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Brothers boxer dog and my 20mth Ds

(29 Posts)
prettywhiteguitar Sat 17-Dec-16 08:36:49

Hi I thought I would post here as I need some advice about how to deal with this and we are off to my brothers again next week.

Quick background is that last Easter we visited my Bro and his wife who had just got a rescue boxer dog, they have no kids and the dog was rescued from a large chaotic family with other dogs. They refuse to keep it separate from visitors as that's what happened to it before, it was caged and locked out of the house. The children used to rattle the cage.

So we visit and the dog takes an instant dislike to infant ds. He growls try's to jump on him, stares at him, constantly lunges. I spent the who whole time on edge getting in between the dog and ds on the couch. It doesn't get any better so we take off to a youth hostel and stay there. Bro and wife think I'm overreacting.

Fast forward to a year later they have moved much nearer and so we can see them more. The dog is slightly calmer but they will not stop him going right up to now 20 months ds, and letting him get his face right on the baby. Ds is terrified, so I pick him up and carry him round.

Later on the dog is calmer and my 5 year old is playing on the floor with duplo the dog continues to walk through it knocking it all over and getting in her face but she can tell him no so he backs off. He doesn't seem aggressive but it seems quite dominant behaviour choosing to walk over her and the toys. Eventually I can put ds down and they play together and the dog just keeps doing the same, I just get in between the dog when he does this and say no.

I guess what I'm asking is does this sound like the right thing to do ? My bro and his wife back up with the in laws all just go "oh he's just being friendly, he wouldn't hurt them etc etc"

I don't know, are boxers aggressive? I've had shelties and jack Russell's before so I know dogs, I just don't know about this one. They are so attached to the dog they can't see how he could just be inches away from ds's face "sniffing" and he could go for him ??

Sorry that was long but I want to work this out without putting ds in danger.

Justputyourshoesonnow Sat 17-Dec-16 08:39:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CatThiefKeith Sat 17-Dec-16 08:41:14

It's never a good idea to let ANY dog be face to face with a small child TBH.

I've had boxers, and in my experience they are not aggressive dogs. They are however big and clumsy. They have absolutely no spacial awareness and can be quite boisterous. And they slobber, steal food and are generally quite naughty.

God I love boxers. My next dog will definitely be another boxer!

prettywhiteguitar Sat 17-Dec-16 08:41:24

I feel like he's a dominant dog, I've met boxers before and this one is constantly circling you, active needs stuff thrown and will not sit in his box

prettywhiteguitar Sat 17-Dec-16 08:42:48

I know I can't get through to them when a sniffing he should not be allowed to sniff ds's face !
They say that as part of training they're not allowed to pull him

Wolfiefan Sat 17-Dec-16 08:43:13

There is no breed of dog that is guaranteed to be aggressive or not.
I understand they don't want to shut the dog away given its history but there needs to be a way to keep your child safe.
I would ask for the dog to be separated. Stair gate? Or walked first and then kept on a long line whilst you do a short visit. Or I would arrange to meet them out of the house.
FWIW dominance theory has been disproved. The dog isn't being dominant.

prettywhiteguitar Sat 17-Dec-16 08:58:05

Ok I've never heard of dominance theory but that's the only way I can describe his behaviour, it's not playful. I have met other boxers and they are playing, this one is going right up to ds's face repeatedly. And try's to do it by surprise so you have to watch him. What is that behaviour do you think ?

Ylvamoon Sat 17-Dec-16 08:59:38

I understand your brother, he wants his dog to be part of the family... you are at his house so it's his rules.
Personally I think, you are a bit over the top. The dog does not sound aggressive, more curious about all the visitors. By the sounds of it, your brother is working/ training the dog, with good improvements/ success.
You on the other hand are stuck in a rut about the dog, because of his history, you think that he is aggressive and will harm your children. So think again, has he actually physically harmed your children? Are you harming your children by being nervous around the dog (kids pick up on danger signals from their parents...)
Would your brother knowingly harm your children?
If you don't like your children playing on the floor with the dog around, maybe the children could play at a table....

Pixilicious Sat 17-Dec-16 09:01:35

No way would I have this, I wouldn't visit my brother if he wouldn't out the safety of my children above the needs D a dog for a couple of hours. You are absolutely not BU.

prettywhiteguitar Sat 17-Dec-16 11:35:14

I think I really like the dog, especially when the children aren't there. I'm worried that my brother is underestimating what the dog could do, obviously I want the dog to be child friendly and I hope that I'm worried for nothing but I can't help but have a bad feeling about it.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 17-Dec-16 11:39:07

I'm a dog lover and owner, but I'd be wary OP.

It just takes one mistake from the dog - a snap or a bite - then he pays for it. And so does the bitee if it's a serious wound.

I'd watch him like a hawk around the kids.

prettywhiteguitar Sun 18-Dec-16 10:31:35

Yes I think I will just have to always be between the dog and ds. God it is just so stressful when we're there, I can't wait till they have a baby and they can see it from my point of view

EssentialHummus Sun 18-Dec-16 10:42:47

I've had boxers, and in my experience they are not aggressive dogs. They are however big and clumsy. They have absolutely no spacial awareness and can be quite boisterous. And they slobber, steal food and are generally quite naughty.

Exactly. And they behave like puppies til age 8 or 9.

I'm never getting another! grin

queenofthebucket Sun 18-Dec-16 10:45:58

we had a boxer as a family pet and she was very naughty but not known as aggressive dog as mentioned above. But this is a rescue dog and has been traumatised, so it needs extra care.

Some parents don't say anything to their children, not pulling them up if they constantly barge in and dominate yours playing. Some people without DC's treat dogs like their children, and some parents don't put down clear boundaries.

If it was me I would tell the dog "No, not in his face," or similar and encourage the dog to sit down and be with you and ds, as I would to another child who's parent was not guiding them appropriately towards socially acceptable behaviour - but in a friendly way not tell him off!

LilCamper Sun 18-Dec-16 12:08:30

Queen, dogs do not dominate humans.

potap123 Sun 18-Dec-16 12:38:00

Dominance theory has been completely debunked now.

It's a really tricky situation but in your position I would find a good dog behaviourist who specialises in positive reinforcement training and ask your brother if it would be okay for them to come and see the dog with your kids and give you some tips on how best to build a positive relationship between them all. If said dog trainer comes and thinks it looks dangerous then your DB is more likely to take that on board from an expert and they may be able to give you all strategies to minimise the risks.

WeAllHaveWings Sun 18-Dec-16 18:27:05

We have had the most placid, biddable, bomb proof Labrador since he was a puppy.

I still would not allow him to go face to face with a child of any age.

In your situation I would not go unless you db agreed to keep the dog away from your very young dc. He needs to train his dog to stop this undesirable behaviour the same as he would stop it jumping up on adults/begging at the table etc.

prettywhiteguitar Sun 18-Dec-16 22:11:28

Thank you for all your advice I'm going to sit on it and avoid going until we can find a solution

Patriciathestripper1 Sun 18-Dec-16 22:16:56

I wouldn't let any dog put its face into my child's face. I wouldn't visit again and if they want yo see you let them come to you without the fucking dog.

DorcasthePuffin Sun 18-Dec-16 22:24:32

Ylvamoon, you have told the OP not to trust her instincts, you have told her that she that she has misread a situation you were not witness to, you have suggested she wait till a child is harmed before she acts, and you have suggested that if her brother does not intend to harm a child then we must assume he is on top of this situation. Surely you can see the risks of such advice?

DorcasthePuffin Sun 18-Dec-16 22:25:19

I mean, this is a real child we are talking about. Even if you think she sounds OTT, how can you just tell her the only risk is in her fervid imagination, knowing what a possible outcome could be?

Rednailsandnaeknickers Sun 18-Dec-16 22:36:39

Shockingly bad advice from Ylvamoon hmmconfused but I doubt they have any experience of dogs with issues.

OP yanbu this dog has obv not been socialised well and your DB doesn't sound like he's really tackling all the issues either. I would def keep your children out of range of this dog. <and I say that as a dog lover who has experience with rescues>

Ylvamoon Sun 18-Dec-16 23:01:50

MN at its best! Please read my full post... not just interpret bits of it.
Btw, a boxer dog is quite big, a small child sitting on the floor is most certainly eye level....

pigsDOfly Mon 19-Dec-16 13:07:58

Trust your instincts OP. And if you''re DB won't take your concerns seriously, in your place, I wouldn't be going to his house.

The breed of dog is irrelevant to a great extent, I wouldn't want any dog behaving like that around my children or as it is now my grandchildren.

If my lovely, very calm, people loving, gentle small dog started getting in a child's face like that I'd be removing her from the situation and putting her upstairs (the dog that is, not the child).

prettywhiteguitar Tue 20-Dec-16 13:39:00

Yes you are all confirming what I think, which is worrying because my sil and bro don't think there's anything wrong with it !! Anyway I think next time we visit we will see them will be at another relatives house so the dog will not be there. Or if it is there will be other children so I won't be the only one.

My main issue with them is terrible training they are giving to a dog with no boundaries. Play fighting and then telling me they can't pull on his collar to get him away from my child. They can't see how contradictory they are.

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