SIL has a 7 month old very boystrous (and big!) German Shepherd. He's a typical puppy, jumping up and the size he is already, I am quite nervous around him. I am not keen on big dogs who jump up.
The dog is very much their third baby, they play rough with him, jump with him etc, often come in with scratches on their faces and necks, from where he is being playful (he isn't malicious in any way, but obviously gets quite excited).
They live about 3 - 4 hours away, so to meet up for a couple of hours out and about isn't possible. We normally visit for 1 - 2 nights. I'm not sure if IABU by asking her to keep the dog away from us when we visit. I have a 3 and a half year old and 15 month old too.
AIBU? If not, how can I best handle this without offending? Cheers
I don't think you're unreasonable. But I don't think you should ask them to keep the dog out of the way straight out.
Instead talk to them and tell them you're worried about the dog knocking over the little ones when you come to stay. You may find she has a crate or something to put him in when he's over-excited or will arrange things so he's out of the way.
If they doesn't respond to your concerns, then you have a problem.
Just tell her your nervous around him and for the children and would she mind, im not sure if its really feasable to keep him in another room for 2 days though. Perhaps you could book in at a hotel or b&b?
I have a huge german shepherd and they are idiots for playing so roughly with him. He will really do damage to them at some point. Just ask to put him out. I always have my dog out when people come over. He's not everyone's cup of tea. I would never be offended by that request.
I think they'll keep him out of the way with the kids there (although they've already made comments that 'kids have to get used to animals' etc, which i agree with, although i think a huge jumpy puppy probably is at one end of the scale!!). It's just the evenings, when we are sat in the living room, I hate it when sat on a settee and a dog bounds about, trying to get up on the settee (my MIL also has dogs, but they are much more forward with telling the dog to keep away).
As you can probably tell, I haven't grown up with dogs, and I don't mind them, but the really jumpy ones make me really uncomfortable. I know I need to get over this, but this just seems a step too far at the moment!
thanks all for posting. i think we'll need to look into a b&b, that's a good idea.
thestringcheese - they are huge aren't they! they don't look so big on the telly, but i was amazed, i am sure at 7 months he is taller than my 6ft husband, when he was 'stood up' (dog stood up, not dh!). i also think the only time i've seen german shepherds is as police dogs on tv, so i have a bit of an irrational fear! interesting you say they shouldn't play roughly with him. i'm hoping they'll train him a bit or at least he'll mellow with age <hopeful emoticon!>
If they're considerate enough to keep it out of the way when the kids are around, I honestly think its unfair to expect them to keep it shut out all evening too. Whether you like dogs or not, this one is part of their family and they're inviting you to stay in their home. If I were you I'd either put up with it or book into a Travelodge or something.
talk to her and ask how she usually introduces the dog to new people - especially small children - she might have a strategy already in place:-) Say as your dcs are not used to dogs you want to get this right so they don't end up nervous of dogs. I have big bouncy dogs and a friend came for the w'end with his ds's who had never really encountered dogs before - we ended up taking rather a lot of pics of cute kids cuddling happy dogs. We never take visitors straight to see dogs - they are too excited at the door bell and prospect of new blood friends - so we go into another room, make a cup of tea, let dogs calm down and get used to the idea there are new people around, then we all go outside and throw a ball or two in the garden. One of the key things is for you not to over react, if a dc gets accidentally knocked over just scoop them up with an "oops - did the silly dog knock you over? silly dog!" while being firm with the dog. Unfortunately a 7 month old GS is all legs with not much control! Hope it goes well
see pjmama, i do feel bad at the prospect of him 'locked away' for such a length of time too, it's not fair on him. i'll talk to dh and suggest b&b and maybe going out for the day with them. thanks all for posting.