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Should a Child Be Living with a Dangerous Dog?

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As regulars on here know, I work with kids in care. Today I had to take a 1 year old back to their foster carer and when I knocked I could hear a loud barking. The guy opened the door and a large Shar- pei dog ran towards us. I am nervous of big dogs anyway so was not happy even with the owner trying to convince me he was safe. Well, they are on the dangerous dogs list and my best friend has two and they have bitten three people despite being well raised. I haven't been to her house for years, she comes to me for dinner and a film every Sunday and we also work for same company.

When I got back in the vehicle the driver and I both agreed we would not like our child put in care with a dog like that, especially a baby it might be jealous of.....Would you?

Lynibis
5 days ago
What do you think of this?
angemski
angemski5 days ago

No! I am surprised that there was no issue with the dog at the point of placing the infant in the house. It would leave me feeling very uneasy. 😞

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
5 days ago

Glad it's not just me when we read of so many children scarred for life and even killed by dogs.

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BonzoBanana
BonzoBanana5 days ago

The dog may not be at fault even but a child not understanding the consequences can easily hurt a dog and the dog will turn on the child which would now see it as an enemy. Small dogs have also been killed by young children. It makes me uneasy for both the child and the dog as either can act erratically and cause a situation. Then of course some dogs are so large that purely by accident they can cause a major injury to a small child and then finally dogs that just don't have a settled temperament and are volatile. I just wouldn't put a child in a situation where that could happen it doesn't seem responsible. In such an environment I would keep the dogs locked away from the child and only allow them together when other people are in the same room at the same time and can monitor the situation and I would not leave them together for a moment alone. There is a tendency in the human mind that once you get away with something you take it a step further until you are taking quite high risks and you start making assumptions that it is safe.

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
5 days ago

Yes, I agree and in this instance the dog was there first, it is his home, and the child should not have been placed there. Different if they had been raised together.

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MrsCraig
MrsCraig5 days ago

We have a dog. She was very much our first baby and it was her home before our son came along. My dog is a gentle soul, very loving and protective. She was fascinated with our son the minute we brought him home. She would sit and stare into his baby box for hours. They are the best of friends. She sits next to him when he has his meals and he feeds her whatever he doesn't want, our son will follow her around the house, he strokes her, plays with her and she will protect him when someone comes in the house. Our son was on the sofa the other day, sitting having his snack and she sat in front of him, watching the living room and making sure he didn't fall off. They sit next to each other on the sofa and watch tv. We taught our son from day one to be gentle with her and made sure she knew that she was still loved, still had her own space, still got treated the same.

I would not have placed a baby in a home with a dog that is on a dangerous dog list (even if the dog itself had never been vicious) as dogs can snap at children very easily.

My son recognises dogs when we go out and I always ask the owner if the dog is friendly, I will then stroke the dog first, then put my sons hand towards the dog and see how it reacts before I let him stroke the dog and I only do it with dogs the same size as our one.

I don't think that child should be in the house with that dog, especially when you think of some of the tragedies that you hear of.

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
5 days ago

I hope no one thinks I am saying kids and dogs shouldn't mix as my own grandchildren were bought up with family dogs that we all love. Cute and cuddly lol. But in this instance with strange kids in and out of the home and a big Japanese hunting dog...........well, I just know I wouldn't be happy for my child to be in that house, even if I were the type of parent that had her kids taken away.

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MrsCraig
MrsCraig5 days ago

Lynibis I didn't think you were saying that dogs and children shouldn't mix. I was merely explaining the steps I take to ensure that my son and our dog get along and that they are both safe. I trust my dog entirely but I still don't leave them alone together.

But I agree in this instance that the child shouldn't have been placed there.

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
5 days ago

MrsCraig I understand and didn't think you were saying that. It just occurred to me that folk might think I had a downer on dogs and I really don't as I often look after my sons dogs when they go on holiday although I wouldn't have one of my own. I am far too lazy and absolutely hate picking up their poo it makes me gag and it is the worst part of looking after the dogs lol.

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MrsCraig
MrsCraig5 days ago

Lynibis that makes sense. It is my least favourite part too!

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Faye1
Faye15 days ago

No I wouldn’t risk it either. I wouldn’t put my child in that situation. you wouldn’t leave your child in a house with a dangerous person so I don’t know why people think it’s ok with a dog

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
5 days ago

Sadly, those with kids in care don't have a choice and that is what saddened me. They are so short of Foster Carers that I suppose they are willing to overlook the fact that at some stage the dog MIGHT go rogue. I have no sympathy for the parents, but the children are innocents in their parents inability to parent properly.

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Faye1
Faye14 days ago

Lynibis I understand it just seems like they are taking them from one dangerous situation and placing them into another one.

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sarahgreen15
sarahgreen155 days ago

Surely there was some sort of vetting before they could be registered foster carers? I’m surprised they were allowed to be if they had the dog at the time... that said, just because Shar Peis as a breed are on the dangerous dog list, doesn’t mean it’s not the soppiest dog in the world if raised right. My dogs bark when someone knocks on the door but they would also smother you to death with love and kisses and i trust them explicitly with children - they are big dogs, that makes no difference to the nature - if anything, big dogs typically receive far more training that little dogs and by nature are less aggressive. Did you know the top 3 most aggressive dog breeds are Jack Russells, Dachunds and Chihuahuas? But no one would hesitate putting a child with one of them 🤷🏻‍♀️

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KirsteyJames
KirsteyJames5 days ago

My children wouldnt be put into care but if they had to go somewhere to stay that had dogs then i guess it would depend on the nature of that dog. Some dogs are taught to be agressive by their owners. We had 4 dogs when our little girls was born and had to rehome one because he didnt like her. He was never agressive or nasty but he would hide from her and go in a different room. He is now living with a lovely older couple and happy as can be. I would like to think a responsible dog owner would know the dog and wouldnt allow a child near if they had concerns. My dogs bark when the door knocks and they would run to see who was there but thats just because they are protecting their home and family, they would never hurt our baby. I dont think there should be a dangerous dog list to be honest, half of the breeds that are on the list is down to how they have been taught by a human and now they have been given the bad rep. If a few blonde people were serial killers then does that mean all blonde people should be put on the danger list 🤷🏽‍♀️

However you have been a social worker for many years and if you think something isnt right then maybe you should report it. The child comes first and your instinct maybe right. If the dog isnt a danger then nothing will come of it.

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
5 days ago

Lol Kirsty, I am not a social worker I am a mere passenger assistant. It is social workers who have made the decision to place the baby there. Just this morning my friend phoned to say her sharpei had practically bitten off both her cat's back legs. She was distraught but all the animals have lived happily together for many years.

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KirsteyJames
KirsteyJames5 days ago

Lynibis sorry i know youve mentioned before you worked in social care, i must of assumed as a social worker 🙊 im not saying things dont happen they could with any animal but normally you can tell with the character, same for a human. Half of the time when someone does something people will say theh have always been a bad egg, then theres this one who murdered someone that was a lovely family man and it could never of been predicted 🤷🏽‍♀️ i guess sometimes you just never know.

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gerrykelly25
gerrykelly255 days ago

When any person applies to be a foster carer, they must go through a rigorous and protracted assessment. This is also true for any pets in their care. The RSPCA will have been asked to carry out an assessment on the dog.

All dogs have the potential to harm a child and the key is never to leave the animal alone or unsupervised with a child, regardless of breed.

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
5 days ago
  1. How do you know they will never leave the child unattended with the dog? Oh I just nipped to the loo.
  2. All dog owners think their dog will never attack, until the first time, just as KirstyJames says above.
  3. sarahgreen15 mentioned 3 aggressive dogs. If a Child was attacked by them chance of survival would be high, but with a sharpei, Rottweiler, alsation etc the chance of death would be high. Especially for a 1 year old. A blonde person is not a different breed to a dark haired person so the analogy doesn't apply. Anyway, no one is a murderer until the first time they kill.

In this instance the dog would have gone for us, had he not held the collar, and was barking aggressively. I was frightened and yet I go to other carers' homes (and most have dogs) without their dogs frightening me, in fact I often pet them. My sister is a foster carer with a dog and did not have a visit from the RSPCA.

I applied myself to be a foster carer and went through the process but changed my mind as I knew I was too selfish to devote 24/7 and I did not want my grandchildren to feel pushed out.

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gerrykelly25
gerrykelly255 days ago

Lynibis any risk assessment isn’t based on the level of harm the dog may inflict, but the potential to harm. Any dog, could potentially cause serious damage to a child, particularly a baby. If you feel this dog is a particular risk, you should report it back to the supervising social worker. Foster carers are regularly reviewed by an independent panel, and if any concerns are raised, this would be addressed there. Also, you should not have to undertake a home visit to anywhere you feel unsafe and you have the right to refuse any further visits.

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
4 days ago

gerrykelly25 I understand what you are saying but I am not unduly concerned for myself as I don't go inside the homes, just pick up and drop off. I wrote a 3 page report on what I had observed with a fearful 3 year old who was silent and traumatised when going to contact with her 15 year old brother. I found out lots of bad things which I won't go into here. My report did not get any type of reply let alone an acknowledgement and contacts are still going on with them together. Unfortunately, people in power do not want to accept that minions may also be intelligent people with eyes, ears and experience with children so I know that no one will take any notice if I were to report my fears. As you say, they have obviously been passed for the care of the child with the dog in situ so I will not be listened to.

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hspexy
hspexy5 days ago

shar peis were bred to be fighting dogs, so they’re not an ideal breed to have around others, children or other pets. There are other breeds more suitable. That being said, I do know a few people who raised a family around a shar pei, and they are indeed a protective breed, so your kids would be safe with them guarding. But the risk of problems are high, so not worth it (I love dogs btw)

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Lynibis
Lynibis
Original Poster
5 days ago

Don't know if you read my comment above but my friend has 2 and I have not been to her house for years. So far they have bitten 3 times and as stated above, has today seriously mauled her cat. I don't think I will ever be comfortable around a sharpei or Rottweiler but I am fine with cute fluffy dogs!

Image

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hspexy
hspexy4 days ago

Lynibis lol as long as it’s not a chihuahua or dachshund as they’re ankle nippers, and were reportedly one of the more aggressive breeds who caused actual harm...even though their bites don’t do much for a grown adult. But you’re right, too risky to have a dog known for its naturally aggressive side

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