Kids and Family Pets

Tara - posted on 01/21/2011 ( 21 moms have responded )




As an offshoot to the leaving your kids home thread...

Many people said they would never leave a child with a dog, no matter what.

I'm curious to know who is a dog owner and who is not and what your opinions are about leaving dogs and cats alone with children in the same room.

Personally I wouldn't leave any of my kids with anyones dog except our own.

I know and trust my dog. She has been with me, raised by me for almost 8 years, she was present at the birth of my last 2 babies. She laboured with me, she licked my face after and tried to lick the babies. She always aware of where my kids when they are outside even though I am there.

She has never been aggressive to anyone, she was trained very well. If she is eating and the baby comes along and sticks his hand in her mouth or bowl, she just lifts her head.

I don't trust either of my cats with the baby, they've scratched him in the past, just because he was too close to them.

And whoever said a Yorkie couldn't kill a child, sure it could, small dogs attack more often than large dogs.

You must know your animals. My dog is a trained protector, she was trained to protect livestock and her humans. :)

I have pictures of my 5th child at 2 weeks old asleep on the floor in her bassinet and mystic laying right beside her.

Anytime my newborns were asleep, she stayed right beside the bed, when they woke up she would come and find me, paw my leg and talk to me in her "chewie from star wars" voice. Then turn around and walk back to the bedroom.

I would bet any amount of money that she would NEVER hurt her sisters and brothers, cause that's how she was raised.

I am the leader of our pack, she is the older sibling who cares for the young.

edited to add: I don't let her babysit! I do however leave her in the car with the kids when I go out and have to pay for gas, grab milk or mail etc. she sits in the drivers side like a person and guards the van.


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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/12/2015




My dogs and cats have always been welcome around any child.

Faith - posted on 05/31/2015




I am a mother of 5. Josiah, Ezra, Eagan and the twins (Ashtynn and Aurora). Their ages are 8, 6, 2 and 4 months. And I also have 3 dogs and a cat. I'm crazy, I know. Sometimes it is a handful but I'll be honest, I love the fun chaos that breaks out around here. It gives me something to do. I have a 5 year old border collie named Jake, a 4 year old Japanese Chin named Lacey and a Samoyed puppy named Addie. On top of all that I have a hyperactive Bengal cat named Simba. With 5 kids, two parents, 3 dogs and a cat we have a full household with 11 living things running around. The only pet we have problems with around the kids sometimes is Jake our border collie but he's only trying to play. Borders have a natural instinct to "herd" things and that's what he tends to do to my kids while the are playing. Other than that I love having pets with my kids and they love it too!

Tara - posted on 01/22/2011




Oh for those that don't know, Mystic is 50% pure black lab, and 50% pure boxer. She weighs about 100 lbs give or take 5. She's also very tall for her breeds.
It's like having a pony in the house.

Melissa - posted on 01/22/2011




I have a dog, a little dog (maltese x laso apso) I trust her in the same room as my children no doubts. Other dosg I do not trust. I have 2 cats and I did not trust them as kittens but I do now they are older. I also have rabbits guinea pigs parrots fish etc my kids love to look at and play with them although I wouldnt let the parrot get too close to my 6 month old :)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/21/2011




Ok, animals are unpredictable. I would leave my own kids with my own pets for short durations, but I would never leave my kids alone in someone elses house with their dogs. I just would never trust an animal that I did not train to be alone with my babies. It only takes a second...I have seen the severe damage a bigger dog can do to other dogs and to humans. I never want my children to have to endure an animal attacking them when it could have been avoided.

I do trust cats more...they get more skittish and just run away...most...not all.

*short durations means while I am in the kitchen cooking dinner, and I can constantly go check, or peeing...not long term...even a legth of a shower I would NOT do with such young kids.

[deleted account]

We have a dog and a cat. I wouldn't leave my cat with my infant no matter what either. My dog though I don't mind leaving with any of my kids for any reason. He is a guard dog and has been well trained. He is loving and treats all of us like we are his pack, so to speak. We have made sure that he was specially trained so that if need be we can even make him attack strangers. He has also been trained and tested just to make sure he would never attack one of us. He hasn't yet and none of his handlers believe he ever will. He would rather love you than hurt you. It is just a blessing we were able to afford the police training and have him specially trained for our needs in the guard dog area.
I don't let her babysit! I do however leave her in the car with the kids when I go out and have to pay for gas. she sits in the drivers side like a person and guards the van. (mind you my oldest is 14.

Rosie - posted on 01/21/2011




i have a dog and a cat. i do leave my kids alone outside with the dog, they play and scooby chases them around having a blast.
with my youngest child i am more weary of him because he pulls tails and climbs on the dog still. scooby has never done anything to him, but he just hasn't quite grasped how he's supposed to behave around an animal yet and i am aware of what the dog could do if provoked. hasn't ever happened, but still, i don't want to go there. plus i don't want lucas to hurt scooby.

Jenn - posted on 01/21/2011




I have no pets. The only people I know who have dogs are my Dad and my one friend and both of their dogs are tiny (yeah, yeah, I know they can bite too). But I still don't leave my kids alone with the dogs because Elizabeth is terrified of dogs so when we go to visit the dogs have to hide somewhere. My Mum has cats and the kids all like them and they've been alone with them. One of them did swat at one of my daughters once but it's only because she was being a pest and wouldn't leave the cat's tail alone after she was warned several times.

Stifler's - posted on 01/21/2011




I am NOT a pet owner. I wouldn't allow a cat in the same room as my 1 year old alone. Or a dog, any dog. They can both bite or scratch a baby.

Fiona - posted on 01/21/2011




Oh I also wanted to add that after my first daughter was born we had to rehome our then dog because we deemed him unsafe with children. We are responsible dog owners :D

Fiona - posted on 01/21/2011




I also rescued our dog when our eldest was 18 months she's now 4 (almost 5) and my youngest is 16 months), as I stated on the previous thread I do leave my dog alone (going into the next room, playing in the garden, etc) these are for short periods of time - I will leave my dog alone if the kids are in the lounge and I am in the kitchen (we live in a small terraced and I can see into that room) If I am going upstairs for a bathroom break then my dog comes upstairs with me and the kids stay downstairs together.

We are an animal family - the kids have been taught to respect the animals, we have a dog (the size of a small collie) 2 cats and a kitten, and 2 guinea pigs. I think we have such a large number because I grew up on my grandparents farm and had animals etc all over - since they retired that freedom and knowledge is not available for my kids and I have to provide it for them.
I have pictures of my children asleep (using the dogs chest) as a pillow, I have pictures of my dog asleep next to the bouncer. My dog is very protective - not from strangers etc but from what he perceives as danger. He pushes them away from the top of the stairs and he barks his head off if they (or me) go anywhere near water whether that is a lake, the sea or a river or stream. Both children have had their hands in the food bowl whilst he is eating and have taken their bone of him - they are taught that they CANNOT EVER do this to other dogs.
If my youngest is too rough with the dog or the cats she is made to say sorry and she now pats the dog and says "good dog". Yes my children have sometimes been trodden on - but I was trodden on by a horse and a dog is MUCH lighter.

Our animals enrich our lives and the children's and I wouldn't be without them...

Anyway enough of my rambling..

Sharon - posted on 01/21/2011




I have had dogs I would have trusted implicitly with my kids.

I would NEVER have trusted my mothers' maltese dogs, my chows or the pyr I own now.

I have had some labs - who were just goaded beyond anything reasonable and yet they never struck back.

Know your pets, know your kids, know the dangers.

Tara - the tracking dog thing? VERY COOL. I could have used that last night....

Tara - posted on 01/21/2011




I agree Mary, and we always teach our kids to treat the dog like they treat each other, kindly and gently. We have two other dogs as well, and i don't leave them alone with riley, they are small dogs and one is really old and deaf almost blind, gentle but old. And the other is a juvenile (deliquent) he's not even two, and while he is nothing but friendly, he's too young to trust.
Mystic is very careful around the kids, she knows her body really well and after almost 8 years, she hasn't knocked any of them down. She is truly one of a kind and I know I'll never find another like her.
She also has tracking skills. We play games with her in the summer. She stays inside where she can't see the front door, one of the kids leaves and walks to a place in town, like the post office. etc. we change it up all the time. Then I take her out with the others and say "Where's Devin?" and she starts smelling, leads me along right to them, every single time. and it doesn't matter if it is somewhere she has never been. She is patient with me, I run slower, lol.
I love my dog. Can you tell?

Sarah - posted on 01/21/2011




I'm not overly keen on dogs to be honest, so no, we don't own a dog.
I had one as a kid though.

I would never leave my girls alone with a dog, ANY dog, even one I know (like my MIL's dog) because no matter how many years that dog has been calm and docile and loving, it COULD snap, it COULD bite and it COULD attack. They are animals after all, and it only takes one time to do some serious damage.

I'm not overly keen on cats either! haha! I guess I would be less worried about leaving in a room with a cat than a dog, but I still wouldn't be over keen!!

Jeez I sound like a right animal hater don't I! I'm not really, honest!!

Laura - posted on 01/21/2011




I have a chocolate lab who is 6 mo older than my oldest, they grew up together which really helped Duke get used to kids. He is great and if the kids bother him he gets up and walks away. That being said I do not leave my 2 yr old alone with him for very long. He doesn't really understand how to play "nice" When my 4 yr old goes outside to play Duke has to be right there with him and doesn't let him out of his sight. I don't think of that as a babysitter as I still go check on them every few minutes but Duke is as much my oldest's dog as he is my hubby's. They grew up together, Cian feeds him everyday, and gives him his treats. They are a great pair :)

Shauna - posted on 01/21/2011




We have a German Shepard and a Fat Lazy cat. The cat i trust around my 10 mo old. he doesnt even like being around my son so he just walks away, and isnt the type to jump on stuff. That being said while i was preggo we had another cat that jumped in baby crib got into babies stuff and wouldnt stay out .. i saw this as a potential risk so before we had the baby we gave that particular cat to a new owner.
The Dog. I trust him, and i know he would never do anything to hurt my child. They play together all the time hes very protective of our family. HOWEVER i dont trust him being clumsy and accidentle stepping on him if he hears the door bell ring etc. So if i have to step outside to get the mail for instance i either put the dog in the backyard before i step out or take baby with me. And i would never trust someone elses pets around my child that i dont know.

Mary - posted on 01/21/2011




Tara, I think there are so many variables involved, and no one definitive answer.

My one dog, Charlie, is probably one of the sweetest and gentlest creatures to ever live. He is a ridgeback/boxer mix. He was about 9 months old when I adopted him from a shelter, where one of the volunteers found him trotting along the road, emaciated, but otherwise healthy.

From the day I brought him home, he has been very docile. In fact, when we got him out of the car, a bunch of the neighborhood kids came running over to meet the new dog, and as they approached, he just instinctively laid down, without any prompting from me. He is now 7, and has ALWAYS been this way with all humans.

However, this does not mean that I think it is okay to leave him alone with small children, mine or others. Part of that is because, as much as I love and trust him, he is still just a dog. At 75lbs of solid muscle he is capable of INADVERTENTLY harming my toddler, simply by knocking her down. Do I think he would ever intentionally harm her? No, absolutely not.

The biggest part of not being willing to leave my dogs unsupervised is really about protecting THEM. Small children do not often realize when their play is too rough, or harming the animal. They also do not have the capacity to recognize the more subtle, nonverbal cues that animals give when they are reaching their limits of tolerance. It's just not fair to the animal to leave them at the mercy of small children, who are testing and exploring the boundaries of their world...the do it with parents, siblings, and sadly, the family pet is not exempt from this.

A reminder of the unintentional harm that children can do to an animal occurred at my daughter's 2nd birthday party. Charlie was running freely amongst everyone; My sister's kids, as well as my friends all love Charlie; he is a tireless playmate. Depsite MANY admonitions from all of the adults present to NOT feed the dog, we constantly caught my 6 y/o nephew and 8 y/o niece feeding him all kinds of crap, from chicken to cheese to celery sticks and chips. Sure enough, about 2 hours later, Charlie was puking his guts up, smack dab in the middle of my living room.

Now, other than having to clean up dog barf, there was no serious injury. However, depending on WHAT he had eaten, he could have been seriously ill. I was disgusted with myself for not paying more attention.

Nope, I'm not leaving my boys with small children - I love them too much.

Kate CP - posted on 01/21/2011




I have two dogs and I don't leave them alone with my daughter who is nearly 5. Now, what I mean by that is I won't leave them alone for hours on end together. If I have to run to the bathroom or walk in the kitchen, they are (usually) fine. My daughter is old enough to know not to pick on the dogs (she's been taught from a VERY young age) and whenever an incident DOES happen she knows it's because she's not been behaving appropriately with the dogs. My dogs are great with her and very understanding and will generally just get out of her way if she gets too rough. But...I don't think young children should be left alone with dogs or cats. It's too dangerous for the children AND the pets.

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