What would you want to know before letting your kids to a house with big dogs

(9 Posts)
Deminism Wed 27-Feb-19 09:38:24

I have never had pets and am not really comfortable with dogs. My kids are 3, 6 and 8. They have a couple of friends with big dogs. I asked one mum what type of dog and she said a staff mix but to be perfectly honest it just doesn’t mean much to me. I don’t know anything about dogs.
So, responsible dog owners of mumsnet, please help. What would you want to know before letting your kids play at the houses of people with big scary looking dogs (I know small dogs can also be threatening, but it is the big ones that worry me). Thanks

OP’s posts: |
adaline Wed 27-Feb-19 10:34:15

Dogs of any size should not be around small children without extremely strict supervision.

Aprilshowersarecomingsoon Wed 27-Feb-19 10:40:31

We have ddogs. 1 a big one. She is always locked out when anyone visits. Imo you can't give the responsibility of unknown dc to your ddog.
My ddogs +dc know how to behave around each other and have a good relationship.
Other dc don't.
Ask the woman would she mind putting the ddog away as your dc are not comfortable around ddogs.
As a ddog lover I would keep my dc away if she said no.
Yanbu to ask.
But she wnbu to say no either.

sickmumma Wed 27-Feb-19 10:43:11

We have a husky - no one has ever asked about the dog - I do mention on play dates just incase of allergies as she is very hairy and also incase a child has a fear - if they are not Keen I put her in the kitchen so the kids can play but tbh she mainly
Spends play dates asleep in my room out of the way. DS has one friend who is quite obsessed with the dog so again I keep her with me otherwise he just doesn't leave her alone - which is fine we have 3 children and she loves kids but I can tell when she's had enough and wants to just settle down without being bothered.

missbattenburg Wed 27-Feb-19 10:46:04

I agree with adaline

A 3 year old shouldn't really be anywhere near another person's dog. They are unused to each other and interaction between the two brings more risk (to both) than benefit. imo anyway.

The 6 and 8 year olds should only really be around other people's dogs if...
- they have been taught how to safely interact with dogs
- there is a adult present who is actively supervising. That doesn't just mean in the same room, it means watching the dog and looking for signs of stress etc. and prepared to intervene whenever they seen them. That requires the adult to be able to recognise those signs. If no one is free to do that, then dogs and children should be separated by a physical barrier (door, gate, etc)

They are not bad guidelines for children around their own dogs, tbh, but even more important when interacting with dogs they are less familiar with (and who are less familiar with them).

If I were questioning another dog owner I might ask things like:
- the dog's history and temperament
- whether the dog is used to children what sex and ages of children. for e.g. a 3 year old boy is not the same as an 11 year old girl, to a dog they are totally different creatures,
- where the children and dog will be (e.g. same room, etc)
- where the adult will be, who the adult will be

That all sounds like a interview, so I would phrase it a bit more conversationally than that, maybe even suggest I was there for the first time so I could see 1st hand.

TropicPlunder Wed 27-Feb-19 13:35:17

I think the dog should be kept away. Even of the dog is great with other kids, doesn't mean it's be fine with kids it hadn't met before. I'm the owner of a bouncy dog and a 5 year old. The dog is allowed to mingle with kids she's met before (think family friends, regular walks together, dogs and kids met before). But only when other parents are there and kids doing something calm. If kids are bombing round the garden, or flouncing about with costumes on, dog is separated.
I'd always separate dog for usual playdates, ie kids the dog doesnt know, 1 adult with several kids. Its not worth any risk.
It's hard to ask them to keep dog separate (although I'd want to, if I was you).... can you try to go with the kids the first time, and see what they do? Might be easier to express concerns from there

tabulahrasa Wed 27-Feb-19 14:19:40

See I wouldn’t ask anything...

I’m of the opinion that if you don’t know/trust other parents enough to keep your children safe round their dog, you shouldn’t be letting your children go there without you.

Because dogs aren’t the most dangerous things in someone’s house.

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sillysmiles Wed 27-Feb-19 16:13:40

Are you going to be there?
If not, I would say to the home owner that your children are not used to dogs and have no experience with them and to feel free to separate them from the dog.
And I agree with @tabulahrasa, if you trust someone enough to mind your children then you don't ask a load of questions and make a load of demands - you trust them - but make it clear that your children should not be trusted around the dog as they have no idea how to read a dog's body language.

DogInATent Wed 27-Feb-19 19:06:13

How well trained are the children?

Our staff is pretty bomb proof with children and adults, but I would never leave her alone with children that aren't used to dogs. You hear such nasty things about children's behaviour towards animals.

(seriously, I'd maintain supervision because kids that don't know how to interact with animals shouldn't be left alone with them)

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