Your concerns are completely valid. The breed of the dog doesn't even matter, it's the behaviour of the dog and the way your inlaws have already shown they are not dog savvy that is the point.
An anxious dog is the most likely dog to bite. If a toddler backs the dog into a corner (and I mean literally, or makes the dog feel anxious) there's a good chance the dog will bite to get out of the situation. And as your know, toddlers behave erratically. It is not always easy to know what will set an anxious dog off, the child doesn't necessarily have to be doing anything 'wrong', the way a child moves with jerky, lunging type movements can be frightening enough to some dogs.
I love dogs, I am great with dogs, I know I am good at training dogs - but still, one of my dogs is not great with kids. I would never ever put her or a child in a position where she could hurt them. I wouldn't put the DOG in a position where she could become frightened and upset by a child, because that's how accidents happen. I am very realistic about my dogs limitations - one is no good with other dogs, one is no good with kids. I would never let the first dog off lead or take him to a dog park, and I would never let the second play with kids. If children come to our house she is crated or spends time in her outside area. That way, she is not stressed and there's no chance of something terrible happening (including the child becoming frightened of dogs in the future!)
Why would anyone (I mean your inlaws) put themselves in the position where an accident is a likely outcome? I would stand your ground on this. Maybe at some stage you could have several short, very supervised interactions between your child and the dog until you are more comfortable. But, if it were me, I wouldn't leave them with anyone who doesn't understand toddlers and dogs should never be left alone together.
Hard situation, I know! But I don't think you're being over protective.
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16-06-2014 14:51 #11
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16-06-2014 14:55 #12
It's not silly. You obviously have something inside you saying that the in-laws would not supervise to your liking and are worried.
I had to go through your post to find out how old your DS was and I think he's 2??? This age to me is not old enough to read animal body language and understand if an adult says to leave the animal alone. As kids get older I feel it's less stressful as they learn to respect other animals.
I would allow it if the animal could be secured (not sure what there situation is). If they won't secure animal the answer would be no.
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16-06-2014 14:55 #13
I forgot to mention as well their previous dog (which was apparently also SIL's that she ended up leaving with them) attacked FIL on 2 occasions and tore open his arm. No discipline happened to the dog because MIL wouldn't allow it. She didn't trust FIL with how he'd handle the dog (because he wanted to ring it's neck apparenty) so she'd step in and fight for the dog.... her theory is that FIL can just go get stitched up. See this theory doesn't sit with me at all.
She also had the same theory with her own daughter when her nose got literally ripped off. The whole time that dog was put on a pedalstool and protected from any sort of diciplin for it attacking.
I remember once I was standing at the back door and that dog wanting to come inside.... so it walked up and barred it teeth at me and growled... MIL told me to get out of its way quick and let it inside before it attacks me...
I agree the thing to do is just not leave my children in their care. Until they no longer have a dog... but that dog in only about 5 so it will be around for a while yet.
DH told me he is going to tell them if they ever want DS then they will have to give SIL back the dog. While the dog is there they wont get DS (or No.2)
Thanks all i feel better knowing im not over reacting now, thats its not just my preg hormones making me be a stress head.
16-06-2014 15:03 #14
16-06-2014 15:03 #15
I just don't know how we can get them to understand this. They know how we feel but seem to think our thoughts are irrelevant.
(I have had many issues with them over the years. They are very pig headed people.... hard to deal with)
16-06-2014 15:08 #16
Its just hard when MIL corners me all the time and tries to go on and on about how her dog is harmless blah blah, then talks over me as i explain to her my concerns.
I told DH just before that he needs to address this with MIL so make it clear that we wont budge on this.
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16-06-2014 15:19 #17
In short I'd say its your DS, go with your gut feeling. The alarm bells I'm hearing are that this is a spoilt pet, there are poor boundaries with its owners, the dog has an anxious temperament and would be likely to be territorial.
Ultimately either side of the worst case scenarios - which would be worse.... A dint in the inlaws pride/ego or an injured child? A dog could easily be put outside, there is always the laundry, shed or garage if their yard is not secure. Are you in a position to negotiate that DS could stay but that doggy gets to stay with you? Least that way you will know it is nowhere near the child lol.
You might encounter some negativity or resistance but thats nothing compared to the kinds of feuding that happens following an animal and child incident. Stick to your guns I say!
I am a dog and horse person and I would not leave my kids unattended with any animal while they are little, my pets included and I would consider my pets to be well trained and as bombproof as they could be. Even a placid well trained dog can still snap or bite of they are frightened, startled, sore, injured or are irritated by a child or have their personal space infringed upon. Many forget that this domesticated furry part of the family is still an animal and will resort to instinct.
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16-06-2014 15:38 #18
Not over protective in my opinion. I don't fully trust my own trained dogs to be unsupervised with children let alone someone else's dog. One of my dogs is a big sook and has actually stayed sleeping when someone broke into our house so I don't think she would ever attack anyone let alone a child but I will only let my children play with her when I am there because it can be the smallest thing that makes a dog turn and take a split second for them to maul.
16-06-2014 15:53 #19Senior Member
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16-06-2014 15:56 #20
I have decided im going to be firm about this. I should know by now that with dealing with my inlaws i need to remain firm. I just wish they'd just accept being told once and that's it but they just keep going on and laughing at me when i express my concerns. Its highly frustrating and started to get into my head a little that maybe i am over reacting... LOL... but now i realise im not.
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