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AIBU in banning the dog?

(102 Posts)
birdsnotbees Tue 15-Jan-13 22:12:07

Our lovely childminder is house sitting for 6 months. House comes with a dog. She normally works from our home but sometimes takes DD (21 months) back to her house for a bit of a change. She took DD back to her new house today and introduced her to the dog without asking me. The dog is some sort of staffie cross. She said that the dog was shut in a separate room while DD napped, but was otherwise pootling about with DD and the childminder.

I haven't yet had a chance to speak to her, but I really don't want my DD in the same house as a) a staffie, b) a dog whose owner has moved away for 6 months and c) a dog that is now being looked after by someone who has never owned a dog before.

It just feels like a recipe for disaster. DD is obsessed with dogs and chases them round getting in their faces - if she's with me I tend to move her away as many dogs wouldn't like a toddler constantly grabbing at them. I would never, ever have a dog in our house I didn't know very well (my mum has a dog) and even then would be/am wary. I have had a dog in the past, and after 14 years of being lovely he did bite someone; my parents' first dog also bit my cousin who was mithering him (as kids do), so I'm more aware than most about how easily dogs can "turn".

But equally I know she loves taking DD back to her house, and I don't want to be a control freak about it... so AIBU?

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 18-Jan-13 12:01:02


I have no interest in dogs or what breed they are - so shoot me.

I find them smelly and apart from anything else would be annoyed if my child came home smelling of dog and had dog hair on their clothes. I would not pick a CM with a dog to look after my child and I would be extremely annoyed if a dog suddenly came into the equation.

Crinkle77 Fri 18-Jan-13 11:55:18

In my experience the staffies I have known have had responsible owners and been lovely. The worst dogs are little yappy ones like Jack Russell's. Saying that she should consult you before introducing a dog in to the mix. She should really keep it separated all the time

Bogeyface Fri 18-Jan-13 11:14:36

My friends dog is a HEinz 57 rescue dog btw, that had always been very sweet natured.

Bogeyface Fri 18-Jan-13 11:13:28

Nothing Yes most responsible owners train their dogs, but a problem for me if I was in the OP's shoes would be that I wouldnt know if the owners had trained the dog. The CM isnt dog savvy so presumably she wouldnt spot a poorly trained dog either. Because it has always appeared to ok, perhaps they didnt bother much with training, I know my friends were like this with their dog which was fine until they had children. It turned and bit one of their twins, which wasnt doing anything to dog but was playing with her mummy, the dog clearly didnt like it and went for the child.

MammytoM Fri 18-Jan-13 11:12:49

Any dog can turn on a child, not just staffies! My DS is 15 months and he is around my mothers staffie while I work - he knows that he's not allowed to pull at the dog etc and they are never ever left alone. They get on fine but wouldn't even consider leaving them alone or letting DS be boisterous with him. But this would be the case with any dog! I think it's up to you whether you want your DD around dogs or not though, especially of you know DD would be too rough / playful and I can see why this particular situation concerns you

maisiejoe123 Fri 18-Jan-13 11:02:27

I have one of the big breeds. She is calm and interested in new people, a quick sniff and then off for another lie down. I would never allow her to be unsupervised around a small child not because I dont trust her but because I dont trust them. Why would a 2 yr old know what is and isnt OK to do to a dog.

Its almost impossible to avoid dogs all of the time so I would suggest that people are responsible for gaining some knowledge of what they should do around a strange dog and also as soon as possible to train their children in what is right and wrong and why going up to a complete strangers dog is a complete no no.

When our rottie was a puppy I had a couple of people come up to me with children and ASK whether they could meet our dog. She has always done her tricks for anyone so getting her to roll over and give a paw for a biscuit was always successful. I always tell them how great it is they ask before petting her.

Strangly enough we had lots of people I wouldnt want to meet on a dark night coming up and chatting to us, they were clearly used to the big breeds.

I once had a large dog bounding towards me - I didnt know what it was going to do and I am expereinced around dogs. I turned my back and folded my arms and it rang straight past me! It then ran ontowards another person. I ran after it and when it stopped I said in a very firm voice SIT! And the blooming thing sat down......

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Fri 18-Jan-13 10:00:08

Softly Most staffie owners who don't use them for the hard dog image and who actually give a shit are well aware that the dog can do serious damage, most dogs can do serious damage, which is why they put a lot of effort into obedience training and teaching bite inhibition.

Small dog owners are far less likely to do this as the dog is small, cute, small mouth, small teeth, couldn't possibly harm anyone hmm , can't jump as high, completely ignore the fact that some small breeds have massive prey drives...

I'd leave my very dog savvy ds (3 years old) with my friends very well behaved people obsessed staffie (ds can walk this dog (he holds one lead and friend holds another one) without fear of being pulled over and the dog obeys his commands to sit/wait etc)

You can rarely be classed as unreasonable if you are prioritising your childs safety but it is annoying when people assume that a dog is a child eating monster based on its breeding.

Softlysoftly Thu 17-Jan-13 23:01:13

Can I be the one to say "yes Jack Russels etc nip more but when a Staffie turns it can do serious damage and therein lies the difference"


YANBU btw.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 17-Jan-13 22:46:42

I am a big fan of dogs but I completely agree with you.

JusticeCrab Thu 17-Jan-13 22:42:07

If it's all sorted, then I think we should leave the 'someone is wrong on the internet' thing and go and have a cup of tea. Better that than continue flinging the buns.

birdsnotbees Thu 17-Jan-13 20:43:55

Thanks, Doin.

Nothing, I don't think you have read my posts so in reply:

I don't mention a Jack Russell because, funnily enough, my CM doesn't actually have a Jack Russell. I have also already said a couple of times that I stand corrected about staffies.

If you'd read my post you'll find the answers to your subsequent 3 questions. I have also spoken to my CM after taking advice from here and it's now all sorted.

I am really "that bothered", yes. Silly me, worrying about my child's welfare and being all "over the top" about her being in the same house as an unsettled, unfamiliar dog whose owner has gone away and whose new owner has had no prior experience of dogs, nor much time spent with this one. Silly me in thinking that introducing a toddler into that environment, into the dog's own territory, at a time when the toddler is mental about animals and would likely follow it around constantly, is a bad idea.

Of course it's important that my DD know how to interact with dogs. I teach her already and WHEN SHE IS OLD ENOUGH some of that teaching might actually stick. She's not even two years old; she does not yet have the intellectual capacity to understand.

And yes I do think dogs have the capacity to just "turn". They are animals, not cute likkle people wearing fluffy coats. My darling old dog, who I had and had loved for 16 years, and who had been trained to within an inch of his life when young and had never, ever, ever shown any signs of aggression, was 14 when he bit someone. It was totally out of the blue, he wasn't stressed, ill, in a new situation or exhibiting any signs of being unhappy. We just walked around a corner on our routine morning walk and he bit a man coming the other way, hard enough to graze the skin and leave puncture marks. He never did it again but I am still shocked even now that he did it.

wheres - ta for your help, you were totally right. Thanks! smile

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Thu 17-Jan-13 14:32:55

I am allergic to dogs, and dont particularly like them either. We dont know anyone with a dog as a pet, apart from my uncle that we see twice a year away from his home, without the dog. So why and how should we educate ourselves?

Books and the internet

So you never see dogs out and about and have never had an off lead one run up to you or your dc?

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Thu 17-Jan-13 14:28:17

But staffies are known as nanny dogs for a reason.... Singling out a single breed especially when that breed is naturally very human friendly is a bit odd. Why not say I don't want my child near a jack russell, a breed which is far more likely to nip your child?

Is your childminder with your dc at all times when the dog is in the same room?
Has the dog shown any signs of being unhappy that your dc is in its home?
What is your childminders policy re dogs and children?

If you are really that bothered then ask your childminder to keep the dog away from your child or ask that your child stays at your house, but it is still important that your dc know how to interact safely with dogs....

Dogs do not 'turn'.... They display masses of signs to show their unhappiness, our failure to pick up on those signs is not an excuse to say that they just 'turn' as quite simply they do not

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Thu 17-Jan-13 13:48:51

Glad you got it sorted op see told you ya only had to talk to her!! Totally understandable request smile

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 17-Jan-13 13:40:03

My last post was in reply to Bogey, OP, not you.

Sorry for any offense caused.

birdsnotbees Thu 17-Jan-13 13:34:52

Um, for the benefit of those who clearly haven't read my posts properly, I am not suggesting for one second that my DD should never come into contact with any dog, I am suggesting that she not come into contact with a strange dog, on its own territory, and only supervised by someone who isn't actually its owner and also has no experience of handling dogs. It is a very specific situation and yes I do actually make the effort to educate my kids about how to act around animals.

But, also, my DD isn't yet TWO YEARS OLD. Her level of comprehension, plus recall in terms of being able to remember what I have told her in the past, is on a par with a toddler. As in, it's all well and good you telling me she should learn to behave properly around dogs - but until she is actually capable of doing so then my responsibility is to remove her from potentially dangerous situations.

Honestly, it's basic common sense. I don't hate dogs. I used to have one; my mum still does. But I know enough about toddlers and dogs to know that they don't mix - and it is not the fault of either the toddler or the dog that that's the case.

JusticeCrab Thu 17-Jan-13 06:43:55

Pit Bulls are much bigger and stronger than Staffies. An absolutely superb breed. A (US-based) friend of ours who works with dogs has a pet Pit Bull and he's one of the most majestic dogs I've ever seen.

Bogeyface Thu 17-Jan-13 02:29:17

Some exceptions there are......


ZooAnimals Thu 17-Jan-13 01:59:33

*although think there are some exceptions confused. I'm not Yoda!

ZooAnimals Thu 17-Jan-13 01:57:51

No pit bulls are illegal in the UK (although are think there some exceptions).

Staffies are these

CheerfulYank Thu 17-Jan-13 01:50:58

Are staffies what we call pit bulls? confused

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 17-Jan-13 01:30:23

Very few people are able to live in a totally dog free world, your child will eventually visit friends houses who have dogs, they will pass them in the park, meet guide dogs in shops or on pubic transport that's why you should give them a brief explanation of dog behavior and suitable ways to interact with them.

Ideally all dog owners should be responsible enough to educate themselves in depth on the subject and protect their dog from getting stressed to the point they feel they need to physically defend themselves, unfortunately we don't live in an ideal and not all owners are responsible, you only need to look at the state of rescues in this country to see that sad

Plus small, un dog savvy children have a habit of evading their parents and throwing themselves in the face of every dog they meet, which is not good.

Surely your child's safety is important enough for you to make the effort yourself, rather than trust the dog owners? Dog bites are very rare but in 99% of cases they were avoidable. Education could make dog bites even rarer, surely that can only be a good thing?

How? This is a great website to start with

Bogeyface Thu 17-Jan-13 00:19:07

The dog gives plenty of warnings before moving to that stage, unfortunately most people refuse to educate themselves and their children on these warning signals because they don't have a dog so why should they?

How should these people who "refuse" to educate themselves do so?

I am allergic to dogs, and dont particularly like them either. We dont know anyone with a dog as a pet, apart from my uncle that we see twice a year away from his home, without the dog. So why and how should we educate ourselves?

ZooAnimals Thu 17-Jan-13 00:05:16

*and just to add, if she is a childminder you can pay her cash in hand; she is responsible for her own tax/NI.

ZooAnimals Thu 17-Jan-13 00:01:28

Thanks for explaining about the childminder. I can live with 'weird', but I hope you didn't find my initial comment to you ranty or rude. I tried to be as polite as possible.

The tax/NI happens A LOT, but I did say absolutely not in reference to you, just one of the reasons why it's important to make the difference clear.

Glad you got it all sorted.

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