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AIBU to keep my toddler away from an aggressive dog?

(39 Posts)
MacNCheese Sun 22-Sep-13 21:35:23

The PIL have a small dog. when dd was 18months i took my eye if the ball for a moment and she managed to corner the dog and it bit her on the hand. There was no blood, i think it was just a warning snap. The dog is old and a bit grumpy. The PIL came to stay this weekend and bought the dog. I asked everyone to keep them apart. This afternoon I looked up to see DP next to dd and the dog, she was giving the dog a cuddle with one arm round it's neck. I told her to get away from the dog and snapped at dp about not letting her touch it. So talking about it tonight dp says he can tell if the dog is in a good mood (he has lived with it) or not and can make sure dd is safe. I think the dog is unpredictable and should be kept away. What do you think AIBU?
I do not mind other dogs just this one.

NotYoMomma Sun 22-Sep-13 21:50:10

so because you didnt supervise your toddler dd properly arpund an animal resulting in a warning bite with no blood, she can never touch the dog again or be near it, even when adequatelysupervised by her dad?

I think yab a bit u and will give her a complex

everlong Sun 22-Sep-13 22:07:54

What is the dog like around other people when it's grumpy?

Your dd might have inadvertently hurt the dog on that first incidence and that's why it snapped, after all you didn't see what happened.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 22-Sep-13 22:20:50

Ummm...maybe try again with closer supervision and see how it goes. But if the dog is not by nature aggressive it might be worth another shot?

Of course Yanbu to keep your child away from an aggressive dog. But it could be as simple as your child poked the dog in the eye/tugged it's ear too hard which caused to warning snap?

Small children don't know how to interact with animals so pokes and pulls aren't abnormal behaviours until they're taught otherwise.

It's totally a judgement call for you and your dp though.

Sirzy Sun 22-Sep-13 22:39:48

I think your DP had a sensible approach - he was with them and able to monitor the situation to ensure neither annoyed the other.

I would never leave a child unsupervised with a dog but I think it is important for children to learn how to behave around dogs.

Footface Sun 22-Sep-13 22:41:27

Yanbu, it wouldn't come in my house again regardless of who it belonged too

pumpingprincess Sun 22-Sep-13 22:47:38

I have a grumpy dog and DD just mithers the dog all the time. She just does not understand that the dog doesn't want cuddled, dressed up, poked, laughed at, climbed on or chased around the house.

The dog deserves a wee bit peace and DD is just too young to understand how to behave around the dog. It's impossible to supervise all the time and it just takes a second for DD to do something that the dog doesn't like and snap. It's neither one's fault, it's just the way it is.

So, I keep them apart.

I think your DP is being naïve. You can make this work but only if your DP and all concerned are fully aware of the risks and by the sound of things they are not otherwise they wouldn't have brought the dog with them.

MacNCheese Sun 22-Sep-13 23:01:09

That's my thoughts pumping I'm not saying the dog is evil it's just doesn't like being cornered by an enthusiastic toddler. Even if we are there i don't think anyone could move quick enough to stop her snapping again.
She hasn't ever snapped at me but she does growl and is food/bone possesive. When I says she's grumpy she's just doesn't want to be bothered by people, sometimes if you go over to her she goes and hides (totally fine but dd doesnt get it). SIL has a dog of the same age and breed and her dog is a sweetheart and I'm happy for dd to interact with that dog supervised.

MacNCheese Sun 22-Sep-13 23:07:40

Also she may have grabbed/poked the dog the first time. But she could do it again, like when she was cuddling it she could have squeezed too tight or something and the dog might react.

Turniptwirl Sun 22-Sep-13 23:16:02

If your child is too little to understand how to treat the dog then yanbu to separate them. A toddler doesn't understand that a dog, especially an old and grumpy one, doesn't want to be forcibly hugged and played with.

If your dd is old enough to know how to act around it and when to leave it alone then yabu to not allow supervised contact (the adult can stop the child pushing the dogs tolerance level, it will never be able to stop a snap as it happens so quickly, the idea is to not put the dog in a position of needing to snap)

I think yabu to describe the dog as aggressive for giving a toddler a warning snap that didn't break the skin considering she was probably annoying it, albeit inadvertently.

Buttercup4 Sun 22-Sep-13 23:25:21

Oh joy, another dog bashing thread.


YABU to not pay full attention to the dog when it's around your DD.

MacNCheese Sun 22-Sep-13 23:44:52

I'm not dog bashing, I love dogs. No one else is dog bashing. No one is saying the dog is BU just asking advice on weather it's unreasonable to separate toddler and dog.

MacNCheese Sun 22-Sep-13 23:47:52

How can I pay full attention all weekend? That's why I want to separate them because I can't watch them both 24 /7.

Whoknowswhocares Sun 22-Sep-13 23:56:56

No dog should have to put up with toddlers 'cuddling' them. It is an inappropriate way to teach your child to interact with any animal.DH is being pretty stupid to allow her to do that right in front of him especially with a dog known to be grumpy and keener on his own company than that of small children. Poor dog. And poor dd too if it goes south again due to DH's mismanagement.

Fuzzysnout Mon 23-Sep-13 07:11:09

I love dogs. They are wonderful. A small child giving any dog a cuddle around it's neck, particularly when the dog is small, nervous or potentially grumpy is a recipe for disaster.

Dogs can't say 'I don't like that thanks' or 'you're making me uncomfortable, please stop now.' they only have two options - to growl a warning & then to bite.

Until a child is old enough to always respect the dogs space and not accidentally startle it you do need to be so vigilant. I'm very against dog hysteria but sensible precautions are always what is needed. This dog has already made it's feelings clear. Please listen to it.

Fuzzysnout Mon 23-Sep-13 07:12:47

YANBU to separate them. You sound very sensible OP.

rumbleinthrjungle Mon 23-Sep-13 17:38:50

Have a look at the site, I found it very useful and there's good articles to share with wider family about keeping both the baby and the dog safe. With visiting babies in the family starting to crawl and a lovely but nervous dog in my house I was worried about the babies being obsessed and the nicest dog can be unpredictable when harassed. I know I don't trust mine under stress. One line I found on that site that really made me think - would I encourage the babies to think the gas fire or a sharp knife are available toys because I take them to look at those things and encourage them to touch? Any dog is a potential danger if mishandled, the consequences for the dog will be dire if a baby innocently provokes it to snap and unthinkable for the baby, it's two beings interacting with no judgement on either side. (Certainly with my dog!)

I've now set up rules with the whole family that neither the dog nor the babies are encouraged to interact and we have a 'yeah yeah but come and look at this' approach to avoid either thinking the other is a fun or attractive thing to do. The dog is not available as a toy to the babies and the babies are not available to the dog to investigate. We work on them ignoring each other and getting on with their own things under supervision and without supervision the dog is moved somewhere where she and the babies are both safe. When the babies are verbal and old enough to learn how to treat a dog then I hope they'll be good friends and learn how to have a great time playing together, I just don't want anyone I love (child nor dog!) at risk.

Therealamandaclarke Mon 23-Sep-13 18:19:56

It's not worth risking your child being scarred for life.
Keep them separated.

Therealamandaclarke Mon 23-Sep-13 18:21:05

And I agree that nobody should ever be encouraging a toddler to cuddle a dog. That is beyond stupid.

LimitedEditionLady Mon 23-Sep-13 18:41:21

No i think yanbu,my family member has a snappy at times dog so i let them in the same room but never alone and usually keep the dog with me at all times while ds plays with family.If ds is in a screamy loud mood then i calm him down because i dont want to create a situation.I would never leave them alone unattended but i dont want to shut the dog away completely and make the dog resent us coming over or make ds fear dogs.

TwerkingNineToFive Mon 23-Sep-13 19:20:26

I get what you mean about passing on the anxiety and making dd fear dogs. I definitely don't want that. She does get alot of exposure. Our friend have 2 big dogs and a toddler and as a result the dogs are very patient and used to a bit of toddlerness so I'm happy for her to play with them. As well as SIL dog and some other friends have a huge black lab, that is a gentle gaint.

TwerkingNineToFive Mon 23-Sep-13 19:23:41

Oops name changed for something else

WMittens Mon 23-Sep-13 20:44:23

and she managed to corner the dog and it bit her on the hand. There was no blood, i think it was just a warning snap.

The dog is old and a bit grumpy.

I think the dog is unpredictable and should be kept away.

It seems pretty predictable to me - this is going to sound harsher than I mean it to, but it sounds like the issue was with you and you're projecting your 'dropping of the ball' on the dog.

WMittens Mon 23-Sep-13 20:48:53


And I agree that nobody should ever be encouraging a toddler to cuddle a dog. That is beyond stupid.

Based on, what? One anecdote? Personal experience? Your animal behaviour degree?

A friend of mine has a dog; her grandchildren have cuddled it, put sunglasses on it, tripped over it with not a single peep from the dog. There's my anecdote; sorry but your "advice" is inflammatory, psychological cotton-wool rubbish.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Mon 23-Sep-13 21:19:36

I don't let my toddler cuddle dogs. I don't own a dog so I think it's important to teach kids how to behave around dogs.

I would hate dd to learn that it's ok to cuddle the neighbours super softie and then try it out on some random strangers nervous canine. So I think you are well within your rights to tell dh she can't cuddle the dog.

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