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Real dog in dd's nursery class- how would you feel about this?

97 replies

galaxy · 15/03/2006 22:00

I dropped dd off at her private school nursery yesterday and was greeted by a black labrador roaming free round the classroom. It seemed very friendly and didn't smell (can you tell I don't like dogs)? I was in a rush so I didn't pass comment to the teachers.

dh is allergic to dogs and last night dd started with a really bad cough which went on all through the night and sounded like hoopng cough. dh kept her at home today and she's been fine and I'm wondering if the two are connected.

Regardless of whether the cough and the dog are connected or not, I'm feeling rather perturbed that they had a dog in the nursery class full of 3 year olds, (even the friendliest animals can turn without warning) and that they hadn't asked whether parents had any objections.

Am I just being an old bag or do I have a point?

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puff · 15/03/2006 22:18

ds2, had a dreadful reaction to something a few weeks ago - one side of his face and the eye swelled alarmingly, closed completely - never seen anything like it. It was so bad I took him to A&E - Dr said because he was still recovering from a virus, he was more susceptible to react to certain things. We had visited my brother earlier in the day, who has a cat (been there loads of times before with no probs) and the Dr said it was a reaction to animal dander.

The nursery just shouldn't be doing it. Full stop.

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Freddiecat · 15/03/2006 22:20

I don't think it's inappropriate as I do think that we are getting way too risk averse in our society. My junior school teacher used to bring her dog into school most days and it would just sit under her desk. it was nice having the dog there.

However more and more children are suffering from asthma and as pet hair can be a trigger schools are actually REQUIRED to check this out, do risk assessments and get parent's permission first.

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NotQuiteCockney · 15/03/2006 22:21

I love dogs, but this is strange.

When I was involved in the co-op, we did used to have animals visit from a nearby city farm. But none of them were dogs, and the handlers from the farm were always very much involved - we didn't just have a chicken, a bunny and a goat wandering around the hall!

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Prufrock · 15/03/2006 22:22

Definately shouldn't be there. Our pre-school have just done "pets" but we were only allowed to bring in rabbits and guinea pigs - and chickens! I have a black lab myself but wouldn't dream of taking him into the school (dogs aren't actualy allowed up the driveway) and even offer to lock him away when other kids come to play

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moondog · 15/03/2006 22:22

What is dander exactly??
Always wondered and now seems an opportune moment.

Any bearing on the expression 'to get one's dander up' or am I barking up the wrong tree,to drag out the metaphor??
(Always sounds veguely obscene in any case.)

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NotQuiteCockney · 15/03/2006 22:23

I think dander is dead skin cells. Animal dandruff, essentially.

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galaxy · 15/03/2006 22:23

I think the point is that had they written to us and asked whether we had any objections, we would have had the opportunity to object on the grounds of dh's allergy and possibley dd's and our concerns over tghe dog turning on one of the kids. They haven't though which I think is bad.

We've had to turn down a childminder becuase they have a dog (and does drop off and pickup)

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galaxy · 15/03/2006 22:24

They've had a city farm visit adn they sent a letter home asking whether there were any concerns. Just coz it's someone's family pet, it seems that they think it's OK

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brimfull · 15/03/2006 22:25

Much as I love dogs I think the school should have asked the parents first.

My dh is allergic to dogs saliva ,but we have a dog.I would have agreed to the dog in the classroom though and just given ds antihistamine.

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RedZuleika · 15/03/2006 22:25

If a dog was brought in as some kind of study exercise, I would have expected it to be on a leash, under the control of its human, rather than wandering freely.

I'm a dog person and it's just not fair on the dog either. Lots of people (not just 3 year olds) don't approach a dog with respect and then wonder why it snaps. What happens if a child tries sticking fingers or something else in its ears, say? I'd snap if someone came up behind me and did that. And at the end of the day, it's the poor bloody dog who takes the rap.

Labradors aren't generally unfriendly, in my experience, but that French woman who had her face bitten off was attacked by a Lab, I believe.

I think there is merit in familiarising children with a well-behaved friendly dog and educating them in dealing with an animal that they're likely to see often out in the streets - but only as a controlled exercise.

I have a dog and a baby, incidentally, and although they're playing nicely thus far, I don't leave them without supervision.

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Freddiecat · 15/03/2006 22:26

ggirl how does your Dh cope out of interest. does he make a run for it if the dog is drooling?

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Callmemadam · 15/03/2006 22:27

Sorry, I think it's fine. Not what everyone wants to hear, probably.

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CountessDracula · 15/03/2006 22:28

yes but come on she WAS french Grin

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brimfull · 15/03/2006 22:28

the dog has learnt not to lick ds (much shouting when ds was babySad)

when ds gets licked he generally gets itchy immediately and hives appear ,we just give zirtek and wash his face and hands.

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brimfull · 15/03/2006 22:31

sorry, to make it clear,it's my ds who is allergic not dh

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Sparklemagic · 15/03/2006 23:01

typical private school mindset where they think they can do what they damn well please...I think you should definitely let them know you were very concerned about this. Just to keep them on their toes - and to let them know that you know they should have checked this with all parents.

Unbelievably stupid of them in my view.

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Miriam2 · 16/03/2006 09:02

On the rare occasion we have had animals (as part of the topic) at our playgroup a permission form is sent out the week before and when it was a dog it was kept on a lead. It's the roaming around bit I don't like.Children get very excitable around animals and the kindest dog in the world could get spooked.

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LunarSea · 16/03/2006 11:25

I'd not worry about animals at nursery - in fact our nursery keeps chickens, which the children help to look after, and it has been known in the summer when the doors are open for the very inquisitve cockerel to wander into preschool. All the children think it's hilarious.

But then it is a rural nursery, a lot of the kids live on farms (it's a private nursery now, but used to be part of a big agricultural institution), and everyone knows about the animals before they send the kids there. If it's not par for the course where you are I'd expect them to mention it advance though.

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iota · 16/03/2006 11:28

we had horses at ds1's school - they were police horses though

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GDG · 16/03/2006 11:28

I'd be very annoyed. Totally out of order imo - my ds has had 2 bad experiences with dogs and he's only 3.4 - he is terrified of dogs and just seeing on in the nursery would put him off going to nursery again.

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dinosaur · 16/03/2006 11:37

DS1 would have gone loopy if he'd been confronted by a dog running around the classroom when he was three.

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KBear · 16/03/2006 11:38

What are they thinking? I'd go loopy.

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Enid · 16/03/2006 11:39

I would HATE it

and am very surprised they allowed it

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Rhubarb · 16/03/2006 11:42

Dogs are supposed to be beneficial. They work by calming the rowdiest of children down. And I dispute that dogs can just turn, I have worked with dogs, they do not just turn. There are one or two breeds of dog that are dangerous, Pit Bull Terrier being one. The labrador is the friendliest and most trustworthy of dogs which is why they used them for Guide Dogs.

They should have asked first, as I'm sure there will be a few children or their parents with allergies.

But if asked, I would have no objection to a dog being allowed in class.

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FrannyandZooey · 16/03/2006 11:44

I think in our case it could be a good experience for ds, who is scared of dogs, if he spent some time getting to know a friendly one. I would agree to it for that reason if I was reassured that the safety aspect would be ok. However I would be hopping if they had not consulted me, it is not on IMO.

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