- 1 year ago
- Wedding: December 2014
Sorry this is really long. Dog lovers, please try to be kind, I’m not trying to be awful here – just a concerned parent.
When I met my partner he already had a 1.5 year old dog. He is huge. Skinny but tall like a horse. Weighs 90 pounds. He’s a rescue dog so we don’t know exact breed but was sold as a border collie cross.
Fast forward to now. Dog is 3.5 years old and we have a 3 month old baby. I spent a lot of my pregnancy feeling quite stressed about the dog – worried it would be jealous of the baby etc. When I tried to talk about my fears my partner became very defensive. He always says the dog would never hurt anyone etc. I was the one researching how to introduce dog and baby. My partner was extremely relaxed about whole thing.
My worries are this….
the dog is very high energy and rarely walked. I can’t take him as he pulls on the lead and is very strong, also I’m nervous around other dogs so not confident of handling him in public. My partner has issues with his hip and foot at the moment which is his reason for not taking him. He does throw the ball with him in the backyard so he gets a little bit of exercise. I fear that this is not remotely enough. Dog walkers where I live are very expensive but I have made some enquires. Regardless we might be able to afford to have him taken once or twice a week. A dog his size needs frequent daily exercise.
Our dog escaped recently and put his mouth on another dog being walked across the road (he is very territorial). The owner of the other dog reported the incident to the council. We had to secure our side gates more effectively and narrowly escaped a fine. Our dog escaped because he was bored and persistently worked at a weak spot in our fence.
Our dog has “gone for” pug dogs when off leash at the dog park. He tends to be quite friendly and frisky with other dogs.
Our dog barks fairly constantly when outside. He growls when people come to our door, even members of my family who have been over many times. He eventually stops.
Our dog mostly listens to my partner but doesn’t listen nearly so well to me. I feel like my relationship with him is a bit forced on both sides (the dog, not my partner lol).
The dog has been ok with our baby so far but I am super vigilant and also keep him outside most of the day. This started in pregnancy so he is somewhat used to this arrangement and has always been an outside dog while we are at work.
I have started to lie awake at night imagining that our child is at risk once he starts walking and approaching the dog. My sister’s baby was bitten on the face by a super sweet cocker spaniel. My nephew was learning to walk and startled the dog. He required stitches and it was very close to the eye but thankfully he is ok. My issue is that I know that a “nip” or attack from our dog would be catastrophic or even fatal.
My partner refuses to entertain the idea that our dog is anything but sweet and good natured. I find it very difficult to bring up my fears and concerns. The dog is generally quite lovely but he is also fearful and anxious at times, plus territorial as I mentioned. He doesn’t seem jealous of my interactions with the baby, but he is definitely jealous when my partner holds the baby. My partner LOVES this dog and he would never entertain the idea of re-homing him. I know that our dog hasn’t bitten anyone, but I feel like it COULD happen, and as I mentioned before, a bite from a dog his size to a child would be devastating.
Sometimes I feel like I want to live somewhere else so I don’t have to worry. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my son and I feel like I will have to spend the next 7-10 years supervising every interaction between the dog and my child. I worry about running errands on my own because I worry that my partner won’t be as vigilant about the dog as I would be.
I know my mummy hormones are in full swing but I just feel that he sees himself as higher in the pack than me, so surely he will see bub the same way? Both sets of grandparents have gently expressed some concern about the dog (especially on my side) but my partner has reassured them that the dog will love the baby, they will be great friends etc etc.
Finally, I am sure the dog can pick up on my anxiety which also can’t be good. I’m at a bit of a loss here. I don’t want my partner to lose his beloved dog but I also don’t want to spend the next 10 years in a state of anxiety. It must be obvious from my post, but I’m not really an animal person and have always been a bit fearful of other people’s dogs. Some people will say I knew about the dog when I met my partner/got pregnant, and I guess I will just say that I didn’t realise he would make me this scared. The protective instincts have increased 1000 fold since my son actually arrived.
What are my options? Thanks in advance