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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:
ivanapoo · 28/05/2013 09:14

OP YANBU but you can't stop them getting the dog and in fact if that's what they want then you shouldn't try to stop them.

You can however find someone else to look after your DC so focus on this. You are entitled to parental leave, or what do you do for the other days you work - nursery, childminder? I'm sure if it's legal for them to do so they'll help.

silverten · 28/05/2013 09:15

YANBU at all. You're being perfectly sensible- the dog is unused to children, your children are unused to dogs, and your in-laws appear to prefer fantasy over reality, thinking the dog will be fine because they want it to be. Maybe it will, but I wouldn't trust it with my children until I'd seen good hard evidence that the dog had been firmly shown its place in the pecking order (at the bottom).

I'm sick to death of dog owners being totally unrealistic about their dog's behaviour- they always say something like "he's only being friendly" or "he just wants to play" when it is blatantly obvious that the hound is out of control to the point that if it did decide to have a go, it wouldn't take a blind bit of notice of the owner if it got told to stop.

Sure most of the time they are playing, but that doesn't mean that a massive Alsatian should be allowed to bound up to a toddler and knock them over. DH was out with DD last week and met a Westie who was so 'friendly' it had to be dragged by the neck on its lead past them, wheezing horribly as it struggled to get to them. Friendly or not, that dog was not trained to behave properly on the lead or around other people and certainly wasn't paying any attention to its owner at the time.

Of course, the owner insisted it was just bring friendly. Maybe it was, but it wasn't doing as it was told by her either- so why should anyone trust her word?

marthastew · 28/05/2013 09:26

My children wouldn't be going there at all, even with me or sitting on my lap.

I would focus on finding alternative child care pronto so that the debate about who looks after them is over.

Council will have a list of child minders, local nursery recommendations from frielnds and on here, nanny agency for emergency if you run out of parental leave.

Shenanagins · 28/05/2013 09:27

Don't let your stupid bil bully you on this by using your dislike of dogs against you. Lots of dog lovers on this post, myself included are all saying yanbu.

on the childcare front could you compromise and your pils do it from your house without the dog?

teenagetantrums · 28/05/2013 09:28

Can they not come to your house to look after the children and leave the dog at home? or would they not do that?

I love dogs but YANBU at all in this case.

BinarySolo · 28/05/2013 09:32

I would be very dubious about buying a 2 year old dog. I'm always shocked when people can no longer care for their pets and want to be paid for them. Doesn't inspire confidence that the add is telling the whole story and I wouldn't trust that it was just a case of the do not having met small kids.

I'm not really a staffy fan, but I don't believe they're any more prone to be aggressive than any of the gun dog breeds that are popular with families. The reason staffy attacks make the news is that they're powerful and so would do more damage than a snappy terrier type. Also, unfortunately certain people own them to look hard and they aren't alway the most responsible of owners.

Bottom line is, it's a strange dog with questionable temperament and your children should not be used to prove it's safe or otherwise.

QuietTiger · 28/05/2013 09:34

Y are absolutely NBU. If your IL's want a dog, they should be going to a reputable rescue and getting one that is assessed for their family circumstances with the back up and support a good rescue provides.

I have 5 dogs, am a dog lover, etc, etc... so it can't be argued that I dislike dogs. But your IL's are insane. A bull breed dog that can't be trusted with children bought from an advert on the Internet? It is a disaster waiting to happen.

helenthemadex · 28/05/2013 09:34

"not suitable for a household with young children". this is why YADNBU, I am quite shocked that your IL's think its ok to take the risk with your children's safety, it is just not worth the risk. Maybe they will come round when they see that you mean what you say

My dd was bitten on the face by IL's dog when she was 5 she still has a scar. They were not supervising her or the dog adequately and she (so I am told) cuddled the dog to tightly and it bit her

BinarySolo · 28/05/2013 09:37

Maybe print this thread off for them. A lot of replies are from dog owners and their overwhelming consensus is that the dog needs careful supervision and crating as an absolute minimum. Child safety comes first.

Cherriesarelovely · 28/05/2013 09:40

I am hugely into dogs but you really are NBU at all. It is absolutely unbelievable that your pil are doing this knowing that the dog is not supposed to be housed alongside young children. I would feel the same if I were you and I have my own large dog and have not had any of the horrible experiences you describe from your childhood (how dreadful by the way!). They are being very irresponsible. We don't even let our lovely but huge dog in the same house as my neices because they are not keen on dogs and the thought that she might even knock into them and hurt them or bark at something and scare them would really upset me!

PurpleRayne · 28/05/2013 09:43

Even if they now change their mind about the dog, it has revealed a worrying level of poor judgement. Time to make other childcare arrangements.

Longdistance · 28/05/2013 09:45


Out of interest, what does your dh say?

Midori1999 · 28/05/2013 09:47

Your in laws and being unreasonable by not sourcing a dog through the proper channels. If you get a dog 'second hand' privately through adverts, anything could be wrong with them physically and the owners are quite probably don't give a shiny shit about the dog or they would rehome through the proper channels if it was really unavoidable.

If they don't want a puppy, why can't they get an older dog through a reputable rescue?

I am a massive dog lover, I have owned, bred and shown Golden Retrievers for years and have a rescue Staffy cross too. I would be happy to have a dog that had bitten children in known circumstances in my home, even though I have DC. However, even I wouldn't get any dog through the freeads or similar.

It is unreasonable to feel this way about the dog because of it's breed though, Labs and Goldens can equally be unsuitable to be around children if they haven't been raised well and can equally cause as much damage as a Staff if they choose to.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives · 28/05/2013 09:55

YANBU simply because the dog is not suitable to be around children. I love dogs but would never want my children around a dog who isnt suited to be in their company. Once took DCs home from great grandmothers house due to aunty being there with a boisterous and quite frankly intimidating dog 10minutes after we got there. Apparently it was a "shame" as dog "needs to learn to be around children" Hmm my kids will not be used as a case study in that exercise!

D0oinMeCleanin · 28/05/2013 09:56

I would have a lot of questions to ask the current owners and I would take their answers with a pinch of salt. People lie. They lie to rescues, they'll most definitely lie to the general public. Rescues get caught out all the time and they're experienced in dealing with people who lie. This is why we asses our dogs before rehoming and ignore most of what we have been told about them.

If I was faced with rehoming our family dogs at least half of them would be reccomended to be in a child free home, only one of them is likely to show any aggression to children, the other is scared of them and the third loves children too much, she loves throwing all three stone of herself at their heads, she loves pouncing on them and clawing at them if they ignore her, she would never intentionally hurt a child but her enthusiasm for them makes her a danger to them. Why does this dog need a child free home? How does he/she react when it sees children in the street/park? Has it ever shown aggression to a person (child or adult?) How is it with toys/food? Does it guard things? What training has it done? Has it been spayed/neutered? If not, why not?

If your PIL are willing to pay, would they not considered paying a rescue instead? There are plenty of staffies in rescue. If you let me roughly where you are I can find at least ten, young, child friendly staffs in rescues within minutes.

You cannot stop them getting a dog, but if they get one from a rescue at least you know the dog has been assessed for temperament and suitability for their home.

mrsjay · 28/05/2013 10:03

I am a huge dog lover but in this case yanbu but what can you do about it they want the dog all you can do is protect your children,

they can't have the dog and kids together ever the dog cant be petted or touched by the children and tbh I think you might need to get alternative care for them or the IL look after the kids at your house,

you can't stop them getting the dog but you dont have to like it, saying it isn't sutible with young children is a warning that the dog doesn't like young children, I am not saying this dog wil maul your kids or anything like that but they have been warned

Alisvolatpropiis · 28/05/2013 10:07

Yanbu purely because the current owners have specifically said it's not suitable to keep with young children around. It's unfair to the children and to the dog.

It isn't about the breed,if that was your problem I'd say ywbu,but it isn't and I think you're justified to be unhappy about it. What will you do now though?

MumnGran · 28/05/2013 10:07

I have two dogs who are as soppy as anything, one is a rescue who was raised with babies and was brilliant with them.The other is just a lovely personality and wouldn't harm a fly if it bit her.

Nevertheless .... I have a young GS who is often floor based, and at risk of being blundered into if the dogs start to play with each other. GS is also at the stage of grabbing at anything which catches his eye, so the dogs are in the kitchen behind a baby gate with their beds and toys, whenever baby is on the floor. They come out whenever the baby is under control on a lap.

It is simply common-sense to closely supervise any interaction between dogs and vulnerable little ones. If GP's consider this level of care to be "fussing", then to be honest I don't think I would let my DC's visit even if they do get a puppy or "kid friendly" rescue instead of the 'mistake' they are so set on taking.

MumnGran · 28/05/2013 10:11

Rescue headsets concur Smile
However, when I re-read the OP, and saw the line that GP's think separation is "fussing" .....to be honest, I wouldn't even consider them as a home for even a child friendly dog, until the children they care for are considerably older (see previous post)

Morloth · 28/05/2013 10:19

I am not anti dog + kids at all. The only reason we don't have a dog is because I just don't have the time or energy, not through not liking dogs (and the cat would FREAK).

My inlaws have (up until recently) always had a dog and my mother has her horrible little rats and when we go to stay out at home there are the farm dogs.

Dogs and kids are fine as long as all the adults involved are sensible and not sticking their head in the sand and are capable of common sense (which unfortunately is not very common!).

LadyMaryCrawley · 28/05/2013 10:20

"Not suitable for a household with young children"

That's just a headline waiting to happen. YANBU.

janey68 · 28/05/2013 10:20

Absolutely 100% YANBU

I wouldn't let my children there without me being there too and in fact I wouldn't be hugely keen to be there myself if the dog is unpredictable.

You are being very balanced and reasonable about it: you're not trying to dictate whether they get the dog, just making it clear that you won't let the children go there. I suspect if they are really keen to continue doing this childcare they will pop along to your house if you're just 5 mins away? If they don't, then there are clearly other issues at play and they maybe don't want this regular commitment any more.

You just have to look at the babies, toddlers, teenagers and adults who have been killed or maimed by Dogs to see this is a no brainer. It often seems to happen when the dog or the person or both, are in an unfamiliar place. I'm not a dog lover at all and don't know much about them but common sense tells me that as the dog will be living with an elderly couple then it's not going to get used to young children at all anyway.

I am sure all the owners of dogs which have hurt or killed people never dreamt in a million years it would happen... I can imagine them thinking they'd never turn on a child or were 'just playing ' etc

shaggytuna · 28/05/2013 10:22

Could there not be a compromise and PIL come to your house to do the childcare. My MIL does this for nieces.

SuburbanRhonda · 28/05/2013 10:28

I agree with other posters that maybe this is your ILs way of saying they don't want to continue with the arrangement.

It makes it much easier than saying they've had enough, especially as it means they can label you as the bad guy.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts · 28/05/2013 10:30

YADNBU. I would be very concerned about the true reasons for a couple rehoming such a young dog, and personally I don't believe their reason at all. If you have a dog and need to move house, you move somewhere with enough room. That's how it works. Responsible owners don't ditch their animals because they're moving house - and presuming that means the current owners aren't responsible, I would want to know every little detail about the dog's background and why they're not rehoming through a reputable rescue service who can ensure the dog goes to a suitable new home.

Anyway, that side of things isn't really your business. Your focus is on finding alternative childcare arrangements now that your ILs have clearly demonstrated where the DC come in their priorities.

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