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Do you leave kids alone with dogs? - Page 2

Poll Results: Do you leave your DC alone with your dog?

 
  • 47% (69)
    Yes
  • 27% (39)
    Yes - if DC are "older" (please define older)
  • 9% (13)
    Sometimes
  • 15% (23)
    No
144 Total Votes  
post #21 of 81
Before we adopted our dog (a rescue from a no-kill shelter) I spent hours with her, letting her get to know me, doing basic obedience training, and testing temperament in a variety of situations. I am confident that I can predict her behavior most of the time, and she is submissive to all the humans in our pack, kids included.

That said, I cannot predict the behavior of my kids most of the time, so I would never leave an infant or toddler alone with the dog. My five-year-old has developed enough restraint to be gentle with her most of the time, so I might leave them alone if I step out of the room, but I'm always nearby. I wouldn't leave her unattended with a child not of our "pack" and I would never ever ever let my kids approach any other dog without the owner's permission and both the owner and me physically right there with them.

I may be paranoid, but dog bites can do a lot, a LOT of damage to a child's face.
post #22 of 81
Quote:
If I am in the garden or out and about (my oldest just turned 13), I DO feel a sense of security leaving doggy inside with the kids. The dog can bark at the door something fierce - and is 120 pounds. He would totally scare away intruders, lol.
That. My almost 7 year old plays out in the yard alot and my dog is always right beside him. I feel a million times more comfortable about him being outside on his own because of the dog. We've had a situation where the dog has protected him from another dog and I know my kid's safer with the dog than without.

But I don't leave my 2 year old alone with him ever.
post #23 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatchristy View Post

My nephew apparently tripped over something and landed onto the dog (well that is what they *think* happened as nobody was there). The most gentle, good natured golden retriever managed to bite him on the face. This was their family dog. I think he was about 2 1/2 or so (the kid), and he's older now but has what looks like two dimples as scars on one side of his cheek. And, this was their family dog, not an unknown dog.
To be fair, though, that is the kind of accident which could very well have happenned if an adult were in the room.
post #24 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by angie7 View Post
I must say I am shocked at how many people leave their dogs alone with their children!
My dd is almost 9 years old. I feel comfortable with her and our dogs being alone while I use the bathroom or take laundry to the basement.
Yeah, they could bite her. They are animals. She isn't a stumbly tail pulling toddler though so I consider the risk low.

Angie7- I'm curious what age you feel comfortable with a child being alone with their family dogs?
post #25 of 81
My son couldn't be trusted not to tease or pinch the dog until he was about 3, so I was very watchful until he grew up some and did not to do that. My daughter never did any of that, so I have always been in and out of the room while she and the dogs are there together.

I trust my dogs and my kids together at this point. I wouldn't have a dog that I felt I had to separate from my kids when I wasn't right there. Sure something could happen- the only thing I could remotely see happening is one of the kids messing up and hurting the dog accidentally, and a reflexive snap. But they are very pain-tolerant and I've never seen them do that with anyone. I know the kids have fallen on them and other startling, painful things, and I have watched them wag their tails. Sure I'd be upset if a bite ever happened. But knowing my kids and my dogs, I feel they're all very safe with each other. I think people should do what works for their families on this.
post #26 of 81
Never thought twice about leaving my DC with our dog. She has been with us since she was a puppy. The sweetest ever with the kids. all kids. When we got her the kids were 2, 4, 6, 8. now they are 3, 5, 7, 9.

I was raised with dogs, always alone with them. I am surprised so many people don't let them alone.

I would be more cautious if any of my kids liked to mess with her at all, of course, or if I didn't trust her. It is also one of the reasons we settled on a puppy and not a rescued older dog. I can't imagine the how hard it would be to keep them separate in our apartment?

I really don't agree with the sentiment that there is only such a thing as a dog who hasn't bit yet?

but that's just me.
post #27 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
My dd is almost 9 years old. I feel comfortable with her and our dogs being alone while I use the bathroom or take laundry to the basement.
Yeah, they could bite her. They are animals. She isn't a stumbly tail pulling toddler though so I consider the risk low.

Angie7- I'm curious what age you feel comfortable with a child being alone with their family dogs?
I'm talking mostly about toddlers/pre-schoolers and children under the age of 10. So I guess there is my age, 10, maybe A lot depends on the children. My twins are turning 3 next week and are probably better at animals in general then most. They know how to approach a dog without me telling them, they know not to pull tails, fur, etc. but I still would never leave them alone! You just never know. I use to do rescue work with Great Danes and have seen the best of dogs turn in an instant. It happens, no matter how much you trust your dog or can "predict" (I love that one) your dog's behavior, you can't and if you really think you can, can you send me the winning lotto #s b/c you are psychic!!!

If you read any headlines of a child that was hurt or even killed by a family dog you will always read the famous line "but he was such a good dog, I would never think he would bite" It's not a safe assumption that our pet dog will not bite.
post #28 of 81
Yes, I do. Well, not the "new" dog, b/c he hasn't been here long enough.
But, Sadie has been with us about a year. And she's a very gentle, submissive dog. My non-verbal son has kenneled her up before, by grunting and pointing at her crate door. Very very submissive, and after LOTS of supervised play time with the kiddos, and watching her intaract with them(and vice versa) I am comfortable leaving them alone in the living room while I'm in the kitchen, or throw a load of wash in.

I don't leave the floor though, although, that's more b/c I don't trust the kids! Not the dog, lol. I know I'd come back to a huge mess if I got too far out of sight, or out of earshot!
post #29 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by angie7 View Post
If you read any headlines of a child that was hurt or even killed by a family dog you will always read the famous line "but he was such a good dog, I would never think he would bite" It's not a safe assumption that our pet dog will not bite.
Actually, when I read of a dog biting a kid it's almost always a pit bull attack. I know some nice pits and I'm not trying to say anything bad about the breed, but when I read a dog bite story around here that's what kind it is. I rarely read the line you said, either. Usually, I read something about how somebody had been trying to get somebody else to get rid of the dogs and how they were tied up outside or something. As a matter of fact, I just googled our local TV station for dog bite stories and in only one of the 10 stories did the dog belong to the family of the victim. Most were neighbor's dogs. A few were strays or loose dogs. One was the victim's aunt and uncle's dog. Of the attacking dogs, 2 were German Shepherds, 1 Great Dane, 1 Rottweiler, 1 English bulldog (the family pet), and 5 pit bulls. In none of the stories did I read anyone saying the dog was such a good dog and would never bite.

That's all highly anecdotal, though, and I'm sure there are stats out there. The previous link about the dogs belonging to the family OR friends doesn't separate out which one, though, so it's meaningless to this discussion because most everyone has said they wouldn't leave their dogs alone with other children only their own. It may be that most of the 77% figure is friend's dogs or extended family members dogs (which is entirely different in my book than the family pet) and only a small minority is the immediate family's pet. Someone can do more research and try to track it down. I imagine it's out there somewhere.

I have left my kids and dogs alone whenever my kids would tolerate it from birth. My kids, however, were very, very high needs with a lot of separation anxiety, so that probably amounts to when my older dd1 was about 4 or 5 yrs old and my younger dd2 about 2 yrs old or so. These were adult dogs who were very tolerant with excellent bite inhibition. We have a puppy now to go along with one adult dog (our older one passed away) and I have left them many many times with my kids, but I'm never far and the kids are 8 and 5. If my girls were littler I probably would try to avoid leaving a 2 or 3 yr old with the puppy because the puppy is very jumpy, not because my girls would play to rough with her. My girls are very gentle. It's the puppy I'm more worried about. Truth be told, though, I would try to avoid having a puppy and toddlers at the same time. More than I can handle, but kudos to those of you who can!
post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanma View Post
Actually, when I read of a dog biting a kid it's almost always a pit bull attack. I know some nice pits and I'm not trying to say anything bad about the breed, but when I read a dog bite story around here that's what kind it is.
Ah the breed card....Here are some quotes

Quote:
Mixed breeds and not pure bred dogs are the type of dog most often involved in inflicting bites to people. The pure-bred dogs most often involved are German shepherds and Chow chows.
and
Quote:
The breeds most often involved in fatal attacks are Rottweilers and Pit bulls.
*bolded mine*

Pits are potentially more likely to kill you if they attack but they don't bite the most..The news isn't going to tell you about a bite but rather a death over a dog.

Quote:
The median age of patients bitten was 15 years, with children, especially boys aged 5 to 9 years, having the highest incidence rate
The odds that a bite victim will be a child are 3.2 to 1. (CDC.)
Children seen in emergency departments were more likely than older persons to be bitten on the face, neck, and head. 77% of injuries to children under 10 years old are facial.
Severe injuries occur almost exclusively in children less than 10 years of age.
The majority of dog attacks (61%) happen at home or in a familiar place.
The vast majority of biting dogs (77%) belong to the victim's family or a friend.
When a child less than 4 years old is the victim, the family dog was the attacker half the time (47%), and the attack almost always happened in the family home (90%).
The face is the most frequent target
http://www.dogbitelaw.com/PAGES/statistics.html

I'm not really going to debate this as I have the proof on my side. I have trained many, many dogs, rescued over who knows how many Great Dane's, helped transfer many more, worked with some of the best trainers in my town and know that dogs will turn and to never trust a dog around your precious child. No trainer would tell you that it is okay to leave your dog with your child. You are asking for something terrible to happen. I hope that nothing ever does but you're taking a huge risk with your children.
post #31 of 81
i do. i know it's not the party line of what "good pet owners" do but i feel safe doing it.

if i had a different dog or different kids i guess that might not be the case but if my dogs weren't okay around kids then i wouldn't have them.

i don't let the neighbor kids hang out alone with out dog though because they are untrustworthy. the only time one of our dogs growing up bit one of us it was my brother because he rolled off the couch and onto our dog with hip dysplasia. no one blamed the dog and my brother went off to the hospital to get his nose stitched shut. and this was unobserved but also an accident, could have just as easily happened if my mom was right there.

i do try to not leave my toddler unattended because she doesn't know "dog" rules yet, though she does know gentle. but seriously, our dog lets her play in the food bowl and take bones and toys from her without a blink. right now my dog is sleeping in the living room and my ds is watching some tv. i'm in the office and i feel 100% sure that is okay.

maybe i'm just willing to take the risk of a dog bite, kind of like i'm willing to take the risk of a car accident, or a lightening strike?
post #32 of 81
I have done. Our house dogs are two small terriers, one a mini schnauzer and one a fox terrier. I have always preached to others NEVER to do it, but I admit I have done it. In my case, though, even my one year old is very dog savvy because we are a "doggy" family, what with a grooming and training business and all the show dogs around. So yes, I have done, but would I recommend a typical pet owner do it? No. But we all know they do. Realistically, it is just GOING to happen. And thank GOD I have two dogs that I actually would trust around ANY kids. I was left alone as a kid with our dogs and I lived to tell the tale. In theory, is it a good idea? No. But in a typical family, it's just not realistic to think it won't happen.
post #33 of 81
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by angie7
No trainer would tell you that it is okay to leave your dog with your child. You are asking for something terrible to happen. I hope that nothing ever does but you're taking a huge risk with your children.
Well, by that logic we're also taking a "huge risk" with our children if we let them play baseball or softball or let them play on a playground, or heaven forbid, let them ride in a motor vehicle!

Using the stats quoted from www.dogbitelaw.com and following up a bit further I downloaded a PDF linked from the dogbitelaw website (http://www.injurycontrol.com/Hank/re...tejbr71203.pdf) and found this table delineating the estimated annual number of emergency room visits associated with selected activities and products.

Quote:
Selected Activity - Estimated Annual No. of Emergency Department Visits
Baseball/softball* - 404364
Dog bites - 333687
Playground* - 266810
All-terrain vehicles, mopeds, etc* - 125136
Volleyball* - 97523
Inline skating* - 75994
Horseback riding* - 71162
Baby walkers† - 28000
Skateboards* - 25486
Quote:
http://www.dogsbite.org/bite-statistics-fatalities.htm
In 2008, 23 dog attacks resulted in death: 16 child victims and 7 adult victims.

Quote:
http://health.usnews.com/articles/he...-injuries.html
...most deaths were transportation-related -- about 8,000 deaths a year involved a motor vehicle occupant, pedestrian or cyclist.
Also, this stat:
Quote:
When a child less than 4 years old is the victim, the family dog was the attacker half the time (47%), and the attack almost always happened in the family home (90%).
is different than this one from another dog bite site about a study of dog bites in Denver:
Quote:
http://www.dogsbite.org/bite-study-whichdogsbite.htm
50% of bites occurred on the sidewalk, street, alley or playground; 30% in the owner's yard; 14% in the owner's house and 4% in the victim's yard
There are a lot of statistics we can toss around. And I'm also pretty confident that I could find at least one trainer who would say it's okay to leave dogs and kids together. The use of absolutes ("no trainer", etc) is off-putting and invites challenge. All I would have to do is find one trainer who says it's okay and I've proved the hypothesis wrong.

I think it's reasonable for parents to make a judgment call based on their animals and their children. After all sometimes I even leave my own kids together and one of them could whack the cr@p out of other and severely injure her!
post #34 of 81
I do not have a dog but I feel safer with Ds alone with my aunts dog than my BIL. She will not allow him anywhere near a street (by walking sideway slowly moving him) If he goes even 3 feet near it she will run over there and move him. If there are new people near him she will stand "guard" in front of him until she is sure they are okay yet will keep her eye on them and him. When we are there she treats him like her baby not out of her sight! If he is riding his bike and we are on a walk, She will be right next to him if he starts going fast she will go in front of him to slow him down She watches him better than most people would I feel 10,000% more safe when we are outside and Ds is playing than with out her

My mother let my dog (we got him when I was 3 and he passed when I was 20) be alone with my sister and myself. Also when Jack was 15 we allowed him alone with my nephew (newborn who lived here with us) He also would stand guard on him. When someone that he didn't know went to close to my nephew Jack stood in front of the swing stopping them from touching my nephew! (and no not on top of him) If I would not feel comfortable with the dog alone with my Dc or nephews or other children why would you have one I had so many wonderful childhood memories with just my dog and me me was my best friend and so wonderful in my nephews first month you can not find one picture with out Jack in it he was wonderful and loving and for a little peekapoo protctive of his family not the same way as my aunts dog but still protective until he got to know.

I didn't vote because I currently do not have a pup But I have kitties and they are allowed alone with Ds the one sleeps with him everynight!
post #35 of 81
Hey y'all,

I just wanted to come back and say I'm sorry if I came off argumentative and rude. I'm a bit cranky today.

I do still think that in some situations leaving dogs and kids alone is fine. I think it totally depends on the dog(s) and the kid(s). I wouldn't do it with a toddler, but my toddlers wouldn't leave my side, so mom and kids and dogs—we were all together.

I also do think it is as safe or safer than many other activities we allow our kids to do, but sorry if I came off as hostile. I don't like to hear absolutes and since I'm in a bit of a mood today I let it trigger me into responding.

I totally respect any moms here on MDC or out there IRL that choose to keep their dog(s) and kid(s) supervised at all times and don't leave them alone together.
post #36 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanma View Post
Hey y'all,

I just wanted to come back and say I'm sorry if I came off argumentative and rude. I'm a bit cranky today.

I do still think that in some situations leaving dogs and kids alone is fine. I think it totally depends on the dog(s) and the kid(s). I wouldn't do it with a toddler, but my toddlers wouldn't leave my side, so mom and kids and dogs—we were all together.

I also do think it is as safe or safer than many other activities we allow our kids to do, but sorry if I came off as hostile. I don't like to hear absolutes and since I'm in a bit of a mood today I let it trigger me into responding.

I totally respect any moms here on MDC or out there IRL that choose to keep their dog(s) and kid(s) supervised at all times and don't leave them alone together.

I do not think you came across hostile at all in you other post. it was very informitive!

You just showed the other side. Many people do not like to hear the other side and may take it as being hostile but I personally love debates!

I do have a real question for people who do not ever leave their Dc's alone with the family dog. What do you do to ensure that they are never left alone with them? I just never seen that. I understand when the kids are getting nuts, and you have a med. to large dog to maybe send them outside or another room. but other than that what do you do? I am really curious. thanks!
post #37 of 81
My parents got a puppy when I was 4, my brother was 12 and my sister was 2 months from being born. We were left alone with him all the time, and played from day one. My sister got around the house by sitting in her walker and holding onto Willie's collar

Life is full of risk. It's up to each family to assess the personalities of their kids and their pets, and make that decision. I would certainly trust my two dogs with a toddler aged kid.
post #38 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanma View Post
Actually, when I read of a dog biting a kid it's almost always a pit bull attack. I know some nice pits and I'm not trying to say anything bad about the breed, but when I read a dog bite story around here that's what kind it is.
That's simply because when the neighbor's Australian Shepherd, or the family's Shih Tzu, or Grandpa's old mellow Lab bites, it doesn't make the papers. The papers do not report most dog bites, even near fatal ones. Pit bites make the papers.
post #39 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SevenVeils View Post
That's simply because when the neighbor's Australian Shepherd, or the family's Shih Tzu, or Grandpa's old mellow Lab bites, it doesn't make the papers. The papers do not report most dog bites, even near fatal ones. Pit bites make the papers.
I didn't bring up the stories in the paper. The assertion was made by a PP that
Quote:
Originally Posted by angie7
If you read any headlines of a child that was hurt or even killed by a family dog you will always read the famous line "but he was such a good dog, I would never think he would bite"
My point is probably the same as yours, Seven Veils. The stories that make the media are of pit bull attacks. I rarely read of a family dog attacking. However (third time to say this, at least) that is all anecdotal and not good science.

I have seen mixed statistics on the victim being bitten by the immediate family dog. And even the stats that I did uncover show baseball and softball injuries as causing more trips to the emergency room than bites by ANY dog, family dog or not and nearly as many playground injuries causing ER trips as dog bites. Should we not let our kids play on the playground or play baseball/softball, either? Note, also, that the ER visits stats were not indicating whether anyone was supervising anyone in any activity.

I don't think it's a "HUGE RISK" to leave your children with your dog, but I think it's a judgment call on a case by case basis. If you have an old crotchety dog who is in pain from arthritis and growls when the toddler starts toddling, well then I would try to avoid leaving them. If you have a toddler who loves to grab your dog's fur and tail pull and your dog is looking up at you with pleading eyes. I'd think twice. But if MY dog has never shown any aggression toward my children and they have never pulled on his or her fur (and ftr, my kids even when they were babies NEVER pulled on my dogs) then I think it's okay. My call about my kids. Y'all do what you think is best about your families.
post #40 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunShineSally View Post
I do have a real question for people who do not ever leave their Dc's alone with the family dog. What do you do to ensure that they are never left alone with them? I just never seen that. I understand when the kids are getting nuts, and you have a med. to large dog to maybe send them outside or another room. but other than that what do you do? I am really curious. thanks!
We have small dogs (a lhasa apso and a shih tzu) and solve most of this problem with a baby gate. We have our kitchen gated off and if I can't be with the boys and the dogs the dogs are put on whichever side of the gate the boys are not on. But honestly it is rarely an issue as the lhasa apso is older and at this point spends about 98% of her day chilling, sleeping or chewing on a bone in her kennel and the shih tzu tends to sleep by her people, so she tends to follow me if I leave the room.

I think it helps that my dogs are were not intended to be playmates for my kids, so really their only interactions include petting, training and the occasional game of fetch. Most of the time the boys are doing one thing and the dogs are doing another, but we are all in the same room.
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