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I have been fortunate enough to live in the same greater metropolitan area with one of my sisters and her family, which includes 4 kids from the ages of 1 month to 9 years. The kids have had plenty of interaction with Daisy and things have always gone smoothly, but they've always been strictly supervised visits at either my sister's house or at my parents' house when we all head up to NJ for holidays. Now, however, I will be moving into a house right in my sister's neighborhood, which we are all very excited about. Not only will we all be able to see each other much more often, but Daisy and I will actually have a yard to play in for the first time in our life together.

 

Given that we expect a lot more interaction with the kids, and much of it to take place on our new home turf, I would like to set up some hard and fast "rules" for the older kids in their interactions with Daisy and any fosters that I take it. I don't mean to suggest that they will be unsupervised, but it just seems likely that increased time spent together leads to increased opportunities for something bad to happen. The kids are great kids and Daisy has always been great with them, but I do think that setting some ground rules is a good idea.

 

So I guess I'm just looking for suggestions for rules to set up to help ensure the safety of kids and dogs as they spent more time together and I would love to hear from those of you with more kid/dog experience that I have.

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I have been fortunate enough to live in the same greater metropolitan area with one of my sisters and her family, which includes 4 kids from the ages of 1 month to 9 years. The kids have had plenty of interaction with Daisy and things have always gone smoothly, but they've always been strictly supervised visits at either my sister's house or at my parents' house when we all head up to NJ for holidays. Now, however, I will be moving into a house right in my sister's neighborhood, which we are all very excited about. Not only will we all be able to see each other much more often, but Daisy and I will actually have a yard to play in for the first time in our life together.

 

Given that we expect a lot more interaction with the kids, and much of it to take place on our new home turf, I would like to set up some hard and fast "rules" for the older kids in their interactions with Daisy and any fosters that I take it. I don't mean to suggest that they will be unsupervised, but it just seems likely that increased time spent together leads to increased opportunities for something bad to happen. The kids are great kids and Daisy has always been great with them, but I do think that setting some ground rules is a good idea.

 

So I guess I'm just looking for suggestions for rules to set up to help ensure the safety of kids and dogs as they spent more time together and I would love to hear from those of you with more kid/dog experience that I have.

 

My rule is no kids under eight or nine with my dogs...that's only if they're well behaved and understand dogs. If they've never seen a dog before, they can play with someone else's dog first to learn how to act around them. Mine aren't for experimentation. Your nieces and nephews already have a relationship with Daisy, and if she's anything like Ladybug, she'll run her legs off retrieving balls for them, so the biggest concern might be them not being aware that they could unintentionally push her to the point of exhaustion.

 

Regarding the foster dogs, I would not risk contact with family or friends. Several years ago I had an experience with Scotty, our rescue dog, that really taught me a lesson about the need to protect both myself and my dogs.. A "friend" who loves Border Collies and "understands" them, wanted to meet him. She had owned a border collie at one point . When we first got Scotty, he would snap at a person that held out their hand to him, even to let him sniff it. He got over it, but at the time, he was still doing it. He was, however, always just fine, if he was allowed time to adjust to the person and make the first overture. I explained this all to her, several times over, including when I got him out of the crate. What did she do? Walked right up at him, and he snapped at her hand - no punctures, just snapped.

 

This woman is a professional musician. She could have sued me if she thought that her hand had been damaged enough to prevent her from playing the guitar. I would have had no defense, because I knew how the dog behaved and I took him to her property. She didn't call a lawyer or even go to the doctor, but she was very nasty to me, saying that she had no idea the dog would act like that.

 

This spring she heard I had new pups and called and wanted to see them. I told her quite bluntly no , it wasn't convenient for me. She hasn't called again, but if she does, the answer will still be no. They're nice dogs and well behaved, but I'm not risking her stupidity again.

 

Liz

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My 7 year old really harrasses the dogs and I have to keep an eye on him. I've caught him shooting them with his nerf toys a couple times and really have to lecture him. It's funny, the boston just lays there and doesn't care. The BCs, who are twice the size, run in fear of their lives. There for a while, Marli wouldn't even come into the same room as him. It's taking a lot of love and a lot of treats to bring her out of that shell. My biggest fear is she'll relate that to all smaller children.

 

On the other hand, he likes to run and play with them and it's in their nature to nip. They've unintentionally pinched his skin a few times and we have to scold them for it....but better to figure all this out with mine than the neighbor's kid I guess. I would not let them play together unsupervised.

 

I have not had any issues with my 11 year old or her friends. That 8 or 9 YO threshhold may be a really good idea...or maybe its just boys being boys, I don't know.

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First let me tell you that a well socialized typical BC is pretty good with kids. I have some that like/tolerate them, and others that *adore* children - always have. With time and dogs like the latter you will find that you can allow more and more interaction. The last time I left Ben alone with some visiting dog-savvy kids I came back and he was wearing clothing, sunglasses and a hat. He was so happy he kept knocking his pants sideways wagging his tail LOL

 

Second let me remind you that dogs are *dogs* and if we don't listen to their body language at first they only have teeth left to make the point. All dogs have limits, even gems like my Benny-boy.

 

Supervision is always the baseline of safety. I would be hesitant with the foster dogs - a dog you haven't known at least a few weeks can have hidden issues I would not want to find out about with somebody else's kids. I would also strongly suggest you test all the dogs for resource aggression with a variety of items (toys, low value food, and high value food like a kid's dropped lunch) using Sue Sternburgs assess a pet method before any interaction with the kids.

 

Basic rules for kids:

 

Kids can only interact with a dog that comes to them willingly and sits on command *by the kid*.

 

No screaming, pinching, pulling, dragging, or moving the dog physically - including removing things from the dog's mouth. If the dog won't respond to you verbally then you must get an adult. (and for kids, you need to clarify that you would willingly replace Barbie/tonka truck if damaged - do not try to rescue her/it yourself :rolleyes: )

 

No throwing toys indoors. Outdoors when allowed you can once the dog has dig has dropped the ball, backed off and is lying down quietly.

 

dog safe zone - crate, behind baby gate, specific rooms are absolute. You do not touch, talk to, stare at, or bother a dog in those areas. for the humerous Harry Potter rooms I would call this the "invisible room" LOL

 

kid only zone - should be equally respected. Kids should have a place where they can create and not have the dog eat the results.

 

Basic rules for dogs (which is often ignored imo):

 

no jumping up, no stealing food or toys out of hands or plates, or barging doors

 

little people commands are law just like big people commands - and big people will enforce

 

pulling on leash is absolutely not-tolerated under any circumstances - lots of co-walking with kids is nice for dog attitude - kid gets short leash and gives commands, adult has long leash and is the "long arm of the law".

 

You are going to go crazy supervising for a while. I'm not sure I wouldn't just stop fostering until you get your own dogs settled in. Have you considered how the kids will respond to dogs that come and go? Kid can get really attached and the idea of giving away "their" new favorite can create a lot of family strife.

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Basic rules for kids:

 

Kids can only interact with a dog that comes to them willingly and sits on command *by the kid*.

 

No screaming, pinching, pulling, dragging, or moving the dog physically - including removing things from the dog's mouth. If the dog won't respond to you verbally then you must get an adult. (and for kids, you need to clarify that you would willingly replace Barbie/tonka truck if damaged - do not try to rescue her/it yourself :rolleyes: )

 

No throwing toys indoors. Outdoors when allowed you can once the dog has dig has dropped the ball, backed off and is lying down quietly.

 

dog safe zone - crate, behind baby gate, specific rooms are absolute. You do not touch, talk to, stare at, or bother a dog in those areas. for the humerous Harry Potter rooms I would call this the "invisible room" LOL

 

kid only zone - should be equally respected. Kids should have a place where they can create and not have the dog eat the results.

 

Basic rules for dogs (which is often ignored imo):

 

no jumping up, no stealing food or toys out of hands or plates, or barging doors

 

little people commands are law just like big people commands - and big people will enforce

 

pulling on leash is absolutely not-tolerated under any circumstances - lots of co-walking with kids is nice for dog attitude - kid gets short leash and gives commands, adult has long leash and is the "long arm of the law".

 

You are going to go crazy supervising for a while. I'm not sure I wouldn't just stop fostering until you get your own dogs settled in. Have you considered how the kids will respond to dogs that come and go? Kid can get really attached and the idea of giving away "their" new favorite can create a lot of family strife.

 

There are great suggestions. I definitely like the little people commands = big people commands and will work with the kids to make sure that they know how to properly give commands as well as with Daisy to make sure that she obeys.

 

To be clear, we won't be living with the kids. They'll just be within walking distance for the first time ever, so we expect to have them over a lot more. I think I may establish a "dog's toys stay at dog's house and kid's toys stay at kid's house unless specifically invited" just to avoid any confusion over torn apart stuffed animals and the like.

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I like Wendy's thoughts on this. I'd also add that kids must never open doors or fence gates that the dog might be able to escape from. Obviously for everyone's safety, as you don't want kids bolting out after a wayward dog, either.

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Just a note to 'second' the list of rules provided - absolutely spot on!

 

We live in a condo with two children 6 and 9 and multiple guests from newborn - crawling - toddler and so on. Using the listed ground rules I don't think you'll have a problem. You'll obviously need to remind the kids frequently at the beginning but in my experience they pick up quickly. I also like the rules for dogs - everyone has to be behaved to be trusted - dogs AND kids.

 

We're fortunate that our dog loves kids so he'd put up with a lot just to be near them but I do occassionally put him in a bedroom if he's getting over excited by their games. Otherwise he has a mat in the dining room that even the little ones are reminded not to touch him when he's on it.

 

Congratulations on the move!

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Given that we expect a lot more interaction with the kids, and much of it to take place on our new home turf, I would like to set up some hard and fast "rules" for the older kids in their interactions with Daisy and any fosters that I take it. I don't mean to suggest that they will be unsupervised, but it just seems likely that increased time spent together leads to increased opportunities for something bad to happen. The kids are great kids and Daisy has always been great with them, but I do think that setting some ground rules is a good idea.

 

Those kids and Daisy are lucky to have you. You've gotten great suggestions so far. Here are a few handouts you might find useful. I would also make a point of showing the kids not only what they must not do, but what they can and should do. Games that are appropriate for them to play with the dog, tricks they can cue, correct way to interact and touch, chores they can help with if they end up interacting to that extent.

 

Dos and Don'ts For Children

 

The Safety Zone

 

ABCs of Dog Safety

 

Here is a wonderful (and funny) book for kids to understand how we make dogs feel, and how to behave around them:

 

Don't Lick the Dog

 

With all the thinking ahead you're doing, it's sure to go well.

 

Barbara

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I raised 3 kids with BCs. Never had a problem. One BC pulled a 2yr old Mu pout of the pool when she fell in, another placed himself between Ya and a rattler taking the bite. He went to the bridge to save Ya. The kids would sleep on the dogs, share water from their drinking dish even eat dog biscuits up to ab out age 4. It was great fun. I never did anything special to "keep the kids safe" from the dogs since the kids had learned at an early age don't pujll the doggies tail, they nip and that 5 of a cats six ends are razor sharp. "Daddy, Kitty 'cratch me" Actually had more cat scratching than dog problems.

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since the kids had learned at an early age don't pujll the doggies tail, they nip and that 5 of a cats six ends are razor sharp.

 

The school of hard knocks and accidents hurts kids enough. Why set them up to fail? Why set up the pet?

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One really great trick to go along with those great rules you've been given. With you as instructor play "obedience school." Teach the kids (amazing even real young kids pick this up) show them how to make the dog sit, down, stay heel etc. Then with you giving commands let them work the dog. They love helping to train the dog and the dogs love the attention. Best of all you are instilling proper behavior towards dogs in them and instilling respect for childern into your dog. A win win sitution.

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One really great trick to go along with those great rules you've been given. With you as instructor play "obedience school." Teach the kids (amazing even real young kids pick this up) show them how to make the dog sit, down, stay heel etc. Then with you giving commands let them work the dog. They love helping to train the dog and the dogs love the attention. Best of all you are instilling proper behavior towards dogs in them and instilling respect for childern into your dog. A win win sitution.

 

I love this suggestion. Thanks everybody!

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I have a hard time with this since I was the type of kid who would catch ferral cats in my neighborhood and tame them. I was mauled by a hunting dog as a toddler and it didnt scar me for life. From what I understand I had flaps on the back of my head. I guess I hope I"m never bald. I dont understand as a nurse why people will run in with the smallest red mark with intact skin saying a dog bit me. I mean the people who was bit was always standing around minding their own business when the dog came out of nowhere. Not saying that never happens but, jeeze. Ok vent over

 

I think you do need to keep the kids safe and the dogs but, I think there has to be an understnaidng that the dog may get them idrty accidently scratch them or my hit them with a tooth exchanging a ball during play. Then there is the obvious if you accidently fall, step or run into the dog you may also get hurt.

 

Imagine what would happen if everyone still owned horses. I've been trampled, ad my foot squashed, taken playful nips and been kicked full on.

 

I'm sure everything will go great for you OP because you care about everyone involved.

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The school of hard knocks and accidents hurts kids enough. Why set them up to fail? Why set up the pet?

 

I don't believe I was setting them up to fail. The dogs learned not to nip at the kids and the kids learned to be gentle and loving with the dogs. Even in rough play none of the kids was ever seriously injured by an animal. Cuts, scrapes and the occasional scratch, hell the kids got worse playing outside with their friends. When they got old enough for horses their experience with house animals gave them the edge over their friends who didn't have any dogs. At any rate my kids grew up respecting and loving all animals.

 

There was one problem though. All of the male BCs would growl at Ky, my son. Not a menacing growl but a growl nonetheless. Even when he was a teen Bas would growl at him when Ky sat down to play with him. None of them ever did that to the girls. A fond memory of a 2 year old Ky asleep on Fuzzer while the he growled quietly not moving. Bas did the same thing.

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I don't believe I was setting them up to fail. The dogs learned not to nip at the kids and the kids learned to be gentle and loving with the dogs. Even in rough play none of the kids was ever seriously injured by an animal. Cuts, scrapes and the occasional scratch, hell the kids got worse playing outside with their friends. When they got old enough for horses their experience with house animals gave them the edge over their friends who didn't have any dogs. At any rate my kids grew up respecting and loving all animals.

 

There was one problem though. All of the male BCs would growl at Ky, my son. Not a menacing growl but a growl nonetheless. Even when he was a teen Bas would growl at him when Ky sat down to play with him. None of them ever did that to the girls. A fond memory of a 2 year old Ky asleep on Fuzzer while the he growled quietly not moving. Bas did the same thing.

 

The world is a different place now. Children and dogs growing up on a farm together developed a sense of and a tolerance for each other. My first "doggie" memories are of a beautiful tri Border Collie, Ring, who was old when I was young and retired from livestock. (He came from the Amish, by the way, and had been trained to respond to German herding commands.) I became his project, making sure that I didn't toddle off when my mother wasn't looking He never nipped or growled, just bodyblocked me when necessary. When he became blind, I led him around. We were quite a team until I was six or seven learned the painful lesson that people outlive dogs.

 

Liz

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Indeed the world is different. Too many kids don't know anything about animals. Not even from school. I('ve lost track of the pets here besides dog and cats and horses there have been snakes, lizards, tortoises, turtles, fish, and tarantulas. No birds, the cats eat them. :rolleyes: On the other side of the coin there are always stories mostly of city kids torturing and killing animals for fun. Something that makes me cringe.

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I have two kids ages 8 and 11 and they have grown up with dogs and cats since they were infants...we've had shelter dogs, stray dogs, puppies, and it's been a wonderful experience for my kids and I think for the dogs too. Some of the basic rules we have is no hitting (obviously), no hair pulling, no trying to ride the dogs, no bothering them in their crates or while eating, no feeding from the table or teasing them with food, and more I know I'm forgetting. I swear by extra tall baby gates too...I have two up now blocking the dogs from the kids rooms so they can have toys with small parts, stuffies, etc, and not worry about them being eaten by dogs, and when the kids were younger I had them up just for separation if need be, but they've always been allowed around the dogs, slept with them, played with them. The result, and it may be partly luck, who knows, is that I have kids who are dog savvy, who help with training, (my 11 year old is teaching our sheltie agility), feeding, walking, and dogs who are great around kids.

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Indeed the world is different. Too many kids don't know anything about animals. Not even from school. I('ve lost track of the pets here besides dog and cats and horses there have been snakes, lizards, tortoises, turtles, fish, and tarantulas. No birds, the cats eat them. :rolleyes: On the other side of the coin there are always stories mostly of city kids torturing and killing animals for fun. Something that makes me cringe.

 

I disagree. I think kids today are just as interested in animals as kids of "yesteryear." Now, when kids develop an interest, there is tons of information online, education centers or nature museums, nature camps, etc., where they can feed their passion rather than dragging home worn-out, out-of-date books from the library like I did. The boys down the street from me currently have dogs, cats, geckos, frogs, rabbits, and spectacular aquariums. Their knowledge astounds me. Their sisters both ride horses and have jobs at their stables.

 

And by the way, I imagine disturbed kids who live in the desert, rural areas, suburbs, mountains, etc., have possibly committed heinous crimes against animals.....not just disturbed city kids.

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I have two kids ages 8 and 11 and they have grown up with dogs and cats since they were infants...we've had shelter dogs, stray dogs, puppies, and it's been a wonderful experience for my kids and I think for the dogs too. Some of the basic rules we have is no hitting (obviously), no hair pulling, no trying to ride the dogs, no bothering them in their crates or while eating, no feeding from the table or teasing them with food, and more I know I'm forgetting. I swear by extra tall baby gates too...I have two up now blocking the dogs from the kids rooms so they can have toys with small parts, stuffies, etc, and not worry about them being eaten by dogs, and when the kids were younger I had them up just for separation if need be, but they've always been allowed around the dogs, slept with them, played with them. The result, and it may be partly luck, who knows, is that I have kids who are dog savvy, who help with training, (my 11 year old is teaching our sheltie agility), feeding, walking, and dogs who are great around kids.

 

 

The 4-H clubs are great as well -- our son went through the dog club with Lucky Girl and eventually became an assistant to the leader. His cousin, who was in the as well, is now the club leader. They both learned a great deal about patience and communication -- and the pleasure of accomplishment. Our Lucky Girl was a BC mix, the only mutt in the group of purebreds but she was a star. It's been over ten years since the "club days", and Lucky Girl has been gone for five years, but I was in the vet's office last year and met up with the "Lab lady" who was raising and showing AKC labs. She asked about Lucky, saying that was the smartest dog she'd ever seen..... :rolleyes:. Hadn't met many BC's obviously. :D.

 

Each situation is different. Ladybug's perfect person is a 8 or 9 year old boy who loves to throw balls. She's intolerant of toddlers and shies away from women, so we don't push her. The pups are being introduced to children who are 8-9 years old. They're still bouncy and a child any younger might be scared, but I do want them to like children. I don't let them run and play, but we've been having delightful walks with my cousin's grandsons who are just that age. My neice is 15 months old, and did get to pet them when they were little, but they'd knock her flat today, so they admire each other from a safe distance.

 

Liz

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Another consideration for us is food storage - our younger dog sets himself up in front of the pantry about 1 hr before feeding time and waits. He doesn't guard his food, we can take it away and put our hands into his food but who knows how he will respond with a baby. Our baby is due in January so sometime in December we are going to move the food to the mud room in the basement. We still plan to feed the dogs up-stairs but go down to get the food morning and night. It will be a pain but it seems best to avoid conflict.

 

Kyna

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