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My DS and Other peoples dogs ;(

(23 Posts)
sososotired Sat 03-May-14 20:01:01

My DS is 8 months old and we don't have dogs. I'm not anti dogs I just don't want one I'm allergic to animal hair etc, but my sister has a dog which she takes everywhere. Before DS was born I allowed the dog at my house but now that he is here I can't stand the dog being around him!!! I set out very clear rules but the boundaries are being pushed because my sister thinks DS should be around and playing with the dog! It's driving me mad I don't want him touching it ect what if the dog bites him his not around babies much! It's a dog and it's being compared to my child?
Am I over reacting that that comparison bothers me?
I said I don't want it coming over so was told then my sister won't come either and I must know at her house the dog will do what it wants? I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place as DH hates the rules being broken and no longer wants the dog around either?!
Does anyone have advice or an opinion?

sinningsaint Sat 03-May-14 20:15:36

I'm sorry but I really think you need to allow your DS to interact with dogs, whether it be your sisters or not. Do you really want him to grow up possibly in fear of dogs?

sinningsaint Sat 03-May-14 20:16:13

And in what way are the dog and your DS being compared?

PitchSlapped Sat 03-May-14 20:32:35

If they are being supervised and you know about dog body language its highly unlikely anything will happen to baby or dog. I would never leave them alone in a room together and if the dog showed signs of being uncomfortable I would remove the dog.

Things to watch out for are stiffness in the body, the dog licking itself excessively, licking its lips and showing the whites of its eyes.

This might be a useful website, also search "parker and the baby" on youtube, its a video someone took of their dog exhibiting worrying behaviour around a baby.

sososotired Sat 03-May-14 20:43:00

I don't want him to have a fear but I also don't want it to be forced on me?!

sososotired Sat 03-May-14 20:44:14

I just think he is to small to be put on the floor with the dog DS can't move or anything he can only sit.

PurplePidjin Sat 03-May-14 21:04:39

Dogs are unpredictable. Babies are unpredictable. Babies grab, poke, pull hair and put everything in their mouths so unless she can somehow disinfect her dog for the duration of the visit then I'm inclined to agree with you - a baby growing up in a household with an animal will have built up some tolerance, visiting occasionally that won't have happened.

I'm teaching my toddler that he doesn't touch dogs until he can ask for himself. That's got sod all to do with any fear or phobia or ick at germs, and more to do with the fact that I don't know how the dog will react at any given moment; I'm not an expert in dog body language. It's because I would never forgive myself if he launched himself across the park as toddlers are wont to do at a dog who then reacted in a natural way and a family had to face losing their beloved pet. Because I'm usually telling him this and praising him for staying still, owners will often stop to chat - and if they say their dog is friendly I will stroke it and encourage ds to do the same. I've had an overwhelmingly positive response from the owners I've chatted with btw.

FWIW I've also taught (well, am teaching) him to only touch animals on their backs, and to make sure they have room to escape. So far my cat seems to appreciate that; it's a lot harder to stop the cat jumping over the baby gate though so every so often they may well be unsupervised!

You are the parent here, and I'm assuming your sister's visits are a bit longer than our chance encounters around the park, so if you're not comfortable then that should be it as far as she's concerned. Looking after an 8mo is bloody tough going, looking after one with streaming eyes and a sore throat from an allergy would be the absolute pits, especially if it's easily avoided!

Theyaremysunshine Sat 03-May-14 21:15:02

Get some stair gates (you'll need them soon anyway) and keep them apart. There is no way either of my dc at 8m would have been within reaching distance of an unfamiliar animal.

If your sister doesn't like it, she's being v unreasonable. Too late to say sorry you were right if the dog bites. And it wouldn't be the dogs fault, it's not used to kids.

I like dogs but I have never understood the need of some owners to treat them as if they have the same rights/feelings/needs as a human child. They are a pet. They come second. Every time.

lola88 Sat 03-May-14 22:24:25

I think that you are being a little over cautious tbh and I say that as someone who has a phobia of dogs and doesn't really like them so not a pro dogs person. If you have no reason to distrust the dog I would have him around not rolling on the floor with it but get them used to each other the dog will never learn to be good with kids if he never see's them.

If you have reason to distrust or he is badly trained or flee ridden that a whole other story though

purplemurple1 Sat 03-May-14 22:36:14

I get where you're coming from but if you and your sis normally get on can you restart the conversation? You little one will be on the move soon so him and the dog need to be taught to respect each other and always be closely supervised.
I've an 8 month old ds and a dog and ds is already being taught to be gentle (both with the dog and us) and only touch his back. The dog os well trained anyway but is reminded nos touching the babies toys, not to go into the living room, don't take food from ds hands etc

passmethewineplease Sat 03-May-14 22:39:51

I think it is perfectly acceptable not to want someone's dog in your house, I might say you were being a bit unreasonable if you went round your sisters and demanded the dog be locked out or something.

I don't think kids can develop a fear of dogs at 8 months can they? I'd start to talk about dogs and things when they're a bit older, teach them to be gentle and supervise any interaction to try and make sure the child didn't develop a fear of them.

hmc Sat 03-May-14 22:40:31

I am a dog owner but agree with you OP - not a good idea for an 8 month old to interact with a dog

Smartiepants79 Sat 03-May-14 22:50:37

I never understand these conversations.
It is not up to your sister (or anyone else for that matter) to decide if your son 'should' be playing with dogs!
I suspect any risks are very minimal but that is your call to make.
In your sisters home you adapt to her rules and but in your home it is up to you. It is up to you if her dog is allowed in your house and it is up to you if it is allowed to interact with your small son.
I am an animal person but I would never inflict my pets on anyone who doesn't want them.
Surely her nephew is more important than a dog.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 03-May-14 23:07:21

We had our first dog from before when DD was born so she's grown up with one... but at 8 months she certainly wasn't playing with him. hmmThat's way too young for a child to understand how to play with any animal. They don't even understand how to play with other children till well into toddlerhood let alone another species.

If your sister wants to bring her dog over then she has to respect boundaries - the dog must be under close control. Is the dog well trained (ie can it reliably be told to sit/stay and do so?). I'm somehow guessing not... in which case, physically restrained.

'I just think he is to small to be put on the floor with the dog DS can't move or anything he can only sit.' . Yes. When he's older, then gradually interaction/relaxation of the boundaries and supervision (considerably older for that!)

nooka Sat 03-May-14 23:29:47

I'd not take my dog to visit someone who didn't like him or was fearful, but it might mean that I didn't visit for very long as we don't like to leave him at home on his own when we don't have to. If people visit us then we wouldn't shut the dog away, he is a part of our family. We have friends with a toddler grandchild and have visited with dog when he has been there. His mum is a veterinary assistant and loves dogs, so it's never been an issue, and our dog's only interest in the little one is to give him an occasional lick, which he thinks is very funny. We obviously all keep a close eye on the interactions.

For the OP given that this is going to be a long term issue all she can do is to talk with her sister and try and find some resolution.

Lostinspace1 Sun 04-May-14 07:19:09

Trust your own instincts and keep them apart.

I have a cat and if someone was coming round with their baby and wanted the cat kept away I'd do it in a flash to accommodate them. I love my cat but I have no idea what he's thinking or might do next.

I have a 4 month old and we keep our baby and cat apart all the time.

Booboostoo Sun 04-May-14 08:53:54

It depends. Keeping your DS away from dogs altogether is unreasonable and may make him irrationally afraid of dogs. 8mo is of course too young, but as he grows older he needs to learn how to interact safely with dogs and he can't do that if he has no contact with them.

Having said that at 8mo there are not many benefits from prolonged interaction and all contact should be closely supervised. Your DS should be on your lap, the dog should be closely monitored for signs of stress (quite a few good websites give advice on how to recognise these with photos and videos) and the dog should be allowed to decide to approach or not.

At all other times the two can be together as long as the dog is behind a babygate or room barrier, or the baby is in a park (suitable for keeping the baby safe around dogs) as well as having an adult there to supervise anyway.

sososotired Sun 04-May-14 10:20:37

Thank you for all the responses!
I'm not saying no dogs ever I just think at the moment his too young! I like purplepijin's idea of teaching him when he is a toddler!

Patchouli Sun 04-May-14 10:42:55

Of course he'll probably grow up to love his aunties dog. You've got all the benefits of him interacting with a dog without having to actually have a dog - that's why I like that my sister has a dog.
But that dog surely doesn't have to come visiting. There's a time and a place. Meeting up for walks / parks / beach.
Your DS should be able to have a safe baby proof area in his own home. I know your sister could bring stair gates etc when she brings her dog to your house, but I'll bet she won't really be happy with that anyway.
If you wanted a dog, you'd....well....have dog.

hoppingmad Sun 04-May-14 10:50:55

As a dog owner myself I think you have every right to make this decision yourself. It is entirely up to you as the parent to make this a judgemental call.
Fwiw though I think you are right. I have dt's who are 2, they have spent very little time around my dog. We are lucky that the layout of the house and the size of the garden permits this. I keep them apart as it's unfair on the dog more than anything but she is the type to get over excited and could easily hurt them without meaning to.
My older dc's play with the dog and dt's will when they are old enough (she's a big dog). Until then I prefer cautious over hindsight

MrsDeVere Sun 04-May-14 10:51:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PurplePidjin Sun 04-May-14 12:03:51

smile I started as soon as he was walking (park across the road he could walk to holding one hand from about 10 months) and as we live on a main road, he's always in reins anyway - so as soon as I see a dog approaching I make sure I've got hold of him. He's not afraid of dogs, and is very interested, and now at 17 months is able to pat prod them gently when given permission - and to leave them alone if not. I started with "Kind Hands" when touching the cat at about 4/5 months and he understood that too. They're cleverer than we think grin

TribbleWithoutATardis Sun 04-May-14 12:17:13

OP its your house and baby, its entirely reasonable that you have some say in pets being brought into your home.

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