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to think if you have a giant rottweiler you should say so when you invite children to play?

(240 Posts)
kawliga Tue 26-Mar-13 10:10:23

Or is it up to me, whenever my daughter is invited to play with schoolfriends to ask their parents 'by the way, might you happen to have a giant rottweiler the size of a small tractor in your house'?

This was a friendly dog and dd is not frightened of dogs, but we don't have dogs ourselves so she is also not used to them. This dog, the sheer size of it, could knock a grown man over even if it's just playing. When I arrived to pick her up DD was cowering in the corner sad although later she told me she had fun playing there, so no harm done. Just feel a bit uneasy. I feel like I should have known so I could say something like 'there's a big dog there but it's friendly so don't worry' before she went there to play. AIBU?

persimmon Tue 26-Mar-13 11:01:09

YANBU. Lots of people are nervous of dogs, some actively dislike them, and some have allergies.

LtEveDallas Tue 26-Mar-13 11:08:16

We dont have that many 'play dates' but when we do I always mention the dog(s) (sadly only one now).

RottDog was an absolute angel around children and they were more in danger from the noxious smells she emitted than her teeth. MuttDog is nervy and barky around strangers of all ages, but would never hurt anyone.

I think YANBU to wish that the parents had said something, but YABU to assume that your DD was 'cowering'.

BTW, well done (not PA or condecending, honestly) on not allowing your own nervousness to filter through to your DD. I know that is a hard thing to do, but it is better in the long run for your DD to be comfortable around dogs - whether you choose to have them or not.

mrsjay Tue 26-Mar-13 11:10:05

YABU just alittle would you feel the same if they had a little terrier or something I do think people should say do you mind we have a dog, but rotties are just like any other dog

Crinkle77 Tue 26-Mar-13 11:13:43

Some of the nastiest dogs I have known have been little yappy dogs

TranceDaemon Tue 26-Mar-13 11:26:33

Yanbu. I wouldn't be that happy about that either. If it jumped up you when you came in it obviously wasn't very well trained either.

TigOldBitties Tue 26-Mar-13 11:29:06

YANBU to think it would be good to mention if you have dogs because of phobias or allergies. Breed is irrelevant though. We have 3 dogs and 3 cats, I try to always mention this.

As an aside, and I'm fully aware this is just anecdotal evidence, I've known 2 Rottweiler dogs well, both were the most pathetic lumps I've ever encountered. My brother currently is the owner of one of these and this dog is scared of anything and everything. There is a piece of furniture in the house damaged from the dog consistently diving behind it every time the phone rings, doorbell goes or theres any loud noise. The dog is scared of most people, cats (including ours), small dogs, the hoover, the hairdryer, everything really. Plus he is super affectionate, and will pretty much fall over at your feet with the slightest stroke. I know we can't predict animal behaviour but I'd probably feel a lot happier leaving my DD with that dog than our 3, who are all small terriers and can go a bit mental.

wildfig Tue 26-Mar-13 11:29:47

I would always mention I've got dogs, and crate them until I've established that any visitors are fine about having them around, but if it puts your mind at rest at all, the bigger the dog, the calmer they tend to be. The gentlest dogs I've ever met have been Great Danes, wolfhounds, Labradors the size of small horses.

Nancy66 Tue 26-Mar-13 11:31:02

I also think it should have been mentioned.

All dog owners think their pets wouldn't hurt a child...

wildfig Tue 26-Mar-13 11:36:22

Actually, having said that about big dogs, a lot does depend on the owner too! The Big Dogs I know all had fairly savvy owners - no matter how gentle the dog is, if it hasn't been trained not to jump up or be extra-gentle around children, it could unintentionally be disastrous.

witchface Tue 26-Mar-13 11:42:31

I really hate dogs and my mil has just got a puppy. I'm confident with them and try not to show it but I she won't be able to lock it away when we visit as we usually stay overnight and I don't have the option of not visiting.

It bit my foot last time we were there and my dds hand although it didn't draw blood from her. Dreading next visit although hopefully calmed down a bit as it gets older.

witchface Tue 26-Mar-13 11:47:04

So forgot to say after all that! YANBU

Overreactionoftheweek Tue 26-Mar-13 11:50:32

We had a rotty as our beloved family pet...a huge part of our lives and I doubt my mum ever mentioned him to people letting their kids come over so I was originally going to say YABU as a defensive knee-jerk.

But I can see it makes sense to mention it - if we get a dog in the future (hope to) then I will mention it, mainly because I'd want to know if I was going to have a terrified child on my hands!

I miss getting jumped on by our huge dog <sniff>

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Mar-13 11:50:46


I think the dog owner should mention it really, it could be that a child is wary for numerous reasons or just a plain old allergy to dogs!

I am allergic to most dogs [some not so depending on the type of fur etc] and can remember visiting people who we didn't know had dogs, after an hour my eyes would be swollen shut!

I would check first as a person with allergies, but I still think with regard children, the owner should mention it.

Bridgetbidet Tue 26-Mar-13 11:53:32

YANBU at all. It's obviously a more risky situation than playing in a house without a large dog in it and it's up to you whether you take that risk with your child or not.

My baby spends a lot of time around dogs, Golden retriever, spaniel, Jack Russell, Red Setter, shit-zu and my family own and are used to dogs. But no, I would not like my child to be around a rottweiller I did not know without warning.

But you are always going to get the idiots who tell you that it's fine because they are politically motivated rather than being sensible about what's safe for a child.

I suspect they don't tell people because they know they won't let their children come round which is under hand really. They're forcing people to take a risk they wouldn't take through choice.

Booboostoo Tue 26-Mar-13 11:57:41

I think YANBU because people have allergies and phobias, but YABU because you are focusing on the size of the dog. Large dogs are not necessarily more dangerous, in fact they tend to be more chilled than smaller breeds. A well socialised, well trained Rottie with a decent temperament to begin with is as reliable a dog as a similarly brought up small dog.

Having said that all dogs should be supervised around all children and I would be more concerned about a dog of any size/breed left unsupervised during a play date.

BramshawHill Tue 26-Mar-13 11:57:58

I think you are being a little unreasonable. It would have been considerate to say there was a big dog in the house, but you knowing of the dog's presence wasn't going to make it friendlier, more aggressive, less well-trained. It would have had no impact on the situation apart from making you worry and in turn your daughter worry.

Should you be told if they have a jack Russell? Or a chihuahua? A cat/rabbit/goat? Why just big dogs?

BramshawHill Tue 26-Mar-13 11:57:58

I think you are being a little unreasonable. It would have been considerate to say there was a big dog in the house, but you knowing of the dog's presence wasn't going to make it friendlier, more aggressive, less well-trained. It would have had no impact on the situation apart from making you worry and in turn your daughter worry.

Should you be told if they have a jack Russell? Or a chihuahua? A cat/rabbit/goat? Why just big dogs?

thezebrawearspurple Tue 26-Mar-13 12:00:18

yanub, dog owners always think their pets are harmless, loving, gentle creatures and many are, I wouldn't trust anyone who thought it ok to allow an aggressive breed around a strange child unsupervised. My uncle owns several rottweilers, they were never allowed around his own children unsupervised and visiting ones were never exposed to them. You never know what a child might do that could cause the dog to snap at them and the consequences can be horrendous for both child and dog.

Chandon Tue 26-Mar-13 12:00:23

Well, all dog owners will say yabu, as ou can see.

But I think yanbu, those dogs even freak me out.

German shepherds, staffies, dobermans and rottweilers are examples of dogs that freak me out. I got chased by a german shepherd, and have been bitten once by a staffie, despite the owners protestations that " oooo, he normally never does this! ". My brother was bitten by a dog, as he touched the dogs special chair. To the owners of the dog this was normal.

claudedebussy Tue 26-Mar-13 12:02:07

you are totally nbu.

Chandon Tue 26-Mar-13 12:02:11

Brmshawill, big dogs, can cause more harm then small dogs? Chew a kid's face off? Kill it? A small dog can merely bit a leg or hand

PimpMyHippo Tue 26-Mar-13 12:15:11

I have two dogs and if a child was visiting for the first time, I would shut the dogs away when they arrived, then ask if they were okay with dogs and if they were, I'd let the dogs out. Actually I'd only let out the big dog (greyhound/German Shepherd cross) - the little Jack Russell would stay in her kennel because children always want to drag her around "cuddling" her because she's little and cute, and she gets fed up and snappy if they don't leave her alone. So she stays shut away for her own protection as well as the children's!

I think if your DD is old enough to visit someone else's house without you staying with her, she is old enough to be able to tell the hosts if she is allergic/scared of dogs. I bet she wasn't cowering terrified upstairs btw - she was probably enthralled by some coveted toy and didn't want to leave! (Speaking as someone who used to play hide-and-seek from my parents when it was time to pick me up from a friend's house grin)

PimpMyHippo Tue 26-Mar-13 12:18:49

There's no such thing as an "aggressive breed", thezebra - there are individual aggressive dogs, sure, and maybe there are some breeds that are more likely to be owned by twats who encourage them to be aggressive, but any dog of any breed can be aggressive and there are lovely dogs of all breeds too.

Chandon, clearly you haven't read the news story about the baby killed by a Jack Russell terrier?

WileyRoadRunner Tue 26-Mar-13 12:22:31


I always mention that we have a dog when arranging for children to come to play. But I never say what breed it is, has never crossed my mind although it's barely a dog, a Shihtzu! .

LtEveDallas Tue 26-Mar-13 12:23:30

Actually it's surprising when you look at dog breeds Vs biting:

A recent study carried out on 6,000 dogs and their owners found out 33 of the most aggressive dogs, and also those which have good temperaments. The study involved collecting data from two different groups. The first group consisted of 11 different breeds and the second was an online survey mainly involving owners, including 33 breeds. The conclusions from both groups were similar. It looked at the different types of aggression such as towards other dogs, towards strangers and towards owners. Some of the results were surprising, below are the top ten most aggressive breeds in order:

Jack Russell
Australian Cattle Dog
Cocker Spaniel
Border Collie
Bull Terrier
Great Dane
English Springer Spaniel

There's only one "Large" breed there.

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