Originally Posted by tarajean56
As a disclaimer, I hate dogs for the most part. We had a friend with a dog "who would never hurt anyone."
See that is part of the problem. There is no such thing as a dog "who would NEVER hurt anyone". ALL dogs will bite under the right circumstances. It just depends on what those circumstances are. Some dogs are just more tolerant than others.
It isn't a breed issue, it is a dog issue.
I have 3 Rottweilers who are FANTASTIC with my 3 toddlers (19 months & 27 month old twins). We had the dogs long before the babies came into the picture. Our dogs are extremely well trained and well socialized. All three of our rotties love to be around the babies. That being said, I would NEVER leave them together unattended!!!!! My children are never left unattended with ANY dog. Not even our little 5 pound poodle/brussels griffon mix. If I have to leave the room, the dogs are crated or go with me. Btw, our small dog would bite way before our Rotties would.
All three of our toddlers have been taught to respect the dogs and how to treat them from day one. Both girls are really good about treating the dogs correctly, but our boy goes out of his way to hit or kick the dogs. Especially the poodle/brussels mix. I ALWAYS have a place that the dogs can go to get away from the babies, so they never feel trapped.
In August we went and stayed with my mil for 2 weeks. She has an older Jack Russel Terrier, who does NOT like kids. I never had to ask her to put him up. I ALWAYS knew where he was and was ALWAYS right there to intervene when the babies tried to interact with him. It wasn't easy keeping three VERY active dog loving toddlers away from a dog who didn't like them, but we did it.
I have to admit, it was exhausting, but we made it work. What really helped was the fact that my fil took the dog everywhere with him. When the babies would start to focus on the dog too much, my fil would put him outside for a while, which gave him a little break and gave us time to get the babies focused on something else.
As a responsible dog owner who LOVES her dogs, I would much rather put my dogs up than take a chance on something happening. If one of my dogs didn't like kids, I wouldn't hesitate to keep that dog away from kids. It is as much for the protection of my dog as it is for the child.