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to not want to either rehome or make our dogs live outside because of new baby ?

(76 Posts)
Stannie Mon 24-Aug-09 17:31:20

We have three dogs. They are large breeds but well behaved, obedient and well socialised. They are well used to older children (11 - 16yo's) mostly but have met younger (toddler sized) children and behaved appropriately with them.

The dogs are only allowed into the kitchen and utility rooms of our house, with their own area for sleeping/eating in the utility room.

My MIL & SIL are very worried about the dogs with the arrival of our first DC in 6 weeks. They are dropping hints heavily about rehoming them or at least building a run outside for them to live in. Up until now I have been quite polite and said that really I don't think it's neccessary and besides the dogs were here first and are here for life. Now I am getting a little frustrated with the attitude that they will either savage child and/or make house completely unhygenic and therefore give child terrible diseases.. I'm running out of polite now.. I just want to shout at them when they mention it!

I would never leave our baby or any child, alone with any dog and would be cautious in making sure a child does not annoy them into snapping and my house, while not meticulously clean like a sterile unit, is hygenic and kept clean anyway with dogs kept vaccinated and wormed - surely I shouldn't have to give them away to make sure my baby is safe ??

AIBU to think they are over-reacting - should I be a bit more.. er.. forthright in my next tussle with them about this ?

OrmIrian Mon 24-Aug-09 17:33:07

I think that, regardless of whether they are right or wrong, it is up to you to decide what to do.

(I think they are wrong btw)

moondog Mon 24-Aug-09 17:33:08

What bloody business is it of theirs? hmm

It merits a 'Snout out!'

TheArmadillo Mon 24-Aug-09 17:34:31

They are overeacting.

If they are restricted to certain rooms, are never left alone with baby, and your house is reasonably clean I can't see what the problem is.

PLenty of people have dogs and babies.

pjmama Mon 24-Aug-09 17:35:40


Tell them to mind their own business - they are your dogs, you know them better than anyone else and you are sensible enough to take all precautions necessary to ensure your baby's safety.

junglist1 Mon 24-Aug-09 17:36:42

They are hysterical. My mum's like this, warning me over this headline and that headline. It's boring and a bit unintelligent IMO, as well as patronising.

generalunrest Mon 24-Aug-09 17:40:02

I'm wondering how our dog is going to react to our DC2's arrival in January. DD1 is 8, and our black lab is 4, so they've got used to each other now, but like you I'd never trust any dog with any small child.

It's never even crossed my mind to get rid of our dog, she spends most of the day in the kitchen so no trouble during the day. Even so, she's part of the family.

In the end, it's your house/family and what you do in it is your own business, and I can imagine that if you say anything to your MIL/SIL it'll be awkward afterwards? Perhaps you could just reply with a non-commital 'mmm' and change the subject? smile

Stannie Mon 24-Aug-09 17:42:53

Pretty relieved to read your replies so far.. OH is of same opinion as me re the dogs but doesn't see that the continual comments are annoying.. he just brushes them off and can't see why I am getting the arse!

CaresMildly Mon 24-Aug-09 17:43:28

The stupid thing is with people who take this attitude is that you can't discuss reasonable worries because they have such a polarised opinion in the first place.

My own parents were exactly the same - actually said more than once that I should have my old dog put down because he couldn't be trusted. Because he was old and had been spoilt and our baby all his life of course I had some concerns, but because of what they said there was no way of actually talking it all through.

As it happens things turned out really well - dog and baby are best of friends and he accepted her really well. After a year together now he lets her climb all over him and kiss and pat him, and she is extremely interested in animals. So all for the good - my parents of course have now forgotten their original suggestion!

Milliways Mon 24-Aug-09 17:44:45

We had this when I was first pregnant as we had a HUGE GSD.

However, he was fine, became VERY protective - used to sit on midwives feet if she held DD etc.

Of course, we were ultra cautious in first few weeks, and never left a crawling babe in same room as dog, but they were fine together.

Now, our current dog is another matter and has to be locked away with any small visitors - but is still fine with us.

It is your decision and YANBU.

junglist1 Mon 24-Aug-09 17:45:31

For anyone interested, buying one of those crying dolls before the birth helps. You can teach the dogs not to jump up in advance etc.

Stannie Mon 24-Aug-09 17:46:16

Generalunrest - I think that's what I'll have to do (the non-committal mmmmm plus change of subject) but they are getting more insistent and I am getting more and more touchy about the subject.. really don't want to cause upset either as in every other way I get on with my inlaws brilliantly..

Chaotica Mon 24-Aug-09 17:47:19

My parents were warned that you have to be very careful about keeping dogs and babies: babies can give dogs some nasty diseases, you know wink

FWIW I worry about my DCs as they've not been brought up with dogs (and don't really know how to get on with them).

You sound like you're doing all the right things.

Stannie Mon 24-Aug-09 17:49:48

Junglist1 - buy a what now ??? A crying baby ?? Please enlighten!!

Our dogs don't jump up anyway - from puppies this is not allowed. If they want your attention the sit, stare at you intensely and wag their tails like mad things (no petting unless bums on floor - they are too big to be leaping about)

HerBeatitude Mon 24-Aug-09 17:53:57

It sounds like your dogs are very well trained and well behaved and that you are totally aware of all the jealousy issues etc. and are totally well-prepared to deal with it. Your SIL and MIL are being hysterical and daft. Try and ignore them.

pasturesnew Mon 24-Aug-09 17:56:02

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

We had a dog when DS was born and I was a bit worried about this, as DH is the dogowner rather than me, so got a trainer round for advice and peace of mind. The main things I remember being impressed by were:
(1) getting a baby's used nappy from a friend and showing it to the dog to check she had no negative associations (she was a rescue dog) - this was fine
(2) making sure that dog's sleeping place in the home was not being usurped by the baby, apparently this was the biggest thing - this was fine as dog did not sleep in our bedroom but in the hall.
(3) not roughhousing e.g. playing tug-rope games with the dog - DH had to change some of the games he played with her and this was fine too.
(4) making sure the worming etc. was up-to-date. The general hygiene thing is actually fine, there is research to show children growing up in pet-owning households are less likely to develop allergies.

This was the only book I found on the subject Your Dog and Your Baby: A Practical Guide

Your dogs sound fine e.g. not sleeping in your bed, knowing their place in the "pack" etc., but maybe if you got a book to wave at your in-laws that would reassure them.

The dog was good as gold throughout maternity leave, however she is very old now (15) and has gone into retirement at MIL's as when I went back to work it was too much, we always had a problem with the fact that the dog was inherited anyway and it was not ideal to have us both working, even though we had the dog walker round all the time. She still comes here for her "holidays" when MIL is away and is fine with DS, and DS sees her all the time at MIL's and that is fine too.

Stannie Mon 24-Aug-09 17:57:29

LOL @ Chaotica .. my mum is fine about it all (I was brought up on a dairy farm in South Africa and was somewhat "free range" as a child amongst various animals and didn't get savaged, gored, trampled or contract rabies..) but MIL & SIL who are not used to more than a single dog, hamster or a cat, are more.. er.. cautious about animals..

I'm also keen for DC to know about animals and how to behave around them from an early age. I think it's important.

We also have horses & chickens here but I am concerned in the main about the river we have on our land (closest point to house is about 250m) and want DC to learn to swim ASAP! No one else seems worried about the river!

Milliways - our GSD is a soppy so & so - we call him the living rug!

wheredidiputmyfone Mon 24-Aug-09 17:59:58

It's not very nice really that they're suggesting such radical solutions to what they see as a problem. I'm sure they're doing it with the best of intentions, but if they think it's OK to try to maniulate/interfere in your family before the baby is even born, will it only get worse once you have the baby?

Stannie Mon 24-Aug-09 18:10:44

wheredidiputmyfone - they are normally absolutely perfect in-laws! I ask for advice quite a bit and both MIL & SIL are great.

I don't think they would interfere tbh - this is the ONLY subject that has caused any contention.. which is perhaps why I don't know how to deal with it ?

I do think they have then best of intentions however ill-informed/skew-viewed they might be about a dogs/baby interface but am getting a little frustrated with their inability to let the subject go.

It doesn't help that the breeds can contentious (dogs incl a Rottweiler GSD cross) to those who only take media information as gospel.

Thunderduck Mon 24-Aug-09 18:11:01


pasturesnew Mon 24-Aug-09 18:14:14

BTQ my MIL was suddenly quite interfering before DS was born (e.g. tried to tell me what to buy, where to put the cot etc.) but relaxed as soon as he arrived and is now a perfect grandmother really, babies bring out all sorts of emotions and behaviour in people but I wouldn't worry that it was necessarily lasting, in fact it's probably a good sign that they are looking forward to the baby and will be very loving relations.

Stannie Mon 24-Aug-09 18:16:27

Pasturesnew - thanks I wonder if I did get a book they might be reassured .. might be worth a try..

The things you listed are v important in everyday life for our dogs, most importantly they know they are dogs - have never been treated as "little humans" however much we love them we never forget they are dogs!

SIL's chiquahua is more of a delinquent than any of our giants as he thinks he is a human and also the head honcho!

minimu Mon 24-Aug-09 18:20:13

It sounds to me that yours is a perfect house to have dogs and babies! The dogs have their own area and it will be easy to keep them separated from the baby if required. I think you sound an extremely careful and sensible dog owner and the baby will have a great life being brought up to respect and know how to behave around dogs.
YANBU in my opinion!

Let the comments go over your head and just wait for the next lot re sleeping position, how to hold the baby, the best way to feed the baby etc etc!!!

pasturesnew Mon 24-Aug-09 18:21:38

Exactly, a chihuahua is still a dog and can think it is boss dog if not trained properly!

Remembered another thing that the vet told me - cats are actually riskier pets for babies than dogs as it is harder to keep them apart and they sometimes try to sit on babies' heads and their claws contain more nasties if they scratch the baby, yet no-one seems that worried about babies in cat households!

For your peace of mind I would also think having a book on the matter might prevent your HV asking too much about the dogs when she visits after the baby is born, otherwise you could find yourself having the same discussion to the point of tedium.

GirlsAreLoud Mon 24-Aug-09 18:29:27

I think they are being unreasonable but I also think it also seems a bit odd to me that your dogs are only allowed in the kitchen and utility room as to me, a family dog would be allowed in all the downstairs rooms. So I'm wondering (in a benefit of the doubt kind of way) if the reason they think they can live outside is because they aren't really house dogs anyway, IYSWIM?

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