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Old 08-11-2013, 10:51 AM
 
501 posts, read 707,609 times
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So, we attempted to have our child visit my MIL & FIL a few weeks ago. They have a large dog that has never been through obedience training and is - in their terms - a wild dog. I think they don't obedience because they believe that a wild dog is a natural dog, and a trained dog is a broken dog. The dog has never bitten anyone, and we don't believe it's a safety hazard, but is not under voice control.

My S - who is a toddler - is scared to death of dogs. He can't stand them, screams when they get close, and is overall very concerned. At his age, about 30 months, we can't explain to him that the dog is harmelss and there is nothing to worry about.

My wife asked them to secure the animal in a crate or in another room, The MIL declined, saying it's her house and it's unfair to segregate the dog. It's part of their family and free to run about the house pel-mel.

Is this bizarre? Something doesn't seem right about it. Thoughts?

 
Old 08-11-2013, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,579,167 times
Reputation: 3656
Unfortunate, maybe, but not bizarre.

I would invite MIL/FIL to come visit you from now on, meet out somewhere (if they aren't far away), or stay in a hotel when you visit until your child is more comfortable around animals.

I'd also start introducing your son to safe, well behaved, well trained dogs. It is inevitable that at some point during their childhood, they will interact with dogs. Either walking down the street, loose in a park, when they go over to a friends' house, etc. As a middle school teacher, I see so many kids who even at 12/13 are terrified of dogs to the point that they start trembling when they see one walking on a leash towards them. You don't want that. Clearly your inlaws' dog is not the best choice of introducing animals, but I'm guessing you know plenty of people with mellow dogs who are better behaved. (You may even try calling the public library--many have programs where you can "read" to dogs, and those dogs are the calmest, mellowest dogs ever).
 
Old 08-11-2013, 11:02 AM
 
501 posts, read 707,609 times
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I think the reading program is a good idea. I will look into it more.

I would like my son to enjoy being around dogs. I don't think that being forced to spend time in a room with a wild, hyperactive dog that is not under control is the right situation for him to learn.
 
Old 08-11-2013, 11:05 AM
 
12,146 posts, read 9,878,373 times
Reputation: 15798
Quote:
Originally Posted by twoincomes View Post
So, we attempted to have our child visit my MIL & FIL a few weeks ago. They have a large dog that has never been through obedience training and is - in their terms - a wild dog. I think they don't obedience because they believe that a wild dog is a natural dog, and a trained dog is a broken dog. The dog has never bitten anyone, and we don't believe it's a safety hazard, but is not under voice control.

My S - who is a toddler - is scared to death of dogs. He can't stand them, screams when they get close, and is overall very concerned. At his age, about 30 months, we can't explain to him that the dog is harmelss and there is nothing to worry about.

My wife asked them to secure the animal in a crate or in another room, The MIL declined, saying it's her house and it's unfair to segregate the dog. It's part of their family and free to run about the house pel-mel.

Is this bizarre? Something doesn't seem right about it. Thoughts?
This one is easy. You don't visit them if your child is scared of their dog.
 
Old 08-11-2013, 11:06 AM
 
12,146 posts, read 9,878,373 times
Reputation: 15798
Quote:
Originally Posted by twoincomes View Post
I think the reading program is a good idea. I will look into it more.
Yeah this is a great idea!

Quote:
I would like my son to enjoy being around dogs. I don't think that being forced to spend time in a room with a wild, hyperactive dog that is not under control is the right situation for him to learn.
That is my opinion, likewise. Good job, Mom.
 
Old 08-11-2013, 11:42 AM
 
32,532 posts, read 30,651,383 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoincomes View Post
The MIL declined, saying it's her house and it's unfair to segregate the dog.
It is her house.

And he's your son.

I'd tell MIL not to expect a visit from us anytime soon, because she chose what she wanted over the well-being of her grandson. She's worried about being "unfair" to the dog? You have to wonder if she's thought about what's fair to a 30-month old who is afraid of dogs.
 
Old 08-11-2013, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Missouri
6,047 posts, read 21,650,017 times
Reputation: 5052
People get so weird about their pets. (I probably do with mine, too.) I agree with the suggestion that if MIL and FIL will not contain the dog during visits, then they will have to come to your place to see their grandchild. Not because the dog is untrained, but because your son is so fearful of dogs. But let your wife handle this one, since it's her parents.
 
Old 08-11-2013, 11:58 AM
 
13,161 posts, read 20,783,837 times
Reputation: 35417
Even if my son wasn't afraid of the dog, I wouldn't be comfortable with a large untrained one around a toddler, and I have two big ones of my own.

There house, their rules, your child, your responsibility. And, as others have said, that means no visits to in the in-laws home.
 
Old 08-11-2013, 12:06 PM
 
Location: NH and lovin' it!
1,780 posts, read 3,412,548 times
Reputation: 1318
Hello, twoincomes, and welcome to C-D! I'm sorry that your MIL and FIL have chosen their dog over their grandson. Only you can tell how much contact your baby should have with them, but please do not make the assumption that if you invite them over for a visit that they will not bring the dog! Make sure you state that it's your house and the dog is not invited.


 
Old 08-11-2013, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,220 posts, read 41,812,025 times
Reputation: 82996
Yep, I agree that you cannot let your toddler around this dog.

We cannot always predict animal behavior when children are around, and you do not want your son to pay the price.

Frankly, it's dangerous and irresponsible for these grandparents to allow this admittedly uncontrollable dog around their grandchild.

I would allow no more visits there while they have the dog - period.
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