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question about dog assesement

(17 Posts)
tsfp Fri 15-Nov-13 20:01:50

hello - I am a newbie to mumsnet and adoption, just introduced myself on the newbies thread! We have our first meeting in a few weeks but I am in a fluster already about our dogs!

We have two, a chihuahua, who is the sweetest softest gentlest dog ever (shes not snappy or yappy like chihuahuas can be - very placid and sweet). We also have a sweet sappy boston terrier, who is gentle and cuddly. BUT for that first 5 minutes when anyone come in the boston does that dog thing where he is so excited and happy he jumps and twists and bounces and jumps all over the furniture and up people... literally for 5 mins then he's back to normal. We are in the process of re-training him to sit in his bed when people come in and in the past 2 weeks are having loads of sucess which is good. So I suppose my question is has anyone had an experience with their dog being assessed and whats involved? If he fails is that the end of the process or are you given a chance to re-train the dog and try again? Do they take into account that dogs is dogs and they can be a bit excited!?

Any info greatly appreciated!!


sunshine80 Fri 15-Nov-13 20:44:29

yes we had a big and quite boisterous dog and I know a dog assessment sounds quite scary but as long as they aren't aggressive and don't object to food being messed with etc whilst they eat then ours was fine. we also let the social worker know that the dog wasn't given the run of the house so wouldn't be intimidating to the children, good luck with everything

tsfp Fri 15-Nov-13 21:32:56

Hey sunshine - thanks for that, totally reassuring hearing it from someone else. They're good with food being touched and aren't possessive or aggressive at all so that's really good to know. One less worry eh?!

excitedmamma Fri 15-Nov-13 22:33:47

Hi.. we have 4 dogs... our assessment was very low key but in your circumstance I'd have a think about how you would respond to any questions about how you would cope/introduce the dog to any child/children..

I'd take positive steps to contact a dog trainer and be able to evidence what you are doing to control this behaviour...

Our SW said that if she'd have been unhappy, we'd have had to pay to have a special animal behaviourist come in and write a full report on each and every one... one that would pull their tale, grab their ears etc.. thankfully she observed the dogs around us and the child and was reassured that they couldn't care less behaved well...

Pro active with evidence would be my suggestion...

RudolphLovesoftplay Sat 16-Nov-13 07:16:13

We had a dog who sounds similar to your Boston. He passed the dog assessment no problem, as they are more worried about growling over toys, food etc or being very "possessive" about their things: bowl, collar etc. The bounciness in first few minutes didn't seem to matter.

Happiestinwellybobs Sat 16-Nov-13 07:56:37

We preempted the assessment by showing our SW (and panel when asked about our dog) that we took it really seriously. BAAF had an information sheet that we purchased online; we had also done online research about adoption and dogs.

Ours is a huge dog, who goes bonkers at visitors, then pans out at their feet.

We explained how our dog was already not allowed upstairs (stair gate on) and that we were purchasing another gate to separate the main living area off, so that dog and DD could have time apart. We also showed how he wasn't protective over food.

The only concerns that they had in the end was about possibly allergy or jealousy. This was nail biting - we had to get DD to meet him to ensure she wasn't allergic and that he was okay with her. Bearing in mind we had had to say we would get rid of him if there were any issues, I was nervous to say the least.

RudolphLovesoftplay Sat 16-Nov-13 08:09:29

I forgot about the allergies/not getting on question. We also had to agree to get rid of our dog if there were problems. Luckily there weren't!!

tsfp Sat 16-Nov-13 11:35:44

Thanks rudolphlovesoftplay, happiestinwellybobs and excitedmamma too!

Perhaps we will get a trainer in to do a report, have already asked our vet to do a report on them which he will and have ordered the BAAF dog 'sheet' - have found some articles in a few books about the positives between dogs and children and helping them form a bond so have photocopied those!!

They're both very good with their toys and food, we've always made them happy to have hands in faces while they eat and take toys from them so they're not possesive so thats good. They only come upstairs at night and we have a door on the kitchen for when they would need to be seperated so thats good.

I can't imagine I'd be happy to say I'd give them up - I'd be terrified! They're such good dogs!

tea4two4three Sat 16-Nov-13 16:59:02

We've not had a dog assessment mentioned yet, although he has been at the home visits to both us and the out-laws so far (they babysit him throughout the day whilst we're at work). We couldn't/wouldn't get rid of him. He's been our best friend for 8yrs now and is our family. As the in-laws will be carers of any child we adopt once back at work, it's not like he could even go there. I actually feel a bit sick thinking about it. I'm not worried about his behaviour as he is around children a lot and is spot on with them; but the allergies I had never considered :-(

tsfp Sat 16-Nov-13 17:11:59

Tea4two4three - I totally know what you mean. Flynn and pixel are my world! They're amazing animals - they both have had a fair bit of time around kids and they're very good with them. Pixel usually gets her tail suckled on and she doesn't care an inch so no issues there. It's just that initial burst of energy from Flynn! Although in 2 weeks he's made a huge improvement!

I hadn't considered allergies at all actually either. How far along are you in the process?

tea4two4three Sat 16-Nov-13 17:46:07

We've started our 'preparation' courses, all the external paperwork and referees are complete, just have to complete our home visits/paperwork. We've been told March for panel. We're really excited/nervous/terrified/ready for our family. I just hope that includes our little buddy otherwise things might stall. I'm prepared to do anything we can to ensure it works and they get on; and I'm obviously aware of no matter how well we know our dog he could snack or get grumpy with a child in his home, so he'd never be left on his own etc, but allergies is something we have no control over. Ah well, just something else to overcome on the journey.

Hope it all goes well at your meeting :-) x

Happiestinwellybobs Sat 16-Nov-13 18:31:49

We hadn't considered allergies either. Our dog was our family. Years of infertility meant he was our baby. He is spoilt rotten. Having to say we would get rid of him if he didn't like DD was beyond awful. In truth, we knew our dog. We knew that it was just words and that he would be fine. But still very difficult.

He was very much part of our assessment, part of approval discussions, and also it seemed when matching. DD's FC was sure allergies wouldn't be an issue as DD had been to petting farms/in contact with dogs. Perhaps they bear that in mind when matching?

I'm sure it will be fine. Apart from the occasional eyebrow rise when DD is trying to get him to play buses, he utterly adores her, and she him smile

tsfp Sat 16-Nov-13 18:40:19

That's so exciting for you! Can't wait til we get there. Read a lot of positive posts in the forum today and really excited to get going! I think being a dog owner you know that you have to make provisions for things like making sure they're not left unattended together and such but they have such a positive influence on your family life it can only make it better! I read an article saying that children who have things like an attachment issue can find it easier to trust people if they can see a dogs trust in that person. It was really interesting actually.

tsfp Sat 16-Nov-13 18:46:00

Ah happiestinwellybobs that's so nice to hear! I know what you mean about knowing your dog and I think them being spoiled probably makes them used to being played with! I know my two get pulled around all over the place! Ha!

Dogs and kids make great friends. My family dog was with me my whole life and I loved him endlessly!

Thanks so much for your messages. Totally reassuring!

excitedmamma Sat 16-Nov-13 21:50:08

The question about getting rid of some (or all - we have 4) didn't come up during the adoption assessment, but it did when we were approved for fostering...

We said we wouldn't give them up - we'd delay things and I think this showed our commitment to see something through and not just give up/get rid when the going got tough... it was honest and seemed to be what they (sort of) wanted to hear.

One of ours now has to wear bobbles, will probably get dressed up and pushed around in a pram... complete lack of street cred... grin

I think you are either a dog person or not and sadly if you get a SW who isn't then they can't see how fundamental to your family they are...

Good luck x

tsfp Sun 17-Nov-13 08:28:24

Hi excitedmamma - I'm glad you said that. Husband and I went to dinner last night and both agreed we would stick to our guns. We'd rather work to correct and behaviours that may be deemed negative and get them sorted rather than say we would give them up. We came to the same conclusion as you that really when the going gets tough we need to be the people that resolve the issue through work and time not give up! I understand both sides of the coin but we have to go with our gut instinct I think! Hope we get a good sw!

I have to admit to having put hair clips in my chi's hair once myself! By the time we have a child living with us she'll be used to being dressed up! Haha!

MrsBW Tue 19-Nov-13 13:54:54

Got to be honest, I advise caution with that approach.

You can be prepared to put any amount of work in ... But think carefully.

if, God forbid, there was an issue that couldn't be resolved... Allergies is the obvious one... Would you rehome the dogs or allow the adoption to disrupt?

We have cats... And we love them dearly. But if it comes down to it, we would rehome them (albeit with a relative)

I would be surprised with any agency that would be satisfied with any response other than 'if it comes to a point where it's the pets or kids, the kids will come first'

Good luck!

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