Seperating dogs from toddler at Xmas(77 Posts)
Sorry for the long post in advance, I will make it as brief as possible
My Mum invited my family (DH, Me, DD5 & DS19Months) to hers for Xmas. She has 12 dogs, 10 small ones, 2 big ones. Before accepting I asked what she would be doing with the dogs on the day, she replied 'I will separate them if I have to'. I take that as, yep no problems, dogs wont be with the kids and accept.
Following week my Nephews visit and I invite my Mum over, she lives half an hour away but will be working in town and have one of her big dogs with her. I ask her to either crate (all her dogs are crate trained for night sleeping/when they are away at dog shows etc) the dog or put her in the yard while everyone is here so I don't have to watch DS19mnth constantly. She refused and met the boys elsewhere with their Dad (she hasn't seen them for 5 years and they live 13 hours away interstate that is why I invited her to mine to visit when they came down for a funeral and had a quick stopover at my house).
I smell a rat about her separating dogs on Xmas day so
chicken out for days avoiding the conversation call her to discuss what she meant when she said when she said she would separate the dogs if she had to.
Turns out she wants to have the littlies in crates that she thinks are not ok with the kids, the rest in the kitchen and the biggies in the kitchen where we are (almost all of the littlies growl at the kids and she has said things before like 'as long as they don't run the dog's will be fine with them' as if toddlers are capable of refraining from running so dogs don't bit them)I tell her that is fine, it's her house she can do as she pleases but we also will be making a choice not to come if she is unwilling to separate the dogs from the kids as I don't want to spend the whole day making sure DS is kept away and safe from the dogs, that I would like to relax too and I can't do that with the dogs freely running the house.
Convo ends in her telling me 'well f**k off then, don't f***ing come' so pretty clear we wont be there. All sorted
But now my brother gets in on the act telling me I am being a drama queen, totally ridiculous and over the top, my Mum's dogs wont hurt the kids etc etc etc. My Mum is telling him half truths and not once has he been present when the kids have been at my Mum's and seen the way the dogs behave. For context he is 23 and childless. I tell him about the way the dogs have acted and he replies 'well you need to teach kids to behave around dogs, not the other way round'...… call me stupid but in my house if my dog bit my kid just for running around the house it would seem like pretty unacceptable behaviour.
Even after telling him one of her dogs bit me for no reason - I walked on to the back porch to speak to my Mum who was in the backyard with the dogs and one of them ran in to the porch, bit me hard enough to draw blood then ran off again before I had time to react - he told me it must be my fault as she had only ever bitten me
At that point I say to him that when he has his own children and dogs he can raise them as he likes but I choose to have dogs who don't growl at and bite visitors and sarcastically thank him for his parenting advice..... then it takes a nasty turn with him replying with 'well you can get f***ed and don't bother talking to me again (charming family as you see).
My Mum has for a long time prioritised her real children - her dogs - over us human kids but this refusal to see her dogs as anything other than angels is too far for me and I refuse to put my children in potential harms way just to make her happy..... AIBU or is this a reasonable stance to take.
YANBU. A pack of dogs can wind each other up to predator behaviour too. Don't go. Sorry your mum is shite. Have a nice Christmas without her.
Not in reasonable at all. Keep your children safe and invite your mum to yours without dogs to see your children on a calmer day.
(I feel a bit stressed reading the description, let alone being there!)
If you believe your child is at risk of harm then nothing you do to avoid that can ever be unreasonable.
An interesting fact for you, of all dog bites to children, the most common source is dogs owned by grandparents. More than strangers' dogs, more than dogs living in the same family home, more than neighbours' dogs.
It's probably because more distant family/friends acknowledge the dogs don't know the kids well enough and thus are more likely to keep them separated, while in the child's immediate family, the dog is more used to the child and their unpredictable behaviour. With grandparents though, the dogs are not fully familiar with the child and their behaviour, but the human family doesn't realise it or want to admit it, because they see their parents/themselves as an extension of the immediate family, and as such they don't take the proper steps to avoid the risks.
YANBU. She clearly puts her dogs over the safety of her grandchildren.
They sound horrible, have a lovely Christmas at home without their miserable selves.
Sorry. I didn't get beyond 12 dogs.
Unless she lives in a massive house and has staff, that is way too many dogs!!
12 dogs? And she won’t separate them? No WAY would I be going there. My DM had one nippy jack russell and we never went because it wasn’t trained at all, let alone 12 dogs!
How big is the house? Won’t they be taking up all the living space?
No way on earth I would take two young children to stay in a household where a pack of 12 dogs (who have shown they will bite and clearly get excited) live.
Telling a young child/toddler not to run is like asking a cow not to fart.
Op, you really must stand your ground here. Your kids would be at risk and you wouldn’t be able to relax at all.
She has 12 dogs? Madness.
You can't risk it so don't go. Enjoy Christmas by yourselves without all the stress.
Your post has made me feel on edge too!! We have 3 dogs that have grown up with our kids and I still make sure the youngest isn't left unsupervised with them. You are right to be worried. No way can you put your kids in that situation . Previous posters comment about pack mentality too is spot on. Not worth the risk as your mum clearly won't keep her dogs out of the way. Nothing you can do, some people put their pets above everything else and stop being able to be objective.
YANBU no way I would go if I felt that uncertain with my kids around dogs, when the owner shows no willingness to exert proper control.
I was going to say there is usually a solution for one or two dogs, but when I saw TWELVE?! Shitting hell.
Stay home and have a lovely stress (and potential child maiming)-free holiday!
It’d be like having Christmas at the local kennel.
Def YANBU. It sounds like a crap day for you not being able to relax and your mother making stuff all effort. Make your own plans and have a nice day. (We have a dog, so not coming from an anti-dog perspective.)
YANBU- 12 dogs without extra support is insane!
Dogs have pack mentality which can be very dangerous, especially for young kids and her saying about as long as they don't run etc wouldn't fill me with any confidence.
As for her response and your brothers... They are being ridiculous and need a reality check.
YANBU. Your mum is being completely unreasonable and I think she knows it, which is why she got all defensive and told you to F off. She has let you off the hoo now to have a safe and enjoyable Christmas somewhere else
That isn’t fair to the grandkids or the dogs. That kind of chaos is a recipe for disaster. If she cared about her dogs, she obviously doesn’t prioritize the humans, she would not let them roam in a crowded house. Even a nip on the face of a toddler can basically be a death sentence for a dog because it is so easy to do big damage on someone small whose face is at mouth level.
Given that you have already been bitten, I would refuse future visits to her house completely. Offer to host in your home. The dogs are not invited.
Thanks everyone, there is no point inviting her (not that I would want to anymore) but she wont commit to anything that's not at her house for Xmas as if it gets too hot she 'can't' leave the dogs at home.
She told me she is hurt that I don't trust her dogs but she's an adult and I don't think it's my job to fix her hurt feelings by putting my kids in harms way.
She doesn't know as much about dogs as she thinks she does.
@ementitled You would think she let me off the hook..... but my brother actually originally messaged me asking when I was going to let my Mum know whether I was coming.... after I spoke to her and she then spoke to him but only gave him the part of the story where I apparently refused three times to compromise with her on three occasions, despite us only having those two conversations and no mention of what she actually said to me instead of having a civil conversation.
We don't visit her anymore which is why I asked about the dogs before accepting the invite and in the long run it is for the best. She is neither a great Mum or Grandma and once told my brother that the only three mistakes she made in her life were her three children so it is no great loss that we see very little of her anyway.
I just wanted the opinions of people who were unbiased as with two people being so nasty about it it does make you wonder if you do have it wrong. Thanks again.
Totally agree with everyone else. Have Christmas at home. Your mum and brother can have Christmas with the 12 charming, growling, biting canines. I also wouldn't be making the first move to contact either of them again.
Your family is insane. Fuck all of them. I would never put my children in that position, nor would any decent parent.
Yanbu, I am a dog lover but would never put someone or any dog in this position. You should stay away and she shouldn’t be allowed to have dogs again if so poorly trained
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