Please tell me not to be ridiculous(5 Posts)
I have a bit of a dog phobia, so I know I'm not best placed to make judgments about these things. So I want you to do it for me, please
DS(5) goes round to play with a friend every week. Friends parents (lovely, responsible people) have a rescue staffie. As far as I know it's always been a good dog, not aggressive. Affectionate, I think. They've had it for about 2 years I think.
I'm scared of it because it barks. I try not to let this show. DS loves it.
I keep reading scary stories about staffies, though, and am starting to feel worried about DS going round to play with his best friend. Tell me I'm being an idiot??
You're being an idiot. Staffies are one of the best breeds to have with a family. However no dog should be left alone with children no matter how trustworthy they are
I feel exactly the same, also doc phobic. I have DS' friend round here instead. If he were to go to his friend's, I would explain that sadly DS is afraid of dogs as well because despite my efforts not to pass on my fear, I have failed (thanks to some really shitty owners near us who have allowed their out of control dog to terrorise the street). So I'd find out if they would keep the dog separate from him and make sure I trusted them to do so. A good dog with good owners isn't going to be a worry but you don't know if they are going to be the sort of arrogant, feckless owners who say 'oh, he wouldn't hurt a fly' and take risks.
Puzzled is spot on. Staffies are the most tolerant of breeds. We've had four and have never had any suggestion of aggression from any of them -they tend to be very happy-go-lucky.
However, they are strong, heavy, bouncy dogs, and can easily send a child flying! But as Puzzled also said - NO DOG should be left alone with a child or children. Eve the sweetest-natured dog can snap at someone if they are hurt or over-excited e.g. if a child is playing a tug game with a toy, the dog might try to change its grip on the item and accidentally nip the child. Tuggy games are not to be recommended with any breed.
But staffies are wonderful with children - they seem to realise that a child is not an adult and make allowances for them - they are also usually very happy to be dressed up, play football, and spend time snuggled up in tents - I've had several breeds of dog (staffies, yorkies, westies, border collies, spaniels) and of all of them I would trust the staffies them most. They don't react without thinking the way many terriers do, they tend to be confident of themselves, so don't react out of fear and they are incredibly affectionate and good-natured.
You are doing the right thing trying not to pass your own fear to your son. As long as the dog and the children are properly supervised (and this goes for any dog of any breed, there should be o need to worry.
Staffies have got a reputation which is undeserved. Sadly, they are favoured by the sort of people who get a powerful dog as a status symbol, and them abuse it so it becomes unreliable. You are much more likely to be bitten by a yorkie or a poodle than by a staffie (but that doesn't sell papers . . .).
The dog's owner's sound lovely' I have a staffy and a two year old, so long as people are sensible, dont leave the dog on its own with kids then the main risks should be mitigated- any dog can bite, its just the bigger they are naturally the more damage can be done. Teach your son how to behave respectfully around dogs (no pulling tails, screaming, running around etc) and hopefully you'll enjoy lots of positive experiences with dogs as he grows. And well done for trying to stop the fear transferring to him
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