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To want to report MIL's dog to the council?

(29 Posts)
SharkBrilliant Tue 25-Oct-16 03:12:19

For some reason, MIL's dog hates DH, always has. It's a mongrel rescue and took an instant dislike to him... possibly DH reminds him of an abusive former owner or something??

When we go round to see MIL the dog is shut away in the back garden, however, last year on one of our visits, the dog shot into the front room and bit DH on the leg. It wasn't a terrible bite, but it broke the flesh and bled. His family laughed it off and said along the lines of "It's so funny, MrShark is the only person that he's like that with!" (turns out the dog had bitten him before!!). Personally I thought it was a ridiculously blasé attitude to a dog bite, especially as this dog is around children on a regular basis.

Today, DH came home with another bite from this dog. He pops round MIL's after work at the same time 2-3 times per week, and the dog happened to be being walked off lead when he got out of the car. It ran over to him and bit him again. Altogether I think it's about 5 or 6 times that this dog has bitten him now.

I am furious about this. MIL knows that the dog bites but walks it off lead because "DH is the only one it does it to". How do they know that it isn't going to take a disliking to a child and bite it on the face?? AIBU unreasonable to be so annoyed about this? Honestly, I feel like reporting it as a dangerous dog to the Council, but I know that will cause all sorts of problems; at the same time, how many times should DH be bitten before something is done? (and how bad will I feel if it mauls a child and I said/did nothing?)

DH is understandably upset about it too but doesn't want to cause a big problem over it. AIBU? With all of these dog attacks that you hear of, surely no-one should be walking a dog that bites off lead?

SilentBiscuits Tue 25-Oct-16 03:27:28

She's being ridiculous. Of course your DH won't be the only person the dog doesn't like, and she's just been fortunate that so far it hasn't done any serious damage.

I would feel exactly the same as you do but you're right, reporting it to the council probably won't work. I don't actually know what to suggest, except that your DH avoid your MIL's house - although it sounds like he won't do that if he doesn't want to cause a fuss.

KoalaDownUnder Tue 25-Oct-16 03:33:18

She is a fucking idiot.

I can't stand people who walk dogs off-lead around the streets - and I'm a mad dog-lover. It's unnecessary. As for walking a dog that bites (anyone!) off-lead...words fail me.

I think I'd have serious words with her, and threaten to report her, at the very least.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Tue 25-Oct-16 03:43:37

She's mad all right. The dog has taken against one person (your DH) so far - and bites him whenever he gets the opportunity. Who's to say there won't be someone else out there that the dog takes against? And without being fettered by a leash, or a muzzle, or in fact anything there is nothing your MIL could do to stop that dog from biting a total stranger.

YANBU at all - she's being thoroughly irresponsible and yes, in your shoes, I'd probably report it too. Only thing is that she's going to know it's you because your DH is the only person it's ever attacked to date.

RachelRagged Tue 25-Oct-16 03:53:51

I love dogs but that one sounds like it could end up put to sleep, which is a tragedy for it (and already been a rescue) , would be sad . Mil needs to definitely leave on lead on walks as well . Your poor DH

Mummyoflittledragon Tue 25-Oct-16 03:55:01

I would report it. I wouldn't care that she'd know it was me. Someone has to be the grown up and protect the wider public, especially children.

AcrossthePond55 Tue 25-Oct-16 04:35:58

So which would you prefer: 'peace' in the family or your DH (or an innocent stranger) being bitten, or even mauled, by this dog?

I think you should report the dog. If nothing else, maybe it'll be enough to put the fear of God into your MiL and she won't walk the dog off lead. As far as your DH, he's an adult. If he's foolish enough to go where he knows there's a dog that's hostile to him, he can take the consequences. Personally, I'd tell my mother that as long as she has that dog, I won't be over.

Not that it really matters, but are we talking a chihuahua- or a mastiff-sized dog here?

Pluto30 Tue 25-Oct-16 04:59:52

Report the dog to the ranger/council for being walked off-leash, but reporting the dog for a bite you can't prove happened is a bit silly.

Also, it is entirely possible that the dog is only aggressive to him. I've seen this before. I've also seen a dog take a bizarre, obsessive dislike towards another dog, but was pleasant to every other dog. It's totally possible.

WiddlinDiddlin Tue 25-Oct-16 06:04:47

With my Dog Behaviourist hat on.. (ooh I fancy one of those.. hmm)..

What size dog.
What level bite - bruising? puncture wound? multiple puncture wounds? chunks of flesh removed?

If your OH won't actually back you up by reporting the bites then frankly, thats just going to waste peoples time as the owner will deny it and you've no proof...

Walking the dog off lead is also unfortunately, unlikely to be an offence unless you can prove the dog was dangerously out of control at any point.

Its not illegal to walk the dog off lead EXCEPT in areas that are designated with a dog control order - this will apply to certain highways but not all, and generally only those with a national speed limit - does vary from area to area though in my experience figuring out which it applies to is a nightmare and even employees of the LA tend not to know!

With my professional hat on, they are being bloody stupid - yes its possible the dog really does only dislike your OH but until the dog has met every single person in existance they can't possibly know that - thus there IS a risk that the dog may do this to someone else and they have already evidenced the fact they cannot control the dog when it DOES decide to go for him.

SHould the dog bite someone ELSE, either inside their home OR outside it, they cannot claim that behaviour is unknown and unpreventable, they ARE aware and they are ignoring it!

I would be inclined to see if you can get hold of your local dog warden and get them to pop round and suggest someoen ELSE saw the latest attack with the offlead dog and reported it - IF they will do that... some will, some won't - but theres a higher chance that an authority figure who is not YOU is going to get through.

Dontpanicpyke Tue 25-Oct-16 06:11:59

Jesus. I mean it's her son that's being hurt here! You dh should refuse to go round unless the dog is muzzled but a family that laughs at a dog repeatedly biting is bat shit crazy.

I wouldn't be going near them and never take the dcs and I adore dogs.

I would Tell the local dog warden to all the back story and see if thry have any ideas

Booboostwo Tue 25-Oct-16 06:27:46

The fact that the dog broke your DH's skin makes a serious bite in my book. You could perhaps excuse an excited dog that nipped without causing injury, but a puncture wound that bled suggests that the dog was incapable of restraining himself.

The fact that the dog has bitten multiple times is also very worrying. You could perhaps excuse a one off incident, if the owners were aware of the triggers and were training and managing the dog, but this dog has displayed this dangerous behaviour multiple times. That it has 'only' bitten your DH is a red herring. Firstly, the dog may have bitten other people that your in laws are not telling you about. Secondly, the dog may come across someone else it dislikes as much as your DH at any moment. Thirdly, bitting even one person multiple times is deeply worrying.

The fact that they know this dog bites and laugh about it, have not looked for professional help and allow the dog off lead and unmuzzled means they are being completely irresponsible.

I would do as suggested above. Contact the dog warden, explain the situation and ask him to offer them some advice without mentioning you. The dog warden can keep an eye on the situation and collate other incidents if they get reported.

Chottie Tue 25-Oct-16 06:29:33

Is your DP up to date with his tetanus shots?

Words fail me...........

aprilanne Tue 25-Oct-16 06:54:33

the woman must be mad .i have a two year old much adored border collie but if he bit anyone adult or child then i am sorry i would be seriously consider putting him to sleep it would break my heart but my adult child would always come first .

SharkBrilliant Tue 25-Oct-16 08:28:39

To answer a few questions, dog is medium sized mutt/mongrel... would hazard a guess at some kind of collie/lab cross.

The bite is very bloody looking, broken skin but no actual chunk of flesh removed. It could obviously have done more damage if it had wanted to, but it's more than just a nip. Luckily DH got tetanus shots last time it bit him. It makes me so bloody mad how cavalier her attitude is.

I've suggested that DH have a chat with MIL about walking this dog off lead, that he's worried it will bite someone else (or him, AGAIN!) that he will report it to the council as a dangerous dog next time it bites etc etc but I think he's decided that it won't make a difference so why cause a problem. This leaves me in a pretty awkward position; do I try to report it to the council (which as PPs have said is difficult without DH evidence), have a word with MIL myself or let it go for DH sake? confused

I just can't help but think how bad I'd feel if it seriously injured someone else/a child and how annoyed I'd be if my child was maimed by a dog that had bitten people previously and no one had said/done anything.

WhooooAmI24601 Tue 25-Oct-16 08:32:34

Why would it be you reporting the dog, shouldn't it be your DH?

Gowgirl Tue 25-Oct-16 08:36:38

I had a collie who took a instant dislike to one of my friends, she would have bitten if he had approached her! In all other ways a great dog but god did she hate him, I had to put her away before he came through the door!

pepperpot99 Tue 25-Oct-16 08:44:59

Your MIL is a total arse. Laughing it off - what cuntish behaviour. If that dog attacks a child - which it eventually will - how will you feel?
I would not only report the dog to the police but I would sever all contact with the woman, who sounds like a nutter.

TheCraicDealer Tue 25-Oct-16 08:54:47

Could you take a picture from the bite, sent it to her and say, "this is what [the dog] did. It's lucky it was DH and not a child. If the dog is off the leash again I will have no hesitation in contacting the council/dog warden and showing them this, and it'll be up to them what happens after that".

You'll make no friends mind, but sounds like this woman is off her tits.

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo Tue 25-Oct-16 09:07:19

I'd report it. Even if there's nothing they can do, it's better they are aware. As you say, how would you and DH feel if it bit a child?

Can you take some photos of DH's leg as evidence? Would he actually deny the bites if they asked him, or is he just not keen to report it himself?

Why does he visit MIL so often when she lets the dog bite him?! Personally I'd refuse to visit unless the dog was properly shut away.

stonecircle Tue 25-Oct-16 09:14:39

I'd do exactly what thecraicdealer said.

I hate dog owners who claim to know what their dogs will and won't do. Reminds me of ds1 toddling over to mil's dog and DH and I both asking mil to stop him (she was much closer). Mil did the 'he's fine, wouldn't hurt a fly' routine, at which point dog snapped really angrily at DS's face missing him by millimetres. Stupid woman.

I love dogs by the way.

Peach9876 Tue 25-Oct-16 09:18:49

Unless your DH has actually done something to this dog (could be something like accidentally stepping on a paw) then I would be worried that the dog will end up coming across someone else who has the same trigger as your DH.
Since they don't know what the trigger is it could potentially go after anyone who has this trigger. Hopefully (can't believe I'm saying hopefully) the trigger will be very specific to say middle aged men, who have x, y and z. So the dog would never go after a child... But we don't know that the trigger isn't just height, therefore going after a very tall 13 year old would still be a concern... or could be a look or smell which puts anyone at risk.

Do you know which rescue she got this dog from? Maybe if they are a decent rescue they could get in touch with her and offer some advice or even pay her a visit and do some work with the dog.
I personally would call the council. This dog is being allowed to practice aggression. Even the RSPCA could be involved... they won't give any of your details and you could just report the one where he was attacked on the road.

My biggest worry is that this dog (if lab/collie sized) is actually big enough to do significant damage to your DP. At the moment the bites, although damaging, aren't severe. A dog that size could do a hell of a lot worse, if it really wanted to. I worry for the day your DP accidentally spooks it or it's just had enough and does serious damage. Not to say if it was a tiny dog that it would be fine, but just warning you that it can get worse!

SharkBrilliant Tue 25-Oct-16 10:48:53


Up until now I have agreed with you; really it is DH's place to say something and that's exactly why I haven't said anything before. The biting incidents have occurred in MIL's house where there is a risk factor as it's where the dog lives. DH, by entering MIL's house, "accepts" the risk, for want of a better word.

However, when someone is walking what is IMO a dangerous dog off lead where it can freely run and bite any unsuspecting pedestrian (as it did DH), it's a different matter.

I'm hardly frothing at the mouth demanding that it be put down, just that there are some steps taken (such as on lead walking so that MIL has control of the dog) to avoid potentially serious or even fatal future incidents. Because it's "only" DH that the dog bites, it's not taken seriously.

LadyAEIOU Tue 25-Oct-16 10:54:40

I think you should talk to her if your DH is unwilling to (should come from DH). What happens if a child is taken over and bitten?

I would not take my child over to a house with a dog that is not restrained.

SharkBrilliant Tue 25-Oct-16 11:08:30

Good idea for a text TheCraicDealer... might give that a go hoping I won't chicken out last minute cause I worry it'll cause no end of shit

DH goes round regularly because we live very close and there is usually something MIL just has to quickly see him about. It's pop round or she comes round here, unannounced while I'm wearing pyjamas with chocolate digestive crumbs all over me It's usually just a five minute chat while the dog is shut outside in the garden. His family do little but often visits, whereas mine do "I've spent the day with you, now I'm sick of you, see you in two months" visits grin

madein1995 Tue 25-Oct-16 12:02:03

I wouldnt report it to the council - but would have serious words with MIL. Any visitors shouldnt be threatened by the dog and certainly not bit, they need to get it under control and train it properly. Definitely should be on a lead when out - sven if non violent id say that (unless its a v. Quiet area and dog comes when you call) because eben the nicest dog can turn if a child annoys it (and there are some parents who let lirrle johnny poke dog with stick but get peed off when little johnny gets a litrle nip) i wouldnt say report to council as they may pts and its a loved pet, but stern words are needed.

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