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PIL dog - advice please

(267 Posts)
MTBMummy Fri 28-Dec-12 20:19:03

We're currently visiting the in laws for Xmas an their dog has just gone for me, u bent downto give him a sausage and he went for my face - punctured my eyelid and caused a blood blister and a lot of bruising - I'll be getting one of them to take me to the doctor tomorrow morning, they're very rural, and everyone has had a bit too much to drink, so cannot drive.

This in itself is bad enough, but the dog shortly after snapped at dd and hurt her hand - he did not draw blood, but obviously scared her.

My question is how do I handle this - in laws are brushing it under the carpet - I've not been able to speak to DP alone since it happened. But I just want to leave, I am worried about going to the doctor, will I have to report the dog? It's not the first time he's had a go at me, but it is the first time he's made contact.

I'm kind of scared of the dog an can't stand being around it or even have DD in the same room - and I'm normally a massive dog person.

Aside from a banging headache I'm ok, I've cleaned it up and taken some ibuprofen, it's a bit swollen and bruised but I think it'll be ok.

Any ideas on how to handle this?

rechargemybatteries Thu 03-Jan-13 11:00:28

I am a dog lover I have two and I adore them they are spoilt rotten. But if they ever ever ever left as much as a mark never mind broke then skin or made as if they were going for someone they would be on their way to the vet for the big jag. I wouldn't allow it. I wouldn't take the chance. People first dogs second.

Although I have to say if they're collies they'll take a wild power of walking and stimulation and I would have my doubts they're getting that. And your PIL sound very blinkered and naive and I cannot believe they are putting a dog before their grandchild.

Inertia Thu 03-Jan-13 11:11:26

Hope all goes well today. I agree that it would be better if you greet PIL at the door - much easier to not let dogs in than to get them out afterwards. You can be equally forceful - either they don't bring the dogs or they go straight back home again.

Sorry to say that I agree with your DH about the cat - a cat can't savage a child in the way a dog can, but cat bites are just as unhygienic and it's now bitten 4 times. I think you need a solution to this.

OP, I have been following your thread but haven't posted until now.

My PILs have an aggressive dog too, it has never bit me though but it does growl and has snapped at me and DS. Your PIls dog seems far worse.

I was told the dog would be kept away from DS and he wasn't, we had an agreement that if DS would be there he would always be in a different room but when he was brought back I was told they had been 'playing' together. I even tried to clicker train him myself but even though it was working it was useless as noone else would keep it up.
They are ok together now he is older but in your situation I wouldn't take a chance and if there was no way you could have them seperated I would report and have the dog put to sleep. Horrible, I know but you can't take the chance with your childs life and if there is no other way to ensure her safety then...

Smellslikecatspee Thu 03-Jan-13 12:27:12

I am a total dog nutter, which is why I don't have one at the moment, I don't have the time that any dog big or small needs.

I'm sorry there is no on the fence here for your DH, it is simply your childs safety or the dog, the fact that it even needs thinking about after the dog bit you is, to me anyway, unforgivable.

Hope it all goes well & the dogs stay out of your home.

Have been lurking, but wanted to say hope it goes well for today.

Just on someone else's suggestion re showing DH the damage a collie could do to a small child - would it have any impact if you showed PILs the damage instead with the phrase "this could be your grand-child - think about it?"

Also, the cat is a completely different case for two reasons:

1) Cats are smaller so will generally cause less injury and, more importantly;
2) Going by what you said, the cat needs active, and known, triggers to attack (playing/tail-pulling) but the dog has unknown triggers that cause an attack

NaturalBaby Thu 03-Jan-13 15:26:38

If I were you I wouldn't be able to resist hiding in the study!

sleepsforwimps2010 Thu 03-Jan-13 16:25:55

http://www.liamjperkfoundation.org/talk.html

Op read this site and get your husband and pil to read it too.
this was posted in here a few weeks ago, but it doesnt sound like youve seen it.

~the site was set up to educate people about the warning signs of a stressed dog who will bite. it was set up my the parents of a 2 year old boy who was killed by a single dog bite.
they hadnt recognised the warning signs that this dog was a potential problem.... and their child died, having been bitten ONCE.
Op you HAVE seen the signs; show your husband this site and ask him is he really prepared to risk his dds life to avoid upsetting his parents?

LadyMercy Thu 03-Jan-13 16:53:09

I hope your PIL are prepared to put the work into this dog, collies can be so lovely, but they are so clever they need proper training, regular exercise and sometimes more activity to occupy their brains.

If it's past the point of retraining then it has to stay away or be PTS. A collie can do a huge amount of damage in a matter of seconds. They can be so fast you don't have time to defend yourself, or your child.

SoYo Thu 03-Jan-13 20:44:03

How did it go MTB? Hope you're ok and they've seen some sense!

MTBMummy Fri 04-Jan-13 08:14:28

Morning all, sorry about not responding last night PIL's arrived much than expected and then I had to catch up on the work I needed to do.

They arrived, and immediately took the dogs out for a walk, on their return MiL came to the door, I greeted her, as DP was busy with DD, and she just said "So dogs, in or out?" I very politely said I didn't want them in so could they keep them in the car please. She really looked so upset, they only stayed for a quick cup of tea (which they didn't even finish) and loo breaks and then left.

They were rather off-ish, and the conversation was brief and very strained. We didn't discuss the dogs, but did say to FiL we'd chat in a few weeks as they're supposed to be meeting us at the end of Jan when we go on holiday, and I really don't want to be around their dogs, especially if nothing has been done.

I know they were going on to SIL's house and that she had said she also wanted a word with them about their dogs.

MTBMummy Fri 04-Jan-13 08:31:52

sleepsforwimps2010 - thanks for that link, it's very interesting, the dog definitely displays many of the signs for an anxious dog, actually come to think of it both dogs do, the one just removes herself from the situation, which can be a PITA as she tends to remove herself to the corridor, and you then have to move past her to get to another room - this is how she snapped at me and DD when DD was 2 months - I was walking past to change a nappy and she snapped at me, at the time I was just told she didn't like people invading her space and I had to accept it was her house (god looking back, why didn't I do more then) She's snapped at me in the past, but they've always taken the dogs side and said I must have misinterpreted her actions - yes they take the dogs "word" over mine - I can't believe it took a bite for me to have all of this click into place.

The dog that bit me is a very big barker, we've always joked that he has no memory as he'll bark on your arrival, and if he ever comes across you in the house unexpectedly, by the end of each day he seems to relax and stop barking, but the next morning it's back to square one, this goes on for an entire visit, sometimes a week.

I feel so stupid, I know dogs, I have had many "dangerous" breeds, GSD's, rottweilers, dobermans and I just didn't recognise the signs in these two dogs.

I will say the PIL's are great at exercising the dogs, they get 2 very long walks a day, but no other stimulation.

MTBMummy Fri 04-Jan-13 08:38:12

Just wanted to add, that after DP's comment about my cat, I did some research and I've found some techniques to help with him being less aggressive, as pointed out he is only aggressive as a response to either pain (DD not being as gentle as she could - but she's grown out of that now) or as a result of over stimulation, but to make sure we all play by the same rules, I have agreed to try these techniques with the cat and see if it helps.

I think it's a bit of a cycle with the cat, DP gets annoyed at him, so ignores him, so when I get home and play with him, he goes a bit loopy, I've told DP that he needs to make an effort to be nice to the cat (as he is with his own cat - but she's a complete softy and lap cat, where as mine is a young tom) and I'll make sure I give my cat some one to one, play and cuddle time so he feels less ignored.

LoopsInHoops Fri 04-Jan-13 09:09:22

The point seems to be missed that they need to protect the dogs by getting them properly trained and secured. They are risking them being put down after causing a horrible injury to someone else. If that happens, it will be their fault for their lazy, careless and cavalier attitude.

fluffyraggies Fri 04-Jan-13 09:09:35

Well done yesterday OP. You're doing the right thing.

Remember though - it's not your responsibility to convince them you are doing the right thing re: dog arrangements.

Of course you want them to understand and agree with you, because that will make the relationship smoother between you, your DP, the ILs and your DC.

Just saying though - you're right, they're wrong, and if they can't see that after your initial attempts to explain, then don't feel responsible if the relationship stays strained for a long time. Maybe forever sad

They're choosing their dogs over their family. That is their choice. Tough titty if that means they don't get to see their GCs. Harsh, but true.

Whocansay Fri 04-Jan-13 09:33:47

Every time I come to this thread, I keep thinking, "oh they must have got it by now"! They haven't and I don't think they ever will. They are utter morons who shouldn't own animals. Well done for standing your ground. I think all you can do is not allow the dogs in your home and stop visiting PIL when the dogs are present. PIL are not going to do anything about it and still don't appear to be remotely sorry for what has happened.

smornintime Fri 04-Jan-13 09:45:05

Well done on not letting them in. Also can't believe the penny hasn't dropped yet!

SpicyPear Fri 04-Jan-13 09:55:56

Loops exactly. Obviously their DGD should be the priority, but even trying to see it from their perspective, they are not being kind or good owners to their dogs. I have a nervous dog. Even though she has never shown any sign of aggression, snapping etc, I still strongly see it as in her best interests to make sure she is never put in a position where she could hurt someone. Sometimes that means we arrange care for her when we are going to be around children. I would also never ever expect my dogs to be allowed in someone's home, even close family. I thanked my own DM massively when she offered to have ours to stay because she is very house proud and I understand it is a big deal for her.

MTBMummy Fri 04-Jan-13 10:48:24

I'm just as amazed as the rest of you - I can't see why anyone would put pets before their own grandchildren, but that seems to be the case. It's their call to make, and while it makes me sad that DD will now see less of her only grandparents, it's their choice and I can't change that.

The dogs at house thing winds me up no end, it's always just expected that they will be allowed to stay in the house. One year we arranged to have my whole family and them over for DD's birthday, our neighbours were away and had offered their house for PIL's to stay in as they already have dogs, the one proviso was that the dogs were not allowed upstairs into the bedrooms. MiL refused this option so the dogs slept in the car instead, just seems so odd to me.

We have plenty other friends and relatives with dogs, but they've never even asked if the dogs would be welcome, even though we have offered to have the dogs stay, they just say it's our house and it would upset the cats too much.

As I said previously the fact that they just turned up with dogs unannounced when they were pet sitting these two other collies just illustrates what they're like.

I wonder if the tables were turned and I said to MiL that they'd have to lock the dogs out all night because we were bringing our cats up to stay, how they'd feel about that?

I'm so curious to see what they do about the behaviorist, I sent them a link for a local lady (an hours drive - remember they are extremely rural) as they said their nearest was 3 hours away.

I'm concerned as much for our family, as for the dogs, if something happens out and about that really will be game over. And I'm very worried that while the bite may be a nervous response, it may become the standard response to any situation.

clam Fri 04-Jan-13 11:00:40

This is insane! I cannot believe that your mil stood on your doorstep, looking at your damaged face and eye and, after everything you've clearly said on the subject, STILL asked if the dogs could come in.

bigbuttons Fri 04-Jan-13 12:13:14

They will not change. They will not take their dogs to see a behaviourist either.

festivelyfocussed Fri 04-Jan-13 12:45:30

MTB I admire your assertiveness with keeping the dogs out of your home. I hope DP was supportive.
angry at your MIL's attitude.
I wil need regualr updates now for the next few months at least grin

ProphetOfDoom Fri 04-Jan-13 13:09:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MTBMummy Fri 04-Jan-13 13:28:09

I really don't expect them to take the dogs to a behaviorist, as even basic puppy training was met with "she (dog) didn't like it, so we stopped going". But I will give them the chance to see if they do decide to take those steps, but I won't nag, and if they chose not to it's their choice of dog over GD and there's nothing I can do about it.

BTW - money is not a problem to them at all - but I have just deleted a paragraph rant of what MiL is like with money - another thread, another time, maybe

DP is supporting me in this, but if I weren't there I can't say hand on heart that he wouldn't have let the dogs in, I will just have to see how the next few months go.

We won't be seeing them now until the w/c the 28th Jan, so by then they should have at least one training session under their belts, but if nothings been done, I;m going to tell them not to bother coming down as DD and I will not be meeting them (because of course the dogs will be coming too)

But I will keep you all updated and we can hop (against hope) that they will actually do something about it.

MTBMummy Fri 04-Jan-13 13:31:00

One thing that does keep going through my head - when I first spoke to MiL about this - she said she couldn't have the dog PTS, out of the blue, I;d been saying that I wanted him to have a proper assessment and to see if some behavioral therapy would help.

The first thing SiL said when I spoke to her was "I don't think he needs putting down, but..."

I can't help but wonder if MiL told SiL that I had said the dog needed to be PTS? and if so, why? she's played games before, but I really just cannot be bothered anymore and haven't risen to them for at least the last year (and trust me I wanted to sometimes)

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