Friend's scary dog - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-02-2003, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey all - just writing to get some advice, hopefully.
My good friends took in a stray recently who they love dearly. The problem is, their dog has tried twice to bite my 15 mo old...once, I got her outta the way at the last second, and the dog ended up biting me instead. The second time, we barely got onto their front porch and the dog came at my little girl again, snarling. I scooped her up out of harm's way. (Totally unprovoked both times, I was there and watching her like a hawk). When I very nicely asked my friend if we could keep her dog and my baby apart when we are over, she got very offended. She does not have kids, and they dote over thier dogs, so I understand she would be upset... but this is my little barely-toddler we're talking about.
Also, she never once apologized or acted sorry at all for her dog attacking my daughter and I.... and these are good people, intelligent and kind and crunchy and usually very considerate.
I know I need to be an advocate for my child,but I am not sure how to handle this awkward situation - they are very good friends of ours... they just called to invite us on a picnic next week with them, their dogs, us, and our baby. Help, moms!!! I need advice, pronto.
: Katie
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#2 of 5 Old 05-02-2003, 01:23 AM
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I would share how deeply you feel for them, but that their dog has you frightened for your daughter's safety and your daughter is your priority over their dog. If the dog is going to have to come to the picnic, then you cannot come with your daughter. It is uncomfortable, sure . . . but I can't see how you could do anything differently.
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#3 of 5 Old 05-02-2003, 01:24 AM
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I would absolutely not have my child around a dog that acted like that. It can be the greatest dog in the world, but not able to be trusted around children. I don't understand at all why she would be upset that you ask that the dog not be around your child. A responsible dog owner would be making sure to keep them separated herself!

I would just tell them the truth - you are scared that the dog may hurt your child, and you don't feel comfortable taking any chances. You'd really like to continue visiting, but only if the dogs are properly restrained or outside or whatever. It's hard to imagine even the most doting dog lover not being concerned that their dog is exhibiting aggressive behavior towards a child.

My SIL has two dogs that she considers her children - I've never seen a bigger dog fanatic. Her dogs have never displayed dangerously aggressive behavior, but I was having a problem with them being around ds when he was first walking because they kept running around him, sticking their face in his, causing him to step backwards and fall. Plus, they were constantly licking his face. Now she may think these are cute kisses, but I think it is gross, especially on my little baby. It was getting to the point that we didn't want to attend family functions because her dogs were going to be running around bothering ds, and she never did anything about it. We just stopped going to her house, and instead requested that get togethers be held at MIL's. We felt more comfortable asking to put the dogs outside when we were there, because it wasn't her house we were in. There were some awkward moments, and you could tell that SIL was irritated by it, but they scared and bothered ds, and I had to stick up for him.

But I would never have risked it if they have displayed any dangerous behavior. You really don't want to find out the hard way that you were right. Your situation seems pretty cut and dry - provoked or not, the dog can't be trusted around your dd. And if your friends can't understand that, well, then, there's just not much you can do about that.
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#4 of 5 Old 05-02-2003, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice, guys....
I know what I need to do - stand up for my daughter - but I needed to hear it and get my courage up. I am not normally a shrinking violet, but it's a touchy situation.
Also worth mentioning that me and the dog owner have a mutual friend who has a son my girl's age... the dog has never acted aggressively towards him, but the mom is scared for her son, too. She has tried bringing up the situation, but always gets a defensive reaction...yikes. Wish me luck.
Thanks for building me up, mamas.
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#5 of 5 Old 05-02-2003, 09:45 AM
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As a dog lover and mama of two dogs, I have to say.....YIPES! If one of my dogs ever acted aggressively toward a child, or any other visitor, they would HAVE to be gated in a separate room. It doesn't take a very big dog to do alot of damage. You absolutely MUST talk to your friends and let them know how you feel. I just can't imagine that they won't understand.
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