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Preparing to be around a Dingo/pitbull

post #1 of 92
Thread Starter 
My brother has a well behaved dingo/pitbull female. However she did give a warning snap when my two year old pestered her at Thanksgiving, not an actual bite, but near.

We are planning a vacation to visit and hang around in the house in February, and want to start guiding our son towards how to be around dogs. He is 2.5 yr old. Any great ideas?

We knew this may happen, and it put us on gaurd full time at Thanksgiving, and we want to feel more comfortable. My brother is really stubborn about not putting the dog out. We in turn like to visit so want to make it work if we can.
post #2 of 92
this is a great opportunity for you to teach your child about boundaries and how to treat animals. it doesn't matter what breed of dog it is - children should not be allowed to "pester" them. there are large numbers of Golden Retrievers who bite children each year because parents say "oh, those dogs are great with kids" without acknowledging that it's still a dog. even the most friendly of dogs have breaking points.

a few rules -
  • child and dog are never alone together. never, ever, no exceptions
  • if the dog moves away from the child, let it. do not let the child follow it, all creatures need their space and time alone
  • model the behavior you want to see - pet the dog nicely, calmly, and not making alot of sudden or hard movements
  • teach your child it's not ok to give the dog hugs - think about this from the dog's point of view - they are suddently in the grip of someone who's making them nervous. it's not fair to expect them to stand still and not react. you wouldn't never teach your child to accept all hugs, would you?
  • teach your child that the dog's toys belong to her, and that her toys and food are not to be played with.
  • don't let the child chase the dog - even in play. it's not fun play if only the child is having the fun.

you should not be on guard about the dog - you should be on guard about what your child may provoke the dog to do. especially a dog that is not used to being around little ones.
post #3 of 92
There is nothing to do to prep your child. You keep them safe by NEVER (never, never, never) being anywhere but RIGHT THERE when the dog is there (and that goes for any dog) Right there. Holding your child or close enough to be doing so.

-Angela
post #4 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
There is nothing to do to prep your child. You keep them safe by NEVER (never, never, never) being anywhere but RIGHT THERE when the dog is there (and that goes for any dog) Right there. Holding your child or close enough to be doing so.

-Angela
This is VERY good advice. I am so sorry you have to be around that dog. I have REALLY big issues with my kids around dogs, any dogs, whom I don't know and especially those who are aggressive. My belief is your child is so young and yes you can teach them to respect dogs to an extent, but come one, the child is just that, a child, and they get excited around dogs and then accidents happen. Can you approach your brother nicely and explain to him WHY you want the dog to be in a safe distance from the child? We have two dogs, both pugs, and whenever someone comes over I immediately put them downstairs (with food and water!) and they stay there until company is gone. I wish you the best.
post #5 of 92
Honestly, I would ask my brother if the dog could be confined to another room that was separate from my child while we were there. There's no way I would be able to enjoy myself if I'm on full alert watching the dog. Two year olds obviously don't know how to act around a dog so I would be more comfortable if the dog was removed for the hour or whatever that I'm around.

FWIW I would NEVER let my child around a dog that nipped at him. We're around dogs all the time and I've never had it happen. Lots of dogs can tolerate kids...some can't.
post #6 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catubodua View Post
this is a great opportunity for you to teach your child about boundaries and how to treat animals. it doesn't matter what breed of dog it is - children should not be allowed to "pester" them. there are large numbers of Golden Retrievers who bite children each year because parents say "oh, those dogs are great with kids" without acknowledging that it's still a dog. even the most friendly of dogs have breaking points.

a few rules -
  • child and dog are never alone together. never, ever, no exceptions
  • if the dog moves away from the child, let it. do not let the child follow it, all creatures need their space and time alone
  • model the behavior you want to see - pet the dog nicely, calmly, and not making alot of sudden or hard movements
  • teach your child it's not ok to give the dog hugs - think about this from the dog's point of view - they are suddently in the grip of someone who's making them nervous. it's not fair to expect them to stand still and not react. you wouldn't never teach your child to accept all hugs, would you?
  • teach your child that the dog's toys belong to her, and that her toys and food are not to be played with.
  • don't let the child chase the dog - even in play. it's not fun play if only the child is having the fun.

you should not be on guard about the dog - you should be on guard about what your child may provoke the dog to do. especially a dog that is not used to being around little ones.
I think it's great to teach children to respect animals...but we are talking about a 2 yr old! That is not an age where they will learn all of these "rules" around animals. It's just not going to happen at this age. You can model the behavior and talk to them about it but I would not expect a 2 yr old to be able to take that info and process it and actually be able to follow these rules. Especially not enough to be able to relax and let my gaurd down around this animal with my child in the same house.

OP, I would never let my children be near a dog that has nipped. No way. I do understand that this dog is not used to being around children and that is why they are acting this way...but this is a very young child and any dog should be removed from the situation if they act this way around children. I am in shock that your brother has such little respect for human life, really! Why can't he put the dog elsewhere for the visit? I don't think that is much to ask if you are not there all.the.time. But if he's not willing to bend and you want to be there you might have to realize that you are just going to have be on gaurd full time and not able to relax like you want, to keep them safe from one another.

I have a BIL who has a dog who is well behaved and she is not used to children. She growls and is very unfriendly to all humans, other then him and his gf (but well behaved and calm and keeps to herself). I have 4 children who have an extremely gentle and kind standard poodle and it is hard for them to realize that not all dogs are this mellow. While we do teach them to respect animals and boundaries, etc just playing or being around and being a different person is enough to set off dogs. Like a PP said, some can tolerate kids and some can not. Sounds like your brother's dog can not..and that warning snap is all I would need to keep my children far away from that animal.
post #7 of 92
I think the first big one is to never let your kid pester an animal, any animal, for any reason...I don't care how old they are, you can physically stop him from doing so every single time it happens.

second would go along with that, never ever let him be alone with a dog.

third, I'd ask for the dog to be put away for the time you are there...we put our cats away for company if they ask or if we already know they don't like cats... It just seems like common courtesy.
post #8 of 92
I agree that modeling how to behave around dogs and other animals is important for children. However, I wouldn't have my two-year-old around a pitbull or pitbull mix for long and especially not one who has snapped at him already. (I have a 2 yo who loves dogs and can be a little too aggressive with them.) All dogs can bite, but certain breeds and certain dogs are more aggressive/dangerous than others. I'd ask my brother to keep the dog separate from my toddler for most of the day.
post #9 of 92
I have chosen not to go to homes where I have concerns about the pets there. I would be on pins and needles the entire time and neither DD, the host, nor I would have an enjoyable visit. Especially with the prior snap.

I'm curious about your brother's stubborn attitude on this issue. He seems to be putting the dog above you and your son.
post #10 of 92
:
If my brother couldn't put his dog outside or in another room I would not visit. Good Luck.
post #11 of 92
Yes I am curious about the brother too. A child comes before a dog ANY day in my book.....
post #12 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Juice View Post
I think it's great to teach children to respect animals...but we are talking about a 2 yr old! That is not an age where they will learn all of these "rules" around animals. It's just not going to happen at this age. You can model the behavior and talk to them about it but I would not expect a 2 yr old to be able to take that info and process it and actually be able to follow these rules. Especially not enough to be able to relax and let my gaurd down around this animal with my child in the same house.
i disagree. a 2.5 year old can absolutely follow simple rules. the simplest rule for the child being "leave the dog alone" can be understood by a child that age.

however, i clearly stated that the rules were for mom - as in, "teach your child..." and "do not let your child..." all of them still apply and make sense.

and, i know it may shock lots of you - but dog owners care about their pets just like you care about your kids. i know that everyone will make the arguement how you can't love a pet like you do a child, but for some people, they really do. so, asking him to put the dog out of it's home b/c you can't control a child is probably what's ridiculous in his eyes.
post #13 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
There is nothing to do to prep your child. You keep them safe by NEVER (never, never, never) being anywhere but RIGHT THERE when the dog is there (and that goes for any dog) Right there. Holding your child or close enough to be doing so.

-Angela
I COMPLETELY agree. I have two pit bulls - breed isn't the issue - but I would be more hesitant around a dingo x with anything -- dingos are not domestic dogs and like wolf hybrids, don't behave the same way.

BUT that's neither here nor there - the dog has already shown aggressive tendencies and it only takes ONE split second for a dog to do serious injury to a child, especially one at face-level. You brother is being extremely unreasonable. I would go so far as to not have my child in the same room as that dog at all, particularly in the dog's own home.

My dogs love children and are careful but I never have them around other people's strange children - out of respect I put them in their crates until company leaves. Every safety precaution needs to be taken with children and animals but a dog that snaps at humans is a RED flag and a liability. No human aggression in this house.
post #14 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catubodua View Post
i disagree. a 2.5 year old can absolutely follow simple rules. the simplest rule for the child being "leave the dog alone" can be understood by a child that age.
Do you have a 2.5 year old? I'd like to meet one who could actually follow those rules, for an extended period of time, with a "tempting" dog nearby to "play" with and a new environment to explore.

Quote:
however, i clearly stated that the rules were for mom - as in, "teach your child..." and "do not let your child..." all of them still apply and make sense.
Regardless, the dog is not used to children. Even with Mom's constant vigilance, something could set the dog off. A child walking too near it while eating. A child carrying food past it which the dog suddenly decides HE wants. A child running through the house. Crying. Whining. Etc. The child is an intruder in the dog's territory, and I'd wager the dog knows it.

Quote:
and, i know it may shock lots of you - but dog owners care about their pets just like you care about your kids.
CARE about? No. I cherish, adore, am in love with and would die for my children. I don't just "care" for them as some "care" for their pets.

Quote:
so, asking him to put the dog out of it's home b/c you can't control a child is probably what's ridiculous in his eyes.
Asking him to put the dog elsewhere - a dog that has already shown that it cannot control itself - sounds ridiculous?

Whether he loves his dog or only cares for it, a RESPONSIBLE pet owner would see to it that an animal that has already shown aggression towards another person (esp a child!) is not even tempted to show more aggression when that same person comes by again. Why risk it?

Why put the burden on the child rather than the dog? If the dog cannot control itself, the child could have everything to lose.

Quote:
b/c you can't control a child is probably what's ridiculous in his eyes
Your last statement sounds as though you'd say: "Well, the kiddo was petting the dog the wrong way and then stepped on the dog's tail, so he deserved to be bit. He wasn't controlling himself around the nervous pet."
post #15 of 92
will you be staying at your brothers house or just visiting while you're in the area? if you will be there for a few hours each day, can he muzzle the dog? this is a humane way to handle the situation.

we have a dog that came from an abused home and can become scared-agressive around strangers (usually men). durring the time he's lived with us, he is now very protectve, especially of the baby. if we have a visitor for a few hours that the dogs not know, we muzzle him. he's only 15 lbs, but i know he might nip, and don't want to risk it.

i know a 2 yr old is likely to run around, and that can also upset a dog. you have to use causion around any dog, i would ask for the dog to be muzzled for saftey. ui would also teach the child how to behave around animals, not to run around the house and to leave the dog alone.
post #16 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancta View Post
Do you have a 2.5 year old? I'd like to meet one who could actually follow those rules, for an extended period of time, with a "tempting" dog nearby to "play" with and a new environment to explore.
you can clearly see by my sig that i don't have children, thanks for being so supportive and pointing it out.

however, i will stand by my statement. a 2.5 year old child can follow the rule - "leave the dog alone" - especially if mom is paying attention. dogs and children can live together quite well, but it takes training on both sides - dog and child - to acheive this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancta View Post

Regardless, the dog is not used to children. Even with Mom's constant vigilance, something could set the dog off. A child walking too near it while eating. A child carrying food past it which the dog suddenly decides HE wants. A child running through the house. Crying. Whining. Etc. The child is an intruder in the dog's territory, and I'd wager the dog knows it.
which is why it's even more important for mom and child to know the environment and act accordingly. she has been told by brother he won't contain the dog. she has told us that she doesn't control her child and lets the child pester the dog to the point that it snapped. she needs to make a decision that is best for her child - even when other people in the world don't change their lives to revolve around him.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancta View Post

CARE about? No. I cherish, adore, am in love with and would die for my children. I don't just "care" for them as some "care" for their pets.
there are many people who feel that way about their pets. you don't, fine, but, don't be so dismissive of their feelings just because you don't share them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancta View Post

Asking him to put the dog elsewhere - a dog that has already shown that it cannot control itself - sounds ridiculous?

Whether he loves his dog or only cares for it, a RESPONSIBLE pet owner would see to it that an animal that has already shown aggression towards another person (esp a child!) is not even tempted to show more aggression when that same person comes by again. Why risk it?
you are trying to put words in my mouth. i said that in the brother's eyes the request to contain the dog is probably ridiculous.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancta View Post

Why put the burden on the child rather than the dog? If the dog cannot control itself, the child could have everything to lose.
based on the information we have, the dog is well behaved and was controlling itself just fine until the child pestered it. the dog also has everything to lose - as in, if it actually bit, it would have been put down.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancta View Post

Your last statement sounds as though you'd say: "Well, the kiddo was petting the dog the wrong way and then stepped on the dog's tail, so he deserved to be bit. He wasn't controlling himself around the nervous pet."
you are again trying to put words in my mouth. i'm trying to get folks to see this situation from the dog owner's point of view - a point of view you are loud and clear about not sharing. however, it doesn't make it invalid.
post #17 of 92
I can see both sides, I really can, but I have a 2.5 year old girl and I am VERY vigilant about her being careful around animals (we live on a farm with a wide variety of animals) and I DO have respect for dogs, but kids are going to kids, even if mom is RIGHT there with her hands on the child, who is to say the dog just snaps (a dingo is a wild animal, not domesticated) I would NEVER expect my daughter to "leave the dog alone" for an extended period of time, ever, it just does. not. happen. A child that age generally does not have the ability to remember that, they act on impulses, such as "Oh I see that dog I wanna go pet it" thinking and they do it. They are CHILDREN, young children at that. My daughter has been told over and over and over to wait for mommy before going inside the horse barn, and she does, but she does not always remember to wait to go inside the stalls so I have to keep a CLOSE eye on her so she remains safe. Does she always remember? NO. Yes it is the parent's responsibility, but the dog's owner should share in that responsibility I think by keeping the dog a safe distance away from the child as long as the child is in the house.
post #18 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catubodua View Post
you can clearly see by my sig that i don't have children, thanks for being so supportive and pointing it out.
I RARELY read anyone's sigs, and I apologize.

Quote:
she has told us that she doesn't control her child and lets the child pester the dog to the point that it snapped.
But now you are putting words into her mouth - she never said she doesn't control her child or "lets" him pester the dog. It may very well have just happened; been a one-time thing. It's the typical unintended, accidental situation that lots of parents find their children in because no one can possibly watch a child at every single moment.

Quote:
you are trying to put words in my mouth. i said that in the brother's eyes the request to contain the dog is probably ridiculous.
No, I wasn't saying you thought that, I was merely commenting on the notion that such could be thought of as being ridiculous. (The notion to separate an animal from a child to whom it has already shown aggression)

Quote:
based on the information we have, the dog is well behaved and was controlling itself just fine until the child pestered it. the dog also has everything to lose - as in, if it actually bit, it would have been put down.
Which makes me wonder why he isn't wanting to be more cautious? If something happens, you're right - both child and dog lose. So why risk it and place the burden of behavior on a two year old, whose mother cannot, like I said, stand guard at every single moment and restrain all childish behavior at all times? (Crying, whining, running, etc., all which could set the dog off.)
post #19 of 92
I've got a five year old Aussie Cattle Dog (a breed derived from, among other things, the Dingo), who loves my kids with his entire big furry heart. He treats them exactly as he should. That means that if my three year old is bothering him, he gets up and moves. If she follows him, he gets up and moves again. If she persists, he'll get up and move again, but he'll grumble this time. If dd is still provoking the dog, he will let her know, in no uncertain terms, that he is DONE with this game, by turning towards her and snapping. Not close enough to even touch her, but getting his point across. He is warning her that he is at his limit.

We went through a rough patch with DD1 where she would NOT leave the dog alone, and I almost ended up having to keep the separated all day, which would have been extremely hard in our tiny house. Patient, loving explanations about what is appropriate and what is no appropriate and a lot of "What do you think Baxter is trying to tell you?" finally got it across to DD1 that if Baxter gets up and moves, the nice thing to do is to not follow him and let him have his space.

If you're staying with a dog for a short time, with a child that has been known to pester the dog (or any other dog), my advice would be to keep them apart as much as possible. And as previous posters have said, don't leave your child alone with the dog, not for a second.

I don't think it's unreasonable to ask your brother to help you figure out how to keep them separated. I do think it's not entirely fair to ask your brother to banish the dog from the house for the duration of your stay. If it is that big of a problem, I would not stay with my brother. However, it sounds to me like the dog was warning your daughter that he'd had enough, that time he snapped at her. I'd simply stay with your child at all times near the dog and help dc learn how to touch the dog gently.

Also, I'd encourage your brother to make sure that the dog has a place that he can retreat to where no one will bother him... a den-type idea. Then, be sure that you keep dc out of that area, whatever it may be.

Best of luck!
post #20 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancta View Post
I RARELY read anyone's sigs, and I apologize.
thank you



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancta View Post

Which makes me wonder why he isn't wanting to be more cautious? If something happens, you're right - both child and dog lose. So why risk it and place the burden of behavior on a two year old, whose mother cannot, like I said, stand guard at every single moment and restrain all childish behavior at all times? (Crying, whining, running, etc.)
i am in complete agreement with you on this. as a dog owner, if i thought there would be any issues between my dog and guests - especially children - i would take action to prevent any incidents. there would be no hoping for the best.

yes, my dog might not be happy being put in a room or her crate while the guests are there, but in the end it's for her protection too.
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