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Family gathering with children and dog... Advice?(7 Posts)
I've got a weekend extended family gathering coming up, in a dog friendly holiday cottage. I'm child free and tbh children of primary age and below are a mystery to me as I just don't come into contact with them.
PestDog will be the only dog there, but there will be kids aged about 2, 6 & 8. The 6&8 year olds are good kids that will follow instructions, but I haven't met the 2 year old before and there's a limit to what I can expect from a toddler. None live with dogs.
PestDog is believed to have lived with kids as a puppy and reasons stated for rehoming didn't involve the kids. He's good with kids he meets on the street / bus but all dogs have their limits. In the house he's a great dog but if he gets overexcited he can mouth your hands.
In terms of how to handle this I've got
- I'm the only one to walk him
- Tell the kids to let sleeping dogs lie, not take toys or food away
- Take a blanket etc he can lie on (property doesn't allow dogs on furniture, he gets free rein at home, could be interesting)
- Ensure he gets enough sleep (he's a grumpy dog if not). He's previously struggled with a raucous 12 hour house party, but this will be a rather more sedate affair.
Any tips on how to manage dog-child interactions?
The children (of all ages) should never be left unsupervised with the dog. The little one should only be allowed to be near the dog with active adult supervision i.e. an adult proactively managing things & ideally positioning hem selves between dog & child. If the dog is happy to be petted by the 2 yr old then this should be done with one hand only from collar to tail. And all the time watching for any body language from the dog to suggest it’s nit comfortable. I’d also suggest taking a crate (if to use one) to give the dog a safe space. If you don’t crate I’d keep the dog separate from the children if you can’t supervise it just to give him a break. Hope this helps!
Also came on to say take a crate, hopefully you won't have to use it but it'll give both you and the rest of the family peace of mind at any time that PestDog is not being directly supervised by you, eg when you're in the bathroom or anything like that. Also during meals - small children drop stuff, dogs vacuum it up!
Dog in strange home, strange people, not used to very young children and young children not used to having a dog at home. 6 & 8 year olds cannot be trusted to be 100% aware of the dog at all times, they'll be playing and larking about.
What do you mean by a grumpy dog? Doesn't engage in play or shows signs of stress/aggression? Over excited and mouthy with children is not good either. You say don't take food/toys away does he guard food/toys?
I would seriously consider not taking him until you have some introduction sessions with the children at home, otherwise you are going to be stressed watching him like a hawk. If you do take a crate is a must to put his bed in and close the door when you are not supervising him closely.
Great tips about positioning adult between small child and dog - this is the sort of thing that doesn't occur to me though I'd also expect the small one's parents to be watching him equally closely. Mind you, I've just checked facebook and I've realised I've lost track of time and the one I thought was about 2 is actually 5 I've never actually met that child, in my defence... but at least it means he might be able to follow instructions.
PestDog came to me as an adult rescue and to my knowledge has never been crate trained... plus getting a crate on a Friday night train out of London might be interesting On the plus side, I've always considered having the dog act as a sentient vacuum cleaner to be a bonus feature!
He's not shown any signs of resource guarding, but it's more that I wouldn't want to add to his stress, and having a total stranger remove your treat is different to when it's your owner. Similarly if someone tries to take his ball off him for a game of fetch he'll start a game of tug of war instead. He never intentionally bites but if he repositioned his grip on the toy during tug of war and your fingers were very close, he could hit them by accident so I wouldn't want a child doing that.
he has no boundaries he often follows me everywhere, so he can just come with me to the bathroom etc. etc. Luckily a couple of people there are current or past dog owners and could be trusted to mind him in my brief absence.
Re 'grumpy dog' it's only happened once. 15-20 strangers descended into our small home for a party organised by his then-owner and were around for a good 12 hours with loud music etc. He pretty much spent it all following me around and was clearly very tired but refused to go to a quiet room and sleep unless I was going to be there with him, and had a massive case of FOMO. At the party he was fine, if droopy, but the following day he was very sleepy, only managed a short walk and was a bit snappy with another dog. If it was going to be another raucous affair (or if he had a history of problem behaviour towards children) I'd not be taking him, but it'll be a very civilised sort of family do where a noticeable proportion of guests are over 60 and sitting down chatting with a glass of wine will be the order of the day, so he'll be able to sleep
on my lap or next to me on the sofa near me in his bed in accordance with holiday cottage rules
Is there somewhere a room that you and him can escape to if needed for a break
Also if he going out to garden can you go with in case child slips out when back turned
Yes, there will be a bedroom I can take him off to if need be, and he absolutely would be supervised in a garden - his recall is fine, but he considers holes in fences to be very attractive!
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