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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:
QuietTiger · 28/05/2013 12:06

And also, OP, to follow on from silverten you have totally YANBU unanimous from Dog lovers and people who are not so fond of dogs...

That tells you something, surely? Grin

angelsonhigh · 28/05/2013 12:20

Have just returned to this thread. Has anyone suggested that MIL babysits at your home for the two afternoons?

angelsonhigh · 28/05/2013 12:22

Just read back thru the replies.

Yep!!!!! someone has suggested it. I think this is the only solution

mrsjay · 28/05/2013 12:24

yeah I did and a few others suggested the gp come to her house instead

WinkyWinkola · 28/05/2013 12:34


Your dcs are your responsibility.

If your pil don't like your responsible and wise decision (imo) then it's just tough.

Far too many parents spend time worrying about what other people think of their decisions.

Stick to your guns, op.

If something happens to your dcs because of that dog, it will be your fault and your pils' fault because you all knew the dog wasn't suitable.

Your pil sound brainless. Hmm Do they usually think this kind of risk is acceptable? If so, I would question their childcare capabilities even without the dog.

TheBigJessie · 28/05/2013 12:54

Why haven't they approached a Rescue themselves? Have they been turned down by one because they didn't demonstrate a responsible attitude, perhaps?

If they haven't, they would be! The laissez-faire approach they're taking isn't fair to a dog!

They're just treating this dog like a new toy.

Jessie, doesn't particularly love dogs, but thinks they're still worthy of the same consideration and thought she would give a cat, or any other household pet.

aPseudonymToFoolHim · 28/05/2013 13:03

So they plan to use YOUR children to acclimatise the dog on?

I don't think so.


Lovethesea · 28/05/2013 13:14

I love dogs and grew up with 2 mad, wonderful staffies we had from puppies.

But no way would I think this a suitable match, they should go to a rescue and rehome a dog that is known to be fine with children. I would not trust the seller on 'hasn't met children'. Some dogs have had bad experiences with children, some are easily afraid and children are chaotic and unpredictable. Sounds like there would be no where for the dog to get away from the kids and the gparents will not be responsible at all at training dog and kids on how to live alongside without stress.

Also - a staffie mix - mixed with what?

Our staffies were absolute nanny dogs but they were from puppies, not mixed breed and came to us when we (DB and I) were 3 and 7.

theodorakisses · 28/05/2013 13:29

I sit here covered in dog hair and chaos but even I say no, you are totally reasonable. Funnily enough was in a similar situation recently, my mum was going to rehome a dog (staffie) from a terribly nice (read rich, posh and living in Richmond so must be a naice dog) and I persuaded her to go and see the dog in their home rather than meeting it when it was in the car on a day trip out. Turned out that the reason they were getting rid of it wasn't the old lack of time lie they had initially used but an absolutely wrecked posh house and a three year old with a broken leg after the dog jumped on her trying to play.

TheBigJessie · 28/05/2013 13:30

I once read that, statistically, your child is most likely to be attacked by a grandparents' dog, because many a dog in this situation is:
a) unfamiliar with children
b) suddenly has children at irregular intervals in close proximity in its home, leaving it with no safe place to go
c) the owners (the grandparents) refuse to take precautions, and insist that the dog is "a safe family dog" (to the point of avoiding precautions in order to "prove the dog is safe".

Doesn't that just describe the OP's parents-in-law to a T?

theodorakisses · 28/05/2013 13:30

Generally speaking, the staffie owners who train and care for their dogs do not get rid of them. Poor dog, I hope he finds a happy home but I don't think it's with your in laws.

MrsOakenshield · 28/05/2013 13:41

not the main topic (YANBU) but why is it you who has to sort out childcare cover this week - why not your DH, or both of you? Sorry if I've got anything wrong but it's a real bugbear of mine that when anything happens with regards to DC, it's the mother who has to take time off, rearrange etc, as though her job is less important.

as you were . . .

Blistory · 28/05/2013 13:41

YANBU however would it be worthwhile trying to find a solution that works for you ?

Maybe they're not listening because they think your fear is making you irrational. Your DH has already offered to pay half for a puppy, how about offering to pay for a behaviouralist/trainer instead ? They might listen to someone independent telling them about a dog needing its safe space andthis way someone independent be able to assess how the dog really is with children.

I don't think you'll feel comfortable visting unless you've had the dog assessed and the children and dog introduced. It's all very well saying that you'll keep them on your knees or the dog behind a door but if the dog does have problems then better to know about it so you can avoid the issue arising. You also don't want to be introducing the dog and your children in an emergency for the first time. The dog might end up being great and you're happy to supervise any interaction but FWIW, I wouldn't ever leave the GPs alone with any dog and children as the simple fact is that, even if the dog did prove itself trustworthy, they have proven that they aren't.

matilda101 · 28/05/2013 13:51

I'm a dog lover-Staffies in particular but I think your not being unreasonable; is there anyway you could work things out by the dog being kept away from the children either in another room or in a cage while they are there? My mum has two English bullterriers and although they are great with my dd and my dd loves them they are so boisterous they knock her over and lick her all over (which she doesn't seem to mind!) but when I visit they are separated from my dd as it makes life easier!

I know my mums dogs and I would still NEVER leave my dd unattended with them, that's how thins go wrong!

specialsubject · 28/05/2013 13:59

no dog can be left with kids. Even a small Jack Russell killed a baby recently.

this dog (Regardless of its breed) is being sold as unsafe with children. How much warning do you need?

find other childcare and the kids only go to the inlaws when you are there too. One moment is all it takes.

pinkballetflats · 28/05/2013 14:06

I've only read your post OP..

Your children, your call. You feel uncomfortable with the situation. End of.


Labradorwhisperer · 28/05/2013 14:25

Just to be clear:

You CANNOT judge a dog's ability to be good with children on breed alone.

It is down to the individual dog and their experiences.

It is the dog OWNER's responsibility to protect children, and ultimately their dog, from the consequences of a bite.

My two dogs are as soft as butter, both labradors (a "family friendly" breed), but I would never, ever leave them alone with children. This is despite parents visiting us insisting that it will be fine. You cannot ever fully know that. For the record, this is also despite my elder dog walking to school with my niece and nephew as a puppy, when many primary school aged children, dinner ladies and the lollipop lady all gave him attention and so I know he is well used to contact from young strangers.

What worries me most about your parents in law is they don't strike me as the sort of owners who will recognise the risks a dog can pose, even where their dog known not to be good around children.

You need to do whatever you can to make sure your children are safe. Just one word of advice though - dogs are very aware of stress and anxiety. If you are stressed, act in an unpredictable way (eg quickly picking up children, throwing arms in air), this can heighten anxiety in the dog too, and risk jumping up and other behaviour. Your children will also need to see you are calm to avoid them becoming distressed. Be firm, be calm, move deliberately if you are in the same room as the dog, and maybe think abut calling a dog training school for some general advice around keeping your children safe?

For what it's worth, my dogs both love their crates and will happily take themselves off for a snooze and a bit of quiet time if company gets a bit lively. Your parents in law may want to look at this. I know they look like cages, and that has connotations, but to our dogs it gave them their own space in an unfamiliar home when they first arrived.

FloralFantasy · 28/05/2013 20:20

Well they got the dog. When they went to collect it there were several and the person told them to take their pick but they went with the original one. They were her "friends" dogs, re homed due to moving to a smaller place due to the bedroom tax. Hmm

My DC will not be going round there without us. DH has made that clear to them. They are happy to come here if we pay the taxi cost which I think is fair, although MIL was saying it is such a shame she won't be able to get on with stuff. I will look for other childcare as I'm not sure how reliable they will be.

It is a shame as my DS who is the older of the two in particular loves going round.

OP posts:
WinkyWinkola · 28/05/2013 20:31

It was your mil's choice to get the dog and you were clear about the consequences. Don't be guilt tripped about her not being able to do other stuff.

Can you be certain they won't bring the dog round to yours?

Alternative childcare is probably a good idea.

sebastianthesingingaubergine · 28/05/2013 20:31

I can't quite believe they have gone ahead and got a dog that is described as not suitable with young children.

I'm sorry you are in this position OP, but I would not be letting my kids round there. YADNBU. Your MIL went ahead anyway despite your worries, and I think they haven't put any thought into the situation beyond getting a new dog. It will be her own fault if she can't "get on with stuff".

DontmindifIdo · 28/05/2013 20:32

They made their choice, I assume they don't think you mean it...

Get on to local childminders this week when you're working from home and see what you can find. You might be surprised who has places. Also worth contacting any local nurseries even if you have heard they have long waiting lists, some might be able to fit in if it's only afternoons you need.

Wishiwasanheiress · 28/05/2013 20:51

Why are you paying for a taxi? I'm not seeing anything fair there....?

Are you absolutely sure this vindictive manipulative stupid cow hasn't concocted all this to get out of childcare????

gemini1999 · 28/05/2013 21:25

You cannot let your child round there unless you are.

And you can't leave your child in a room there without you.

I could leave my dog in a room with a child,but I've had that dog since he was 12 weeks old. He loves children and stands guard against other dogs against children he doesn't know. He also is a soft mouthed dog not a Staffie.

WhereYouLeftIt · 28/05/2013 21:52

"My DC will not be going round there without us. DH has made that clear to them. They are happy to come here if we pay the taxi cost which I think is fair"
Sorry, but WHY do you think it is fair to pay their taxi fare? Confused

I'm starting to think your PIL are a bit deranged.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour · 28/05/2013 22:05

Another dog lover and owner here saying YANBU

I do think paying for their taxis is fair if they are providing childcare but I agree that you should look for other alternatives because they don't sound reliable at all

Well done for sticking to your guns in such a reasonable manner

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