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AIBU to change my mind about this dog?

(49 Posts)
pamplemousse Thu 04-Aug-11 12:31:37

Brief overview: Husband left in Feb, he moved in with his new girlfriend in March, she got a Rottweiler rescue young dog, dd who is 4 visits every other weekend and one night for tea in the week and a sleepover if she wants to.
So... I banned her from the house for 2 weeks when they got this dog as I wanted it to settle and them to see what its like. I feel powerless about it, I have to trust my exs' girlfriend's judgement about a dangerous breed RESCUE rotty. Theoretically ex only lives there 3 nights a week but I know he does every night. So he uses his Dad's address instead. AIBU to insist he takes dd to his dad's instead of his girlfriends house?
She is face height to this creature, which may well be lovely, but why a rescue and it 'loves' playing with her apparently. This fills me with horror tbh.
Please give your opinion....
I have allowed her to go as thought they wouldn't be so stupid as to risk dd's face/life, but having spoken to a (very pro dog!) friend recently I am thinking I've been an idiot.....

BeerTricksPotter Thu 04-Aug-11 12:36:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MorticiaAddams Thu 04-Aug-11 12:36:34

YANBU. You don't know the dog's history and presumably the rescue centre didn't know about your daughter.

I am very pro dog too and the chances are that the dog's fine but it was placed in the rescue centre for a reason.

Joolyjoolyjoo Thu 04-Aug-11 12:38:12

I love dogs, and am all for children and dogs growing up together under suitable supervision, but the problem here is that you are not there to supervise, and you would really need to trust your ex's gf which you obviously don't, so I would agree that it's not a good idea to carry on, unless you and they can meet and discuss a suitable compromise (eg dog in different room/ always supervised)

They will no doubt think you are BU, but they should respect your concerns as your child's mother.

Jennytailia Thu 04-Aug-11 12:38:43

Find out which rescue the dog was
From Amd give them a ring to explain the situation and to see if they were aware a young child would be staying over often.

If they were aware then the dog should have been well tested and should be as safe as the next dog.

If they weren't aware then they should be able to recover the dog.

You need to make sure your DD is never unsupervised around the dog, this dog or any other dog.

bananasplitz Thu 04-Aug-11 12:40:31

rotties are fabulous dogs

but i would never leave mine (as soft and good as they are) alone around any kids - in fact i would never leave any dog alone with any kids. Thats just common sense. Make sure she is supervised at ALL times with any dog

BeerTricksPotter Thu 04-Aug-11 12:40:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

D0G Thu 04-Aug-11 12:40:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tchootnika Thu 04-Aug-11 12:44:39

YANBU to be cautious about a dog you don't know. That is common sense.

YADNBU if you are concerned about your DD who is unfamiliar with dogs in an unfamiliar situation. To be otherwise would be unfair on DD and dog.

YA potentially BU if you think a rescue dog will automatically pose more of a risk than any other dog. However, you do definitely need to know exactly how the dog was assessed by the rescue centre in relation to chidren.
The dog's history may or may not be known, but rescue centres are generally very reliable and responsible in assessing dogs for rehoming.

Birdsgottafly Thu 04-Aug-11 12:45:09

I aree with cotacting the rescue centre.

Rotties are not a dangerous breed, they cna be very affectionate ad a wonderful companion dog, if treated correctly. I have DC's and i foster GS's and have permanently housed rescued GS's. It depends on wether the GF is an experienced rottie owner. I know people who are and take resue dogs while havig DC's.

The relationship between your DD and the dog should be done carefully and gradually.

ImperialBlether Thu 04-Aug-11 12:47:49

There is no way I'd let my child anywhere near one of those dogs. I certainly wouldn't let her stay the night or visit a house where a dog like that lives.

Birdsgottafly Thu 04-Aug-11 12:51:08

Sorry for the typo's, on a netbook and cannot get use to to the size.

BeerTricksPotter Thu 04-Aug-11 12:51:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LineRunner Thu 04-Aug-11 13:00:37

I would definitely ask to see the Rescue history and the conditions under which this young dog was re-homed.

That's a reasonable request.

MothershipG Thu 04-Aug-11 13:02:46

This issue isn't really about the dog it's about your ex and how much you trust him.

The dog is an unknown quantity, I'm a dog owner and I do home checks for a rescue so I am not at all anti-dog of any breed.

You need to speak with your DD's father, you need to have a calm conversation where you express your concerns, do you trust him to be sensible? Will he make sure that his DD will never be left unsupervised with the dog and that the dog will receive all the training it needs? If he can assure you of this and you trust him then the dog's breed is no longer really an issue.

Incidentally if the dog came from a proper rescue, rather than a pound or classified ad, you could check with them that he had been approved for a home with a young child.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Thu 04-Aug-11 13:03:50

YANBU is there any way you can find out how what your ex's girlfriend is like with this dog? Talk to her yourself for example? It might put your mind at rest if she reassures you she knows how to take proper care of the dog and knows it's background. I can only guess whoever it was rehomed the dog with her were not aware of your DD.

I personally love rotties, would want to have one myself if I didn't have DCs but I wouldn't want my children near one unless I was sure it's owner took proper care of it.

sparechange Thu 04-Aug-11 13:59:27

Agree with the OPs who have suggested contacting the rescue. Although I would like to stress that rescue dog does not automatically equal 'dumped by previous family for being unreliable'
I've had many rescue dogs in the past, and they've all ended up there because of reasons totally unrelated to the dog - landlords refusing to let a dog live in the house, family break-ups, couples moving abroad.
Sadly, breeds like Rotties and staffies often end up with certain types of people, and those people are often the least likely to have a stable home life, or the proper means to house the dog. And when things start to unravel, the dog is the first thing to go.
It doesn't mean the dog will have been abused or neglected, it is just that there isn't the practical means to keep the dog, so please please don't jump to conclusions.

Incidentily, a friend of my brother's is a police dog handler which a (policedog) rottie, and it lives with them and their 2 young children. It is a very lovely family pet, so with the right training, they are no more scary or unsuitable than a spaniel or labrador

Rhinestone Thu 04-Aug-11 14:24:43

YANBU at all although I predict you will shortly be on the receiving end of a rant about how rottweilers are never ever, under any circumstances, any more dangerous than a goldfish. In fact, they're safer than goldfish and anyone who thinks otherwise is the spawn of Hitler and Cruella de Ville blah blah blah.

Now I will get flamed for this but rotties are one of the highest risks of dogs; that is risk in the proper sense of likelihood x impact. They are not the dog most LIKELY to be aggressive (that is the little daschund!) but if they are then the IMPACT is extremely serious, i.e. a permanent, disfiguring injury or even death. Obviously a 4 yr old is going to come off worse than an adult.

They can also be awesome family dogs and great big teddy bears.

Absolutely right to contact the rescue. However your issue is actually whether or not you trust the GF and your ex and their judgment. Is the GF a responsible dog person who understands dogs and their behaviour? Did she get the dog for the right reasons or was she attracted to a 'status' breed? (i.e. she will be more likely to encourage its natural guarding behaviour). Will DD be supervised around the dog without exception?

I would suggest you can't possibly know this and in your situation I would stick to your guns.

hephaestus Thu 04-Aug-11 15:11:50

YABU to assume that a rottweiler poses any more threat than any other breed or type of dog (I'd be more worried about a small fluffy or a terrier)

YABU to assume that because it has come from a rescue it has an unknown history or must be aggressive (dogs mostly end up in rescue because of their owner's circumstances, not at any fault of the dog. Many have a fully known history.)

However, YANBU to worry about a dog of any breed that is unknown to you and in an unknown situation (i.e is she left unsupervised with the dog, allowed to eat and walk around with food near the dog, play with toys with the dog etc.). Did the rescue know that the dog was going to a home with a visiting child?

MumblingRagDoll Thu 04-Aug-11 15:22:42

YANBU and I would do the same. IMagine if it DID bite her? My Dh had a Rotty as a teen and his Mum kept it....they always said he was a lovely dog....so good with kids etc....then at age12 it turneand it my DD on her head when she was one year old.

It left an indent in her face and a bruise....iwas a "warning" nip......you do not know this dog......and most rescues won't rehome dogs with small kids.

northerngirl41 Thu 04-Aug-11 15:45:44

I agree with hephaestus - the size/breed of the dog is a red herring here, your daughter shouldn't be left alone and unsupervised with any animal at that age, because you don't know what the dog will do to her and more importantly you don't know what your daughter will do to the dog and how it will react if it perceives it's under threat. Doesn't matter if it's a spaniel or a St Bernard.

The history of this dog may not be known or it may have ended up in the rescue through no fault of its own after being very well cared for by its owners. But you have no way of knowing that, so must err on the side of caution.

Could you ask Ex to put some boundaries in place for when your daughter is around the dog? It's nothing to do with the girlfriend though - I'd not bring her or the rescue society into it, it's about your Ex potentially putting his daughter in an unsuitable situation. If he is entirely certain that the dog is safe and trustworthy and ensures that she's not left unsupervised, I think you have to take him at his word.

Rhinestone Thu 04-Aug-11 15:53:16

The size is NOT a red herring. Any dog can be aggressive but a rottweiler can do more damage than a daschund (because of its size, oddly fucking enough) which is why it poses a bigger risk.

northerngirl41 Thu 04-Aug-11 17:25:41

Larger dogs tend not to be as agressive as smaller dogs, so you're actually more likely to get bitten by a smaller dog. The reason being that bigger dogs are harder to injure and less likely to get stood on by accident.

I stand by my statement above - it doesn't matter what size the dog is, it can still do some pretty awful damage if not supervised properly.

Rhinestone Thu 04-Aug-11 17:29:37

northern Please read my explanation of 'risk' above. Risk does not equal likelihood.

Tchootnika Thu 04-Aug-11 17:31:46

OP - perhaps the first thing you need to know is whether the rescue centre knew they were rehoming the dog in a home with a small child?
Not that this automatically makes everything fine, but no respectable rescue centre would rehome a dog without being absolutely clear about this, and it's not in any rescue centre's interest to take any risk on this.

Also, of course, DC and dog should never be left unsupervised together. (I'm assuming they wouldn't be, unless OH and GF are nuts. Generally, again, rescue centres are diligent about screening re-homers, particularly so with Rotties - which are not 'dangerous dogs', particularly, but are amazingly powerful (obv), and need experienced owners.)

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