Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
MILs Doberman growls at toddler but refuses to seperate(18 Posts)
Hi not sure if this is the right place but my MIL has a Doberman of around 3 years old still very boisterous and treated like a baby but when my 21 month old son is around he growls and has even snapped at him. Luckily my MIL stopped any contact but she still refuses to take the dog out, insists on bringing him to our house then I am the bad guy for not letting him in (no dogs allowed since boy was born but mostly due to her dog).
My parents put their dog and cats out when ever my son is round and so do anyone else we visit, or we introduce him to the animals then see how they get on but any growls or threats and they are out.
I have raised this with my DH time and time again and I can see he gets stressed out when visiting but they don't seem to consider the fact that the dog is jealous and a threat to my son.
I am now 21 weeks pregnant and can't imagine having to protect 2 children from this dog.
Any advice - I feel DH puts his Mums feelings above my sons safety. It is affecting my relationship with his family and my relationship with DH.
You need to make a stand on this one. The dog is clearly distressed and aggressive towards your son, and is a huge and powerful threat.
Go online, google 'dog attacks in the uk' and print off as many articles as you can on dog attacks on young children, preferably with pictures, hand the file to your MIL and tell her under no circumstances will you be bringing your son into the house if the dog is not kept seperate during your visits.
If she puts her dog above the safety of your son, her grandchild, that is her lookout, but your priority is your childs safety.
Dogs growl for a reason. It's generally a warning that they are not happy.
If your MIL is too fucking stupid to realise this, then she shouldn't even be allowed to keep a dog, let alone have it in the house when your child is there. Especially considering it has displayed this kind of aggression to your child before.
Your childs safety is your primary concern. Maybe she should get the dog to socialisation classes so that it can handle a child in its environment. And your husband should be the one telling her.
My mother has a big labrador. If he behaved like that towards my child he'd be outside in no time. Thankfully he's a brilliant dog, and my parents are responsible owners. Even then, as a dog lover I still think people should be wary of dogs around children, even the most placid dog gets pissed off from time to time.
Don't go round there. End of. It's a tragedy waiting to happen. Tell DH to grow a pair. My eldest is allergic to dogs, I'm now hardened to upsetting family members regarding this and their darling pets!! Stand your ground on this one. Good luck.
I think GoldenHandshake has good advice. Maybe give the information to your DH first though. If he won't take you seriously and tell his Mother then tell him you will.
Put your foot down on this one. Dobermans can be very nice animals... bred to protect people rather than cattle as my friend is fond of telling me... but they are very big dogs and, if this one's gowling and snapping at your toddler and the owner won't remove it then don't go to their house and certainly don't accept it in yours. A child is far more important than some dog...
DH has to stand up to them. United front and don't let yourself be steamrollered
Your MIL is a stupid owner. If the dog is treated like a baby by her the dog thinks that it (rather than the owner) is boss or leader of the pack. I note too that this dog has already snapped at your child. Its not the dog's fault but its owner's and I would go as far to say she is an unsuitable pet owner.
DH needs to be a lot firmer with his mother although he has probably backed down with regards to her more than once. I would not visit there in such circumstances
If your MIL is that foolish with the way she treats her dog, so be it: her dog her choice.
However, your DS your choice: cease taking him round to hers, and do not let her dog in the house if she comes with it. Yes, you can say "No." Even to a MIL. Your child's safety warrants it, and you don't need to justify it. Just a simple: "I will not have the dog in my house." Repeat as necessary. Stand your ground. Good luck!
Thank you, I love dogs and her old dogs, another Doberman and Rotty, were lovely but this one is aggressive to other dogs as well and I can't risk anything happening to my DS.
MIL and FIL make me feel guilty and uncomfortable but I will stand my ground.
I agree she shouldn't treat him like a baby I am pregnant and have complications so have told DH I won't go to her house as I can't jump in and lift my DS up or need the stress. She doesn't come to our house because I won't let the dog in.
Thanks all was starting to feel I was going mad.
People that make you feel guilty and uncomfortable for wanting to protect your child are not very nice people. Be sure that you tell them exactly why you're not coming. Dog in the yard out of harm's way = OK..... Dog roaming around the house growling at the baby = not OK.
In my eyes it's simple. She doesn't come over with the dog. You don't visit her home either. It's the only way to keep your toddler and perhaps even yourselves safe.
Growling is a warning. You'd be foolish to ignore it. Don't even entertain her guilt tripping you. It's her dog. She should be responsible. I never leave my dog in the same room unsupervised with my toddler and newborn. Call me neurotic. Prevention is better than cure.
Stick to your guns OP. You're child's safety is worth much much more than someones feelings. Especially about their bloomin dog! (i'm a dog lover btw)
I agree, print off some pics of dog bite injuries. But show them to your DH first. You need him onside.
Carry on laying down the law. Good luck.
I am a dog 'mum' and also have 2 DC. IF my dogs showed any aggression toward my children they would be separated and the behaviour addressed and corrected via a dog behaviourist. If your MIL is too stupid or blind to know that her dog is not happy she needs to be told!
It is your home, she needs to recognise this and if you say no dogs, then its simple - no dogs!
The dog is issuing a warning toward the child - you need to heed this warning or the behaviour can and most likely will escalate to a snap/bite. Ignoring the problem wont solve it.
You may want to post in The Doghouse for more advice on the doberman.
The dog is clearly showing signs of agression towards your baby. I wouldn't let the dog in my house again. Your first duty is to protect your child. Your MIL is being VVVVVU.
The dog is giving you a very clear warning that it is unhappy around your DS - if it does bite him then no one can claim it was unexpected! Your MIL is being particularly stupid because if the dog bites your DS then not only is her grandson injured but the dog will probably be put down too.
Agree with the others - your MIL might be unwilling to protect your DS so you have to by not letting him go round there.
I really feel for the dog. If anything did happen (God forbid), it would be the one to take the rap but it's its owner's fault, not the dog's own.
But anyway, your DH needs to back you up or, if he won't, you need to tell him what the consequences will be e.g. 'If you do not back me up on this I will still refuse to go round to MIL's house with DS/let MIL in to our house with the dog.'.
Then either you, or you and your DH, tell her firmly and clearly 'I will not have your dog at our house when DS is there, or bring DS to your house, because the dog is warning and threatening us about him. Until/unless you take the dog to a trainer/behaviourist and correct it, this is how things will be.' Repeat as necessary. Good luck!
Thanks that is great advice I cannot understand why common sense has left her when it comes to her dog - she should realise she is not doing him any favours - her dog walker stopped taking him because he was aggresive to other dogs as well.
Thank you so much had been feeling like the unreasonable one.
Your MIL is absolutely bonkers. How can she tell you on one hand that her dog walker has stopped walking the dog because it's aggressive, but then refuse to acknowledge it's a danger to your son?!
You are totally not being unreasonable wanting to protect your son from a very real threat.
My mum also dotes on her spaniel - it's the soppiest thing ever and she thinks it's her baby. It really wouldn't hurt a fly but even she puts the dog out when my toddler is round. Toddlers are apt to grab and pull at dogs, and dogs are fast and have teeth.
Join the discussion
Please login first.