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Dogs and babies

(41 Posts)
AJ279 Sat 14-May-16 22:52:03

Not really AIBU but more wanting opinions.

I've just seen a photo on Facebook (I know!) of a staffy with a newborn baby propped with its face up against the dogs promoting the breed.

I'm very very much of the opinion it's the lifestyle and the environment which makes a bad dog, or just that particular dog itself not the breed which makes a bad dog.

But these photos make me slightly mad. Animals and humans are so unpredictable, you can never know 100% what will happen in a split second. And there are people commenting with the whole 'I know and trust my dog 100% and would happily let my baby lay on them' etc. Fair enough, picture them together, but at a distance where you can step in quick enough should the worst happen. I feel it's unfair on both the dog and the baby.

My situation is that we have a dog with anxiety issues and can be a little snappy to strangers. We didn't know how things would be with DD and went in with an open but cautious mind when I was pregnant. We were not willing to give up on our dog straight away, unless of course we had to and DD was in danger and then we would have obviously looked to rehome. As it turns out our dog has been great, she's fab with DD BUT I would never ever leave them alone together, ever! And I do think I would feel this way with any dog or animal.

You have the '100% trust my dog' or 'all dogs are dangerous' camps on Facebook but I'm very much of the mindset that yes, trust your dog but remain cautious. Do not take unnecessary risks with your babies or dogs life. Everything has the ability to snap in a split second, a dog, a cat, a person so why take that risk?

AIBU? I needed a rant, I feel better now. wine

Ps- sorry if this is one of 'those' threads- apparently I have a habit of starting them. blush

orangebird69 Sat 14-May-16 22:59:00

Yanbu. I LOVE dogs. And cats. And horses. All the animals basically. My mum has two dogs (lurchers) and as much as I absolutely adore them and their gentle nature, and even though I lived with my mum when ds was 2 to 7 weeks old and regularly stay with her anyway, I'd never leave them together unattended. A good licking is all they want to give usually but there is always that 0.01% chance something will go wrong....

Kn33 Sat 14-May-16 23:05:09

I have a BIG dog, he's beautiful and my baby grin
We got him as a pup when my daughter was 6 months old and I trust him implicitly to never mean to hurt her, he loves her and you can clearly see that with how he reacts to her and how his behaviour instantly calms as soon as she's in the vicinity.
My only concern is because of his size, if he was to accidentally knock her, the force of it would be enough to hurt her so for that reason, I agree that you should always be aware of leaving unsupervised so would say YANBU.
Doesn't mean I won't let her ride him like a pony when I am around though grin

AJ279 Sat 14-May-16 23:07:58

Kn grin

Glad it's not just me though, I love my dog so much but I could never trust her 100%

confusedandemployed Sat 14-May-16 23:13:14

Well YAB a bit U IMO. I had two dogs when DS was born, terriers both, litter mates. My girl DDog was never a fan of DD, but my boy DD always loved her. When DD was small I never ever trusted girl DDog and would never leave DD in the same room alone; I wasn't bothered about boy DDog because I knew that he'd never harm her. I just knew. And I was right, he never did.

Girl DDog would growl if DD bothered her and I would remove DD from DDog. Never any escalation of this. Sadly girl DD was pts 6 weeks ago and we're all bereft, including DD.

These days DD is a bit OTT with boy DDog, probably because she's a bit worried he will go away too (she's 3, and has voiced this fear to me). He is still wonderful with her.

I never leave her with him intentionally but sometimes they're unsupervised....they just love each other.

But aside from all that, I would agree in principle: never leave your baby with a dog!

MintyBojingles Sat 14-May-16 23:13:19


I love dogs, but won't leave my baby unattended even for a second with one. Not even brothers well trained prize winning bred to be good with kids dog.

confusedandemployed Sat 14-May-16 23:16:33

Clearly, girl DDog pts not DD!!!!!!!

AllTheDwarves Sat 14-May-16 23:25:13


I love dogs. I've had a rescued SBT and we've recently bought a puppy so there have been dogs in the house since DD came along. It isn't just the unpredictability of their behaviour. There is also the issue of hygiene. Not so much as they get older but certainly for a newborn.

5foot418stone Sat 14-May-16 23:44:24

YANBU! I love dogs, my dog is a saint, but I would never leave a child unsupervised around my (or any) dog and if my son tries to pester my dog I stop him immediately.

It also really worries me when strangers let their children come up to my dog and just start hugging him or clambering all over him!

Pigeonpost Sun 15-May-16 00:08:59

My 2.5yo clambers all over our very soppy 1yo spaniel. I once thought oh isn't that sweet he's giving her a big cuddle and put a photo on Facebook. I then realised I was being an idiot and DS gets told off every time he overcrowds DDog. So easy to think it's cute but bloody dangerous.

dillydotty Sun 15-May-16 01:04:05

We have three family dogs. They are a breed not particularly known to be vicious and they are lovely. I am still wary of them around my ten year old. All it may take is for them to tread on their tail or something. I don't think the dogs would snap but they are animals so you can't guarantee their behaviour (like humans really).

It is best to supervise kids with dogs for the protection of both child and dog.

AJ279 Sun 15-May-16 01:13:20

Looking through the comments I thought I was the only person to think this! Knew MN wouldn't let me down!!

MangosteenSoda Sun 15-May-16 01:51:30

I have a 13.5 year old lab. He's a proper gentle giant. I also have a 14 month old ds who makes it his daily ambition to clamber all over the dog.

I keep them apart as much as possible and never leave them alone together. The poor dog is just too old to want to play with a boisterous baby and whenever ds tries to assault him engage him in a game, he appeals to me with his big sad eyes - save me!

So, although I do trust my dog, I don't think it's fair to expect him to tolerate the vagaries of a small child. If he were a few years younger and ds a bit older, I think they'd have made a great team. I still wouldn't have left them unsupervised though. Not worth it.

JustLostTheGame Sun 15-May-16 02:00:37


I have a 6 year old GR. He is the most gentlest beast you could ever meet. Honestly struck gold when i found him. There will never be a more placid dog. But do i trust him 100%? No. Because he is a living creature vulnerable to exactly the same factors as we humans are. Pain, fear, stress, hormones, hunger. I dont even trust myself 100% not to snap at my DC under the right circumstances and my dog doesnt have a voice to say "hey, i'm stressed can i get a time out from these kids?" So no, i dont leave him alone with my DC and ive brought my DC up to let the dog decide when he plays and when he stops. Not them. At 6 and 10 they just leave him to his own devices as theyve been brought up to do.

Wagglebees Sun 15-May-16 02:09:37

Yanbu. Those pictures are all over places like Pinterest and they make my stomach flip. Tiny newborns, usually asleep, with huge headed dogs right next to their faces or the dogs laying down inside the babies cot with the baby. It's not cute it's unbelievably stupid.

I adore dogs. Our dog is soft, daft, gentle and never so much as growled at anyone. But as with any animal there's that 1% chance of something unpredictable happening. There's no way I'd ever leave a baby or a young child unsupervised with any dog let alone snuggle them up face to face whilst stepping back to take a photo.

Wagglebees Sun 15-May-16 02:10:04


Wagglebees Sun 15-May-16 02:20:34

Confused Sorry for your loss. flowers

notquiteruralbliss Sun 15-May-16 07:58:10

The amount of contact I would be OK with depends on the dog. When my youngest DD was tiny, she and our huge sight hound would curl up and sleep together. He viewed DCs as his and would stand between them and any visitors he didn't know. I don't like to have small children anywhere near our terrier though.

Beth2511 Sun 15-May-16 08:16:20

My dd was bitten, not in my care, by a calm placid d9g who had had enough of being prodded and pulled. 10 month olds don't understand growls... No dog should eber be trusted they can snap just like every person alive has probably been pushed to brealing point at one point or other!

chelle792 Sun 15-May-16 08:23:18

Someone told me once about spoons theory - why a placid dog one day 'snaps'.

A dog has a certain number of spoons, every dog has a different number depending on their tolerance levels. Postman comes - lose ten spoons, see a cat - lose five spoons, owner steps on tail - ten spoons gone, pigeon in garden - lose fifteen. Baby goes for a hug - lose twenty. Baby tries to stroke dog - no spoons left. Dog snaps.

It was a really.amazing way to look at it. How small things can build up until dog can't cope any longer.

OneLongDay Sun 15-May-16 08:34:06

I think YABU in some ways. You say the photo makes you made because you can't trust what will happen in a split second yet then go on to say it's fine to take a picture and be close in case anything was to happen.

I've seen the same picture and it really made me smile I don't think there was anything wrong at all it would be wrong if the parents just decided to walk away and leave them like that where they couldn't be seen but that's just being a responsible owner and parent.

I have a Staffie and a 3 YO and I'm not saying I trust him or her 100% but I'm
Comfortable to go to the toilet and leave them together. He is absolutely amazing with her so gentle and plays with her pretends to chase her but never quite catches her much to her delight but I've taught her to respect animals and she knows when he goes off to his bed that he always has access to she isn't allowed to go after him and she doesn't

Stanky Sun 15-May-16 08:36:31

You have to be so careful with animals, and allow them space and respect. I always freak out when I see a dog with a toy, shaking their heads so fast and holding on with powerful jaw pressure. I always imagine if that toy was an infant when I see those pictures. Not worth the risk.

I even keep a close eye on my cat when babies are around. She'll usually trot away, and easily keep one step ahead, sort of looking back at the slow moving child. But if she's curled up asleep, and the baby crawls over, I can see her eyes grow large and she feels threatened. I pick up the baby immediately, and leave the cat alone. I certainly wouldn't take a picture. A scratch could be a nasty injury, especially if she was to catch the baby in the eye.

Those photos just show a total lack of respect, and those people are fools to put their babies at risk.

MidniteScribbler Sun 15-May-16 08:38:23

I'm a dog person, but many of the photos and videos of kids with dogs going around make me absolutely cringe. You can just see the dog giving out calming signals and the owners just ignoring it as the child climbs all over the dog and pulls their tail and sticks their fingers in their eyes. These are the dogs that will be labelled as viscous when they reach the point they have had enough and snap.

I do trust my dogs 100% with my son (and other kids), but that is only because I never put them in a situation where they will need to defend themselves. In most cases, that is controlling the child, more than controlling the dog. Giving the dog the option to walk away, go to their bed or crate (DS knows that both are absolutely off limits to him), or stepping in if children are looking like they will get too rough. When other children come visiting, the dogs are put in their crates and only brought out when I am able to completely supervise any interaction. It is MY job to protect my dogs, they should never need to protect themselves.

FoolMe Sun 15-May-16 08:41:02

kn you'll let your kid ride on your dog? You do know the dog isn't a toy?

MidniteScribbler Sun 15-May-16 08:50:05

I always freak out when I see a dog with a toy, shaking their heads so fast and holding on with powerful jaw pressure. I always imagine if that toy was an infant when I see those pictures.

This really is no comparison at all. A dog that is pushed to the limit will snap, then try and move away as fast as possible. "Killing" a toy is play.

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