New baby and dog?

(41 Posts)
RebeccaJames Wed 19-Feb-14 20:37:20

I saw in the news today that a six-day-old baby has been mauled to death by the family dog. Beyond awful.

We have a dog - a soppy, sociable mini-labradoodle called Hannah, who was always fine with Ds1. She snapped at him once when he cornered her and hurt her, and left a tooth graze under his eye. It was a warning snap but of course worrying.

Now we have DS2, who is 10 weeks old. Hannah is older now and not getting much attention at the moment. Today's news has really made me think... You never really know with a dog and I would never forgive myself if she turned on my baby. I expect she is feeling jealous but there is no outward sign. I try to remember to put DS2 in the playpen when I leave the room but sometimes I do leave him on the sofa in his Poddle Pod while I run up and fetch washing or go to the loo.

What do you think about it?

TheGreatHunt Wed 19-Feb-14 20:44:16

So your dog nipped one child and you sometimes forget to put the other one somewhere safe.

Not sure if this is a wind up. I can only say hmm

Springcleanish Wed 19-Feb-14 20:44:45

Stair gates on doorways and always take baby or dog with you. I'd pop baby on the floor in their pod too, not on the sofa. It only takes a second for something terrible to happen, don't risk it. Our dog was the soppiest thing ever, but never allowed with kids on their own until they were about 6/7 and old enough to understand the responsibility.

Eletheomel Wed 19-Feb-14 20:50:32

I'd never leave a baby alone with any pet, and I love animals (although we only have 2 cats due to work commitments). You just never know what's going to happen and even if I was in a rush, I'd make sure my baby and the dog were never in a room alone before heading off - a few extra seconds gained here and there just aren't worth the risk. In fact, I don't even leave my cats alone with DS2 (he's nearly 9 months) and they don't go anywhere near him generally (he's noisy and grabby!).

I'm not paranoid, we always had cats and dogs growing up and I never wanted my children to grow up in a pet-free home (hence the cats) but I simply could not live with myself if my baby was injured as a result of actions (or in-actions) I took in relation to a family pet (and I say that generally, not as any comment on the recent tragedy you mentioned as I (like everyone else) have no idea how that occurred).

RebeccaJames Wed 19-Feb-14 20:51:31

No, TheGreatHunt, it is not a wind-up. I have a stair gate so that the dog cannot go upstairs, and a playpen specifically because we have a dog, so I am taking lots of precautions. The dog has never bitten, or she would be long gone. A warning snap is a different kettle of fish from a bite - you can't expect a dog not to react if you corner and hurt it. DS1 learned not to do that.

I just think it is near-impossible to never ever a child with a dog for a couple of seconds. I am just asking for others' perspectives.

Catsmamma Wed 19-Feb-14 20:53:30

well take the dog with you...keep them apart if you are not there to supervise . It's perfectly simple.

You make the choices, you must live with the consequences.

Suzietwo Wed 19-Feb-14 20:56:51

I got a dog after having my second child. Will be having a baby in May. I haven't really considered this, I have to say. I happily leave the dog with the kids atm (2 and 4). I don't think I'd leave the baby. But I wouldn't leave the baby with the 2 year old either!

TheGreatHunt Wed 19-Feb-14 21:00:29

How old was your eldest when your dog snapped? Because, quite frankly, it sounds like you think it was for your ds to "learn not to do it again". Your mindset should be 100% to protect your children.

You wouldn't get in a car and not strap your children's seat belt would you? So don't forget to keep your baby safe when you nip to the loo.

purplemurple1 Wed 19-Feb-14 21:01:08

We never leave the dog and the baby together unsupervised - it's pretty easy tbh. Either take the baby with us or move the dog to a different room or outside.

We also have a travel cot downstairs to leave the baby in somewhere safe but that's more for when he is mobile ans I wouldn't count it as full protection from the dog as he is big and can easily jump into the travel cot.

Our dog is well trained working dog that gets lots of exercise, has never snapped and isn't allowed in certain rooms (he just won't go in no gates required). Still you can never be sure imo.

TheScience Wed 19-Feb-14 21:09:33

It does sound like you need to be a bit more vigilant, especially as your baby is so little.

Babies are unpredictable and can be disconcerting for dogs. Even though your dog isn't aggressive, if the baby suddenly cries or rolls off the sofa while you are out of the room then the dog could hurt him without meaning to.

TheScience Wed 19-Feb-14 21:11:27

Suzietwo, can you really trust your children, especially the 2 year old, not to hurt or frighten the dog even unintentionally when unsupervised? I think you're taking quite a big risk there of one of them getting bitten.

RebeccaJames Wed 19-Feb-14 21:11:55

TheGreatHunt, I started this thread to see what other people thought, so it's fine that you have given your opinion. I am up for a kick up the arse about the VERY odd occasion when he's asleep in his pod and I don't want to wake him to have a wee or answer the door.

But you must be advocating people not to have dogs and children at all if you think a dog must not react if cornered and hurt?

purplemurple1 Wed 19-Feb-14 21:22:02

Can you take the dog with you if the baby is asleep?

We would put the dog down if he snapped at one of us as he needs to know he can't dominate us and any show of aggression would be him trying to take the upper hand ifyswim. I've seen him cornered by cows and hurt he did everything he could to get away but made no attempt to attack them, I'd expect the same if he was cornered or hurt by one of us.

TheScience Wed 19-Feb-14 21:23:49

Wow, that's very extreme purple!

TheGreatHunt Wed 19-Feb-14 21:24:20

That's why I asked how old your child was when it happened? If young then it's your fault not the dog not the dc.

I grew up with dogs - but in all honesty, no I wouldn't have young children and dogs. The fact that owners need to bevigilant says it all really - why have that extra layer of stress when it's hard enough with babies and toddlers.

purplemurple1 Wed 19-Feb-14 21:25:08

He's a working dog - so I've prob about of a harder view than people with pets.

RebeccaJames Wed 19-Feb-14 21:31:35

TheGreatHunt, DS1 was 3 when it happened. It was when I was in the room so I saw exactly what happened.

Quinteszilla Wed 19-Feb-14 21:35:00

You are joking right? The dog nearly took your older childs eye out, yet there you are forgetting to keep your new baby safe?

TheGreatHunt Wed 19-Feb-14 21:37:24

3 is too young to have known better. Poor kid.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 19-Feb-14 21:41:04

No, it's not hard to never leave your baby and your dog alone together. I am a lazy feckless parent at the best of times, But I have a laid back dog who was never once left alone with my DD.

How would you ever forgive yourself if the dog harmed your child?

RebeccaJames Wed 19-Feb-14 21:59:31

Unexpected, I quote myself: "You never really know with a dog and I would never forgive myself if she turned on my baby." And "I am up for a kick up the arse about the VERY odd occasion..."

I am a thoughtful, careful parent who has taken today's news as an opportunity to re-examine practices in our house to do with the dog. I think that is a good thing. smile

Suzietwo Wed 19-Feb-14 22:07:17

I don't know but if it happens it will be my responsibility and my conscience.

Quinteszilla Wed 19-Feb-14 22:07:32

"I am a thoughtful, careful parent"


TheGreatHunt Wed 19-Feb-14 22:13:21

It is a good thing - kudos to you op as I know I've been a bit rude/confrontational. I do feel quite strongly about this.

RebeccaJames Wed 19-Feb-14 22:14:24

Yes, Quinteszilla, I am. I am glad you are a perfect parent but I accept that I may not be and may have flaws, and am happy that I re-examine my parenting frequently and seek advice and other perspectives.

Suzietwo Wed 19-Feb-14 22:15:33

Very nicely handled rebecca !

Smartiepants79 Wed 19-Feb-14 22:16:04

I disagree that 3 it too young to know better. My 3 year old knows better! She learned very fast not to corner our cat or bash it. One scratch was all it took.
That's a bit beside the point as far as the OP goes tho.
I would be very careful with a dog ( and was very careful with the cat until DD was old enough to chase it!). Although I can see how it's easy to get complacent with a loved and trusted family pet.
All you can do is do the things you already know you should be doing and do them consistently.

WeAllHaveWings Wed 19-Feb-14 22:17:14

I am probably the other extreme and never leave ds(10) alone with 11 month old lab pup.

The pup is very placid, has never shown a single sign of aggression but he's still a pup growing up, becoming a teenager, 30kgs with big teeth, and I'm not taking any chances.

TheGreatHunt Wed 19-Feb-14 22:20:28

My four year old wouldn't. 3 year olds still have that impulsiveness. They might learn not to do x otherwise dog would bite but they wouldn't have the cognitive power necessarily to apply that to other situations which could also result in a bite.

RebeccaJames Wed 19-Feb-14 22:20:52

Thanks, Suzietwo. Got a bit hairy there smile.

WinterDrawsOff Wed 19-Feb-14 22:23:27

I would get rid of the dog. It's a safeguarding issue. You cannot leave a dog or cat alone with a baby or young child even just for a second. You should think of the safety of your children.

Suzietwo Wed 19-Feb-14 22:25:13

A cat?! You can't leave a cat alone w a toddler? Wow.

NCISaddict Wed 19-Feb-14 22:35:38

You can't leave a toddler alone with a baby either!

Quinteszilla Wed 19-Feb-14 22:37:42

Not too soon then.

Suzietwo Wed 19-Feb-14 22:38:10

Now THAT, I agree with ncis

sweetieaddict Wed 19-Feb-14 22:46:21

your dog bit your toddler, left a tooth graze under his eye and you did nothing? did I just read that right?

take that as your warning and get rid of the dog - as for leaving the dog with the baby unattended - you are a very, very foolish woman.

you cannot give equal attention to a toddler, baby and a dog - you've even admitted that yourself - rehome her to someone who has the time and attention you don't. it's a dog ffs, your kids come first....

Excited85 Thu 20-Feb-14 05:34:38

I have a small dog and a 16 week old baby. I've never left them alone together and as a result I'm finding being a new mum far more difficult than friends without dogs

As a pp says, when I need the loo either baby or dog comes with me, likewise even to turn the kettle on. Our house is open plan though so nowhere to put dog for a few minutes. If you have separate rooms downstairs there really is no excuse for leaving them together.

With a bigger dog baby gates should be helpful - unfortunately our dog can generally find a way to get through them being small. So we are moving house to one with separate downstairs rooms. This way we are hoping to avoid having to rehone the dog - we've had him for years before the baby turned up and don't agree with just automatically abandoning him because of the new addition - if we all did that rescue centres wouldn't be able to cope. It just needs a bit of thought and unfortunately everything requires a bit more time/patience than if you didn't have a dog.

RebeccaJames Thu 20-Feb-14 08:06:18

Excited, like you we have open plan which is why it is so hard and we have a rule that the dog doesn't go upstairs. I guess I will just have to take the baby upstairs with me even when he is sleeping, but unfortunately it will always mean he wakes as he is a bad sleeper and can never be moved without waking. With DS1 it was easier as we had multiple rooms and it was just a case of putting the dog on the other side of a door.

It IS hard. I would gladly re-home her and she is such a lovely and engaging dog that people have offered, but DH simply will not have it. and for something like that (we've had her from a pup, for seven years) we need to agree.

Suzietwo Thu 20-Feb-14 08:17:24

have you got an enclosed garden? my poodle/retriever cross spends a lot of time locked out of the house alone in the garden. he's quite content.

ExpatAl Thu 20-Feb-14 09:05:45

If the baby is sleeping take the dog with you. My dog is very soft but is never left alone with my dd. Small children's movements are very spontaneous and dogs are not keen on flailing arms and legs for obvious reasons.

Eletheomel Thu 20-Feb-14 09:45:21

Agree that if the baby is asleep, move the dog. You could also get a crate for your dog if your downstairs is open plan, and put her in the crate if you need to nip to the loo. You might need to do some crate training first, but to be honest, given her 'previous' I'd get one anyway, especially as other peopels kids (who might come round on playdates) might not know how to behave around dogs, and you woudlnt want her biting one of them (to me snapping is just that, a snap that doesn's make contact with the skin, anything that catches the skin is a bite).

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