to think if you have a giant rottweiler you should say so when you invite children to play?

(240 Posts)
kawliga Tue 26-Mar-13 10:10:23

Or is it up to me, whenever my daughter is invited to play with schoolfriends to ask their parents 'by the way, might you happen to have a giant rottweiler the size of a small tractor in your house'?

This was a friendly dog and dd is not frightened of dogs, but we don't have dogs ourselves so she is also not used to them. This dog, the sheer size of it, could knock a grown man over even if it's just playing. When I arrived to pick her up DD was cowering in the corner sad although later she told me she had fun playing there, so no harm done. Just feel a bit uneasy. I feel like I should have known so I could say something like 'there's a big dog there but it's friendly so don't worry' before she went there to play. AIBU?

ArseAche Tue 26-Mar-13 10:11:42


DiscoDonkey Tue 26-Mar-13 10:12:48


nokidshere Tue 26-Mar-13 10:13:40

I am terrified of dogs but my children aren't. My fear means that I always ask anyone who's house I have to visit if they have dogs before I go and can they shut them away whilst I am there.

Just ask when making the arrangements.

OhChristHasRisenFENTON Tue 26-Mar-13 10:14:07

I do mention that we have a dog when inviting children over, yes.

CalamityKate Tue 26-Mar-13 10:14:36

Ooh I don't know really... The DCs have had friends over before and I've never mentioned our dogs beforehand. Never thought to. However they always get shut in their own room (off the kitchen with a dog gate) on those occasions.

If we hadn't got the provision to separate them I'd probably check that the visiting child wasn't scared of dogs.

I'm not sure the breed is that relevant really.

GreenLeafTea Tue 26-Mar-13 10:15:33

I always mention we have a cat. Some people have allergies.

Heartbeep Tue 26-Mar-13 10:15:44


Theicingontop Tue 26-Mar-13 10:15:50

Well if I had a massive dog, I would say something to that effect. But she isn't obliged to...

If your DD isn't frightened of dogs why was she cowering in the corner?
When a dog is part of your family you can tend to forget they're even an issue for other people.

Cambam2010 Tue 26-Mar-13 10:16:07

YANBU. You are not to know how an ordinarily friendly dog will behave around a child it has not met before.

A casual comment by the owner to say that they had a large dog and to enquire whether your DD was ok around dogs would have been considerate.

bedmonster Tue 26-Mar-13 10:17:35

Don't know really. I probably would mention it, same as I would mention if I had a snake in a tank, or builders in replacing windows, it's not 'the norm' and might throw a child for a second if it's not what they were expecting.

fluffyanimal Tue 26-Mar-13 10:17:50

YWNBU if the dog had actually knocked your DD over and the owners had done nothing.
YWNBU if your DD was allergic to animals and the inviting parents knew this.
As it is, I think YABU. Rottweilers have a rather negative public image but that does not mean this dog is a problem - after all, the owners' own child presumably lives with it happily. I think your comment about 'cowering in the corner' is more likely a projection of your own anxiety.
BTW I am no dog lover myself.

gymmummy64 Tue 26-Mar-13 10:18:23

YANBU. I have a dog and I always make sure any child who hasn't been to the house before is aware and the parent too. It's daft not to - there may be allergies, fears or religious sensitivities and it would be irresponsible of me not to mention it imo.

I also supervise any contact between my dog and any new child, for the dog's sake as well as the child's. People that he's used to he tends just to ignore but dogs can pick up on nervous or inexperienced body language and it can make them edgy. I trust my dog, but I always always err on the side of caution.

exoticfruits Tue 26-Mar-13 10:18:58

I would always mention it.

Startail Tue 26-Mar-13 10:19:10

I do wish people would realise not everyone is good with dogs and introduce then gently.

DH and DD1 hate dogs bounding up to them, I generally don't mind and DD2 will ask to take the animal for a walk!

LittleEdie Tue 26-Mar-13 10:21:48


FreudiansSlipper Tue 26-Mar-13 10:21:58

I mention we have a cat

yes it should have been mentioned as in by the way we have a dog biggish one is our dd ok around dogs

luckybarsteward Tue 26-Mar-13 10:23:28

When my kids were smaller, people with dogs did tend to ask if they were okay around them before they visited.

from bbc news

"Surveys suggest nearly half of all children will be bitten by a dog at some point, with the under-7s at greatest risk.

Researchers have discovered a common mistake children make is to interpret bared teeth as a doggy smile.

Lincoln University is developing an interactive DVD to teach children as young as three how to read dog cues.

Figures suggest that each year, approximately 4,000 people in the UK attend A&E after being bitten by a dog."

practically speaking, YANBU

Maggie111 Tue 26-Mar-13 10:24:32

Yab a little u

I do inform people I have a dog and a cat when I invite people round due to allergies/phobias, but I don't see what the size and breed of the dog have to do with anything. Rotties are beauties!!

I have never thought to check with someone if they are Ok about dogs, I have a rhodesian ridgeback, so he's a big boy, but soft as a kitten, and part of the family, so have never even considered it, maybe I should? BUT if a child has a problem with dogs/cats allergies, is it not the childs parents responsibility to ask?

Does the breed make a difference? Rottweilers are not naturally nasty, they just look a bit scary.
I personally would tell someone we had a dog before they came (a Border Collie which BTW is far more likely to knock down a child because they're so manic) but TBH if you have such an issue it's more on you to ask.

And if someone was scared of dogs in my house (unless they had a damn god reason or was SN or something) the dog would remain where he was. No way would we lock him away.

kawliga Tue 26-Mar-13 10:31:09

fluffyanimal you may be right that I'm projecting about cowering in the corner. This was the situation when I arrived: dd was nowhere to be seen and the child she went to play with was in and out of the front room coming and going. DD was out of sight I don't know where exactly maybe in the child's bedroom. She was not standing in the hallway or any open place. Usually when I arrive she would come out to say hello even if she was playing but this time there was no sign of her. When it was time to go they had to go and get her and took a long time persuading her to come out. Ok maybe she was not hiding from the dog that was just my assessment of the situation.

The breed is relevant because it was the sheer size of this dog that made me feel uneasy (not the fact that it's a dog). Ok, not the breed but the size. I haven't encountered a rottweiler close up before, neither has dd. It jumped on me when I arrived to pick her up, not in an aggresive or scary way but I felt how strong and heavy it is and that was a new experience for me, not unpleasant but also not very comfortable. I just felt I would have liked to know. This is really the AIBU part.

Not sure about asking people if they have dogs when they invite us, since dd is not normally afraid of dogs, I don't want to make it into an issue. In a way I'll be happy to hear that IABU so I can put the whole experience behind me.

twinklesparkles Tue 26-Mar-13 10:31:40


luckybarsteward Tue 26-Mar-13 10:32:10

Rotties are working dogs and a guardian breed, great if they are part of your family. They are no more/less aggressive than most dogs but having a 125kg plus dog that by design likes to lean against people might not be the best thing to have around small children that aren't aqquainted with it or dogs in general.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 26-Mar-13 10:36:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

persimmon Tue 26-Mar-13 11:01:09

YANBU. Lots of people are nervous of dogs, some actively dislike them, and some have allergies.

LtEveDallas Tue 26-Mar-13 11:08:16

We dont have that many 'play dates' but when we do I always mention the dog(s) (sadly only one now).

RottDog was an absolute angel around children and they were more in danger from the noxious smells she emitted than her teeth. MuttDog is nervy and barky around strangers of all ages, but would never hurt anyone.

I think YANBU to wish that the parents had said something, but YABU to assume that your DD was 'cowering'.

BTW, well done (not PA or condecending, honestly) on not allowing your own nervousness to filter through to your DD. I know that is a hard thing to do, but it is better in the long run for your DD to be comfortable around dogs - whether you choose to have them or not.

mrsjay Tue 26-Mar-13 11:10:05

YABU just alittle would you feel the same if they had a little terrier or something I do think people should say do you mind we have a dog, but rotties are just like any other dog

Crinkle77 Tue 26-Mar-13 11:13:43

Some of the nastiest dogs I have known have been little yappy dogs

TranceDaemon Tue 26-Mar-13 11:26:33

Yanbu. I wouldn't be that happy about that either. If it jumped up you when you came in it obviously wasn't very well trained either.

YANBU to think it would be good to mention if you have dogs because of phobias or allergies. Breed is irrelevant though. We have 3 dogs and 3 cats, I try to always mention this.

As an aside, and I'm fully aware this is just anecdotal evidence, I've known 2 Rottweiler dogs well, both were the most pathetic lumps I've ever encountered. My brother currently is the owner of one of these and this dog is scared of anything and everything. There is a piece of furniture in the house damaged from the dog consistently diving behind it every time the phone rings, doorbell goes or theres any loud noise. The dog is scared of most people, cats (including ours), small dogs, the hoover, the hairdryer, everything really. Plus he is super affectionate, and will pretty much fall over at your feet with the slightest stroke. I know we can't predict animal behaviour but I'd probably feel a lot happier leaving my DD with that dog than our 3, who are all small terriers and can go a bit mental.

wildfig Tue 26-Mar-13 11:29:47

I would always mention I've got dogs, and crate them until I've established that any visitors are fine about having them around, but if it puts your mind at rest at all, the bigger the dog, the calmer they tend to be. The gentlest dogs I've ever met have been Great Danes, wolfhounds, Labradors the size of small horses.

Nancy66 Tue 26-Mar-13 11:31:02

I also think it should have been mentioned.

All dog owners think their pets wouldn't hurt a child...

wildfig Tue 26-Mar-13 11:36:22

Actually, having said that about big dogs, a lot does depend on the owner too! The Big Dogs I know all had fairly savvy owners - no matter how gentle the dog is, if it hasn't been trained not to jump up or be extra-gentle around children, it could unintentionally be disastrous.

witchface Tue 26-Mar-13 11:42:31

I really hate dogs and my mil has just got a puppy. I'm confident with them and try not to show it but I she won't be able to lock it away when we visit as we usually stay overnight and I don't have the option of not visiting.

It bit my foot last time we were there and my dds hand although it didn't draw blood from her. Dreading next visit although hopefully calmed down a bit as it gets older.

witchface Tue 26-Mar-13 11:47:04

So forgot to say after all that! YANBU

Overreactionoftheweek Tue 26-Mar-13 11:50:32

We had a rotty as our beloved family pet...a huge part of our lives and I doubt my mum ever mentioned him to people letting their kids come over so I was originally going to say YABU as a defensive knee-jerk.

But I can see it makes sense to mention it - if we get a dog in the future (hope to) then I will mention it, mainly because I'd want to know if I was going to have a terrified child on my hands!

I miss getting jumped on by our huge dog <sniff>

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Mar-13 11:50:46


I think the dog owner should mention it really, it could be that a child is wary for numerous reasons or just a plain old allergy to dogs!

I am allergic to most dogs [some not so depending on the type of fur etc] and can remember visiting people who we didn't know had dogs, after an hour my eyes would be swollen shut!

I would check first as a person with allergies, but I still think with regard children, the owner should mention it.

Bridgetbidet Tue 26-Mar-13 11:53:32

YANBU at all. It's obviously a more risky situation than playing in a house without a large dog in it and it's up to you whether you take that risk with your child or not.

My baby spends a lot of time around dogs, Golden retriever, spaniel, Jack Russell, Red Setter, shit-zu and my family own and are used to dogs. But no, I would not like my child to be around a rottweiller I did not know without warning.

But you are always going to get the idiots who tell you that it's fine because they are politically motivated rather than being sensible about what's safe for a child.

I suspect they don't tell people because they know they won't let their children come round which is under hand really. They're forcing people to take a risk they wouldn't take through choice.

Booboostoo Tue 26-Mar-13 11:57:41

I think YANBU because people have allergies and phobias, but YABU because you are focusing on the size of the dog. Large dogs are not necessarily more dangerous, in fact they tend to be more chilled than smaller breeds. A well socialised, well trained Rottie with a decent temperament to begin with is as reliable a dog as a similarly brought up small dog.

Having said that all dogs should be supervised around all children and I would be more concerned about a dog of any size/breed left unsupervised during a play date.

BramshawHill Tue 26-Mar-13 11:57:58

I think you are being a little unreasonable. It would have been considerate to say there was a big dog in the house, but you knowing of the dog's presence wasn't going to make it friendlier, more aggressive, less well-trained. It would have had no impact on the situation apart from making you worry and in turn your daughter worry.

Should you be told if they have a jack Russell? Or a chihuahua? A cat/rabbit/goat? Why just big dogs?

BramshawHill Tue 26-Mar-13 11:57:58

I think you are being a little unreasonable. It would have been considerate to say there was a big dog in the house, but you knowing of the dog's presence wasn't going to make it friendlier, more aggressive, less well-trained. It would have had no impact on the situation apart from making you worry and in turn your daughter worry.

Should you be told if they have a jack Russell? Or a chihuahua? A cat/rabbit/goat? Why just big dogs?

thezebrawearspurple Tue 26-Mar-13 12:00:18

yanub, dog owners always think their pets are harmless, loving, gentle creatures and many are, I wouldn't trust anyone who thought it ok to allow an aggressive breed around a strange child unsupervised. My uncle owns several rottweilers, they were never allowed around his own children unsupervised and visiting ones were never exposed to them. You never know what a child might do that could cause the dog to snap at them and the consequences can be horrendous for both child and dog.

Chandon Tue 26-Mar-13 12:00:23

Well, all dog owners will say yabu, as ou can see.

But I think yanbu, those dogs even freak me out.

German shepherds, staffies, dobermans and rottweilers are examples of dogs that freak me out. I got chased by a german shepherd, and have been bitten once by a staffie, despite the owners protestations that " oooo, he normally never does this! ". My brother was bitten by a dog, as he touched the dogs special chair. To the owners of the dog this was normal.

you are totally nbu.

Chandon Tue 26-Mar-13 12:02:11

Brmshawill, big dogs, can cause more harm then small dogs? Chew a kid's face off? Kill it? A small dog can merely bit a leg or hand

PimpMyHippo Tue 26-Mar-13 12:15:11

I have two dogs and if a child was visiting for the first time, I would shut the dogs away when they arrived, then ask if they were okay with dogs and if they were, I'd let the dogs out. Actually I'd only let out the big dog (greyhound/German Shepherd cross) - the little Jack Russell would stay in her kennel because children always want to drag her around "cuddling" her because she's little and cute, and she gets fed up and snappy if they don't leave her alone. So she stays shut away for her own protection as well as the children's!

I think if your DD is old enough to visit someone else's house without you staying with her, she is old enough to be able to tell the hosts if she is allergic/scared of dogs. I bet she wasn't cowering terrified upstairs btw - she was probably enthralled by some coveted toy and didn't want to leave! (Speaking as someone who used to play hide-and-seek from my parents when it was time to pick me up from a friend's house grin)

PimpMyHippo Tue 26-Mar-13 12:18:49

There's no such thing as an "aggressive breed", thezebra - there are individual aggressive dogs, sure, and maybe there are some breeds that are more likely to be owned by twats who encourage them to be aggressive, but any dog of any breed can be aggressive and there are lovely dogs of all breeds too.

Chandon, clearly you haven't read the news story about the baby killed by a Jack Russell terrier?

WileyRoadRunner Tue 26-Mar-13 12:22:31


I always mention that we have a dog when arranging for children to come to play. But I never say what breed it is, has never crossed my mind although it's barely a dog, a Shihtzu! .

LtEveDallas Tue 26-Mar-13 12:23:30

Actually it's surprising when you look at dog breeds Vs biting:

A recent study carried out on 6,000 dogs and their owners found out 33 of the most aggressive dogs, and also those which have good temperaments. The study involved collecting data from two different groups. The first group consisted of 11 different breeds and the second was an online survey mainly involving owners, including 33 breeds. The conclusions from both groups were similar. It looked at the different types of aggression such as towards other dogs, towards strangers and towards owners. Some of the results were surprising, below are the top ten most aggressive breeds in order:

Jack Russell
Australian Cattle Dog
Cocker Spaniel
Border Collie
Bull Terrier
Great Dane
English Springer Spaniel

There's only one "Large" breed there.

LtEveDallas Tue 26-Mar-13 12:24:26

Ack, I've put recent study - it wasn't recent, it was in 2009.

MintyyAeroEgg Tue 26-Mar-13 12:24:58


Can't get my head round people thinking yabu! Really?? How???

TheCatInTheHairnet Tue 26-Mar-13 12:30:12

I always mention we have dogs and always have the dogs gated in the kitchen when people come over for the first time. I used to be scared of dogs myself so I'm very careful not to inflict the joy of my two slobberers on everyone.

DolomitesDonkey Tue 26-Mar-13 12:31:17


Do you warn people in advance that you drive a car and might accidentally knock them down?

eavesdropping Tue 26-Mar-13 12:34:05


I would have been so annoyed not to have been told.

I can't believe people are saying YABU - they must be selfish dog owners who can't grasp that not everybody loves dogs or feels 100% comfortable around them.

Ghanagirl Tue 26-Mar-13 12:34:35

Speaking as a former health visitor part of my job was to triage accident reports and establish accident risks in the home, falls downstairs and dog bites always cropped up frequently in children under 5. So no YANBU

Ghanagirl Tue 26-Mar-13 12:40:13

How is driving a car comparable to having a dog, the car is presumably under your control, whereas a Dog thinks and acts independently of you!

thezebrawearspurple Tue 26-Mar-13 12:40:35

LtEve; a chihuahua isn't capable of biting a childs face off, a rottweiler is.

Pimp; there are dogs breed specifically for their aggression, strength etc and they are capable of doing a lot of damage to a child, even if is unintentional on their part. There are lots of lovely rottweilers, pit bulls etc.. the problem is that owners ignore the damage it can do if it turns on the child. You can take that risk with your own child, you have no right to make that choice for another.

nananaps Tue 26-Mar-13 12:42:44


I am utterly utterly terrified of dogs, my son is not, but i would need to know as my dh would have to do the collecting.
I would not cope with being in a room with a dog.

MintyyAeroEgg Tue 26-Mar-13 12:43:15

DolomitesDonkey - what on earth do you mean?

Longdistance Tue 26-Mar-13 12:45:50


My bf has a chocolate lab, he's friendly but jumps up a lot needs training she always mentions it, and sends him off into garden to calm down. If he gets a bit much, she sends him out again.

Btw, I'm not keen on dogs which she knows, but controls him in my company.

OhChristHasRisenFENTON Tue 26-Mar-13 12:45:53

That's the strangest analogy I've seen in a while grin

Yfronts Tue 26-Mar-13 12:45:58

If it's not a small friendly dog, then yes

OhChristHasRisenFENTON Tue 26-Mar-13 12:46:24

That was to Dolomites about the car/dog thing..

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 26-Mar-13 12:47:39

Yanbu but you will anger Mumsnets posse of dog fans by daring to speak of them as if they are not human.

MyPILS have rottys and they are always locked away when my DDs friends come over.

Yes, but if you are utterly utterly terrified of dogs, or have an allergy, is the onus not on you to be responsible for yourself and ask the question?

It's like when I was veggie, I wouldn't wait if going to someones for dinner to be asked if I eat meat, I'd say...oh, I don't eat meat, hope that's ok?

You can't ask every possible question when you have a kid over.

Longdistance Tue 26-Mar-13 12:47:57

Rubbish Dolomites. It's not comparable to that. Not everyone likes dogs....FACT!

Ghanagirl Tue 26-Mar-13 12:48:39

She's gone into hiding, explain please Dolomite, we are all waiting

FloatyBeatie Tue 26-Mar-13 12:51:26

I guess she should have mentioned she had a dog, in case the child was wary of dogs. But I wouldn't see her failure to mention it as a big deal. Every house has its own range of hazards and surprises, and if we trust a parent to have our child in their house it means we are trusting them to make a proper assessment and management of all those risks: we don't generally ask for them to be specified.

It's completely likely that the rottweiler was either shut away, or reliable around children provided that the proper level of supervision was in place. Just as the existence of an electric fire or a kettle or a bottle of bleach in the cupboard is safe if it has all been managed according to bog-standard safety procedures that we assume are in place whenever we leave our child in another house.

378 Tue 26-Mar-13 12:51:43

I don't think YABU and have now added it to my list of things to ask when my DC go to playdates - it has never occurred to me before that people wouldn't tell me if they have a dog, but clearly lots of people on here think it is unnecessary and I would definitely want to know so I can ask them to ensure it is kept separate from DC if indeed I then allowed them to go without me

PimpMyHippo Tue 26-Mar-13 12:52:06

That's a really interesting list, LtEve - do you have the link to the rest of the study? I am very surprised by Cocker spaniels and Great Danes being on there - the rest I'm not so surprised by, especially if it was taking aggression towards other dogs into account too.

FWIW, I handle strange dogs every day in my job and have been snapped at a few times. They were: a Jack Russell, two Chihuahuas, a pug and a Yorkie. We do have a couple of German Shepherd clients that are muzzled for handling, and a Staffie that's muzzled in the waiting room because it doesn't like other dogs, so it's not just little ones, but that just happens to be my list.

elastamum Tue 26-Mar-13 12:52:58

YANBU. IMO it is polite to tell parents you have dogs and check the DC are not scared of them. I have 3 soppy labradoodles, but they are big dogs and not everyone loves them.

I always shut them away when vistors who dont know them arrive. Usually, even the more timid children are quite happily playing with them by the time the parents come to pick them up smile

elastamum Tue 26-Mar-13 12:54:03

Mind you we also have a river round our garden and it never occurs to me to ask if the DC can swim confused

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 26-Mar-13 12:59:07

I was reluctant to have children over when mine were young as - not everyone likes other peoples children.....FACT grin

On the rare occasions we did invite I made sure to mention (a) that we had a dog and ask (b) was the child scared or nervous.

I have to say though, much as I appreciate not everyone likes dogs people who are really scared of them have no place in my home - I cant bear creepy rabbits or cats but I wouldnt make an issue of it.

I think the whole "child was cowering in a corner" is possibly you projecting your fears a bit op. The better time a child has on a play date, the less likely it is to be waiting for collection in the hallway.

Floggingmolly Tue 26-Mar-13 13:01:38

Did your dd say she was bothered by the dog? There's a vast difference between not standing in the hallway awaiting your arrival and cowering in a corner.

FeckOffCup Tue 26-Mar-13 13:02:15

YANBU I wouldn't be comfortable with it either, I don't like dogs and I would want to know if there was a chance my child would be left unsupervised with a dog at someone else's home.

charlearose Tue 26-Mar-13 13:12:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

southbank Tue 26-Mar-13 13:12:44

Yanbu,not everyone is a dog lover.Im not comfortable around dogs and my dd is terrified of them.
If you have a dog then yes what is wrong with mentioning it?
I hate going to peoples houses and having a dog jump up at me,sorry but I dont want to smell of your dog and I just hate people saying 'they're just being friendly'.

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 26-Mar-13 13:13:01

I think for those of you really worried about it - you need to make sure that you check in advance.

I cant say mentioning owning a dog personally would be considered unnecessary but it could easily be overlooked on the when checking whole food allergies, pick up times etc etc. If it is really important then ask

I love dogs but have always told my children they should never touch someone elses dog without permission and taught them how to tell for themselves if a dog is friendly. I dont think a scared parent transferring their fear of dogs onto their child is a good thing as I think a fearful unaware child is as likely to be bitten as an overconfident one.

BlueSkySunnyDay Tue 26-Mar-13 13:18:25

H is allergic to cats we wouldnt choose to go to a house where there were cats so why do you go to peoples houses then Southbank if you know they have dogs? I dont think its a coincidence that you dont like dogs and your child is terrified.

babybythesea Tue 26-Mar-13 13:22:37

I really don't know!

I own a dog, and I have young child. We are just getting to the stage of play dates. It has never occurred to me to mention the dog. Not because I assume people will love her as much as I do, or because I think she is human, or because I refuse to accept dogs could bite (despite what the sarky anti-dog posters on here seem to think). It is purely because she is just a part of our life and family, so it doesn't occur to me to mention her any more than I say "Oh, by the way, DD has a Dad who lives at home - is your child ok with men?" Having said that, I have sometimes mentioned it when I remember. It is just that she is a bit like background furniture for us and I just honestly don't remember to ask.

It clearly is an issue for some people - I will try and make sure I'm more explicit in future.

It is also worth noting though that once people have arrived, I don't automatically assume they will love her. Not telling people does not by any means imply that I think everyone is going to think she's wonderful. So, they arrive, she barks (well, sometimes she does. I actually like her to bark - I don't think it does any harm, in a fairly isolated house, to have people think there's a big scary dog inside). I make her sit, I hold on to her just in case (although she doesn't jump up) and then I open the door. Then I see what the reaction is. If the other person is holding out their hand towards the dog and grinning, I let her go. She wags her tail, runs over, sniffs their hand, receives pats and job done, and affection received, she buggers off and sits by the back window to guard the garden from squirrels. If there's any sign of discomfort whether from an adult or a child, I'll ask. Depending on the response I get, I will either take the dog away completely (if someone says they are scared), or I will hold on to the dog more firmly to let the person approach - more to let them feel that she's being held rather than because the dog is likely to get up and come to them once I've told her to sit. This usually happens with children, with parents encouraging them to come and give her a stroke. If they don't want to greet her though, that's fine and we can put the dog elsewhere. Actually though, once the greeting is done, the dog tends to either keep herself to herself or follow me round.

I would hope that people who had allergies would ask in advance as shutting the dog away won't help - there's going to be fluff and not much I can do about it so I'd see it as part of protecting their own health to just check.

If the breed is relevant, she's a rough collie. Looks exactly like Lassie, and is just as dopey although if your child falls into a well, don't rely on her being able to rescue it - she hates getting wet or dirty. The biggest fuss we have ever had from a child (and yes, we did shut the dog away but he didn't like her even being able to see him from behind a glass door - not much we could do about that) was because he wouldn't believe that she was a dog and remained convinced she was a baby lion. Now that, I might have mentioned owning....

Snugglepiggy Tue 26-Mar-13 13:25:07

YA a but U but if you are not a doggy person can see why you might prefer to have known in advance.
But as someone who has had dogs all her life and worked in the dog business for many years I completely second that list of dogs more likely to bite.Top of my list from experience those adorable looking golden cocker spaniels - a lot have 'cocker rage' - and Jack Russells and other smaller terrier types.i knw - I've been bitten by both.And a customer recently had to have her chihuahua put down for biting her own daughter.
Two of the loveliest dogs I look after are a female Rottie and a Male German Shepherd so size of breed doesn't always equate to risk.

Alligatorpie Tue 26-Mar-13 13:25:28

I think people who have dogs forget that not everyone likes to be around dogs. I dont like dogs and would not have been comfortable leaving my dd in a house with a rotweiller. I wouldnt think to ask though.

olgaga Tue 26-Mar-13 13:26:19
babybythesea Tue 26-Mar-13 13:27:55

YANBU I wouldn't be comfortable with it either, I don't like dogs and I would want to know if there was a chance my child would be left unsupervised with a dog at someone else's home.

But why on earth are you assuming that just because someone has a dog they will leave them unsupervised? The two aren't the same thing at all. Not all dog owners are completely insensitive and think their mutts are angels in fur coats. Most people are well aware, if they own a dog, of the potential for damage (if your child is going there on a play date then they also have a child and are probably more aware than you are of any risks). See above - I have a child and a dog, and I don't leave visiting kids alone with the dog. Although in all fairness, if a child isn't used to dogs, you don't know how they are going to approach the dog and what they might do so it also is a bit to protect the dog, to keep her with me or put her away. And then you don't have any risk of the child doing something to the dog that causes the dog to retaliate.

seeker Tue 26-Mar-13 13:28:05

Of course you should say!

Some children are scared of dogs, or allergic to dogs. I always told the parents of visiting children that we had cats- it's just sensible. I also asked if we might be going to see the horses, or go blackberrying or whatever. Anything even slightly out of the ordinary I would mention.

The size and breed of the dog is immaterial.

FloatyBeatie Tue 26-Mar-13 13:28:37

That's an excellent post babybythesea, and it seems to me that you have exactly the right attitude. That's just how I would like to be with my dog. Unfortunately he is a mardy little bugger who thinks that children shouldbe not seen and not heard, so I used to slip him into his cosy den of a crate when we had playdates. (That was long ago, and I suspect that our little dog is now of the view that we should mention to him that we are inviting giant teens into the house).

HousewifeFromArimathea Tue 26-Mar-13 13:29:32

I always mention my budgie

babybythesea Tue 26-Mar-13 13:30:05

Sorry - the first bit of my last post was in reply to FeckOffCup.

FloatyBeatie Tue 26-Mar-13 13:30:50

(oops x-post -- I meant your 1st post, babybythesea though second seems right too)

Katnisscupcake Tue 26-Mar-13 13:42:41

I always mention that we have dogs if anyone comes around who hasn't been here before because they bark very loudly when someone comes to the door and at least it gives the parent chance to pre-warn the child about the barking.

Plus the dogs are always downstairs (3 level house) behind a dog gate when people come around (mainly because the male has a tendency to leak when he gets excited... smile). I would be embarassed to send children home covered in fur aswell and our labs moult terribly!! All year round!

babybythesea Tue 26-Mar-13 13:45:49

"YADNBU but of course no dog owner can ever imagine that their "family pet" might frighten a child, let alone maim or kill them"

Which is just not even slightly true.
It might be true of some people sure, but then some people might also believe that they are at no risk from being hurt in a car crash because they are brilliant drivers, and so continue to do twuntish things like use their mobiles while driving.
There are however lots of us who have both kids and dogs, and who are well aware of risks, and of the fact that other people might not like dogs, and who make an effort to ensure that our own children, never mind visiting kids, are not put in harms way. Do you honestly think that I'd put my own child at risk????
I'm not denying that dog bites happen or tragedies occur. But I am saying you can prevent it (not just by always avoiding a house where a dog resides) and most decent dog owners are well aware of how to do this. Otherwise, there'd be far more accidents than there are.

Just because I have a dog does not make me an idiot, or reckless. Any more than not owning a dog means that someone is a hysterical individual assuming that dogs are the spawn of the devil hell-bent on ripping them limb from limb and the only way to protect their offspring is to keep them at a distance of no less than a mile from one of those maurauding beasts.... Some non-dog owners are sensible too!

Ghanagirl Tue 26-Mar-13 13:46:00

Those pictures really do sum up some of the injuries I've seen on small children, and lot of the injuries I've seen are on children who are know to pet. i.e grandma or uncles dog or even parents. One of the worst cases I saw was a 2year old bitten by the family dog a jack Russell. I had previously visited the family (in my role as health visitor) and the dog barked incessantly and tried to nip my ankles, when I asked the father to put the dog outside he got quite narky and insisted the dog was all bark, when I insisted that I would leave and that they would have to visit me at the clinic with there then newborn he reluctantly put the dog in the garden where it continued to bark and hurl himself at the patio doors. At the time it was a amusing story to tell collegues, until toddler was bitten on the face by dog, when I did home follow-up they still had dog but said it was going to behaviour lessons but they had sacked the nanny who took toddler to A&E as she told doctors that the dog was aggressive!!

HotCrossPun Tue 26-Mar-13 13:47:22

We have a staffie. He is the gentlest, softest dog around, but I can understand why parents of young children are sometimes wary around him, because of the bad reputation they have. YANBU.

BramshawHill Tue 26-Mar-13 13:47:47

Chandon - a big dog can do more damage but is less likely to. Little dogs have killed children, would you be happier with an aggressive yorkie who might 'only' maim and disfigure your child or a soppy bigger dog who wouldn't harm a fly? Size has absolutely nothing to do with threat.

kennyp Tue 26-Mar-13 13:49:24

i woudl always tell someone if we had pets - we currently have guinea pigs and i always wd say incase of allergies.

i agree with you entirely, i would want to know.

Ghanagirl Tue 26-Mar-13 13:51:11

A dog is a animal doesn't matter the size I've seen injuries caused by small and Large dogs. one thing the have in common is the owners always insist it's friendly, has never been aggressive before, all of which may be true but it only takes one incident to damage a child

exoticfruits Tue 26-Mar-13 13:53:26

Unless you hide your dog away I think it unlikely that a child invited around wouldn't know that you had one.

wishingchair Tue 26-Mar-13 13:53:46

We have a labrador and always tell people before they come to the house. No fun for anyone to have a child come to play and them be terrified.

Agree with the size comment that bramshawhill made. Ours is a lab so reasonably big (especially if you're little), but the only dogs that have ever shown him any aggression have been small dogs. Jack Russells mostly.

DeWe Tue 26-Mar-13 13:56:58

I don't like dogs generally. I can make a show of not minding now, but I'm quivering inside.
I once had a friend's dog grab me by the leg. It was generally a gentle family pet, which had never gone for me or anyone else. I went to answer the door bell, and it just jumped at me and had to be pulled away.

However I will usually check before I go to a new person's house. Particularly for dd1 who is much worse than I am due to an incident when she was tiny. Dd2 and ds love dogs so if I check there I'm more warning the owner of the children than the other way round grin

My view is I'm the one coming into the person's home environment, which, to them, is normal, so I need to ask if there's anything that would bother me, that they would think of as normal.

And the most aggressive dog I knew growing up was my gran's jack russell. It did a good imitation of Scrappy do...

TheChaoGoesMu Tue 26-Mar-13 13:58:47

YANBU. She should have told you she had a dog and that she would shut it away if there was a problem. Lots of people seem to be scared of dogs these days. Nearly all the children that come to visit dd are afraid of dogs so I shut ours in a different room. I have managed to convert one child though, and she quite likes the dog now.

ComposHat Tue 26-Mar-13 14:02:18

We have a cat and I have becer thought about telling people as she's part if the family, but maybe I shiuld in case someone has an allergy.

AngelAtTheTopOfTheTree Tue 26-Mar-13 14:07:23

I would have given my dog a marrow bone and popped him in a separate area. It's not worth the risk; as lovely as my dog may be and as patient and placid as he is around my nieces, keeping him around excitable children is just short sighted. A child, simply from being a child, can antagonise a dog and then it just turns messy. He's a Lhasa Apso by the way, so hardly aggressive, but I would treat him just like a Rotty or Pit Bull as much as it would break my heart. sad Just not worth it.

AngelAtTheTopOfTheTree Tue 26-Mar-13 14:08:27

So.....YANBU. smile

olgaga Tue 26-Mar-13 14:08:33

Ghanagirl that must be so exasperating!

Many owners simply fail to appreciate their dog's potential for unpredictability and aggression no matter how "soft" they seem to be. But I really cannot understand the mentality of people who mix small children with animals they know to be aggressive!

Unfortunately my DD is very scared of dogs and has been since she was a toddler, when a "friendly" labrador came bounding up to her on its extendable lead, barking loudly, and tried to steal her icecream.

DD was strapped into her buggy at the time, it terrified her. Sadly it's one of her earliest memories.

The owner was very apologetic, but the damage was done as far as DD was concerned.

squiddle Tue 26-Mar-13 14:12:21

I never ask anyone if they have a dog at home - it would be an odd question. Similarly, I wouldn't check that a mother was going to keep an eye on my dc and would not leave them alone in the house or with some random stranger etc - I would just expect her to take care of my kids.

I would totally expect to be told about a massive dog. It's completely wrong to have a dog that has the potential to cause serious damage and not to check that the child is okay with dogs etc. Personally, if I knew there was a Rottweiler (or pit bull) I would not be sending my child to that house. I don't like dogs and I definitely do not want my kids around these breeds.

I remember very well going to my mum's friend's house and being left downstairs with an Alsatian that followed me and my sister around and 'playfully' nipped us. My cousin had a Rottweiler, which I found pretty scary too. He assured me how gentle and lovely she was - but a couple of years later she turned on him and pinned him down. I just would not take the risk with a child.

intheshed Tue 26-Mar-13 14:18:14

YANBU- we have guinea pigs and I always mention that! (Not that they are ferocious child-eating guinea pigs, but just because some people are allergic.)

MarianForrester Tue 26-Mar-13 14:20:00

I do usually check, and would put dog away if they were really not happy to pay with her there. I do appreciate she is large and can be scary at first sight, though she is very gentle and friendly. (Irish setter)

Thinking about it, I would possibly be a bit wary about some breeds, probably irrationally, but might cause me to make judgments. Am bit horrified with myself for that, actually, but there you go.

AdoraBell Tue 26-Mar-13 14:26:43

OP YANBU, I always tell visitors and make sure DDs also talk to their friends about the dogs, we have German Shepherds - wonderful dogs but big and strong enough to cause damage while playing so we keep them away from visiting DCs or anyone who is afraid of dogs.

For one friend we do the dog/kitchen shuffle because her DM is petrified although the DD is quite happy to play with them. It takes a few minutes longer for her collect her DD than other friends but stops her panicking.

Really, any dog could hurt a child, regardless of their size.

We have a Jack Russell cross who is just about the soppiest thing ever, but I do tell people we have a dog if they're coming round for the first time so YANBU. Some people don't like dogs, some have phobias, and some are just allergic. Or even if it's just a warning for people who are slightly nervous.

I love Rotties for what it's worth and don't consider them an aggressive breed, but they ARE strong, and having walked one for a friend a few times I know a lot of people are intimidated by them.

FeckOffCup Tue 26-Mar-13 14:28:57

*But why on earth are you assuming that because someone has a dog they will leave them unsupervised?"

Because not all dog owners are responsible and I have experience of this, I was bitten on the hand by a friend's dog as a child because I found myself alone with it, went to pat it and the friend's parents hadn't warned me that it didn't like being approached by unfamiliar children, I didn't have the dog sense to know that for myself. I will be telling my own DD never to approach a dog unless the owner is there to closely supervise the situation but I would be very unhappy if she went to someone's home and was left alone in the room with the dog as I was.

kawliga Tue 26-Mar-13 14:38:07

exotic, DD went to the play date straight from school with the other child, I didn't drop her off to the house and hadn't been there before so we didn't know about the dog.

The dog was not locked way, it was running about the house while I was there. Her friend was in and out and all about, usually dd would be doing the same playing together not hiding away somewhere by herself in a strange house. No matter how fantastic the toys! She's not one for playing hide and seek when I arrive. About whether she said she was scared. I did not ask her anything about the dog. I did not want to freak her out and make her start thinking maybe something was wrong. Just going by my own sense of how things looked and how I know my dd.

Not sure after reading this thread what to do in future. Not keen on asking people whether they have dogs whenever dd is invited:

Lovely parent at school gate: 'Would your dd like to come and play?'
Me: 'I don't know, do you have dogs?'

Just can't see it. I think the owners should volunteer the info. It's easier for them to say 'by the way we have a ginormous guard dog that runs about the house'. But I accept ImightBU about the size/breed issue.

TwoBrasDontMakeABodice Tue 26-Mar-13 14:42:14

I don't like dogs and I definitely do not want my kids around these breeds.
Oh you've had some shocking experiences with dogs. Awful. My MIL is terrified of dogs as she was bitten by one - we're not sure what breed; she thinks either GS or PB, but it was in the 80's so we have no real idea. It's been a real education for me to understand how people can be nervous around dogs - regardless of the breed and to understand how the breed doesn't matter to the person - as I grew up with two fab labradors. I'm sorry that happened to you. smile

TwoBrasDontMakeABodice Tue 26-Mar-13 14:44:28

though she is very gentle and friendly. (Irish setter) I love Irish Setters!!!!!!! So gorg and placid. Would LOVE to have one, but I can do the hair shedding. sad

TwoBrasDontMakeABodice Tue 26-Mar-13 14:44:42


tabulahrasa Tue 26-Mar-13 14:46:46

The thing is, to you it's a giant Rottweiler, to them it's just their dog...

I don't think to tell people I've got a dog, or cats or that there could well be peanut butter in my cupboard or milk in my fridge - if someone tells me that their child is scared of dogs or when they arrive it becomes obvious they're not keen then of course I'll keep it out of the way, but it wouldn't occur to me to mention it first.

AdoraBell Tue 26-Mar-13 14:46:55

I would ask DD if she had fun playing at friend's house, then lead into what games did you play, did you have a lovely snack, was their dog fun, few more random Q's if she doesn't respond differently to dog related Q.

If she is upset or nervous then in future when invited just say "lovely idea, she is a tad nervous about dogs tho, do you have dogs btw?"

eminemmerdale Tue 26-Mar-13 14:47:52

I think it would be polite to say you have a dog - as has been said before some people, not just children, are scared of them, whatvere the breed. Ds (13) is terrified of the little schnauzer next door as she yaps and yaps and jumps up all the time and it bothers him. he refuses to go round however many times we try to convince she's just a bit daft., whereas dd7 will go and play happily. DS has always been nervous around dogs , although is a lot better now, and I did used to check when he went to peoples houses, so I could tell him and chat about it.

TwoBrasDontMakeABodice Tue 26-Mar-13 14:52:51

I was bitten by an Airedale Terrier when I was about 8. It was in my Gran and Grandpa's (open) front garden. Weird, but I remember at the time that it didn't freak me out. It was just a dog. Then when I was about 14/15, I was attacked by a Shitzu - of all the embarrassing breeds to be attacked by....! It had a hair band making a pony tail and as I was sitting with my back against a wall with my legs straight out (if that makes sense?) it went bananas. I couldn't get up and it was trying to maul my arm - with a VERY small mouth. I remember swinging between 2 kitchen benches - one arm on each to get my feet off the ground - and it trying to rip my feet off - haha! smile I had to get a tetanus that night. Still a doggy person though. grin

CalamityKate Tue 26-Mar-13 14:56:27

Airedales always remind me of those toy dogs that had wheels and a handle.

MarianForrester Tue 26-Mar-13 14:58:25

Twobras: she makes the shedding worthwhile grin

But it is a nightmare, especially after a surge of affection from her...!

Lucyellensmum95 Tue 26-Mar-13 14:58:30

I used to have a rotwieller the size of a truck precisely so we didn#t have to have kids over to play smile

TwoBrasDontMakeABodice Tue 26-Mar-13 14:59:51

Airedales always remind me of those toy dogs that had wheels and a handle.

Hahaha!!!!! The whole wheels with handle thing is the ONLY reason that I know what breed it was! I tried to figure out what breed it was that had bitten me years ago and I Googled 'square faced dog with wheels.'

grin grin grin

LtEveDallas Tue 26-Mar-13 15:00:40


I can't do a link from my work computer (too much security!), but if you google "Telegraph Sausage dogs are most aggressive breed" you should get a good article based on the study.

Also try the websites dogbitelaw and both of which go into the science of the studies.

Back when my brothers dog was playing up I was sent a link by the Dogs Law people that gave the UK statistics for infant injuries and deaths as compiled by the NHS. The main cause of all injury/deaths was 'accidents in the home', followed closely by 'attacks by parents/relatives' sad. Dog bite injuries were way, way down the list. It's funny that we (in general) worry about dogs, when our children are far more likely to be hurt by other humans.

I've been trying to google it but can't get thru my firewall, I may try again tonight as it made v interesting reading.

ComposHat Tue 26-Mar-13 15:00:50

I think the breed of the dog is a red herring all dog breeds have some capacity for violence. Some people don't like dogs and some have allergie. The fact it was a rottweiler is neither here nor there.

I know this isn't the same but as a kid we had a violent nutcase of a cat. We were so used to being bitten and nipped that it didn't register, we also got good at reading when she was pissed off and to leave well alone. However oir younger cousin was less aware and picked up the cat and hugged her like a teddy bear and got a good clawing as a result. In retrospect my parents should have either shut the cat upstairs or given strict instructions not to bother her.

TwoBrasDontMakeABodice Tue 26-Mar-13 15:01:35

MarianForrester Aw!!!!! Beautiful dogs!!!!!!! And yes, so cuddly. smile

Lucyellensmum95 Tue 26-Mar-13 15:02:52

But seriously, I would not have been that impressed actually - I would have wanted to be told they had a dog (doesn't really matter what type) and it should not have been around the children unsupervised. My BIL was bitten by a big dog because he was messing around with his friend, the dog became defensive and bit him - he still has the scar.

I have two JRTs and tend to put them out if people come with children as my dogs are stupid rather bouncy and in your face bastards. They have no malice but i would hate for them to jump up and scratch someone's child.

pigletmania Tue 26-Mar-13 15:06:26

Yanbu what if the Chidren had allergies. It's courtesy to. I would want to know so tat I can ask the owner questions before allowing my Chidren to go round the house. What if the owner is not shutting the dog away from Children, I most certainly would like to know. Any dog has the potential to snap

TwoBrasDontMakeABodice Tue 26-Mar-13 15:08:51

I think the breed of the dog is a red herring all dog breeds have some capacity for violence. Same as humans - the decent ones just have a higher tolerance until all hell breaks loose. grin

ComposHat Tue 26-Mar-13 15:10:05

I used to have a rotwieller the size of a truck precisely so we didn#t have to have kids over to play

which reminds me of a joke I was told in Liverpool. If you park anywhere near Liverpool FC on match day kids will offer to 'mind' your car. Anyway a bloke parks his car outside the ground with a massive rottweiler in the back.

A little lad approach es him and says 'mind your car for a fiver mister?'

Don't talk soft sats the bloke whose going to nick the car with a bloody great rottie in the back.

Very true replied the lad with amischievous grin - 'but what is he like at putting out car fires? '

TwoBrasDontMakeABodice Tue 26-Mar-13 15:12:00

I used to have a rotwieller the size of a truck precisely so we didn#t have to have kids over to play smile


Owllady Tue 26-Mar-13 15:17:57

I don't know whether I tell people or not tbh that we have dogs but they are under control anyway and if children are scared of them I will separate them or alternatively they can go home

I don't think the breed or size of the dog is important

TwoBrasDontMakeABodice Tue 26-Mar-13 15:28:32

I don't think the breed or size of the dog is important It might be to some people though, no? Some people freak out at a Great Dane, which are stupidly friendly dogs, but then are fine with a Chihuahua which are little bastards if truth be told. Ankle biters ha! grin

pigletmania Tue 26-Mar-13 15:43:38

What often child has allergies!

LtEveDallas Tue 26-Mar-13 15:43:38

One thing I will add - If DD was inviting someone to our house I would check with the parent how that child was with dogs - BUT - If child didn't like dogs I would give the parent the choice as to whether the play date went ahead or not, as I wouldn't shut the dog away or outside.

It's the dogs home as much as mine and DDs.

If the child was fine with dogs, I would probably do something 'doggy' with them (like a walk or treat and train session) to make sure the dog wasn't nervy of the child.

One of DDs friends was scared of dogs, but with encouragement from her father she met ours, got used to them and was devastated when RottDog died. She is still nervous of dogs she doesn't know, but is absolutely fine with MuttDog (who is extremely gentle and scared of spiders...{grin}).

pigletmania Tue 26-Mar-13 15:47:39

I think it is the parents responsibility to let the parents of any visiting child know if there is going to be a dog there

I have two dogs, always tell parents before asking a child to play, its manners init, I know some children are scared of dogs and wouldnt want to upset anyone.

babybythesea Tue 26-Mar-13 16:23:44

I'm going to bow out of this thread now I think as it's starting to go round in circles.

I'll say it again though - most responsible owners would be either putting their dog out of the way, or supervising the dog and children,

Contrary to what some people seem to think, most (obviously not all or there would never be any accidents) people who have both dogs and kids are well aware of any risks and are not looking to put their own children in any danger, never mind any visiting children. There are always going to be stories to the contrary. Doesn't make it the majority of owners who would behave that way. Just like there will always be stories of dangerous drivers - doesn't make all drivers dangerous, and it's definitely not a reason to stop your child going round to someone's house (or stop them being driven in a car, to continue the analogy). But please, while you are busy displaying links to dog bite victims, bear in mind that me taking a photo of my child (and every child who has been to my house) with a caption saying "Look, here are children who have not been mauled by the 'friendly family dog' because we were aware of the risks and took the safety of the kids (and dog) seriously will never make news. I may also take photos of myself, my sister and every friend who ever visited either of us as we always had dogs growing up.

I will now be more mindful of informing people we have a dog but there will almost certainly still be occasions where it slips my mind - because, as I said before, she is just part of our home and until recently it would have no more occured to me to tell people in advance than it would occur to me to tell people that a man lives at our house (dd's Dad!).

I would definitely not be bothered if someone asked though - why would you be, especially if someone is nervous or has allergies. In fact, I'd say if you do have allergies, then it is important you do ask. As someone else said, I wouldn't inform someone of every potential danger point in my house (bread in the bread bin for the lactose intolerant, milk in the fridge for the lactose intolerant, peanuts in the cupboard for those who can't tolerate nuts, squash for kids who can't cope with additives....) - if there are allergies I'd expect to be told as a parent in charge of someone else's child for a bit. If someone is nervous enough to enquire in advance then it's sure as hell not a problem for me if they ask.

If I forget to mention it and someone comes who is nervous, I'm not nasty enough to then leave them on their own with the dog so please stop talking as though dog owners are all completely insensitive. I will, by the same token, try and remember to inform people that I live with a hound.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 16:32:55

Rottweiler owner here....

I think if you are really worried about dogs (and the OP seems to be) then you need to ask. Our dog has been taught never to jump up but when new children come to play she is put in her crate and introduced AFTER I have told the new children how to behave, dont wave your arms around, dont scream in terror, completely ignore her...

If they are really really scared I will of course leave it but tbh - dogs are everywhere. Realistically you do need to be able to cope with dogs generally.

I once had a large dog head straight for me in the park, I turned around and folded by arms, showed no interest in them at all and the silly thing just ran straight past me....

Also, our rottie does tricks for EVERYONE if a biscuit is involved. I have never had a child refuse to help do a trick with me once they have seen how it is done.

TBH - for us, the key is making sure the dog doesnt jump up. They are really strong... However I cannot be responsible for her passing wind. Now that definitely clears a room and because its silent people who dont each other that well start looking at each other

LtEveDallas Tue 26-Mar-13 16:45:36

However I cannot be responsible for her passing wind. Now that definitely clears a room

Oh yes, as much as I miss RottDog, I certainly don't miss that aspect grin - oh, nor the snoring.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 17:05:42

With big dogs (and we had a small dog before) you need to be firm with them. We dont allow our rottie upstairs. We dont allow her to be fed from the table or allow guests to do it. We dont treat her like a baby or carry her around in a handbag (as if you could!).

Ironically I dont always mention we have a dog let alone a rottie. The kids love that she does the tricks for them. Sometimes they mention to their parents and sometimes they dont. I have had parents ask me if I have a dog as they never see and hear her. She doesnt bark when anyone comes to the front door... I know very odd. Very occasionally when someone knocks and it is dark she will bark but only a warning bark.

Everyone says in the event of real trouble she would be there but somehow I am not so sure.....

Pigsmummy Tue 26-Mar-13 17:12:53

I mention that we have a cat, he is very friendly and I still giggle at the memory of him sitting on the clipboard of the double glazing salesman when he was trying to work out a price for us! If I had a dog, goat, badger, horse etc then I would mention it.

YANBU, I would like to be informed as I am scared of dogs. I know this is not their issue but I would expect the courtesy in case of allergies at the least.

QueenOfCats Tue 26-Mar-13 17:20:41

Yabu to expect it yes.

Having said that, when our dog was still with us I would mention it when any children/people with children were coming round.

On a slightly different note, dd has a friend who is terrified of cats. Should I mention this when people are due round just incase?

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 17:21:13

I have to say if you are that scared and your children have allergies YOU need to ask. People arent mind readers.....

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 17:24:22

I have a colleague who has a parrot who has learnt some rude words. I hear him on the phone sometimes...

Perhaps if he has anyone around he should warn them he 'has a parrot that has learnt some rude words' in case there are very sensistive people around.

Oh wait - someone will come on in a minute saying that if their child is around they need to be 'warned' there is a rude parrot... Perhaps the child wont be allowed to come, after all its impossible to shut this bird up!

Owllady Tue 26-Mar-13 17:30:37

I have a rude swearing daughter (she has SN) I don't warn people about her either wink

ChristmasJubilee Tue 26-Mar-13 17:36:11

I wouldn't think to mention that I have a dog. We have a lovely, friendly black lab. He has been brought up with children and has never been any problem around them however, if other children are visiting, I would put him out in his kennel or in the utility room behind a baby gate. He doesn't get to meet them.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 17:38:45

The point I am making tbh is that are always some people who have a problem with something. Where does it end. Do you state that someone in the house smokes, or the house is very cold, or its a mess, or that you have a cat, dog or parrot, and that your children eat chicken nuggets every day. Is that a problem to some people - who knows!

Where do you stop informing people about things they MIGHT have an issue with.

If I had an allergy to a cat I would ask not automatically assume that someone would tell me they had a cat......

KnockMeDown Tue 26-Mar-13 17:45:33

Bearing in mind the news today, I would want to know, and I don't care who that offends. Cats, parrots and chicken nuggets don't kill in packs of 5 sad

Owllady Tue 26-Mar-13 17:48:57

I'm with you maisejoe, I think people look for things to be offended about these days
I draw the conclusion they have boring lives and lack things to talk about wink

IEatCakeInBed Tue 26-Mar-13 17:50:25

When we had one of our first playdates at our house (once we had our cat), the visiting child had a massive meltdown when she saw him in the dining room (just sleeping there, not even moving!). Lots of uncontrollable screaming and tears followed, she had a genuine fear, it was terrible.

It taught me a lesson and I always mention the cat beforehand now, and usually stick him in the garden/our bedroom.

Echocave Tue 26-Mar-13 17:50:35

I think YANBU actually. Dogs get a bad press and responsible owners should show that they're aware that kids without dogs don't always know how to deal with them and may get nipped. The line about 'my dog would never..' is utter bull I'm afraid. And I say that as someone who grew up with dogs and now has 2.

Not all children who don't have dogs like them very much either. T

CandyCrushed Tue 26-Mar-13 17:53:30

YANBU. It is not unusual for children to be either scared or allergic of dogs so I would always mention if I owned a dog, especially a big one.

babybythesea Tue 26-Mar-13 17:56:56

"Bearing in mind the news today, I would want to know, and I don't care who that offends. Cats, parrots and chicken nuggets don't kill in packs of 5 "

I don't think a single person on here has said they'd be offended - you're adding up 2 and 2 and reaching 7. A few of us with dogs have said they might not remember to tell you, is all.
So ask, if you want to know. I wouldn't not tell you we have a dog out of spite but because it doesn't always occur to me to mention it.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:00:30

I find having a big dog myself that its the parents that are making the children scared. They often have their own issues which they then pass onto their children.

I have have one child literally pinned to the wall when our dog came wandering out because apparently their mother had said you need to try and make yourself invisble when a dog appears so that they dont notice you!

crashdoll Tue 26-Mar-13 18:00:38

There have been some ridiculous sweeping statements about dog owners. hmm

I have a dog and YANBU. I would mention it incase the child had an allergy or a fear.

Owllady Tue 26-Mar-13 18:01:03

I hadn't seen what had been reported in the news, how awful

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:04:49

I guess what I am saying is that there is danger everywhere if one looks for it. Isnt it one child a week that is killed by a family member or 'boyfriend/relative' of the child. Someone please correct me if I am wrong on this one.

Shocking stats and at one time every week there seemed to be a news report about young babies and toddlers being killed within a family.

fieldfare Tue 26-Mar-13 18:05:20

Yabu, it really wouldn't occur to me to mention it for a play date. In the same way as I would expect a parent to inform me of a nut allergy for example I would expect them to inform me of a pet allergy or any other issues!

Echocave Tue 26-Mar-13 18:11:10

It's not just about allergies fieldfare, it's about not always knowing how to behave with a dog.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:12:49

I did have a parent a few years ago often ask me to help out urgently if she was stuck at work and couldnt do a pick up. She didnt ask that often and of course looking after her DS for an hour or do was fine. After about 2 years to rang me very concerned that her DS had mentioned for the first time that we had a dog and shouldnt I have told her.....

She asked what breed it was as the child had forgotten. Well, you can guess the rest! She thought I was joking at first and then informed me that she wouldnt be asking me to do any pick ups again.....

And this was after 2 YEARS of her son coming to us. He told my DS many months later he missed our dog and the tricks she would do for him.

twooter Tue 26-Mar-13 18:13:40

Maybe the figures are skewed away from big dog attacks, because children are less likely to go up to them.

I think YANBU. You didn't know the dog, you didn't even know they had a dog, so you would have had no idea how sensible or how much control they had over the dog.

It might be a lovely dog, but what if the children start play fighting and it doesn't realise? Who do you think it would protect?

YABU, but on the other hand I DO always tell people we have cats and dogs. I also put the staffie in a room where the children don't go purely because I know a lot of people don't like them, and I'd rather that than listen to gossip about my child-eating hound. (Incidentally, she has yet to ingest any part of any child. Though my own sometimes come close to drowning through her over eager licking).

Ghanagirl Tue 26-Mar-13 18:16:11

Smoking definitely as it's dangerous inhaling 2nd hand fumes particulary if child asthmatic

fieldfare Tue 26-Mar-13 18:22:45

Echocave then parents should ideally take it upon themselves to teach children how to interact with animals. It's as an important a life skill as swimming and road safety IMO.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:25:20

I agree Field. It IS a life skill. Dogs are everywhere and you need to learn to deal with them just like you learn to cross the road, and learn to swim.

Booboostoo Tue 26-Mar-13 18:29:18

It is important to have a perspective on the danger posed by dogs, because an exaggerated fear response by parents will only make children more fearful and less likely to know how to behave around dogs (thus more likely to get bitten).

This is an interesting statistic from the US:

in 1997 1196 children were killed, 75% by their parents, 10% by other relatives

between 1989 and 1994 45 children (ages birth to 4) were killed by dogs,

as an estimate from above then during this five year period the figures are 5980 by humans vs 45 by dogs.

Hawkmoon269 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:29:20

Yanbu. At all.

My dc are not allergic to dogs or scared of them. But the other parents won't know that unless they ask me...

Also, please don't jump on me but I'M scared of Rottweilers. I would be nervous about meeting a Rottweiler at pick up time and would worry about my child.

I'm not scared of most dogs. Just a few of the big ones with huge teeth. blush

Oh blimey, I just read the girl being killed by 5 dogs story, how very very sad

kawliga Tue 26-Mar-13 18:52:42

Echocave then parents should ideally take it upon themselves to teach children how to interact with animals. It's as an important a life skill as swimming and road safety IMO.

Um, fieldfare, that's the point of the thread, how can parents without dogs teach the children to behave around dogs if people don't reveal they have them, so the first the guests know is when they are surprised by being jumped on by a huge tractor of a rottie at the door? The teaching opportunity is totally lost at that point. Sure lots of people have dogs, I'm not surprised to encounter them, but unless I live a very sheltered life I don't think lots of people have rotties the size of a grizzly bear. This was my first time ever to be jumped on by one. Surely it's unusual enough to be worth a wee heads up.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:55:07

Hawk - I do understand. I think our rottie is very handsome. Others believe that they well portrayed in the Omen as the protectors of the devils child!

Owners have a responsibility to ensure that big dogs are properly trained - perhaps more so than the other smaller dogs. It is an essential.

I just saw the news report about the 14 year old. I dont know anything about the owners but what is the betting that they are owned by the feckless who have not taken owning large dogs seriously if at all... I would be staggered if they dogs had been trained in any way (apart from perhaps being trained to be more aggressive or to fight with each other while the owners are goading them on.

I would like to be proved wrong but whats the betting there is a feckless family in all of this. What was a 14 year old doing in the house on her own? Where were her parents? Where were the owners of the dogs? I love dogs and I wouldnt be in a house with 4 clearly out of control dogs on my own and I have done extensive training with mine.

stressyBessy22 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:59:57

YANBU. Some of my Dc were frightened of dgs when they were little, but owners always kept them (the dogs) shut up when they visited

yabu though to talk about your child cowering in a corner, when you later say you made that bit up!!

No I don't think it is, like I said (and yes, this thread is going round in circles) most of our friends have doges, we live in the country, we walk to school with the dog every day with the dog, he's a big dog BTW, but regardless, it's notsomething I would think to mention if someone was coming round. If you're scared of dogs, or your children are, or allergic, ask?!

kawliga Tue 26-Mar-13 19:00:27

Two bull mastiffs and two staffordshire terriers in that tragic case. Are people still saying size/breed is irrelevant?

Echocave Tue 26-Mar-13 19:07:07

I normally steer clear of dog threads (!) but I do think its hard for some kids to understand about not poking dogs in the eye etc (I'm talking quite young children obviously). And sometimes people are scared of dogs which is understandable.
I'm not sure the breed is always relevant although I was scared of my pal's Dachsund when I was a child - just because it barked a lot and our dogs were the silent dopey types!

WitchOfEndor Tue 26-Mar-13 19:07:08

YANBU I have a dog, DS loves him to bits but I wouldn't assume that other children would, so I would mention it just so the parents were aware. A child could be allergic too, so I would check.

wildfig Tue 26-Mar-13 19:09:01

Those, sadly, are exactly the breeds targeted by the sort of vile and irresponsible owners involved in dog fighting/dogs brutalised in order to be used for protection. I'd be really surprised too if there isn't a connection.

HotCrossPun Tue 26-Mar-13 19:32:54

I agree with wildfig, these types of dog are seen as 'status' dogs by some idiots. They buy them with the intention of 'training' them to be as aggressive as possible, and to use them as some kind of protection.

Our Staffie is lovely. He hasn't been brought up around kids, but whenever our neice (3) comes round he is so gentle and patient with her. The Kennel Club recommend Staffies as a good breed to have around young children, only one other breed of dog is given that recommendation.

There is a reason why there are so many of these types of dogs in dogs home. Idiots who buy them on the belief that they are naturally aggressive get them home and are bitterly disappointed when they realise they have a slobbering lump of love on their hands

Owllady Tue 26-Mar-13 21:03:24

how can you start comparing aggressive out of control dogs who may have been bred and trained for fighting (or may not) with well trained or even trained to be a pet dogs? it really isn't the same thing

olgaga Tue 26-Mar-13 21:18:13

The Kennel Club recommend Staffies as a good breed to have around young children

Heaven help us all.

ceres Tue 26-Mar-13 21:20:07

olgaga - why?

coffeeinbed Tue 26-Mar-13 21:26:49

Olgaga, you seem to be mistaken.
Staffies can be the gentlest dogs ever.
the best behaved dog I ever met was a staff. she was lovely.
they are used in fights, this is true, but when they are well trained they can be lovely.

I'm not a dog lover but I don't hate them either. We have a mutual tolerance grin
My DD is terrified of dogs so it's always MY responsibility to ask.

My MIL Bastard Dog dog used to viciously attack me as I climbed up the stairs. It would run up after me and bite me. Or wait at the bottom of the stairs pretending to be asleep.
She didn't believe in locking it away either hmm

coffeeinbed Tue 26-Mar-13 21:36:01

Some dogs are vicious bastards.
Most dogs however aren't.
It's just like people, really.

seeker Tue 26-Mar-13 21:40:07

Look, it doesn't matter if it's a toy poodle or a mastiff- if you have q dog in our house you tell a visiting child's parents in advance. I have cats and guinea pigs and horses- I used to tell parents. It's a no brainer. Some kids are allergic, some are frightened, some love dogs so much they give them no space at all and need to be watched. Whey wouldn't you tell the parent? Unless you are one of those ghastly people who put Facebook statuses about some of your children having 4 legs.........

babybythesea Tue 26-Mar-13 21:53:45

Why wouldn't you tell the parent?

Simply, you might forget.
I have done just that - I'm not deluded that my dog will never ever so much as look at people when they enter the house, it's just when I'm arranging things there's a lot else going on in my head (does the kid need a car seat, how can I sort that out, what day won't clash with anything else, is that the day the plumber is coming, can I safely get away with a play date whilst there's someone in....) so that sometimes "Oh, by the way, I have a dog" doesn't make it to the top of the list. It's nothing to do with thinking one of my kids has four legs. It's because I'm not perfect and don't remember everything all the time.

So ask me, if you are worried, or you know your kid is scared, or even more importantly if they have an allergy. I am more than happy to discuss it with you, I don't mind keeping the dog out of the way in advance, I will even (get this) be able to see from the child's reaction if they are scared and do something about it. (Actually, I usually realise as I welcome people to the front door if I haven't mentioned the dog and don't let her out until I've checked with them).

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 21:57:17

If you have allergies you really do need to take responsibility for your own children and ASK.

If I went into a restaurant and was allergic to something I wouldnt expect the restaurant to guess. I would ask them. FGS - all this well I need to know this that and the other. If it is important to you - ask.....

exoticfruits Tue 26-Mar-13 21:57:31

If a child and parent knows you well enough to be invited around would they not know you had a dog? I would have thought they would have seen you out walking them.

kawliga Tue 26-Mar-13 22:03:47

Exotic, funny you should ask because I've seen ALL the other dogs for families in dd's class. We meet them out and about with their dogs. Really don't know why this particular family has never taken their truly gigantic and scary dog that is larger than most children out walking with them. Are they ashamed of it, unable to control it, who knows? That's part of the reason I was shocked to be met by it at the door. You only meet that dog if you actually enter their house and I had never entered their house before. I don't know when they walk it, maybe at night when everyone else is asleep confused maybe it frightens the neighbourhood children?

ds2 used to be scared of dogs when little and he just stopped getting invites to houses with dogs (I can understand why tbh). Then we got out own, he morphed into a dog whisperer and he started being invited again.

I'm too busy worrying about how visiting children will cope with ds1 to worry about the dog or cat or guinea pigs so no I don't tend to warn anyone. If they had a problem with the dog I would just keep him with me away from them. It doesn't occur to me to ask anyone whether they have a dog either if the kid's are visiting somewhere.

kawliga Tue 26-Mar-13 22:07:54

Sorry, I'm embellishing there a little, the dog is not scary as such (it is friendly) it is the size of the dog and especially its standing height (on its hind paws with its front paws on your shoulders) that are scary. I will stop there, I sense myself becoming more and more unreasonable the more I describe that dog. I guess feeling afraid is not a reasonable feeling but that doesn't make it easy to shake the feeling.

And if allergies then yes you need to tell the parents. The boys were all on special diets when younger and I would tell the parents and provide food. I wouldn't expect them to rustle up something gluten free.

nkf Tue 26-Mar-13 22:10:18

Probably the dog owners should say and the visitors should ask. But if you don't own dogs, you don't tend to think about them. And if you do own dogs, you think they are part of the family and all that.

exoticfruits Tue 26-Mar-13 22:11:00

Something they should tell you about then. A dog that size must need a lot of exercise.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 22:17:51

Kawliga - tbh if I may say -I dont think its your children that has an issue with dogs - its you.

You dont like them which is fine but your children could be meeting dogs on a daily basis. Please dont make them have the same fears as you. I believe you said 'cowering in a corner' and then said that was made up....

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 22:19:41

They actually dont need huge amounts of exercise and 10-11 is old whereas smaller dogs can live for another few years.

HollaAtMeBaby Tue 26-Mar-13 22:24:48

YANBU. I wouldn't be comfortable visiting a house with a big dog and certainly wouldn't knowingly send a child to one. Let alone a giant rottweiler that is apparently under-exercised (never seen out walking) and under-trained (jumped up on you when you arrived).

tollyandfeste Tue 26-Mar-13 22:30:22

I always tell people who visit with children we have dogs. However this is because I want to be sure the children know to behave appropriately and not pester/annoy the dog. I would not shut dog away this is his home (unless he was naughty, which he isn't). I have however been tempted in the past to ask a few parents to shut their children away when they have invited me over!!!! wink

kawliga Tue 26-Mar-13 22:31:49

Thanks for your questions exotic they have made me realise where my uneasy feeling probably came from. Thinking about it most people somehow manage to mention their dogs if you chat frequently so you tend to just somehow know if people have a dog from general chit chat and I have never heard this mother mention her dog ever. This is someone I see every day (twice a day). A colleague at work got a new puppy and she brought pictures to work to show everyone hmm so I think this is why it seemed really odd that this mum didn't mention the dog.

Ok, thanks everyone for going patiently round and round in circles on this one I've learnt a lot about dogs and dog owners!

tabulahrasa Tue 26-Mar-13 22:37:57

If its really that big it probably isn't walked because it's got issues with its joints - they're only supposed to be about 2 inches bigger than a Labrador...

ZZZenAgain Tue 26-Mar-13 22:40:23

YANBU breed is not irrelevant to me either.

kawliga Tue 26-Mar-13 22:40:26

maisie it wasn't just made up, it was my assessment from what I saw when I arrived and what I know about my daughter. Somebody said maybe she was just too busy playing and didn't want to come out and I agree that's possible but I think it's more likely that she was hiding away from the dog and scared to come out. I admit I could be wrong in my interpretation since I couldn't actually see her but I didn't just make it up. True though that this could be entirely my issue, that's why I didn't ask dd anything about the dog as she might sense my anxiety and become anxious too even if she initially wasn't.

She came out quietly and didn't say anything, which is unlike her. Doesn't prove anything I know but it's possible that I was right about why she was not coming out. I know how she normally behaves on playdates.

olgaga Tue 26-Mar-13 22:50:05

olgaga - why?

Olgaga, you seem to be mistaken.
Staffies can be the gentlest dogs ever.

I'm sure some are very gentle. It's the irresponsible owners who think their dog is a "gentle breed" and well trained, would never attack.

Owners like you are actually the ones who worry me the most, despite your plainly good intentions. You seem to have absolutely no understanding of the sheer unpredictability of an animal with a jaw pressure of over 200lb, and the damage it can do.

olgaga Tue 26-Mar-13 22:52:14

And I meant to say, it's not really about one particular breed. As many dog owners on this thread have pointed out.

The point is, a large muscular dog will tend to have bigger jaws and can do much more damage, both with their jaws and simply knocking young children over and causing a panic - which can in turn provoke the dog to aggression.

HotCrossPun Tue 26-Mar-13 23:09:24

Olga The fact is, the misconceptions about Staffies attract irresponsible owners.

Even though Staffies are wonderful with families (they are known as 'Nanny dogs') most of the time when you hear of these terrible stories about children being bitten, the dogs aren't with a loving family and then just 'snap.'

Most of the time they have been bought for the purpose of dog fighting, or as a status symbol and baited and 'toughened up' accordingly, by brainless idiots who have know idea about how to treat an animal.

As I said before OP, I don't think you are being unreasonable. I can fully understand why people are wary of certain dogs, especially around children.

When we first moved in to our building, some of the children were scared of our Staffie. Now they all run over if they see us out walking him and want to cuddle him.

<stops ranting and goes to kiss dog>

AllPurposeNortherner Tue 26-Mar-13 23:15:23


MousyMouse Tue 26-Mar-13 23:17:15

ya (sort of) nbu
I'm very allergic to dogs so I would ask before going to a playdate/sending my dc there if there are any pets. the breed is not as important to me. if there were a dog I would have to decline and maybe ask the other dc to comme to play at my home instead.

CocoNutter Tue 26-Mar-13 23:27:29

I'd always mention my dog, and the breed (but because of its size, not because of characteristics). I'm quite aware that a lot of adults are scared of dogs, let alone children, and I always make it clear I'm happy to shut the dog in another room / outside (if weather appropriate!) if they're not comfortable with it. It's just polite, IMHO. You also never know if someone is allergic to pets.

Breed is often largely irrelevant when it comes to doggie personality, as it's the owner that has the most bearing on how the dog is (with some exceptions, eg some rescue dogs, and also a lot of breeds have certain traits - but a responsible owner will be aware of these and know how to manage them). Some of the most aggressive dogs I've known have been the smallest. (And, incidentally, there are more labrador bits than rottweiler bites recorded every year).

All of this aside, I stand by my original point - it's just polite to mention it!


If you had worded your post "AIBU to think if you have a dog you should say so when you invite children to play?" I would say YANBU.

But I really don't think it has anything to do with whether it's a rottweiler or a chihuahua. Properly supervised, there should be no problem with dogs of any breed with a sound nature. If the dog is unpredictable with strangers, the family should have the sense to keep the dog separate from visitors.

I, myself, might like to know if there is a dog at the house my DC is playing at, because he is a bit over-confident and over-affectionate with dogs, so I would probably ask the parent to keep a special eye to make sure he doesn't wind the dog up.

I tell people that are coming to my house that I have a dog in case of allergies or phobias. I wouldn't lock my dog away for the sake of visitors - I can always go to their house or meet someone else, but my dog lives there and I always supervise contact between her and children, so why should she be locked away? Sometimes I put her behind the babygate if there are kids chasing her/pulling her tail/cuddling her too enthusiastically because I recognise that it is uncomfortable for her - even if she happily tolerates it!

Just today I had two toddlers (2yo) and a newborn with her in the room. She allowed herself to be cuddled and mauled by the toddlers then settled on the sofa next to the newborn (not mine), gave her head a good sniff and promptly dozed off. She's a staffy. I'm glad my friends aren't neurotic/phobic/allergic. smile

ElectricSheep Wed 27-Mar-13 00:00:47


That's six children and one adult killed by dogs in the last six years

Dogs should not be expected to behave as 'one of the family'. People should respect the fact that they are animals with very different needs to a human.
Children that a dog doesn't know, noisily playing or being boisterous, in the dog's territory are much more at risk of being bitten or attacked.

*meet SOMEWHERE else - I'm not that much of a cowbag! grin


Also it doesn't sound as if the parents were making sure your DD was having a good time

MidniteScribbler Wed 27-Mar-13 00:17:41

No, I wouldn't mention my dogs when arranging a playdate. That said, almost everyone knows I am the crazy dog lady, and if they've seen my car, well it's a big 4WD with dog cages built in the back of it, and my breeders prefix and pawprint stickers across the back window, so not hard to figure out.

I put four of my dogs down the kennels when visitors come anyway, as it saves me worrying about kids leaving doors or gates open by accident. The old girl stays in the house, but she's 13, and aside from a quick peek around the corner to see if the visitors are anyone of interest, she'll just go back to her preferred spot on my bed for the rest of the day. I usually shut the baby gate (more to keep kids out than her in), but she's fully therapy certified, and until two years ago when she retired, she would visit the children's hospital once a week to cuddle and play with the kids there, so I'm really not concerned about her. Three of the other four are certified to go in to schools as part of the Pets Education program we have over here (one is still a puppy and too young to be tested), so people are generally asking me if they can bring their kids over particularly to meet my dogs and get their children used to being around them, because they know they are safe with children.

Children can be unpredictable, and if the dog isn't used to be exposed to children and their noise, then the owners need to take steps to ensure the safety of all (a dog can be damaged by an overenthusiastic child just as much as the other way around). But a well trained and socialised dog who knows the rules and their place in the pack should be able to interact happily with well trained and socialised children.

midastouch Wed 27-Mar-13 00:24:52

I agree with MeerkatMerkin i would be mroe concerned about a chihuhua than a rottweiler thought!
Rottweilers are generally not what i would call giant, big yes, but not giant.

runningforme Wed 27-Mar-13 00:48:27

YANBU anyone who says otherwise is one of them lot who put animals before people. It's just polite and would give you the opportunity to decline if you have a child who is scared

MidniteScribbler Wed 27-Mar-13 01:52:04

runningforme, why do you need to tell someone there if a dog is you're a responsible owner? A responsible owner is someone who would keep the dog away from a child who was scared, and wouldn't allow them to jump all over children. Just because I own five dogs doesn't mean a child who is frightened of dogs shouldn't come here. I'm smart enough, and responsible enough to keep my dogs away from the children, particularly if they are scared.

Where do you draw the line? I have a dam, but it's fully fenced, same as if it were a swimming pool. Do I have to tell parents that? The neighbours cat sometimes comes and suns itself on the porch. Does that need to be disclosed? Native birds come and sit in the trees outside my verandah. Better tell someone in case the children don't like birds. It gets ridiculous. Surely you either trust the person to keep your child safe, or you decline the invitation (or stay). Isn't that just common sense?

midori1999 Wed 27-Mar-13 02:02:27


If you think parents should tell you they have a dog (or cat or other furry) due to potential allergies/dislikes, then that fine. It's unreasonable to think they should tell you that the dog is a Rottweiler. They don't come in 'giant' versions anyway, they are a large breed. not a 'giant' one.

I have to admit, I probably wouldn't tell parents I had dogs if their children were coming round. Most people who know me know I have dogs anyway, but I don't like to subject my dogs to children I don't know very well, as I have no idea what other DC may think is an acceptable way to behave towards dogs and I don't want children trying to cuddle/prod/poke them. My own DC know how to treat my dogs respectfully. So, if I have visiting children, I put the dogs in the utility room.

MrRected Wed 27-Mar-13 02:34:43

YABU to have expected to be told that they had a dog.

They, however, WBVVU by not locking the dog up for the duration of the playdate. I have two meek & mild whippets - truly the woosiest dogs to EVER walk this earth. I still put them in the garden, away from the children when we have kids over for a play.

I would never forgive myself if there was an incident and one of the dogs scratched (reasonably likely as they are very affectionate and often gently jump up) or even worse bit a visiting child.

spottyock Wed 27-Mar-13 06:42:57


Emilythornesbff Wed 27-Mar-13 06:57:21


I have no time for irresponsible dog owners.

Others have already given the stats about the frequency of dog attacks and the risks to young children.

Even if the dog is friendly the fact of its size means it could seriously injury a child by knocking it over. The claws of dogs are not retractable and easily slice a deep permanent scar into the face of a child jut by "friendly" pawing.
Not only should they have let you know so you could never darken their door talk to your dd beforehand, but they haven't trained it not to jump up!!
WhT's the matter with them?
The dog should have been shut away from peopl if it can't be trusted to not jump up.

Oh, and the one thing that all the dogs in the news who've fatally attacked children in someone's home have in common is that they were "friendly family pets" who'd never done it before.

Fucking dogs! or rather irresponsible owners!

So, to be cear: YANBU.

Emilythornesbff Wed 27-Mar-13 06:58:41

Apologies for shocking spelling (feeding baby while using I pad)

AlanMoore Wed 27-Mar-13 07:15:32

I wouldn't necessarily say I had a dog (don't have one at the moment) but I would keep my dog safely shut away from visiting children. I grew up with dogs and know how to behave around them but many children don't - for example my own DD is a bit scared of dogs and therefore I try and keep her away from them unless I know the owner and they can vouch for the dog's temperament, then I supervise her ultra closely.

Children make funny high pitched noises and sudden movements and do things that a lot of dogs don't like, eg try to hug them, pull ears/tails and I don't think it's fair to dog or child to put them in a situation that could be dangerous.

We have a cat and the dc are not left alone with him in case they hurt/scare him and he reacts in turn.

Yesterday's tragic case is similar to others in recent years in that the child killed was not resident in the home where the dogs attacked. If you notice it is almost always grandma's dog/auntie's dog/friend's dog, or a very young baby, so a child unfamiliar to the dogs.

Emilythornesbff Wed 27-Mar-13 07:20:04

So of they had said they had a dog you could have said "oh, that's nice hmm
I assume you keep it in a separate room when children are playing here."

DumSpiroSpero Wed 27-Mar-13 07:22:50

Yanbu, I would definitely want to know &, probably meet the dog myself before letting my DD go round there.

I will admit that is sure to me having had 2 or 3 bad experiences with dogs as a child/teen.

That said, we have various friends with bull mastiffs, boxers, a visla and a staffy cross. The only dog that has ever snapped at DD (twice) is my BIL's cocker spaniel.

I would really struggle if we were invited anywhere with a German Shepherd though tbh.

bochead Wed 27-Mar-13 07:29:12

Yes they should tell you.

We have one little friend who can't come over to play as he's very, very allergic to animal dander and our home is a shoebox. I don't want to make anyone ill! Some children are terrified of dogs and I will not be the one to force them.

From my perpspective as a dog owner it is very helpful to me to know if a child is "dog trained". our whippet is as gentle as anything but even the gentlest most docile animal could potentially turn if poked in the eye by a child who just doesn't know better.

If I know the child is not used to animals I can do a proper introduction - showing the child it's nice to stoke gently but not to prod the animal with pointy things etc. I also let all children know that if the dog retreats to her bed after a game they must not follow and disturb her as she needs a wee break.

I can basically ensure that the experience is a fun, pleasant one for animal and child. Unless I'm sure a child is "dog-trained" after observing a series of visits, I ensure that the dog is NEVER left alone with the child if I need to pop to the loo or anything. As the adult I'm 100% responsible for what happens in my home, not the child and not the dog.

It might sound like I'm being overfussy but people forget even well-trained, superb family pets feel pain & can react.

AlanMoore Wed 27-Mar-13 07:29:35

Can I ask why? If you're ok with bull breeds what have you got against GSDs? As a breed they tend to give plenty of warning if they're going to bite...

AlanMoore Wed 27-Mar-13 07:31:24

sorry, that was in response to DumSpiroSpero's post - not having a go, just interested! (as a child I used to get most offended to people's reaction to my beloved Sabre (it was the 80s!), he was huge but the most lovely gentle dog).

olgaga Wed 27-Mar-13 07:55:46

bochead, if only all owners were like you!


Yesterday's tragic case is similar to others in recent years in that the child killed was not resident in the home where the dogs attacked.

This is a key issue. However "family-friendly" the dog, IMO they should always be kept well away from visiting children.

As I said earlier, it's the dog owners who insist their dogs are gentle, soft and friendly and couldn't hurt a fly who are the most dangerous to know.

kawliga points out that

It jumped on me when I arrived to pick her up, not in an aggresive or scary way but I felt how strong and heavy it is and that was a new experience for me, not unpleasant but also not very comfortable.

The dog was not locked way, it was running about the house while I was there.

I was shocked to be met by it at the door.

All of these points illustrate that these dog owners are simply not responsible. They are not putting the safety of visiting children first.

I think OP has been very reasonable in her description of this event, and in her concern. In circumstances like that, I would make a point of having playdates with this friend at my house and explain to the owner that I simply wasn't comfortable with DD being in a set-up where playing children had to encounter a large dog wandering around. You are allowed to be polite and assertive about these things!

In fact I do always ask whether DDs friends have a dog. Many of her friends do, but they are usually small, manageable family pets and a few of them are very old and very quiet. But I always make a point of telling the friend's mum that DD is very nervous around dogs so they can either introduce them carefully, or shut the dog away from the children.

Our local craft shop has a resident dog which is really sweet and we have made many visits there as I have encouraged my DD to realise that not all dogs are the same as the one who gave her an early terrifying experience. However the damage is done - she will never be comfortable around dogs.

FourArms Wed 27-Mar-13 08:00:50

Interesting reading. We've got 2 dogs this week as we're dog sitting but haven't mentioned this to parents of visiting children. They're both dogs who are familiar with children.... One (old lady whippet) will take herself away from the children. The other (Alaskan Malamute - Husky type) is younger and much more playful. One visitor who is not used to dogs did say the malamute wouldn't leave her alone but she was (unconsciously) giving the dog signals that she wanted to play. My children are used to this dog and don't do this. Thought provoking.

Emilythornesbff Wed 27-Mar-13 08:01:32


MidniteScribbler what a joy your dogs sound! You must be so proud. smile

theodorakisses Wed 27-Mar-13 09:16:57

I don't think the breed is important but as the owner of 3 dogs and fosterer of a billion strays, I would never, ever have the dogs around visitors with or without . I am lucky in that I have plenty of space for them to be kept separately without having to resort to locking them in a spare room. I can't think of anything worse than any accident, even a child just being bowled over and am fastidious about it. Not everyone likes dogs and I would never expect my lifestyle to be inflicted on other people.

Snowme Wed 27-Mar-13 11:22:39

Dogs aren't fully domesticated. They still have wild animal base instincts.
The people who claim 'Oh my dog's a softie, he wouldn't hurt a flea!' have the kind of complacency that puts my guard up.

I wouldn't allow my children into a house unsupervised with a dog.

As children, we had German Shepherds, and no matter how familiar or 'family friendly' they were, they still had no qualms about nipping us or growling terrifyingly if we irritated them.

Suggesting a breed has a defined, guaranteed behavioural pattern is about as stereotyped as suggesting the same about humans. Even dogs have off days.

And yes, although the sheer size of large breeds makes me wary, our Nan had a teeny weeny chihuahua that gave a nasty nip!

DumSpiroSpero Wed 27-Mar-13 18:39:30

Can I ask why? If you're ok with bull breeds what have you got against GSDs? As a breed they tend to give plenty of warning if they're going to bite...

Purely personal experience - the bull mastiffs and staffy have never attacked me.

I was attacked twice at ages 11 and 13, both times by German Shepherds, neither gave any warning whatsover.

On the second occasion the owner was not known to me and was at fault. Bruised and lacerated ankle, A & E & tetanus jab.

On the first occasion, I was attacked by our neighbour's family pet who I had known for over three years. I was friends with their DD and constantly in and out of their house during that time with no issues with the dog at all. On this particular occasion it followed it's owner to the door and went straight for my stomach. Thankfully I had a chunky belt on and thanks to the owner grabbing it's collar in the nick of time it got a mouthful of thick leather. A second or two later and no belt...not so good.

DumSpiroSpero Wed 27-Mar-13 18:42:30

Alan I have just realised the friend's dog in question was also a Sabre and it happened in the 80's! shock

orderinformation Wed 27-Mar-13 18:45:04


bochead Wed 27-Mar-13 19:17:36

Our cat was stung twice on it's bum last summer by a wasp. For about 3 weeks afterwards he was absolutely lethal and more than capable of inflicting serious damage on a child. Frankly he was scary for me, and I'm his owner.

Cats aren't that big, yet becuase he was sore, for a while he was dangerous. The law does not hold a cat owner responsible, while the dog owner is called to account. A 10 stone dog in similar circumstances would have been more than capable of killing a child. Often fighting dogs are often in some sort of pain from the effects of their "training" (I've seen the poor things being beaten with metal chains in our local parks to encourage aggression).

There's a good reason the scum of the earth use strong, powerful dogs instead of guns on the streets. (Lower prison sentence for walking down the local high street with one). In the wrong hands they can be lethal weapons. Only a complete idiot fails to recognise this. I say this as a dog lover.

Owning a dog requires the aquisition of a sense of responsibility over the actions of that animal. My first dog was a rescue chihauhua who had to be kept muzzled in public for the first year I owned him, while I waited for the work we were doing with the behaviorist to take effect. (He'd been VERY badly abused). Given the chance he'd have bitten everyone in sight bar me. Yet a few years later with the right training and supervision he went onto become a therapy dog - capable of being taken onto a children's hospital ward.

Complacency on the part of the owner can result in a much loved family family pet having to be put down. Sadly some children nowadays are virtually feral and have no idea at all that animals feel pain. How to treat animals is as much a life skill as cooking, or reading yet I'm always a bit suprised at how some otherwise very nice parents fail miserably to teach children not to torment living creatures.

I suppose I'm trying to say there is a sensible common sensical medium between "all dog owners are evil!" and "all those who don't like strange dogs slobbering all over them are completely irrational".

AlanMoore Thu 28-Mar-13 13:55:44

DumSpiroSpero I swear that wasn't him! He was a right softy, certainly never bit anyone, I think he was the failed police dog but that could have been Sultan blush

runningforme Thu 28-Mar-13 21:23:46

This just happened. Sickening. And why I still believe that even 'family' dogs and 'softies' should be properly supervised.

family dogs maul toddler to death

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now