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I got into a discussion on FACEBOOK about Border Collies and kids. Everyone wrote how they were great with kids and I countered with "then why are so many in rescue for nipping at children?". I guess my main concern is that people looking for a dog will read this (on Facebook) and then go get a BC. I know there are many BCs who are kid friendly and great family dogs; I also know that there are just as many who aren't (especially if they weren't well-bred, well socialized or well trained.

Anything I can add to my argument?

Barb

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I was raised to be respectful of a dog. Taught not to run up to a dog, not to stick my face in a dog's face, etc. I've seen kids these day that will do these things and then their parents will scream vicious dog.

 

One cannot make a generalization about dog breeds. I've seen Pits that were great with kids and Labs that weren't.

 

My Border Collie, Alex, has not been comfortable with kids since I've had her. I've learned to manage the situation, so she doesn't have to, and she has made great strides.

 

Esox

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Anything I can add to my argument?

 

I know when we got Kaycee we did a lot of research and quite a bit of discussion. One of the biggest fears with our 4 1/2 yr old was the potental of being bitten in the face. We have had Kaycee now for almost 6 months ( she was 7 weeks when we brought her home ) and Our daughter was bitten several times in the beginning - thank god not bad. It has since calmed down since we got to the root of the problem.

 

The biggest problem with kids and B/C is that children's fast paced play makes them easy targets. With children screaching and yelling - this only excites and riles up B/C. We had to teach our daughter that Kaycee was not her "littermate". Children want to play rough and so does the cute little puppy except the children are the usual ones that lose. So we had to teach both Kaycee and our daughter at the same time. Our daughter became heavily involved in our training of Kaycee (clicker trained) and both puppy and child now have a new found respect for each other. Getting to this point was not easy and required a lot of time and patients for both child and dog. (can't someone invent a program to clicker train our kids????) The problem with most people is that they don't have time to train properly and long enough - and this especially with B/C can be a bad mix when it comes to children. You can't just take home this cute puppy and expect it to be "good". Anyways not sure if I just rambled off anything of any importance or useful, but I do have a web site that we had visitied to gain some insight on the issure you are inquiring about and statistics.. http://www.doggonesafe.com/

 

Ok back to waiting for a foot and a half of snow here in NJ.... CANT WAIT!!!!! WOOO HOOO

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Having raise my children with border collies or my border collies with children however you want to look at it :rolleyes:) it takes responsibility in training, supervision and firmness in training both two leggers and four leggers in what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to behavior when interacting with each other. We had our 1st bc at 10wks and my son at age 1.5, Ashe and Phillip were best buddies until Ashe passed last Dec at age 15. Children must respect their pets, and pets must respect a childs authority...assuming the child is old enough, and responsible enough to use that authority properly.

Border Collies can be great family dogs, mine are excellent examples if I do say so myself

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I get applications or emails quite often from people with children wanting to adopt a bc. Most (almost all) are folks that have no previous experience with bc's (or they tell me that they grew up with one, but haven't had one since); they have not seriously researched the breed, and they (from their application or interview) are not going to provide the dog with the physical and mental exercise that it will need. I often wonder why, exactly, have they decided to add a border collie as the family pet. If all you are looking for is a nice companion dog and best buddy for your children, then a trip to the local shelter is probably your best option.

 

Most of the people on this board are the exception and not the rule. I wish that I could get bc-savvy people like those on this board to apply for dogs from me. But, the sad truth is that it rarely happens. That is why I cringe when I see adds for border collies or even shelter postings that claim that they make great family pets. For a person who is experienced, responsible, and willing to put in the work, they probably do make great family pets. But, the average Joe-Shmoe dog owner with kids is not prepared or willing to do what it takes to have a successful outcome. And, the dog will be the one to get the blame.

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I was 9 and my brother was 7 when we got our BC, Casey, as the family pet. She was great with kids - we never were bitten. She did of course enjoy chasing us around in the yard. :rolleyes:

 

Daisy, my BC now, is not a fan of kids. She barks at them when she sees them. I am working with her on this issue as I do not want her to be aggressive towards them. I don't have many small children that our in my daily life so it is a bit tricky to work on it with her. As the weather warms up we will frequent parks and such to work on the issue.

 

It's a mixed bag I think as far as good family pets. If it is a pup that is raised with kids, I would think that it would be best.

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I get applications or emails quite often from people with children wanting to adopt a bc. Most (almost all) are folks that have no previous experience with bc's (or they tell me that they grew up with one, but haven't had one since); they have not seriously researched the breed, and they (from their application or interview) are not going to provide the dog with the physical and mental exercise that it will need. I often wonder why, exactly, have they decided to add a border collie as the family pet. If all you are looking for is a nice companion dog and best buddy for your children, then a trip to the local shelter is probably your best option.

 

 

For us Kaycee is our very first Border Collie and we went through the same process you put yours through and we were constantly denied - either for lack of experience, lack of a large farm, no livestock etc... We finally found a breeder believe it or not, locally, and she questioned us up and down, but we, unlike a lot of others, did quite a bit of research - 6 months+ - before we began to look. We only have just under an acre of land and a 10 y/o Shepherd/Dingo mix that was rescued @ 9 mo old. But we were dedicated to teaching and training our B/C and these boards have been nothing but an asset to helping us learn more every day. B/C's are definately not for everyone, but for the well educated/informed consumer that has done their research and understands their dedication needed to raise a B/C properly, some people should be given the chance... :rolleyes:

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It's a mixed bag I think as far as good family pets. If it is a pup that is raised with kids, I would think that it would be best.

 

But, this is such a common misconception. Just raising a bc with kids will not assure that it will be good with kids (or vice versa). You need to have someone who is knowledgeable about bc behavior and is realistic about their responsibility in making sure the dog acts appropriately around the kids and the kids act appropriately around the dog. The dog also still needs to have mental and physical workouts that go beyond just chasing the kids around the back yard.

 

Or, you just have to get lucky and happen upon a bc without a lot of drive, that just happens to not practice any working dog behaviors on the kids, and that doesn't have any personal space issues.

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B/C's are definately not for everyone, but for the well educated/informed consumer that has done their research and understands their dedication needed to raise a B/C properly, some people should be given the chance... :rolleyes:

 

As I said, the people on this board are the exception and not the rule. It doesn't take long to figure out from the way someone answered questions on and application or in a phone interview whether or not they have done their research and are willing to put in the necessary effort to have a successful outcome. That goes for people without kids, too.

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I don't think there are any breeds that are really any better or worse with children. I think it depends mostly on how dog savvy the parents are and how prepared they are to deal with their particular breed of choices quirks. My bc is great with kids, and I mean really great. He is a low drive guy anyway, but he is gentle, never nips, doesn't jump up, is tuned in to their feelings...I couldn't ask for anything more. Then you have to consider that we have four dogs and my husband and I are more dog savvy than the average owner. Shiner is better trained than the average dog, and our kids are animal lovers...they are calm, empathetic, and have been well trained themselves in how to behave with a house full of animals. With dogs and kids, I think you really have to look at it on a case by case basis.

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Jade hasn't had much exposure to kids... a little boy at my apartment saw Jade one day and just started screaming because he was so excited about "Puppy!! puppy!!! Mommeeee look at the doggie!!!" which scared the bejeezus out of Jade (can't say I blame her) and the only other kid she's been around, she couldn't figure out what the heck it was. Didn't nip or anything, was trying to play with her. I think anyway.

 

I was actually planning on posting something about this down the road here... my fiance has said that there will be no dogs in the house while we have small children. His theory is "it only takes one time for a child to be maimed for life." I'm sure it will break my heart to kick my dogs out but I think I've talked him into a "we'll see what happens" position. Not sure what to think of it. I've certainly seen dogs in homes with small kids- my fiance's sisters' daycare has two dogs running around with a bunch of kids under 4 years of age.

 

Thoughts? Comments? Experiences?

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From the limited evidence I have gleaned at the dog park, I would say that the average dog isn't trained at all.

 

 

Amen!

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Everyone on the Board knows I think my old girl Sara is just perfect BUT children between the walking stage and puberty have never been safe with her without close supervision! She loves babies, will play/supervise crawlers but once they start walking, she herds and will nip every time they move away from her commands. And this despite the fact that her breeder had a 3 yr old when Sara was born and some of the first pictures show the child in the whelping box with a very calm mama dog and the 6 pups!

 

Katie on other hand, who has little to no herding instincts, loves children, will let them dress her up, will pull a wagon, run and wrestle, etc. and has never once even showed her teeth much less nipped. But in all honesty, I think Katie would turn and run if a lamb looked her crosswise much less a ram or ewe whereas Sara never backed down.

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my fiance has said that there will be no dogs in the house while we have small children. His theory is "it only takes one time for a child to be maimed for life." I'm sure it will break my heart to kick my dogs out but I think I've talked him into a "we'll see what happens" position. . . .

 

Thoughts? Comments? Experiences?

 

Lord, yes, honey - get a new fiance! :D The one you have now apparently thinks he gets to make the rules. :rolleyes: I'm sure this is just lack of experience on his part - any man who has been married before would know this is not the case :D - but it sounds like you're going to have to put a lot of training into this one. :D

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Annie is fine in a one-on-one or one-on-two meeting with children; if they are unfamiliar with dogs, I guide them on the proper way to approach one (after first ensuring that they have their parents' permission to pet the dog). But when a large group of kids approaches her, she panics and goes into defensive mode, and has to be restrained; at that point, I move her away from the area as quickly as possible.

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Lord, yes, honey - get a new fiance! :D The one you have now apparently thinks he gets to make the rules. :rolleyes: I'm sure this is just lack of experience on his part - any man who has been married before would know this is not the case :D - but it sounds like you're going to have to put a lot of training into this one. :D

 

Yes, I have some 'breaking' to do. Not going to be easy though, he comes from a stubborn bunch where typically the men do make the rules :D ! Not so in my family, my mom rules the roost.

 

I think a lot of it is we're just going to have to wait and see how it goes. I don't see that there will be any problems with Jade or any dog I have... his sister has an almost 2 yr old and another due in June with two beagles and a pug- none of which are trained to do ANYTHING except spit litters of puppies out repeatedly- and have never had any problems with the baby and the dogs. As well trained as Jade (and all my dogs will be) is, I can't imagine there would be any problems. It will just take some convincing. Oh well, we've got several years til we have to cross that bridge.

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my fiance has said that there will be no dogs in the house while we have small children. His theory is "it only takes one time for a child to be maimed for life." I'm sure it will break my heart to kick my dogs out but I think I've talked him into a "we'll see what happens" position. Not sure what to think of it.

 

The answer is supervision and crates. Supervise when the kids and dogs are together, crate the dogs when you can't supervise. Yes, it only takes once for a child to be maimed, but if you have a well mannered dog and use crates/supervision you should be just fine.

 

I would never go kicking my dogs out unless I had good reason to believe they would be unsafe with my children. And then I would be rehoming them.

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my fiance has said that there will be no dogs in the house while we have small children

Is he also planning to ban electrical outlets from the house? Hot water faucets? Stairs? Doors that lead to the great outdoors? He's got a major wakeup call coming if he thinks kids can just raise themselves without supervision.

 

If you can be a responsible dog owner without kids in the house, you can continue to be responsible once they're added.

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Is he also planning to ban electrical outlets from the house? Hot water faucets? Stairs? Doors that lead to the great outdoors? He's got a major wakeup call coming if he thinks kids can just raise themselves without supervision.

 

I'm sorry, but I wasn't trying to make my fiance out to be a bad guy here... I can understand his concern, his whole point is a dog can snap in an instant with or without supervision (or excellent training for that matter). I'm sure a lot will change once we actually become parents. He is just more concerned with the welfare and safety of a child than the indoor comforts of a dog. I understand where he's coming from, but I also don't know where I sit on it either. No, I don't want to kick the dogs out (and I also think they would do just fine), but if it came to it the child would be first.

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I don't think moving the dog outdoors once a baby is in the picture will solve any problems or lessen the risks of something happening, in fact, I think a dog who is outside, away from the family and who isn't allowed to socialize with and get used to a baby from the beginning, will be more of a bite risk later on.

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... my fiance has said that there will be no dogs in the house while we have small children. His theory is "it only takes one time for a child to be maimed for life." ...Not sure what to think of it. I've certainly seen dogs in homes with small kids- my fiance's sisters' daycare has two dogs running around with a bunch of kids under 4 years of age.

 

Thoughts? Comments? Experiences?

Leila had never been around a baby until we had one...

 

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Odin is what I would consider fantastic with kids, all the way from very very small to adolescents. He seems to really love them and is fascinated by their voices - he will regularly turn to hear a kid laughing a block away. With my best friend's babies, now 6 months and 2 1/2, he is very gentle and even solicits frisbee throws from the toddler. The kid can only throw it about 5 feet but Odin returns it with the same happiness he returns throws for my friend who is an ultimate frisbee champion. He seems innately more careful around kids, especially with his teeth. I think this is due to his individual personality, but also to the fact that his breeder consciously breeds for friendliness and an easygoing nature around kids, because they always have many foster children around the farm. The kids help with early socialization and training of the pups, too. Which might explain why his FAVORITE thing is an 11 yo girl who commands him to do tricks in a dog-savvy way.

 

But I would never trust even Odin's temperament blindly around kids under 10-11 yo, at least now. I know in my heart he would never maim any kid but accidentally knock them down too hard, or nip at butts if they get him too fired up, or roll over and lay on a baby? Maybe. These things seem easily preventable to me with good parenting, supervision and training of the dog. And as the kid and the dog get older, I think it really hinges on the parents taking every responsibility to train their children and any of their friends or other visiting kids how to be safe with dogs, and not to ever treat them cruelly. In my mind, I worry as much about the kids under a certain age unsupervised with an animal, because even good kids can be cruel to animals without necessarily meaning it or understanding what they are really doing. When was 3 or so, I once put a ribbon on my family cat's neck - no big deal but I used a rubber band which choked her slowly for months and actually grew into the skin a bit before my mom found it (the cat had really fluffy long hair). The ribbon fell off 30 minutes after I used this ingenious attachment solution but of course the rubber band was still there, too tight and working its way through the fur under the collar to the skin. I feel terrible every single time I think about it but I honestly didn't know what I was doing. Good thing pets are very forgiving; the cat was literally my best friend until she died (of non-rubber band-related causes) some 10 years later.

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I raised two kids with BCs. and never had a problem. Fuzzer saved Megyn when she fell in the pool and never let a child near the pool again unless an adult was present. The only wierd things was a baring of teeth and some growling other than that nothing I can really think of stands out.

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