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Is it cruel to keep dog separated from the family for most of the day?

(8 Posts)
MissMalteser Sun 30-Sep-18 11:35:06

We have had our dog (Yorkshire mixed with I’m not sure what) for around 2 years now, she is a much loved member of the family, is walked daily (even though she mostly hates it lol) and interacts well with our eldest 2 dds.
The problem is with out 2.5 year old ds, he is autistic and although he doesn’t mean to he has hurt her on a few occasions when flinging himself around etc, he has no spacial awareness and will throw himself off the sofa and has nearly missed landing on top of her a few times. She is tiny and if he was to land on her with full force he would definitely seriously injure or kill her sad
They don’t interact with each other at all so it’s not malicious but she is obviously afraid of him now and has started to growl when he gets too close, because of this I have taken to keeping her in the kitchen while he’s there, so she’s walked in the morning then left to her own devices in the kitchen for the morning, during the afternoon he sleeps for a few hours so she has access to the rest of the downstairs then, then she’s back in the kitchen until he goes to bed.
She doesn’t seem to like this and has taken to spending most of the day in her crate (it’s always left open) and staying in the kitchen even when the doors open for her to wander.
I just don’t know what to do for the best, she’s not used to being so isolated and I can imagine this is a problem that will get worse as ds gets older. Dh has talked about rehoming her to an older couple with no children which would suit her better but she was a rescue dog when we got her and was so terrified and defensive it took months for her to settle in so I can’t bare the thought of putting her through that again.
Another thing to consider is she’s a barker despite all our best efforts and a lot of the time she’ll bark constantly while we have visitors which ds finds quite upsetting and he will need his ear defenders as it sets off his sensory issues sad
All advice and opinions welcomed

OP’s posts: |
Knowivedonewrong Sun 30-Sep-18 13:48:08

I think the kindest thing for your dog would be to rehome her like you say to an older couple with no children.
If the dog is clearly scared of your son, then it's probably not going to get much better.
It's not your sons fault, or the dogs, but she seems quite unhappy to be separated by the sounds of things.

Shadow1234 Sun 30-Sep-18 14:22:40

As sad as it will probably be for you, I would also have to
agree that re-homing the dog would be best. I do not like the
Idea of people just re-homing dogs because they dont fit in- but
in this instance, your poor dog is losing out on the freedom and
happiness that he has been used to. (A scared dog is not a happy
dog), and he could end up nipping or biting your son, if he was to
Invade the dogs space or get up too close to him whilst throwing
himself about.

I know you worry about the dog settling in with new owners, but
I think in the long run, it will be better for the dog to have a few
weeks of uncertainty (followed by a life of happiness), than keeping
him put, and having a life of sadness and restrictions.

I understand that you are you doing your best by putting the dog
out of harms way (in the kitchen), but as your son gets older and
bigger, he may start trying to pick the dog up or rough play with
him, and this would cause the dog to be even more guarded
and create bigger problems.

I do feel for you, as I would have the same problem giving up my
dog, and its obviously easier said than done - (but you cannot risk
your son being nipped/bitten in the future/or the dog being badly

Hopefully a local (reputable) re-homing centre will be able to
find him his forever home.

As other poster said, its not your fault, or your sons, its just
very unfortunate it has come to this.

Good luck going forward.

MikeUniformMike Sun 30-Sep-18 14:27:03

Rehome her. It's sad that you need to but it's the best solution all round.
She might be ok with a family with children as she gets on well with your dds.
Best wishes.

MissMalteser Sun 30-Sep-18 15:26:19

sad not what I wanted to hear but I know deep down it would be best for her, it’s selfish to keep her in this situation sad do you know if rehoming centres can let us keep her until they find her new owner? I really don’t want her to spend any time not part of a family, I really don’t think she’d do well in a centre.

OP’s posts: |
SputnikBear Sun 30-Sep-18 15:31:04

I’d suggest rehoming. Dogs are social animals and will be very sad if they’re locked up alone all the time. If your DS hurts the dog it could bite and not only will your DS be injured, the dog will also get put to sleep. I’m sure if you explain the centre will be more than happy for your dog to stay with you until they find a home.

Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Sun 30-Sep-18 15:38:55

Really rehome!?

Dogs should spend 17 hours a day sleeping or resting Yep even active working dogs like working cockers or collies.

So your dog has a walk in the morning and is left to piece and quiet for the rest of the morning _ sounds like heaven to me.

She then has time to interact in the afternoon and get more attention at this point one to one without any stress.

I guess at 2.5 your son is in bed earlyish so your dog then has an evening with you.

I can not see the problem. Maybe add a bit of enrichment into her life through the way you fed her or toys.

You do need to work on her barking but this is a training issue.

Also this phase will not last forever I guess at some point your son will go to school so the dog will have time at this point. Also your son may become more used and happy to have the dog around 2.5 is a hard age autistic or not - speaking from experience

SoyDora Sun 30-Sep-18 15:43:31

Im inclined to agree with Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten. Dogs generally rest/sleep a lot. We have a beagle and he spends at least 16 hours a day asleep/resting in his bed, in between walks/play/interaction. I don’t think your dog spending the morning in his crate, followed by a couple of hours in company then another couple of hours relaxing again is a massive issue.

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