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Am I worrying for nothing? Ex bought big dog

(37 Posts)
TheChip Sat 06-Feb-21 20:37:05

My ex has very little experience with dogs, and has impulsively bought a bully breed type dog. It is massive as a pup so it's going to be a big dog.

My worry is my child.
Are American bull dog type dogs generally okay with children? How about an untrained one?
Because I dont believe he will put much effort into training.

I honestly can't see him keeping the dog for a long time, but I am anxious everytime my son goes to his dads now. I already know ds is left unattended with the dog, and I know its a puppy but id of thought that would make it all more important to not leave ds alone with it due to its size and puppy playful bitey nature.

I hope I'm worrying over nothing. Its not a breed I'd ever go for as I would not be able to physically handle them so I don't really know much about the breed. I think its an American bulldog (definitely that) crossed with a mastiff or something.

I'm just looking for reassurance that I'm worrying over nothing more than anything.

OP’s posts: |
LochJessMonster Sat 06-Feb-21 20:39:43

Well you are not going to find reassurance here.

Any dog can kill a child if left unattended. Especially a large bull breed.

Your child is in danger and I would be applying to the courts to stop unsupervised access. Social services can assess the dog and the danger.

Thermalpants Sat 06-Feb-21 20:41:58

I would be a bit worried to be honest. How old is your son? Could you play YouTube videos to him that explain dog body language and how to interact safely with a dog e.g not disturb it when it’s sleeping?

bluebluezoo Sat 06-Feb-21 20:42:08

Your child is in danger and I would be applying to the courts to stop unsupervised access. Social services can assess the dog and the danger

Does o/p need to apply to the court to stop access?

Surely she can just stop it, and the onus is on him to go to court to prove he provides a safe environment?

tabulahrasa Sat 06-Feb-21 20:43:07

“Are American bull dog type dogs generally okay with children? How about an untrained one?”

Yes and yes...ish

As in, they’re pretty bouncy playful dogs, fun with kids and pretty tolerant - but not hugely careful, so would easily knock over kids.

But... mistreated or badly trained they can be an issue (like lots of breeds) the difference is that there is a potential for serious bites if something goes wrong.

SirSniffsAlot Sat 06-Feb-21 20:43:54

There's a lot of 'it depends' in this but the bull/mastiff type dogs do tend to be quite tolerant with family members/individuals they grow up with.

But all dogs are individuals and much is about upbringing.

Regardless of breed, NO dog should ever be left alone with a child.

Sorry OP. It sounds like a worrying scenario, simply because your ex sounds irresponsible and clueless sad

Terminallysleepdeprived Sat 06-Feb-21 20:49:48

Honestly, no one can tell you it will be fine or it won't with any guarantee.

Any dog will turn if provoked, any dog can be dangerous if Improperly trained.

I would focus on ensuring that your child knows the basics, ie don't touch the dog if it is on its bed, don't try to take food or toys away, no sudden moves, allow the dog to come to them if they want a fuss, not to make direct approaches etc.

TheChip Sat 06-Feb-21 20:54:22

My child is 10. I think if he was younger I wouldn't think twice about stopping contact until the dog had been professionally trained or something.

I have been trying to explain things to ds such as body language etc. Along with the jumping up and how to try and not allow it, otherwise it will end up a giant dog still thinking its fine to jump for greets etc.

I do feel stopping access is extreme, but at the same time the potential danger side is concerning me. A lot.

My ds has expressed concern himself. He doesn't think his dad should be allowing the dog in the car, and expressed to me how he thinks its cruel. Only he has no issues with my dogs being in a car. It turns out that my ds is expected to keep a hold of the dog when his dad is driving. So the dog is not secured safely in the car.

I think my best bet is hoping that he doesn't keep the dog for long. Which is awful for the dog, but inevitable with him I believe. So the sooner the better.

Ds is very softy softy with animals and could never be firm. If the dog pulls on the lead, he goes with it. No matter how many times I tell him that he controls the dog, not the other way round lol.

OP’s posts: |
QueenOfLabradors Sat 06-Feb-21 20:57:45

Sorry, I can't do the 'reassurance that you're worrying over nothing' bit. It's entirely possible that your ex's pup is a bombproof darling. It's also entirely possible that he or she isn't. You haven't mentioned ds's age but I wouldn't leave any child alone with any dog from any background until age about eleven at the earliest.

QueenOfLabradors Sat 06-Feb-21 20:58:11

Sorry x-posts.

QueenOfLabradors Sat 06-Feb-21 21:00:03

And having just read your update in full... Does ex know the fine for unsecured dog in a vehicle is up to £5000?

TheChip Sat 06-Feb-21 21:00:13

Terminallysleepdeprived

Honestly, no one can tell you it will be fine or it won't with any guarantee.

Any dog will turn if provoked, any dog can be dangerous if Improperly trained.

I would focus on ensuring that your child knows the basics, ie don't touch the dog if it is on its bed, don't try to take food or toys away, no sudden moves, allow the dog to come to them if they want a fuss, not to make direct approaches etc.

Yeah I think that is the best I can do.

Its good to hear that they are generally tolerant dogs! I'll push for my son to try and make sure that he's not unattended with the dog.

Thank you all. It has helped just getting it out that I am worried as its just been floating in my head since he got the dog!

OP’s posts: |
TheChip Sat 06-Feb-21 21:02:20

@QueenOfLabradors I don't think he will know. My ds knows that dogs need to be secured and has probably said so, but I doubt he would listen

OP’s posts: |
SirSniffsAlot Sat 06-Feb-21 21:05:25

I wonder if it worth talking to your son about not really holding onto the dog in the car? In the event of any kind of sudden stop, he needs to not be holding the dog - he will never do so succesfully and risks harming himself.

What a rubbish situation for you, your son and the dog sad

TheChip Sat 06-Feb-21 21:11:09

I will do that. It was a quick chat before he was leaving to go with his dad the other day when I learned about the car issue.

I never even thought about a sudden stop. If he is holding on the the dog and the dog jerks forward, he could be injured because there is no way he could hold the dog back.
Stupidity of his dad to even put that onto him really!

OP’s posts: |
tabulahrasa Sat 06-Feb-21 21:15:41

In a car accident - the dog being loose could kill your DS...it’s the same as a human not having a seatbelt on.

I mean, obviously it’ll be small just now... but...

QueenOfLabradors Sat 06-Feb-21 21:32:43

Going off topic - but this is exactly why I believe there needs to be a dog OWNERSHIP licence. Like most doggy professionals I do this job because I love dogs not because I want to become rich. If I wanted to become rich I'd have stayed in the City job that drove me to a nervous breakdown... It is very very wrong that anyone can click onto Gumtree or Pets4Homes or half a dozen other websites and come home with a juvenile carnivore of unknown ancestry, with not the foggiest idea of how to look after its physical mental and social needs and help it become a member of society.

wetotter Sat 06-Feb-21 21:51:17

Well socialised American bullies are complete softies - lovely dogs!

But - no dog should ever be left alone with a young child. Ever.

And despite American bullies generally having lovely temperaments, they are immensely powerful dogs

It sounds as if XP is not training it well, and it is of course illegal to have an unrestrained dog in a car.

This does not bode well and I wouid be very concerned.

Wolfiefan Sat 06-Feb-21 21:56:03

For a start he can’t be allowed to take the child in a vehicle in such an unsafe manner.
No puppy should be alone with a child.
A child that age should never be walking or in charge of the lead of such a big dog.
A breed of a dog doesn’t determine whether it’s ok with kids.
A poorly bred (it probably is), poorly socialised and trained dog can be a fucking liability.

Wotapolava Sat 06-Feb-21 22:12:29

Dog is young and will grow (and likely attach to child moreso than adult).

If that dog gets old and watches the child grow, it is very likely the child will only be hurt when the dogs life expires.

I'm no expert but keep an eye on it.
Maybe have the dog stay at your place so you can see how well it behaves or adapts after all, it knows your child.

Dogs like that are good security for protecting women and children.

Chances are you'll see the beauty of loyalty and get one yourself.
Those dogs do have that kind of affect on people.

StormsDontLastForever Sat 06-Feb-21 22:17:43

Not the same type of dog but I have a German shepherds, he is massive! He is the most gentle caring dog with my dc. It really counts how well you train them from the start. Teach him boundaries and be consistent. Any dog can turn at any point, I never leave my child unattended with my dog, ever. Although he is so gentle I just can't be 100% sure that he wouldn't turn if provoked or hurt etc.

Ihaventgottimeforthis Sat 06-Feb-21 22:35:06

Do you recall the story from a couple of years ago of the 9 year old boy who was killed by a friend's dog of bull-type breed when they were together in a caravan in Cornwall?
A dog who knew him, and who was trusted to be left alone with him?
A poorly trained & socialised dog of any breed and size can cause great harm to a child. What is the point in risking it and putting your child in danger?
There's easy things your ex can do to make your son safer - secure the dog in the car. Train the dog well. Supervise them together. Communicate with his son about how he feels about the dog. Have safe spaces in the house where they can be apart.
Anything less is putting your son in harm's way.

Ihaventgottimeforthis Sat 06-Feb-21 22:36:03

I have a bull breed cross and I do all the above & more, for my children's safety & his.

tabulahrasa Sat 06-Feb-21 22:54:21

“Do you recall the story from a couple of years ago of the 9 year old boy who was killed by a friend's dog of bull-type breed when they were together in a caravan in Cornwall?
A dog who knew him, and who was trusted to be left alone with him?“

That was a dog with a history of attacking people and was usually muzzled because of it... also not his family dog, just a friend of his mother’s.

The mother was charged with child neglect and the dog owner with manslaughter, I don’t know what they were convicted of in the end, but they both received prison sentences.

Breed doesn’t actually come very high on the list of things that correlate in fatal dog attacks, the top 3 are almost always, the dog has a history of abuse and or neglect, they’re unneutered and the person they attack isn’t someone that usually lives with the dog.

I don’t know the OPs ex, but I’m assuming that if she considered him capable of abusing or neglecting a dog to criminal levels she’d have bigger issues with him than just getting a dog and dogs don’t really differentiate between people that live there some of the time and all of the time - both count, so that’s the main risk factors for things like that not applicable.

Should she be worried about the car? Absolutely

But having the dog, even with little training shouldn’t be a huge worry, something to prep her DS about a bit if he’s not clued up on dogs and something to keep a bit of an eye out in case as it is a large dog, definitely.

But not something to be concerned enough that it would warrant stopping visitation as has been suggested further up...

Just something to be a bit aware of.

Ihaventgottimeforthis Sat 06-Feb-21 23:15:38

But the parent still left the boy with the dog, clearly not concerned about the boy's welfare.
Any dog has the potential to be a risk.
OP recognises her ex won't be a responsible dog owner. I'd be concerned.

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