thing with the dog blind-sided me a bit). Oh and no I don't bloody well pay her cash in hand or call her a childminder to evade my responsibilities in terms of tax and NI. It's quite a complicated arrangement but we have the OK from Ofsted about it all and it's fine. But thanks for asking. (And: breathe).

Anyway, I had a chat with her today and gently said some of the good advice I got here, and she's agreed not to take DD to her house, or have the dog around her. Reading between the lines, I think she was so excited about the dog that she just didn't think it through properly. So she was a bit sheepish and I'll follow it up again next week when I see her next. So thanks everyone, and I promise to look more kindly on staffies from now on. Just so long as they're nowhere near my kids. grin

ZooAnimals Thu 17-Jan-13 00:01:28

Thanks for explaining about the childminder. I can live with 'weird', but I hope you didn't find my initial comment to you ranty or rude. I tried to be as polite as possible.

The tax/NI happens A LOT, but I did say absolutely not in reference to you, just one of the reasons why it's important to make the difference clear.

Glad you got it all sorted.

ZooAnimals Thu 17-Jan-13 00:05:16

*and just to add, if she is a childminder you can pay her cash in hand; she is responsible for her own tax/NI.

Bogeyface Thu 17-Jan-13 00:19:07

The dog gives plenty of warnings before moving to that stage, unfortunately most people refuse to educate themselves and their children on these warning signals because they don't have a dog so why should they?

How should these people who "refuse" to educate themselves do so?

I am allergic to dogs, and dont particularly like them either. We dont know anyone with a dog as a pet, apart from my uncle that we see twice a year away from his home, without the dog. So why and how should we educate ourselves?

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 17-Jan-13 01:30:23

Very few people are able to live in a totally dog free world, your child will eventually visit friends houses who have dogs, they will pass them in the park, meet guide dogs in shops or on pubic transport that's why you should give them a brief explanation of dog behavior and suitable ways to interact with them.

Ideally all dog owners should be responsible enough to educate themselves in depth on the subject and protect their dog from getting stressed to the point they feel they need to physically defend themselves, unfortunately we don't live in an ideal and not all owners are responsible, you only need to look at the state of rescues in this country to see that sad

Plus small, un dog savvy children have a habit of evading their parents and throwing themselves in the face of every dog they meet, which is not good.

Surely your child's safety is important enough for you to make the effort yourself, rather than trust the dog owners? Dog bites are very rare but in 99% of cases they were avoidable. Education could make dog bites even rarer, surely that can only be a good thing?

How? This is a great website to start with

CheerfulYank Thu 17-Jan-13 01:50:58

Are staffies what we call pit bulls? confused

ZooAnimals Thu 17-Jan-13 01:57:51

No pit bulls are illegal in the UK (although are think there some exceptions).

Staffies are these

ZooAnimals Thu 17-Jan-13 01:59:33

*although think there are some exceptions confused. I'm not Yoda!

Bogeyface Thu 17-Jan-13 02:29:17

Some exceptions there are......


JusticeCrab Thu 17-Jan-13 06:43:55

Pit Bulls are much bigger and stronger than Staffies. An absolutely superb breed. A (US-based) friend of ours who works with dogs has a pet Pit Bull and he's one of the most majestic dogs I've ever seen.

birdsnotbees Thu 17-Jan-13 13:34:52

Um, for the benefit of those who clearly haven't read my posts properly, I am not suggesting for one second that my DD should never come into contact with any dog, I am suggesting that she not come into contact with a strange dog, on its own territory, and only supervised by someone who isn't actually its owner and also has no experience of handling dogs. It is a very specific situation and yes I do actually make the effort to educate my kids about how to act around animals.

But, also, my DD isn't yet TWO YEARS OLD. Her level of comprehension, plus recall in terms of being able to remember what I have told her in the past, is on a par with a toddler. As in, it's all well and good you telling me she should learn to behave properly around dogs - but until she is actually capable of doing so then my responsibility is to remove her from potentially dangerous situations.

Honestly, it's basic common sense. I don't hate dogs. I used to have one; my mum still does. But I know enough about toddlers and dogs to know that they don't mix - and it is not the fault of either the toddler or the dog that that's the case.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 17-Jan-13 13:40:03

My last post was in reply to Bogey, OP, not you.

Sorry for any offense caused.

Glad you got it sorted op see told you ya only had to talk to her!! Totally understandable request smile

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Thu 17-Jan-13 14:28:17

But staffies are known as nanny dogs for a reason.... Singling out a single breed especially when that breed is naturally very human friendly is a bit odd. Why not say I don't want my child near a jack russell, a breed which is far more likely to nip your child?

Is your childminder with your dc at all times when the dog is in the same room?
Has the dog shown any signs of being unhappy that your dc is in its home?
What is your childminders policy re dogs and children?

If you are really that bothered then ask your childminder to keep the dog away from your child or ask that your child stays at your house, but it is still important that your dc know how to interact safely with dogs....

Dogs do not 'turn'.... They display masses of signs to show their unhappiness, our failure to pick up on those signs is not an excuse to say that they just 'turn' as quite simply they do not

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Thu 17-Jan-13 14:32:55

I am allergic to dogs, and dont particularly like them either. We dont know anyone with a dog as a pet, apart from my uncle that we see twice a year away from his home, without the dog. So why and how should we educate ourselves?

Books and the internet

So you never see dogs out and about and have never had an off lead one run up to you or your dc?

birdsnotbees Thu 17-Jan-13 20:43:55

Thanks, Doin.

Nothing, I don't think you have read my posts so in reply:

I don't mention a Jack Russell because, funnily enough, my CM doesn't actually have a Jack Russell. I have also already said a couple of times that I stand corrected about staffies.

If you'd read my post you'll find the answers to your subsequent 3 questions. I have also spoken to my CM after taking advice from here and it's now all sorted.

I am really "that bothered", yes. Silly me, worrying about my child's welfare and being all "over the top" about her being in the same house as an unsettled, unfamiliar dog whose owner has gone away and whose new owner has had no prior experience of dogs, nor much time spent with this one. Silly me in thinking that introducing a toddler into that environment, into the dog's own territory, at a time when the toddler is mental about animals and would likely follow it around constantly, is a bad idea.

Of course it's important that my DD know how to interact with dogs. I teach her already and WHEN SHE IS OLD ENOUGH some of that teaching might actually stick. She's not even two years old; she does not yet have the intellectual capacity to understand.

And yes I do think dogs have the capacity to just "turn". They are animals, not cute likkle people wearing fluffy coats. My darling old dog, who I had and had loved for 16 years, and who had been trained to within an inch of his life when young and had never, ever, ever shown any signs of aggression, was 14 when he bit someone. It was totally out of the blue, he wasn't stressed, ill, in a new situation or exhibiting any signs of being unhappy. We just walked around a corner on our routine morning walk and he bit a man coming the other way, hard enough to graze the skin and leave puncture marks. He never did it again but I am still shocked even now that he did it.

wheres - ta for your help, you were totally right. Thanks! smile

JusticeCrab Thu 17-Jan-13 22:42:07

If it's all sorted, then I think we should leave the 'someone is wrong on the internet' thing and go and have a cup of tea. Better that than continue flinging the buns.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 17-Jan-13 22:46:42

I am a big fan of dogs but I completely agree with you.

Softlysoftly Thu 17-Jan-13 23:01:13

Can I be the one to say "yes Jack Russels etc nip more but when a Staffie turns it can do serious damage and therein lies the difference"


YANBU btw.

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Fri 18-Jan-13 10:00:08

Softly Most staffie owners who don't use them for the hard dog image and who actually give a shit are well aware that the dog can do serious damage, most dogs can do serious damage, which is why they put a lot of effort into obedience training and teaching bite inhibition.

Small dog owners are far less likely to do this as the dog is small, cute, small mouth, small teeth, couldn't possibly harm anyone hmm , can't jump as high, completely ignore the fact that some small breeds have massive prey drives...

I'd leave my very dog savvy ds (3 years old) with my friends very well behaved people obsessed staffie (ds can walk this dog (he holds one lead and friend holds another one) without fear of being pulled over and the dog obeys his commands to sit/wait etc)

You can rarely be classed as unreasonable if you are prioritising your childs safety but it is annoying when people assume that a dog is a child eating monster based on its breeding.

maisiejoe123 Fri 18-Jan-13 11:02:27

I have one of the big breeds. She is calm and interested in new people, a quick sniff and then off for another lie down. I would never allow her to be unsupervised around a small child not because I dont trust her but because I dont trust them. Why would a 2 yr old know what is and isnt OK to do to a dog.

Its almost impossible to avoid dogs all of the time so I would suggest that people are responsible for gaining some knowledge of what they should do around a strange dog and also as soon as possible to train their children in what is right and wrong and why going up to a complete strangers dog is a complete no no.

When our rottie was a puppy I had a couple of people come up to me with children and ASK whether they could meet our dog. She has always done her tricks for anyone so getting her to roll over and give a paw for a biscuit was always successful. I always tell them how great it is they ask before petting her.

Strangly enough we had lots of people I wouldnt want to meet on a dark night coming up and chatting to us, they were clearly used to the big breeds.

I once had a large dog bounding towards me - I didnt know what it was going to do and I am expereinced around dogs. I turned my back and folded my arms and it rang straight past me! It then ran ontowards another person. I ran after it and when it stopped I said in a very firm voice SIT! And the blooming thing sat down......

MammytoM Fri 18-Jan-13 11:12:49

Any dog can turn on a child, not just staffies! My DS is 15 months and he is around my mothers staffie while I work - he knows that he's not allowed to pull at the dog etc and they are never ever left alone. They get on fine but wouldn't even consider leaving them alone or letting DS be boisterous with him. But this would be the case with any dog! I think it's up to you whether you want your DD around dogs or not though, especially of you know DD would be too rough / playful and I can see why this particular situation concerns you

Bogeyface Fri 18-Jan-13 11:13:28

Nothing Yes most responsible owners train their dogs, but a problem for me if I was in the OP's shoes would be that I wouldnt know if the owners had trained the dog. The CM isnt dog savvy so presumably she wouldnt spot a poorly trained dog either. Because it has always appeared to ok, perhaps they didnt bother much with training, I know my friends were like this with their dog which was fine until they had children. It turned and bit one of their twins, which wasnt doing anything to dog but was playing with her mummy, the dog clearly didnt like it and went for the child.

Bogeyface Fri 18-Jan-13 11:14:36

My friends dog is a HEinz 57 rescue dog btw, that had always been very sweet natured.

Crinkle77 Fri 18-Jan-13 11:55:18

In my experience the staffies I have known have had responsible owners and been lovely. The worst dogs are little yappy ones like Jack Russell's. Saying that she should consult you before introducing a dog in to the mix. She should really keep it separated all the time

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 18-Jan-13 12:01:02


I have no interest in dogs or what breed they are - so shoot me.

I find them smelly and apart from anything else would be annoyed if my child came home smelling of dog and had dog hair on their clothes. I would not pick a CM with a dog to look after my child and I would be extremely annoyed if a dog suddenly came into the equation.

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