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Rescue centres/temperament testing dogs suitable for children

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by rachelleigh73, May 14, 2019.


  1. rachelleigh73

    rachelleigh73 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi - I live in a house with a four year old and would like to find a dog that would be a good fit for such a young child. I'm aware that Dogs Trust, Blue Cross and Jerry Green's all offer temperament testing for their rescues, to include suitability with young children. I'm just wondering if these are the only rescue centres to offer this - or if there are others who offer this facility. Many thanks! Rachel
     
    #1 rachelleigh73, May 14, 2019
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  2. Amy7775

    Amy7775 PetForums Newbie

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    We recently adopted a greyhound and we specifically asked the charity that it was fostered with an experienced greyhound family first, as we have young children. The first dog reserved for us snapped at another dog when woken suddenly so she wasn't offered to us, which was fine. The dog who came to live with us was 'tested' by his foster family, in that they knew that they could remove food and toys from him without him being aggressive. He's been here 10 days so far and absolutely no signs of aggression.

    However we are responsible owners (I hope) and the children are clearly told to leave him in his bed, when he's eating, when he's sleeping, and generally to let him be unless he approaches them for some engagement.

    How old are your children? Ours are 5 and 7.
     
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  3. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    I realise it wasn't you, it was the foster family who 'tested' him but I think that's pretty unfair. I am not an aggressive person but if you tried to take a meal away from me, I think I would be pretty much within my rights to react.
     
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  4. Amy7775

    Amy7775 PetForums Newbie

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    I don't think either of us know that that is what happened.
    I assumed that he'd picked up something that he shouldn't eat (dead bird on the ground?) and they had had to remove it from him.
     
  5. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    When you described it as food, I sort of assumed it was food, and that it was his. But my point still stands, for anyone else who interprets it the same way as I did.
     
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  6. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    @JoanneF I think is trying to say that it's really old school way of thinking to 'test' dogs by removing food from them. Not the best way and you can go from a dog which was thinking ah a human near my bowl it's fine, to starting an absolute problem.

    It's a weird one again removing what a dog finds on say a walk too. Most work hard to work on leave and drop command. In all fairness when my old girl Gem picked up a manky bird on a walk once there was no way I was retrieving the manky thing from her mouth and her drop it wasn't happening either..so I thought sod it cursed her and the sound of the crunching bones, called her disgusting to the delight of a passerby and that was that!

    I have a lurcher who has caught a few rats in my garden and will drop them on command, like my terriers in the past.

    @Amy7775 I think your post is invaluable to highlight that when bringing a dog home it's very much training your children too. People complain that puppies and dogs whilst training need constant reminders, but some children need that too. Not just for how to be with your pets but also many things in life and as parents you can go through the stage of am I talking to brick wall at times. You are doing the right thing though, leave to sleep, or whilst relaxing in bed. Eat in peace. What you can do whilst eating is get your children to drop titbits in the food bowl occassionally, something super yummy. So on days when children, are being children in and out have friends round and you still need to feed your dog. Your dog doesn't feel the need to be alarmed by them near by. Hope that makes sense.

    @rachelleigh73 most good rescues match dogs to what's suitable. So if you went the rescue greyhound route, or say a sighthound then they would look for one that's probably more confident, ok with children as to be fair children can be loud and scary just being children to some dogs regardless of breed. Toddlers can be the worse due to unpredictability of movement.
    There should be some rescues who will allow adoption to those with children. My friend used to foster for 2 sight hound rescue as well as being a home checker for many rescues. She started fostering when her child was pretty young about a year, and had 4 dogs of her own anyway. It did help the rescues a lot that she had a child to be honest, especially when they got retired greyhounds.
     
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  7. rachelleigh73

    rachelleigh73 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you so much for all the replies - much appreciated!
     
  8. Udon

    Udon Guest

    We’ve just brought a pup home and my youngest is 5. I would 100% say it won’t work, good temperament or not, unless your child does listen to you and do what you ask.

    My boys are in love with our little guy, and I’m as much training the youngest to respect his boundaries as anything else. The eldest (9) understands and lot more so it’s much easier with him.

    Good luck in your search, but to give yourself an idea of how your child will behave regarding the dog, I don’t know if it might be worth using a fake doggy to practice with? That way you can give really accurate information to the rescues you contact :)
     
  9. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    I brought my dog home when my sons were 1 and 3 never had a problem with the kids listening to how to handle a dog. A member here raised twins, lots of breeders have children an excellent person who bred PRT here brought her children up with her digs, my friends fostered must be in the hundreds of sighthounds from when her son was a year and having 4 dogs of her own.
    It's very naive to state it won't work...

    Try a fake dog is not very helpful at all!
     
  10. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    Sometimes I think that it’s ‘Is this child suitable to be with a dog?’ as much as ‘Is this dog suitable to be with a child?’

    If you can positively answer both those questions then it’s ok. Children and dogs can be a dream or a nightmare!
     
  11. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Exactly as my comment early on states it really is about training children a lot..usually the dog is pretty easy compared to children! People complain about dogs lack of learning but honestly we humans may be clever intelligent beings but to get there we need constant repeatition too
     
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  12. Udon

    Udon Guest

    I don’t understand how this doesn’t fit with what I said about needing your children to listen to you regarding the dog. Why am I naive saying it won’t work if your young child ignores you?

    Some children would benefit from practice and repetition, like you say, so I don’t see why using a toy before the real dog came home wouldn’t be helpful for setting out the boundaries to a young child *shrug*
     
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  13. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    A toy is a toy...even nursery aged children know they are playing in the imaginative corner in nursery...they know it's about using their imaginations and role playing. Their concept of role playing would be to mimick, what they see around them.i honestly don't think using a toy to get them used to a dog is worthwhile per se, they need education prior so sensible books, educational programs age suitable on dogs...a toy is a toy after all
     
  14. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    I come from a long line of babies growing up with dogs. Most of my baby photos are of me laying on the floor next to our family's GSD and GSD cross. My mom has a photo of her as a baby with her father's beagles, my dad grew up in a home with terriers. My own children came home from NICU to a house with 4 large dogs.

    To me growing up in a home with dogs is as natural and straightforward as breastfeeding. But like breastfeeding it's equally wrought with complications and controversy.
    For us it was simple. Babies came home, dogs adjusted, babies grew up, we adjusted how the babies interacted with them, fast forward 16 years, and we're down to one dog who is spoiled rotten by the 'babies' and all is well.

    Sure, there will be accidents, I was bitten by my family dog, (I was being an ass and deserved it), as were several of my friends. my own kids haven't been bitten, but there were incidents. Actually my daughter did get some nasty cat scratches on her face indirectly caused by a dog... All great learning experiences.

    Anyway, my point is, it doesn't have to be terribly complicated. Dogs are generally incredibly non-confrontational by nature and will go to great lengths to avoid biting, and even when they do, they're likely to inhibit their bite. Before the bite, you get lots of warnings. If kids know the warnings, stiffness, stillness, obviously growling and know to respect them, and as long as parents haven't been confused in to thinking they have to punish a growl, it generally works out just fine.

    There is so much to learn from growing up with dogs, done right it's a really beautiful way to grow up IMHO.
    There are some amazing resources on the web for how to do kids and dogs right. Just a few:
    http://www.dogsandbabieslearning.com/

    https://www.thefamilydog.com/stop-the-77/

    Good luck!
     
  15. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    If I've learned one thing from dogs (animals in general) it's to not make absolute statements because that's when they show you out :D

    As a young child I didn't listen to my mom who told me to quit blowing in the dog's face, he didn't like it. And I got bitten. Clean through my lip. Mom said "I told you so, now get a towel and stop bleeding all over my nice clean floor." That dog lived to be 18 (BTW did not have the nicest temperament) and he and I were good friends till the end. He lived with me the last few years of his life while I was getting a graduate degree. That's another of those absolutes they tell you won't work - being a university student and dog owner. I made it work with a blind, deaf, demented, incontinent dog. And ended up taking over most of the care of my roommate's neurotic cocker spaniel.

    Dogs have co-evolved alongside of humans for millennia. Like I said, it doesn't have to be complicated. Using sensible management because kids will be kids and dogs will be dogs, teaching both to respect the other, and learn some basic dog body language, and teach it to the kids.
    Honestly, it works more often than it doesn't :)
     
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  16. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    I grew up with a pretty grumpy dog.

    As children, my brother and I were told ‘Leave the dog alone’.
    Mostly we did; if we didn’t he bit us.
    Simple learning curve.

    PS not recommending this method.
     
    #16 Linda Weasel, Jun 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  17. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    If the child ignores the parent already then, I agree, adding a dog to the mix is a potential nightmare.

    Sort the child out first ;)

    As for the suggestion that letting the dog bite the kid to teach it a lesson - no way imo.
     
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  18. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    They were harder times. Not the understanding we have now, and like I said: NOT recommended!
     
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  19. EmCHammer

    EmCHammer PetForums VIP

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    I volunteer for a rescue and we don't generally rehome where there are children under 10 - mainly as most of our dogs are ex strays or come via the DW from people who can't keep their dogs and have very little information on if the dog would be suitable with a child and its hard to test this in kennels.

    Most families say their children are good with dogs, but their version of good with dogs are not always ours and we have had it end badly a few times and so just don't want to take the risk anymore of rehoming a dog where there are young children and a bite happens, whatever the circumstances are that lead up to that. It does mean that good families miss out as well I know, and probably a good few of the dogs would be fine, but we just can't see how the children would be with the dog in the home. Maybe we do think about things too much these days but there are a lot of expectations on the dogs these days to get on in family life, not like the old days as you say when getting bitten might be part of the learning process of how to behave around dogs.

    Its not always biting either, dogs have come back for humping children, being grabby, being over boisterious, guarding and just being nervous / fearful around the children in a busy family home. Other times its that the kids won't leave the dog alone and are tormenting it.

    In my limited experience though have found that the younger the children are, the better they are around the dogs, as its much less of a novelty, the dog has been a constant part of family life - its more often kids who have their first dog when older are more excitable and pestering of the dogs (a very general observation).

    There are rescues though who will rehome with younger children, http://www.dogsblog.com/tag/good-with-children/ this is a good resource.
     
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  20. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    I have to admit, my boys loved all our dogs and were brilliant with them, from puppies to older dogs that were rescues. They were young when I brought in dogs, we did lots of talking about leaving the dog alone etc and to be honest our first experience of a dog was excellent. It was as my children got older, that some friends who didn't have dogs got overly zealous with mine when I allowed contact with them and felt I was very much educating them visiting children. So it was nice that the visiting children could be shown by my own children and me how to do some basics commands with a handful of treats.
     
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