To ask what to do about this?(19 Posts)
In summary - SIL and her DP have a large, playful and not particularly well-trained husky. They also have a two-year-old, whom they allow to play with the dog totally unsupervised in a separate room. This worries me hugely and I don’t know what to do.
DN is totally unafraid of the dog but in a way I think that makes it worse - he shouts at the dog/ whacks him on the nose etc to get him out the way if he’s annoying him, and the thought of the dog taking exception to that one day gives me the horrors. I would also say from a fairly novice POV (haven’t owned a dog myself as an adult though had a family dog growing up) that the dog is underexercised and under-stimulated. They live in a smallish flat and I think it gets a couple of 20 minute walks a day. To be fair the dog always seems fine with the little one, but the situation gives me the heebie-jeebies. He ‘playfully’ mouthed at DNephew when we were here the other day and DN’s whole head was briefly in the dog’s jaws .
I NEVER let my DS(3) be with the dog without adult supervision when we are there (wouldn’t with any dog tbh) but I think SIL thinks I’m just a bit OTT and it’s because DS is a bit scared.
I really feel DH should say something to SIL about how unsafe this is - but I don’t think she’d listen. And she’s been very offended in the past when he’s said anything she deems to be a criticism of her parenting (though that was before we were parents ourselves).
For honesty I should say that I really really don’t like this dog. And generally I’m a massive dog lover and not nervous of them at all - I always make ‘friends’ with dogs easily and would love to have one if we ever have the space and time. But this one makes me very uncomfortable. I don’t know though if it’s ny worry over the situation with DN fuelling my dislike of the dog or vice versa.
AIBU? Or a bit precious? What can I do, if anything?
I don't think you are but I'm not a fan of dogs in general. Short of not taking your son round there and not allowing the dog in your home I'm not sure what can be done however.
If she knows how you feel and you always supervise your own DC, what is it to you? They live with the dog and know it a hell of a lot better than you do. If they think this behaviour from their DS is inappropriate or dangerous I'm sure they will take appropriate action.
You do hear of family dogs attacking children though Whiskapie and the owners always say that it was unexpected because the dog loves the child, is friendly etc... Plus, if they are allowing their DS to attack the dog, it's more likely to attack back. I feel sorry for the poor child and the poor dog.
I suppose it comes down to how you value your relationship with SIL over how much you value the life of your DN. If you value DN’s life more then say something. But be aware it may mean the end of any close relationship with them and their parents.
I'm sure it'll be fine until the day the dog is tired/becoming unwell/getting older and less patient. Then it won't be fine, and someone 'supervising' will not be able to save a child from a fully grown Husky.
This is really stupid and irresponsible of them, especially as Huskies are a difficult breed anyway- need a huge amount of exercise and very consistent training and discipline. Yes, I know someone will now be outraged and tell us how their Husky is the most placid and gentle dog ever, but if this one is 'mouthing' the son, it is obviously not well trained or disciplined.
OP you are completely justified in not taking your son round there whilst he and his cousin are still too young to understand how to be safe around it.
I missed the 'small flat and 20 minute walks' part of the post in my shock at the idea of a toddler having his head in a dog's mouth. But yes, this is a disaster waiting to happen.
I'm sure it'll be fine until the day the dog is tired/becoming unwell/getting older and less patient. by which time the child will be 12
I don’t think husky’s should be allowed to be kept in urban areas full stop. These dogs are bread to run pulling full loads across snow for hours a day. They will never be satisfied with an hour trotting around the park. This is why hey become bored, destructive and dog agressive. And why they are one of the most surrendered dogs in the UK, because of idiots like your in-laws.
Forstly, I sorry to tell you that anyone who buys an outdoor breed designed for big open spaces and puts them in a small space is extremely stupid, selfish, childish and shallow. Huskies belong in Big properties with lots of land because they have been bred for thousands of years to have high energy and cover large areas. Anything else is cruel and asking for trouble. They also need an owner willing to exercise them properly, by which I mean for several miles a day and not at a walking pace.
They are a nice breed but not designed for nannying children either - not domesticated like lAbradors and I think it’s naive and daft to put them at much responsibility on a dog bred for travel!! Especially if it is cooped up all day.
People really do feel the need to be stereotypes don’t they?
We have a large dog a German Sheppard crossed with a Labrador, and a two year old. They are NEVER left alone. The dogs a softie but he's still a dog who looks like a horse next too dd. Dd is also two and has no fear but we are always showing her the proper way to behave around a dog.
It would really worry me if our dog was mouthing dd. It doesn't take much to puncture toddler skin.
I don't know what you can do though? We had a great trainer but they might take offence in you reccomending one!
Similar thread with great advice
Advice dog and Baby please?
Huskies are a working breed and should never be kept as pets, especially when they are kept in a bloody flat. Absolutely horrendous behaviour.
Yes, they'll probably end up being very sorry when it gets fed up and bites. Then it's the poor husky and the poor child that will suffer.
People disgust me daily.
If she knows how you feel and you always supervise your own DC, what is it to you?
Well, it’s the fact I’m fairly attached to the idea of my nephew keeping all his limbs . I agree they know the dog better than I do but obviously they love him and I wonder if that makes them less able to see the potential danger of the situation. They look and see their beloved family pet, not a great big animal with great big teeth.
I'd be brutal: " Sorry sis, but we won't be coming back until DN is in hospital or a box. You're a fucking idiot". Personal is not the same as important.
Husky owner here. I have 2 and have fostered many more. They are not dogs for the feint hearted, they are stubborn, strong willed and need training reinforced continually. Give a husky an inch it will take 40 miles.
Mine are run 2/3 times a day for miles and miles. They are amazing with my children. But I have spent time teaching my children the right and wrongs of how to treat an animal. So I do disagree that they are not suitable for a family, however I would disagree with keeping a dog in a small flat with no exercise, I would also disagree that a lab is safer than a husky. Any dog is dangerous.
Any dog which is provoked by being hit, jumped on etc has the ability to snap back. You sil is an idiot to allow that. Both of my children respect our dogs, in all honesty the kids are not bothered with them. It’s the dogs who seek them out to play ball.
You are right to be worried,as pp have said,this is a working dog and needs a minimum of two hours free running a day.they have lulled themselves into a false sense of security.the poor dog is in the totally wrong environment and this will end in tears.show gift them a book on the dog breed as they clearly didn't research it beforehand.get one with the warnings of not treating this dog as the working dog he is.
By which time he'll be twelve And still not have been taught how to behave around dogs since parents don't have a clue themselves, so he might get away with being mauled rather than killed.
Since toddler thinks it's fine to hit the dog and the parents don't tell him not to, I'm willing to bet they do the same themselves.
You do hear of family dogs attacking children though Whiskapie and the owners always say that it was unexpected because the dog loves the child, is friendly etc...
I know radio. This can happen to anyone. I just think op is not going to change anything in that household by trying to give them advice based on the little experience she has in comparison to theirs, and she doesn't actually appear to have much evidence that it's an accident waiting to happen.
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