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To not want my in laws to get this dog ...

229 replies

FloralFantasy · 28/05/2013 07:42

I know this will make me VERY unpopular but as a rule, I don't like dogs. I hate the dogs mess on pavements, I hate being out for a walk and having dogs rush up to me and I hate aggressive barking when you go past houses or knock on doors.

I was attacked by a collie as a young teen and also have a cousin who was attacked by her friends dog (with no history of aggression, was not aggravated, lunged at a cat on her lap and it got nasty) in my presence requiring reconstructive surgery.

My in-laws provide childcare for my 7mo and 2yo DCs. They offered and were really keen to have them two afternoons a week. They also do other odd spells if I need to pop out (they live five minutes down the road).

They have used to have dogs but the last one passed away 18 months ago. My BIL has announced he is getting MIL a dog for her birthday. She is excited. He has found a two year old Staffordshire cross and they are picking it up today. In the advert it says "not suitable for a household with young children".

I questioned this but apparently it will be fine once it gets to know young children, it just has never had contact with them. The owners are selling as they are moving somewhere smaller without the room for a dog.

I have said fine, they can get the dog, but they can't have the children round there anymore.

I'm told I am being very unreasonable, hurtful and rude.

Am I? What would be the safest way to introduce the dog to children?

OP posts:
PotteringAlong · 28/05/2013 08:00


My in laws had a rescue dog that had to be rehomed away from young children (they got him before I even met DH let alone had DS). They kept him in the kitchen - stair gated into the room so DS had no access to him and visa versa

BrokenBanana · 28/05/2013 08:01

I love dogs but I also wouldn't be allowing DC there. Looks like you will have to find paid childcare for now until the dog gets settled and you can make a proper judgement about having the children there.

They are BU for not taking your feelings in to consideration as well. I know it's their house and dog etc but I can't imagine my MIL getting a staffy that's unpredictable if she knew I was scared of dogs!

ShadowStorm · 28/05/2013 08:03


The dog has been advertised as unsuitable for a household with young children, presumably for a reason.

I suppose they may be right about it being fine once it gets to know young children, but there's no way of knowing whether that's true in advance. Especially when it's also getting used to a new home and new owners. I certainly wouldn't be happy about someone testing that theory with my DC.

GoblinGranny · 28/05/2013 08:03

'They have already said they wouldn't be prepared to cage the dog and think it is "fussing" to suggest they are separated. They have a small, open plan bungalow so it wouldn't really be an option anyway.'

Shock They are making their priorities clear to you.

BeerTricksPotter · 28/05/2013 08:03

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pumpkinsweetie · 28/05/2013 08:03

I would have said yabu, but the advert clearly states this dog isn't suitable around children and considering they provide childcare for your dc, i wouldn't be happy at all.
There is nothing wrong with staffie breeds if bought up properly, but not only is this dog not bought up by your ils, the advert is what it is. This dog is not suitable to be around children.
Really your ils need a puppy that they can bring up and know from the very start.

Cassiphone · 28/05/2013 08:03


I love dogs, and we specifically made sure that our dog (both breed and early socialisation) was ok with small kids so when we start a family as we are now, we would be confident it would be ok.

You need to be vigilant with dogs and toddlers, even when the dog is ok with little kids. And a dog known to be bad with kids (any breed, I love Staffies and if well socialised they can be angels with small children), no WAY would I let my kids anywhere near it.

It's so easy for an accident to happen. About 8 years ago (when I was an adult obviously) I hugged my mum's dog and she lashed out (old and grumpy, I woke her up and startled her - not her fault she was a lovely dog just old and in pain) and ended up in A&E needing stitches in my lip for a very large gash. And she was a good dog, and I'm very experienced with dogs - just wrong place wrong time. With kids you have to be even more careful.

pooka · 28/05/2013 08:03

I think that it is also very irresponsible to buy a dog willy nilly from joe public rather than a reputable rescue centre where there will be follow up support.

I question the motives of anyone selling their 2 yr old dog because they're moving - I could not do this with any pet of mine - id take to a rescue and give rather than sell, and in any case, my pets are part of my family and I just couldn't sell them on.

BeerTricksPotter · 28/05/2013 08:04

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Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MumnGran · 28/05/2013 08:06

I have had a lot to do with dog rescue, and it is irresponsible to take a dog with no knowledge of young children and assume it will be fine!

Staffies can actually make excellent family pets, but a 2 year old dog with no child experience is not a good starting place if the children are going to be there lots of the time......there is no opportunity to slowly gauge the dogs responses or deal with slow introduction when the GP's will need to be fully concentrating in a 7 mth old in their care, let alone the older child. If the people had been honest about this set-up, in a rescue homing situation, I would not contemplate it.
They either need to take a puppy, or a rescue known to be very happy and confident around small children.

I would also want to be very sure they are aware that no small child should ever be left alone with any dog, however good natured. Small children poke, prod, grab and generally do things which cause dogs to react .....and the dog gets the blame when something happens. Children have to be taught to respect animals ..... to be gentle, to never bother the dog if its in its bed (where else can a dog go when it has had enough?!) or when eating.
But the bottom line is that children come first! any sensible owner knows that child/dog situations always need to be watched with care.

Montybojangles · 28/05/2013 08:06

YANBU. It is advertised as unsuitable for young children, meaning it has either acted in an aggressive manner towards young children, or has been assessed to potentially be aggressive towards young children (i dont believe the "its just not been around small children explanation). Why on earth would they choose that particular dog? There are thousands of rescue dogs they can choose from if they don't want a puppy, why not pick one suited to your circumstances.
I am really bemused about your husband and his families Lack of concern here. You need a dog that's used to being sat on, pulled around, teased relentlessly (speaking from experience) if you want to be sure it's ok with kiddies. breed is largely irrelevant, it's temperament that's the thing.

MortifiedAdams · 28/05/2013 08:07

There is no.way I would send my kids there. Their total disregard for your concerns would be my number one reason, and the non-child-friendly dog number two.

Your DH is BU in.not seeing how serious this is.

BinarySolo · 28/05/2013 08:07

I own 2 dogs, have a 2 year old and another baby due in September. I think the dogs enhance family life and it's beneficial to my ds and his friends that visit.

HOWEVER, I know these dogs to be reliable with kids and supervise contact. I got one of them as a rescue from a family that didn't walk him when he was 18 months old. He's turned out to be an amazing dog with great temperament, but we got him pre children and I'm not sure I'd take that gamble now. I certainly would not rehome a dog which was advertised as being unsuitable for a home with children. I wouldn't be paying to take on a dog with issues either.

Yadnbu. The dog might be fine, but you don't risk your kids well being to find that out.

diddl · 28/05/2013 08:08

What you are thinking of sounds sensible to me.

They are your children & it's up to you to do what you feel necessary to look after them.

Young children plus young unknown dog-accident waiting to happen imo-especially with owners like your ILs!!

Sorry but "fussing" to put a dog somewhere for a couple of hrs so that everyone can relax?

I say that as a dog owner.

I love my dog & he's part of the family.

But dog versus GC?-no competition!

BeerTricksPotter · 28/05/2013 08:10

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Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JumpingJackSprat · 28/05/2013 08:12

Obviously you have no influence over them getting this dog so you will need to take responsibility for your children. the fact is they dont have young kids so if you choose not to let yours go round there then thats your choice and they have to accept thst. no dog is "kiddy safe" by the way even breeds like cavaliers can retaliate if a child does something to it that it doesnt like.

Mixxy · 28/05/2013 08:12

YANBU. My ILs have 4 dogs. One is a Cairn Terrior mixed with some other thing. He is agressive with their other dogs and has attacked both my MIL, me and a guy who lives on their building. Everytime the doorbell rings that dog goes beserek and attacks the other dogs. MIL assured me he was "just nervous". Well about 2 months ago, the Cairn terrior bit my nephew (21 months old) after the doorbell rang. My nephew survived surgery and they saved his eye. That 'nervous' little dog was destroyed and believe me, it will be an awkward holiday this December. Stick up for yourself.

GoblinGranny · 28/05/2013 08:13

Your children are still do very small as well, their environment still needs adapting around them to keep them safe as they are too small to do the adapting.
If you refuse to let them have their GC, your ILs will have their feelings hurt, and complain how unreasonable you are, but I'm sure the dog will be compensation for the loss as they had a choice and made it.
If you let them have your children and something goes wrong, both of your children could die.
I wouldn't have to think about the choice I'd make in that situation.

Khaleese · 28/05/2013 08:14

YADNBU, no way on earth i would send me DC. I love/ have dogs but this is dangerous. I'm careful with my own dog.

I think that you need a swift conversation about parental resposibility, namely your desire to keep your children safe. They do not get to overule your decisions on safety, ever. They forefit the childrens visits or they come to your house.

As for your husband, google some of the horrific deaths from this sort of arrangment. clearly they are blaise about the risks, and your concerns for YOUR children. I would bet they would be very lax about watching the dog with the children.

diddl · 28/05/2013 08:15

I was just thinking that as well, beer.

My parents dog was quite elderly by the time I had PFB & it was as much to stop the toddler stumbling into him that dog often went into another room.

GoblinGranny · 28/05/2013 08:15

I agree with you BTP, providing the dog with a safe, inviolable space to feel secure about is a basic need, and it's worrying that the ILs can't see how necessary it is for the dog's wellbeing.

MalcolmTuckersMum · 28/05/2013 08:15

Gosh no - YANBU. Have you asked by what criteria they will decide that 'today is the day the dog will be ok around the children'? Hell no - I would never allow this - and I am a dog lover with no particular dislike or fear of Staffies.
They've been told quite clearly that this dog should not be around children and are choosing to ignore that advice. You need to ask them what I've said above. HOW will they decide?

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops · 28/05/2013 08:15

Poor you, what a dreadful situation, I'm a dog lover but YANBU.

I don't understand why they would knowingly put their GCs at risk.

Good luck and I hope they see reason soon.

angelsonhigh · 28/05/2013 08:16

Is this where we use the MN mantra,

"There house, their rules""

VestaCurry · 28/05/2013 08:16

Yanbu. For all the hard feeling it may cause, it is a 'the dogs or the grandchildren' scenario. I cannot believe they would be so foolish as to even consider taking on animals that are clearly not suitable to be around children. It's a recipe for disaster.

Why don't you ring the RSPCA/The Dogs Trust and get their advice on this, then pass it onto your dh and in laws? Sorry you've been put in this situation, they are being very naive :(

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