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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2007
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    142

    Default Am I overreacting (dog aggressive dog + two new dogs + small children)?

    My husband's family has a small cabin that we visit every summer for a week. We have a rescue dog and two kids (one almost three and one 5 month old baby). Our dog is fearful of other dogs, and has been in a number of fights with other dogs. We do fine with him because he is never allowed off leash and we have a large fenced-in backyard. I think he has bad "dog manners" because even with dogs he gets along with OK after supervised interactions, he still seems to occasionally do things like sniff butts excessively and stuff that elicit snaps and growls occasionally from the other dog.

    My brother-in-law (husband's brother) wants to go to the cabin this year for part of the time we are there. He wants to bring his two dogs, a pit bull and a lab. My dog has never met these two dogs.

    I am very worried about this scenario and was hoping he would just leave his dogs with a friend while he is visiting. He has decided to take them in spite of our warnings I would be worried about this even without throwing my two kids in the mix, but having a toddler and a baby makes it even worse since they may be in the way if a fight breaks out.

    My husband thinks we can manage it by keeping the dogs apart all the time, but this is a very small cabin and there isn't a lot of space for all the humans, let alone three more dogs.

    I admit I am angry because I feel like this is going to spoil my vacation. I have other family in the area during the week and have already told my husband that I will probably just go to their places and bring the kids so I don't have to worry and can have a good time. Am I overreacting?? I am not that experienced with difficult dogs but this just seems like a very avoidable accident waiting to happen.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
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    16,391

    Default

    If it's okay for you to bring your dog, it doesn't seem right that you say he has to leave HIS dogs at home, especially since YOUR dog is dog aggressive. Perhaps if the cabin belonged to you that would fly, but if it belongs to the family? No. You're being unreasonable.

    Leave all the dogs at home. Everyone will be happier.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,144

    Default

    Kennel your pup or get a pet sitter while you're away. I wouldn't even attempt to take a fearful dog and two small children to a cabin with two strange dogs in the mix. No way, no how. That's not a vacation :-(
    Kerri



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2005
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    1,853

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    If it's okay for you to bring your dog, it doesn't seem right that you say he has to leave HIS dogs at home, especially since YOUR dog is dog aggressive. Perhaps if the cabin belonged to you that would fly, but if it belongs to the family? No. You're being unreasonable.

    Leave all the dogs at home. Everyone will be happier.
    Agreed. If your dog is the trouble maker, then your dog shouldn't be put into that situation.
    "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2007
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    142

    Default

    I would be happy to do that but I think he has decided to bring his dogs (no negotiating). Even if I left my dog at home I would still be nervous about his dogs being around my kids since I don't know the dogs at all and I don't think they've ever been around kids. I just don't want to spend the whole time monitoring kids and dogs (which I know I will be doing if they are there).

    My reason in posting here is for poeple who have experience with dog-aggressive dogs; do you think this is a dangerous scenario?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2007
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    142

    Default

    OK just saw other replies. So I am not crazy for thinking this is a bad idea.

    What about having two strange dogs around my kids (if we left our dog at home)?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Fort Collins, CO
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    Dog aggressive dog + unknown dogs + tight quarters is foolish regardless of any other factors.

    Two unknown dogs + young children could be good or bad. You've not shared enough info to say one way or the other. Why don't you try to get together with the brother and his dogs and your kids before going to the cabin? If the dogs are going to be a problem, you can work it out before you're there. If the dogs are fine, then you can stop worrying.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2007
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    142

    Default

    Simkie - that won't be possible unfortunately. He lives a long distance away from us. He's driving 1.5 days just to get to the cabin.

    Thanks for the replies. It probably seems like a stupid question given the way I presented it, but with in-law family dynamics I was feeling a bit caught. I think my husband really wants his brother to go so they can spend time together. I have not been in on any of the conversations about it, just hearing second-hand what was discussed from my husband. When I heard the two dogs were going, I got upset / stressed / worried, then angry, thinking this was going to spoil my trip. Then was told I was overreacting...still not sure how I would feel about it even if it was just the two new dogs and without my "special" dog.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2008
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    4,536

    Default

    there is no way to know how his dogs will react, but you KNOW how your dog could. Leave your dog at home or in a kennel.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
    Location
    Montana
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    2,414

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    Or....door number three!! Rent your OWN cabin for just your family and doggie! No stress from BIL and his dogs! Tell him that this year the details just seemed challenging-dogs, kids, so forth, so you guys get your own family spot!! Go visit them for the day, say hi, meet their dogs, then go home, or to your cabin! Then no leaving your dog with a sitter or a kennel!!!

    Could not agree more that aggressive dogs, plus unknown dogs (which will for sure stress out aggressive dog) plus little guys sounds like NIGHTMARE!!I would not consider it!!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
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    Montana
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    Default

    Or...rereading your post, let your husband go spend time with his bro and you stay home with your dog and kids and get your own little vacation!!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2007
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    2,169

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    I love dogs, but face it, sometimes they're albatrosses around your neck. I wish I could count the times I've had to plan entire trips around "the dog" and who he/she could get along with or who could get along with him/her, and how various triangles would play out, human, canine and feline.

    Worse than kids, frankly!

    I agree, by far the best scenario is to leave all the dogs at home, so that everyone can go fishing or out to eat or play checkers in peace and security.

    But if that's not possible, then you can only manage what you have control over, which is your own dog. Leave him home or take him to a kennel where they understand his socialization issues. No if's, ands or buts about it.

    It's a perfectly legitimate to question the BIL's dogs' socialization around small children. Ask if the dogs are male or female? Neutered? How long? How long has BIL had them? Have they been exposed to toddlers and how much? Ask for specifics, what children? How often? What conditions? Don't take his word that they'll be ok if they haven't been demonstrably socialized with toddlers at length. Ask if the BIL is comfortable muzzling his dogs if they have not been socialized to young children. These dogs are his responsibility, and he should be alerted clearly to that fact.

    You may get a pissed reaction. So what? These are your kids. You have a right to this information. Make him think long and hard about his decision, because HE SHOULD. You don't have to seem scared of dogs, you just have to make it clear you are quite knowledgeable about the risks of small children with strange dogs.

    Meanwhile, go this site for what to be teaching your toddler about dogs. Whether or not the dogs go. http://www.doggonesafe.com/dog_bite_prevention



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2009
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    3,197

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    I think you perhaps answered your own question: Go see your nearby family for the days that Brother and Dogs are there. Take the kids and give the guys their guy time. May not be perfect, but better than nothing.
    Can you go up a day or two early or stay a day or two longer so that YOU have some more time to relax w/ hubby and your own crew?
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
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    Montana
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    Quote Originally Posted by MelantheLLC View Post
    It's a perfectly legitimate to question the BIL's dogs' socialization around small children. Ask if the dogs are male or female? Neutered? How long? How long has BIL had them? Have they been exposed to toddlers and how much? Ask for specifics, what children? How often? What conditions? Don't take his word that they'll be ok if they haven't been demonstrably socialized with toddlers at length. Ask if the BIL is comfortable muzzling his dogs if they have not been socialized to young children. These dogs are his responsibility, and he should be alerted clearly to that fact.

    You may get a pissed reaction. So what? These are your kids. You have a right to this information. Make him think long and hard about his decision, because HE SHOULD. You don't have to seem scared of dogs, you just have to make it clear you are quite knowledgeable about the risks of small children with strange dogs.
    GREAT advice! totally agree!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2001
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    Default

    What Melanthe said!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2009
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    Default

    I don't think that it would be a good idea to mix the three dogs together at the cabin. I think, though, that it could be really touchy to ask your BIL to leave his dogs at home since it is a family cabin. You know your dog and your dog's reactions to other dogs, so obviously you can't add your dog to the mix. Management might be able to work in some situations but it sounds like the cabin is too small for it to work with this. If you have family in the area that don't have dogs, then I would probably stay there overnight while the other 2 dogs are in the cabin and leave your dog at your family's (in a crate so the dog will not be intrusive while you are at the cabin spending time with your in-law). Frankly, I wouldn't let this start a fight. A lot of people are just not dog-smart. If someone else had already reserved a family cabin, I probably wouldn't just bring my own dogs while they were there - so I can see your point. A lot of people feel like you should just be able to throw a bunch of dogs together and everything should be fine. It's easier not to argue.
    As far as the kids and the dog, I'm not sure. I would probably *closely* monitor the situation and see how it goes if your kids are around the dogs. If you see any signs of a problem, then obviously it's time to remove the kids and the dog from the situation. If the kids are old enough to understand, I'd probably ask them to ignore the dogs because they don't know them.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2004
    Location
    Collegeville, PA
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    Default

    We kind of just went through this scenario (minus the kids) with my sister. She found a house on the OBX to rent over fourth of July and made sure it was dog friendly - then told my me and my fiance that we had to leave ours at home because the dog limit was 2.
    If it had been her house I would have been totally OK with finding other accommodations for my pup. But, it's not her home and it wasn't OK that her dogs were invited on the family vacation and mine wasn't.
    If it is not YOUR home, who are you to say you can bring your dog, and your brother in law can't? Especially if your dog is the one with the issue?

    Re: the kids. No matter WHAT dog, how well you know them, you should always keep a watchful eye over the interactions between kids and dogs. They should never be left unattended together, until kids are old enough (aka much older than your children) to understand when the dogs are becoming stressed with the interactions and then to leave them alone. Tell BIL to keep an eye out for his dogs showing any signs of stress and to remove the dogs from the stressors (aka kids) immediately.
    My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!
    http://www.youtube.com/kheit86



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2007
    Posts
    142

    Default

    Thanks for the replies everyone. I really appreciate it.

    To answer those who have asked about why I should be able to have my dog and he not bring his, we have been planning this trip since last summer. He just recently asked if he could come along. He also ASKED if he could bring his dogs. My husband explained the situation with our dog. He decided to bring his dogs anyway. Not sure if this matters or not which is why I didn't mention it before, but it didn't exactly start things out on the right foot. Yes it is his family's cabin. Again I don't know if I would feel comfortable around these dogs even if my dog weren't there, since one is a pit bull and the other is an intact (I think) male. I have never met them, I don't have much of a relationship with my BIL either. I don't necessarily trust him to keep an eye out...he will probably think i'm overreacting and also quite possibly be drunk a lot of the time

    I will definitely plan on leaving my dog at home which will at least take that variable out of the equation. Thanks again for your input. I no longer feel like I'm crazy for being concerned about this.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
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    Where is your husband in this?

    If the dogs are not kid safe, or--hell--even if you are not comfortable with your kids around some unknown dogs, then hubby needs to man up and tell his brother that the both of you would prefer the dogs stay at home, and you're making the same move with your dog. Play it off as the space is small and the grownups + kids will be tight enough, if you must.

    From the sounds of it, you're only going to be there for a week, and the brother will be there for part of that-- a few days at most? He can board the dogs. If it's a $$$ issue, perhaps you can even offer to split the cost.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
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    Montana
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    Drunk most of the time?
    Ah ha! I really see why you are concerned! So, the plan is to bring your "special needs" dog, for which things had been planned, with your young children, to stay in a small cabin with two strange dogs, ONE INTACT, and their drunk owner??

    That does not spell VACATION to me!! I like the leaving your dog at home if you can, but you bet, let your husband man up and tell his bro "no dogs this year buddy". His dogs might be lovers but it would just keep the peace, keep things easier....



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