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How to deal with SiL’s dogs this Xmas

(170 Posts)
lookingforthecorkscrew Wed 22-Nov-17 16:37:43

DH’s family have had a really tough year, and made a big deal of wanting us all to be together as a family this year. DH and I are very happy to go along with this, and have agreed to all the plans that have been put to us.

The only issue is that his DS is hosting the Christmas meal at her house, and she had two huge (and incredibly boisterous) dogs. Our 3yo DS isn’t afraid of them but he also isn’t keen, and often flinches if they come near him.

DSiL adores her dogs and treats them like human children (to the point where they have a place laid at the table for them on Xmas day), this is, of course, her business BUT it does mean that they are never shut away or disciplined - even when they knock over my DS and make him cry.

AIBU to ask v politely that they be sequestered if they upset DS on Xmas day? I have a feeling I am. We’re going to have to suck it up, aren’t we?

Wolfiefan Wed 22-Nov-17 16:41:57

I say that as the owner of a giant hound
The safety of your child must come first. They can't be allowed to knock him over. Dogs separate or on a lead. Stairgates are useful.
I'm afraid if they can't keep the dogs and kids apart I wouldn't be going. Perhaps say he's scared or even you are worried he could accidentally hurt her precious pooches?

lookingforthecorkscrew Wed 22-Nov-17 16:42:56

He has mild ASD, but SiL is still v much of the ‘tough shit, the dogs are family’ mind. 😕

Wolfiefan Wed 22-Nov-17 16:44:00

And your child isn't?
I love my dog to bits. She's my baby girl. But put her before the safety of a visiting child? Not a hope in hell.

Angelicinnocent Wed 22-Nov-17 16:45:40

Given how ott people like this can be about their dogs, I would express concern that your DS might hurt them. Might do the trick

lookingforthecorkscrew Wed 22-Nov-17 16:48:48

He couldn’t hurt them if he tried, they’re built like brick shithouses!

Wolfiefan Wed 22-Nov-17 16:51:23

You know that and I know that but if SIL sees them a ickle babies who need a seat at the table she may worry he could stand on a foot or grab a tail. Worth a try?
I'm guessing these dogs aren't used to kids either?

Stompythedinosaur Wed 22-Nov-17 16:51:27

Have a conversation and see if you can find a mutually acceptable solution. If not, then make other arrangements.

Personally I wouldn't shut my dog away but I would put her on a lead and keep her with me if necessary. This has worked ok with family who dislike dogs in the past (although it was difficult when the children of said family member repeatedly tried to interact with the dog when she didn't want this).

You can't insist someone else shuts their dogs away but you can see if they could accommodate you so you feel happy to attend.

lookingforthecorkscrew Wed 22-Nov-17 16:55:37

Obviously the ASD means DS can’t articulate how he feels about the dogs, either at the time they’re bowling him over or afterwards. So DSiL thinks he’s ‘fine’ with them, even though he’s just trying to sit and play with his toys without getting mown down!

Wolfiefan Wed 22-Nov-17 16:57:28

Big dogs not used to children? Child not used to big dogs? Owner of dogs not prepared to moderate or intervene?
If she won't see sense I wouldn't go.
Another idea. If he is playing with toys you don't want the dogs chewing them (causing injury to them) or standing on them and getting hurt!?!!

lookingforthecorkscrew Wed 22-Nov-17 16:58:22

I fully expect the dogs to eat 90% of DS’s Christmas presents. I’m fine with that so long as they don’t eat HIM!

Wolfiefan Wed 22-Nov-17 17:00:04

Haha. But you don't have to tell HER that. Tell her you're worried about the dogs?
This could be a disaster unless she's prepared to be sensible. What does your DH say?

Ragwort Wed 22-Nov-17 17:02:51

No way would I accept an invitation to a house where the dogs sat at the table for he Christmas meal, can you really just say 'sorry we are not able to attend' - or if your DH is so concerned about his sister he could go and you could celebrate your own Christmas another day.

mumisnotmyname Wed 22-Nov-17 17:03:15

I don’t see how this is going to work. If your ds was younger you could have brought a play pen and put him safely inside but he is too big for this. You don’t want him to end up with a fear of dogs as a result of a couple of untrained large dogs. Try talking to your sil first and be ready to step in when over there.

Turquoise123 Wed 22-Nov-17 17:09:09

You need to stand up for your child here. No choice about this.

I am a bit muddled - surely this is your partner's problem is it not his sister ?

bluebells1 Wed 22-Nov-17 17:10:04

I agree with Wolfie. My dog is my lil boy and I will definitely keep him away from a visiting child if asked.

Bowerbird5 Wed 22-Nov-17 17:11:06

They sit at the table ...belugh!
Tell her you would love to come but you are worried about the dogs. If she is willing to compromise go if she isn't stay home. You could suggest that you take the dogs for a walk either before or after if she could put them in another room some of the time eg. The meal.

lookingforthecorkscrew Wed 22-Nov-17 17:11:38

I think I’m going to get DH to have a kind word. Just in a ‘how is this going to work?’ way.

Viviennemary Wed 22-Nov-17 17:14:20

No I would not subject a child to having to deal with large dogs. Either dogs in kennels or you don't go.

Trinity66 Wed 22-Nov-17 17:14:34

Yeah definitely say something, Christmas is all about kids and happy memories for them, not ones where they're traumatised by giant dogs lol

Lambside Wed 22-Nov-17 17:15:29

I would be asking if the dogs can be removed for at least some time to give DS a break.

Ttbb Wed 22-Nov-17 17:15:48

So what would happen if your son hurt one of the dogs? Would she expect the dogs to just put up with it?

ItsNachoCheese Wed 22-Nov-17 17:16:27

As a dog owner if a visiting child didnt like my dog id take steps to make sure the child and dog were kept apart. Surely thats what you do as a a responsible dog owner?

Allthecurrentybuns Wed 22-Nov-17 17:17:13

Honestly, I wdnt go! Ull have a shit day feeling stressed and on edge :-/

What does ur DH say?

By the sounds of them they wud prob feel less offended if u made up a reason for not going which did Not involve their dogs

Good luck x

socialmisfit Wed 22-Nov-17 17:17:24

I wouldn't go. For me, dogs are not family, they are pets. Human children come first. It's that simple for me.

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