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Parents taking in DB's dog

(5 Posts)
PurpleGentian Sun 25-Nov-12 15:44:04

My DB has a dog (terrier), a toddler, and a new baby on the way. He's been looking for a new home for the dog for the past 9 months, because he & SIL feel that they can't trust the dog around DN. The dog is jealous of DN - apparently it's displaying aggressive, but so far, non-biting, behaviour.

So far, they've been managing the situation by keeping the dog and DN in separate rooms unless closely supervised. With the new baby coming, they feel this won't work, and are concerned that the dog's behaviour might get worse.

DB has just told me that our parents have agreed to take in DB's dog until DB finds another owner. My concern with this is that our parents look after DS (15 months) in their home for 2 days a week while I'm at work.

Given that they can't trust the dog around DN, I'm unhappy about the prospect of the dog being in the same house as DS. But I'm not entirely sure how to handle it. Demand the dog goes into kennels 2 days a week? Or that my parents come to my house and look after DS here? I'm hoping to avoid too much extra nursery time for DS - assuming they even have space on the days my parents care for him, but I'm wondering if that's now an unrealistic hope!

Not had a chance to speak to my parents about this yet - really just trying to get my thoughts in order first, so I've got some possible solutions etc to throw at them rather than just freaking out about the dog.

DoISay Sun 25-Nov-12 15:47:00

What is Dps house like - can they keep dog separate from Ds?

PurpleGentian Sun 25-Nov-12 15:55:16

The only way I can see for them to keep DS & the dog separate would be if the dog is locked in the back garden or garage whenever DS is there. Might work in the summer, but I suspect that it'd be too cold for a dog to be out all day in the winter.

DS is almost tall enough to reach the door handles in their house. I've seen him open doors that have lower door handles, so I don't think it'll be long before he's able to open DP's doors. They've got a moveable safety gate, but DS could easily stick his hand through that to poke a dog on the other side of it.

So, no, I'm not confident that they'll be able to keep the dog and DS separate if they're both within the house.

Arseface Sun 09-Dec-12 02:40:57

I have dogs and DCs and would be concerned about this.
Children your DS's age do tend to be very interested in animals but way too young to understand the danger.
You do need to speak to your parents about this. Do you think they would mind looking after DS at yours for the two days? Are they taking on the dog permanently or just until a suitable home is found?
If DB has not tried a behaviourist to help the dog with its worries around children, perhaps this might be an option in the calmer environment of your parents house?

Try and talk to your DB as well so that you can get the full picture and he doesn't feel you are criticising him to your parents behind his back. I'm sure they'll understand your reasonable concern. Hope you can work out a plan to keep everyone happy.

PurpleGentian Sun 09-Dec-12 21:47:26

Hi Arseface - I've now discussed this with my parents, who have been understanding of my concerns. DB doesn't seem to be bothered either way. It's almost like the dog doesn't exist to him anymore.

DF was initially proposing keeping DS and the dog apart with the moveable safety gate (I think he hadn't considered the DS sticks hand through bars to poke dog scenario until I pointed it out), but they've now said that they want to put the dog in kennels when it's their days to look after DS, rather than look after DS at mine (although they've said they will come to mine if the kennel thing falls through). They've been looking into local kennels, and I've offered to pay the kennel fees.

The plan is that parents are caring for the dog temporarily while DB & SIL continue looking for a suitable home. Don't know if DB has tried a dog behaviourist since DN was born, but that might be a good thing to suggest to my parents. I know DB & SIL got a dog psychologist in a few years ago after the dog nipped SIL, and they reckoned that the dog psychologist really helped then.

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