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  1. #21
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    Dec. 31, 2000
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    I would keep your kid away from all of the dogs, to be honest. The shih tsus, because they were described as ankle biters, the leery golden, and the PB mix. Dogs that aren't used to kids can snap or bite at them. Larger dogs can do damage. Fast moving kids, with their jerky movements, higher pitched voices can make dogs unused to kids fearful and trigger a bite.

    I don't have kids, or friends that bring kids over. I lock up all of my dogs if kids do come over. I want to protect my dogs from getting fearful and biting one or getting stepped on and biting in reaction, then getting sued or having someone want my dog put down. To me, that is just being responsible. If my dogs were raised with kids, and I knew the kids knew how to behave with dogs, it would be fine, but otherwise, no.


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  2. #22
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    I appreciate the input. The post was really a chance to make sure I wasn't just being overly protective. These are good people and there will be hurt feelings when My husband and I ask them to put the one dog outside for our visit.

    I posted when I was still fuming over the obese conditions of the two dogs. I appreciate being able to vent here. It's frustrating when good people do things that they must know are wrong.
    Is chasing cattle considered playing with your food?.

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  3. #23
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    I too don't see how breed is relevant to your story. If you aren't comfortable having your kid around any dog you should keep your kid away from the dog. Makes no difference what kind of dog it is. The obesity thing sounds like a separate subject. Many people associate food with love so I would be so sure that they know they are doing anything wrong. Is there a reason you can't talk to them about it?



  4. #24
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    I wanted to mention the cross of the dog in question because I thought I might be missing something peculiar to Pits. I wanted to hear from Pit owners about the staring in particular. Not all breeds are the same.
    Is chasing cattle considered playing with your food?.

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  5. #25
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    Oh, Laurie, we've tried. But they tell us that their vet says they are in perfect health, so, what can we say to that? Our mobile vet does dogs so when they had an issue and one dog was mostly immobile, we gave them our vet's name and he went out there. He told them that the dogs (these were their previous dogs) were morbidly obese and needed to be restricted as far as food. They never used him again. They leave treats out for the dogs as well and my step-MIL mentioned something about not wanting the dogs to fight over food and treats. I know she worries whenever she hears one dog growl at another and rushes off to find another treat to keep them happy. She is the one that does the feeding. My FIL goes along with it.
    Is chasing cattle considered playing with your food?.

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  6. #26
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    Mar. 29, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by microbovine View Post
    I wanted to mention the cross of the dog in question because I thought I might be missing something peculiar to Pits. I wanted to hear from Pit owners about the staring in particular. Not all breeds are the same.
    Except you HAVE heard from a couple pit bulls owners who have told you that the staring is not that big a deal. But you continue to insist that it was.
    Like I said, if you came to my house and asked me to put my dog outside, I would ask that you not visit. It's really not fair to the dog to be singled out.
    How about you put your kid in one room and gate him or her in there?



  7. #27
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    Can you elaborate? Perhaps a youtube video?

    No, I think the input from others as far as body language is enough to make me not want to take a chance with my child, but for my own knowlege and my own future meetings with Pits, (without my son) can you show me the friendly stare so I can compare it to what I saw this dog do? The only friendly stares I know of from dogs are not with the eyes wide open and hard. Their eyes are "softer" and the edges are relaxed, if that makes sense.
    Is chasing cattle considered playing with your food?.

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  8. #28
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    Feb. 9, 2005
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    Upper Midwest
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    Quote Originally Posted by chancellor2 View Post
    Except you HAVE heard from a couple pit bulls owners who have told you that the staring is not that big a deal. But you continue to insist that it was.
    Like I said, if you came to my house and asked me to put my dog outside, I would ask that you not visit. It's really not fair to the dog to be singled out.
    How about you put your kid in one room and gate him or her in there?
    I respectfully disagree as a fellow dog lover who doesn't even have kids (by choice). If someone with a small child came to my house and asked me to put my dobermans away I would have no problem with that. In fact, I would proactively put my dobermans away so they didn't have to deal with a small child. Kids are usually rough on dogs and it isn't fair to a dog that isn't around kids to expect them to put up with giving pony rides, being poked in the eye or whatever a toddler to six year old may feel like doing at that impulsive moment.

    Doesn't make the dogs or the kids bad. And these are the grandparents. The OP needs to get along with them.

    Also, I am aware that my dogs may intimidate some people (it is sort of the point in their bred-for appearance I would assume) and not everyone is comfortable around dogs or dobermans in particular. Lots of people are uncomfortable with large dogs. If you are invited to my home, I want you to be comfortable. I want my dogs to be comfortable, and being around nervous people doesn't help that. So they go lay on a bed in the bedroom. Or do a stay out of the way, or whatever. Life is still good. Unfair to me is offering a treat and then pulling your hand away. Or correcting a dog when it doesn't understand the command. I don't think restraining a dog's movement to a different part of the house is unfair.

    OP, I think your husband needs to back you up on this one. It's his parents. I don't see what the big deal is if the dogs have to go in a bedroom for an afternoon.

    I actually chose to put my dog in a bedroom last weekend when we were at my in-laws and my s-i-l had her six month old daughter out on the floor. All the other dogs were loose. Everyone thinks I'm a worrier. I don't think dog faces and kid faces belong nose to nose. Why take chances?
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

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  9. #29
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    I have a pom who is a people dog, she loves everyone. I have a sheltie who is shy by nature but outgoing when the pom shows the way. He is fearful of children though. I keep him away from children for his comfort, not because I think he may hurt the kids. Sometimes when he sees the pom getting loved on by kids he will come up and ask for petting too but that is his choice. If they won't keep the dog away then you need to keep the kid away. That doesn't necessarily mean not going to their house but instruct your child to stay away from the dog.



  10. #30
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    I agree with TrotTrotPumpkin, putting your dogs away is more for the dogs safety. Kids are explorative, they like squeezing, they like hitting, they even like to taste and test their teeth out. I work at a pet store, I never take a toddler hitting the bird cages negatively, but I do have to explain that we dont do that.

    As a dog owner, it's our responsibility to protect our dogs, as well as others. One bite may result in a 10 day lock up or worse. It may also scare the dog for life away from children.
    Last edited by TBRedHead; May. 13, 2013 at 05:54 PM. Reason: Pressed enter too soon!


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  11. #31
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    As per my previous post, PM Phd, described the eyes of the dog getting round open and Hard stare, body getting a bit stiff. This is NOT a friendly posture and it doesn't matter what breed it is. There is a child involved here and a situation where the OP makes the point that there is no discipline, socialization or control.

    I have had Dobermans for over 20 years and have had some that loved kids and some that didn't love them but none that would aggress a child or a human unprovoked. I would not put any of my dogs in a social situation like the one described. WHY?


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  12. #32
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    If your son is small enough that his head is face level with something the size of a Lab or Pit, he's probably too young to be unsupervised around ANY dog, "good with dogs" or not. Younger children are implusive. Rather than trying to analyze the breed mix of behavior of any particular dog (never 100% and not good enough considering what's at stake), supervise heavily (like RIGHT THERE with them) around any dog. Physically separate them, with a closed door, if you can't be giving kid and dog 100% of your attention.

    Doesn't matter if it's a Pit or a Golden or a little fluff ball, supervision is important until kids are over 10 or 12 or possibly older, depending on the maturity level of the child. There are adults I don't allow around my dogs without me right there .


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  13. #33
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    Sep. 23, 2009
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    You guys would think that my cattle dog is the worst dog in the world if you just looked at the stare.

    He is a working dog, learning to do search and rescue, and competition obedience. From 8 weeks old, he's been trained to watch me. Because he is an intense little dog, his watch is....determined. There is nothing "soft" about him when he is working. If he thinks you want to work, he is staring at you with his beady little eyes. He is fast to think, fast to respond. Because of his quickness and intensity, his body is usually tight, tail level or up depending on what he's thinking I'm about to ask him to do. If you aren't good at reading a dogs body language, you would think he's about to bite me. In reality, he's just about to boing into whatever it is I'm about to ask for.

    He's also fabulous with children. I made a point of socializing him with everyone and everything, and therefore he's good with them. He is normally different with them, but if he decides that they are asking him to work, he goes into intense mode.

    Some dogs stare. A lot of pits I know do that stare. However, if you are nervous about your child, the end result is don't let him around that dog.

    If people are at my house, I put my dogs away. They are friendly with most people, but they are big, rowdy, and I don't always want to deal with keeping them on their best manners. So, I put them away, or bring them out one at a time.


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  14. #34
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    Arrows Endure, actually, we had a cattle dog who was wonderful with our son. She passed away a few years ago and I still miss her terribly. Her name was Arrow, coincidently. She had that stare, but it wasn't that herding dog look that I saw in my FIL's dog. That stare is what our GSD does, too. Poor Arrow had PRA later in life and it was a little more difficult to tell what she was looking at, but there was an excitment, vice a challenge. I don't know how to describe it, but I know that Cattle Dog look.

    Let me see if I can find a picture or two of her and her herding look versus what this dog was doing.
    http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b1...ber2006046.jpg

    Licking his toes. She would gently roll on the floor doing playful sneezes while licking his fingers and toes and making him giggle. I never left them alone together and our son learned early to not grab and pull on the dogs and cats. He is very gentle. I have some awesome pictures of our son with Arrow. We had a few we called, "Help! A baby has our dingo", LOL! She was the best. I'm getting all teary looking at the old pictures.
    http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b1...9-07-10007.jpg
    Is chasing cattle considered playing with your food?.

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  15. #35
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    I don't know, I wish I could've shown you guys what it was....

    But, maybe it isn't so different? If a herding dog is working, they are looking for something to satisfy that prey drive, right? Whether it's a signal to start working or throwing a toy, they are waiting. Our GSD does that. But would a dog do that to a child if the child was not playing with them? A child that the dog has never been given a command from nor has any real training commands? A child that is approached by a dog, with no toy around? Just approach and stare with a slowly wagging tail? I know Arrow wouldn't have looked at our son like that unless he was about to throw a toy and then she would be like a little spring waiting for the toy to move.
    Is chasing cattle considered playing with your food?.

    War veteran



  16. #36
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Personally, I think you should be cautious with any dog and a three year old unless it's a proven family dog that you interact with on a daily basis.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  17. #37
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    Sep. 24, 2012
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    Herding dogs have a stare, but it's a stare of "what do you want?", waiting for the next move. My mom, who is NOT dog savvy (getting there through experience with all my dogs!) tells people all about how she saw my dogs wanting to know what to do in their eyes. She says she could tell all my dogs had the potential to be a good dog just by eye language. Even when my ACDs came from abusive pasts and had fear biting issues in the beginning.

    Herding dog stare is NOT the same as a non-working dog, and not the same of a dog who, from reading this thread, is asked nothing of them.


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  18. #38
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    Mar. 10, 2009
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    The folks down the street from us have a pit bull, ironically named Spike. They also have a 3 year old daughter. Spike has been in the family longer than Mia, their child, and he is IMPECCABLY trained and socialized. Neither parent is a dog professional. They are just responsible owners who knew they had a breed of dog with a bad reputation, so they'd have to go the extra mile to contradict that reputation. He is a happy, well-adjusted, sweet dog.

    The parents began teaching Mia about how to interact with dogs almost as soon as she was sitting up. She now takes Spike for "walks" (meaning she holds the leash and toddles along with Mom or Dad a half-step behind). Spike behaves as he would for any adult - he heels, adjusting his pace to the 3 year-old's, and auto-sits when she stops. The little girl is also being taught how to approach other dogs; even as little as she is, she knows she can love up my dog Lance but Simon wants to be left alone.

    I wish all dog owners, regardless of breed, were as proactive.
    Last edited by Mara; May. 13, 2013 at 08:52 PM.


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  19. #39
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    There's no reason why the child has to buddy up with the dog. I think the dog is reading the OP's disapproval of the entire dog family and worry and came into it a little wound up. Sounds like she was unsure the first time she saw the kid and wasn't any more sure this time though she stuck around more. I wouldn't trust her, I wouldn't trust most dogs with any kid. I don't think breed/dog food/ect matters but I do think it matters is the permeating attitude that the inlaws aren't doing it right and DIL knows better. I think the best thing to do is keep the kid off the floor and out of the dog's faces as much as possible without making a big deal out of it. I trained my dogs and KIDS from day one and mostly what I trained kids to do was ignore other people's dogs. I grew up in a culture where you didn't even acknowledge someone else's dog so no need to do pettings all around, just ignore. Give the dog his/her space and don't press any meet and greets. The dogs will learn from watching, they don't need to be brought front and center to see where the kid ranks, they are watching. Don't leave them all alone, pretty much ever.


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  20. #40
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    Go with your gut, but if the dog hasnt approached your kid why not just let it be? Tell your kid to not pet the dog, dog can go about its business without being sent outdoors. Of course, if dog is stalking your kid or you feel he will lunge and attack him, thats different. But if its just that uneasy feeling when your kid approaches him, then just dont allow that to happen. Maybe within time, there will be more trust - but for now a distance without physical barriers may be enough if he hasnt given you any reason to remove him.



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