52 answers

Pit Bull and Baby?

Hey ladies,

First off, i am not a dog person. I did not grow up with dogs and i would probably say was always told to stay away from the scary ones. So my in-laws lost their dog about two months ago, and adopted a pitbull mix from the pound yesterday. My husband loves dogs so we went over to say hello to the new dog, it seems nice enough.

Fastfoward, i am talking to my mother, a big anti baby and dog person. When i told her they got a pitbull mix she almost fell out of her chair. She then went on to say that the baby won't be safe in their house etc.

Is my mom right (she is overly cautious on many things) or was it inconsiderate of my in-laws to get such a dog. We live about five minutes from them, and we are over there enough that they will see the baby a few times a week.

I know this issue will only cause more issues once the baby is here....she is arriving late September!! Now i feel weird about the situation, when i didn't really even think about it until my mother brought it up.

mother knows best? or not?? hummmm!

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

weirdly enough, they had to bring the dog back to the shelter. The dog was aggressive towards my husbands father. So, maybe they realized it wouldn't have worked out.


Featured Answers

A baby should NEVER be left unsupervised with a dog. EVER. Pitbull, pug, lab, yorkie. Doesn't matter. It's not worth the risk. Just use baby gates to gate the dog off when the baby is over and be cautious. It's not worth the risk and dogs react differently to babies.

9 moms found this helpful

I would not trust my baby around the dog. A dog can be trained to be obedient, but it's part of a pit-bull's blood line to just be agressive. The baby might walk on it's toes or might scream loud or anything to set the dog off. If I were you, I would be overly cautious when you are over there. Perhaps the dog needs to go outside when you and baby are over there, ESPECIALLY when baby starts crawling and walking.

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I have grown up with pit bulls, and would love to have one now if i had the room. the ones i had were the sweetest dogs you could ever ask for, a little dumb but sweet. my brother has one and when my son was 6 months old i had no problem taking my son over where he would pull on the dog and never once did the dog growl or show any aggression. all he did was lick. i think its sad that these beautiful dogs have such a bad rap when ANY breed can be aggressive. my son who is now 5 is terrified of my MIL little shi tsu (sp) because it bit him for no reason and he needed stitches in his leg. yet he loves going to my brother to play with his 65lbs pit bull.

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Well i would never get a pit bull , certainly not if i had a 1- newborn , or 2-toddler , running around(which im about to have on the first account, and already do on the second)

I know pit bulls being "dangerous and surprisingly violent after years of normalcy" is supposed to be an untrue stereotype. But some stereotypes have solids roots in absolute truths and examples. This i believe is one of them.

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Jeez, I've read soooo many horror stories about pits and pit mixes in our local papers ... you know, "was the sweetest dog, a family dog, never hurt a fly" ... then it attacks/maims/kills the child in the family. One recent article told of a dad who ran back inside his house for literally 30 seconds and left his little guy w/ the family pit; when he returned 30 seconds later the dog had the little boy in a death grip and the little one died. Unfortunately, these stories are not uncommon. And they don't just attack children, they also attack other dogs.

When you read these articles the apologists come out -- it wasn't socialized properly, it's bad owners not a bad dog -- yada yada yada.

No thanks. There is not enough money in this world that would make me bring that breed of a dog into my house. And yes, I'm a dog lover and have owned dogs my entire life.

Reading the responses here sounds like some people won't agree with me. But our local Orange County Shelter is filled with predominantly pits/pit mixes/and chihuahuas (also aggressive little buggers). They are there for a reason and I'd be willing to guess that most of them are there due to aggression.

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I would not trust my baby around the dog. A dog can be trained to be obedient, but it's part of a pit-bull's blood line to just be agressive. The baby might walk on it's toes or might scream loud or anything to set the dog off. If I were you, I would be overly cautious when you are over there. Perhaps the dog needs to go outside when you and baby are over there, ESPECIALLY when baby starts crawling and walking.

9 moms found this helpful

A baby should NEVER be left unsupervised with a dog. EVER. Pitbull, pug, lab, yorkie. Doesn't matter. It's not worth the risk. Just use baby gates to gate the dog off when the baby is over and be cautious. It's not worth the risk and dogs react differently to babies.

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I would not leave a baby with ANY dog unsupervised. I once read a story about a cocker spaniel (oh so cute, right?) puppy about 11 months old attacked a baby when the mom stepped out of the room. No one knew why, maybe the puppy wanted to play. Then again, I have a friend that has a German Shepard and her mom has a Rottweiler. Both dogs are awesome and protective of her toddler. But she never left the baby with them alone. We just got a cattle dog/rott mix though she looks more like a Rottweiler. I am due in November when the puppy will be 4 1/2 months old so she will be a bit bigger of course. I told my husband that in no way at all is the baby to be left alone in the room with the dog. I totally believe that it is the person not the dog but when it comes to safety, you have to go on the side of extra precautions.

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American pit bulls are dangerous and have been banned in some areas of the world because of their aggressive tendencies. I would not feel at all OK about a child being near one. Even if it's usually the most placid, loving dog, it is still an unpredictable animal bred for attack, and can snap. Your MIL probably didn't realise this and I wouldn't assume she's being inconsiderate, just naive.

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I'm not just talking about pit bulls...I'm talking about ANY/ALL breeds...I don't think even the nicest most cuddly dog can ever be completely trusted, especially around a baby. A dog can be having a bad day, be not feeling well, be confused, or can startle at a strange noise or quick movement by someone, when one is least suspecting it. We used to have the sweetest dog, and people would ask me how the dog liked the baby and would they cuddle and play. Absolutely not! And I never had the baby crawling around on the floor near the dog. We don't know what animals are thinking, and we've all heard of even the sweetest dogs turning on people.

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Each dog breed, has their own intrinsic characteristics and personality.
Coupled with, how the dog is trained and handled.

Some dogs, like people, are not kid friendly.
Some are.
It is per the breed and the disposition of the dog.

Some dogs, do NOT like, babies/kids... because babies/kids/toddlers, make noises and make unpredictable movements.

In my State, many people have gotten attacked/mauled by pit-bulls.
Who knows, how the owner's trained their dogs.
That is an unknown.

In any event, do not ever, leave any pet, unsupervised when your baby or child is there.
Kids, can also irk dogs and swat the dog or mishandle a dog. Because kids do not have, impulse control nor do they know how to handle a pet. Any pet. Even a cat, can scratch. If a kid, provokes them or 'threatens' them.

A dog, also bonds with people, differently. Or not.

Now, I would never leave my baby, on the floor playing, while the dog is there. It takes a split second, for any animal, to do anything.
An infant anyway, will probably be held, by the adult. Always.

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Personally, it wasn't inconsiderate for your in-laws to get a pitbull mix puppy. I mean, it's their house - they can have whatever dog they want. That said, I don't think I'd allow my own baby around a pit bull without really close supervision.

(for the record - I know several awesome pitbulls - they're generally fantastic dogs, but things *do* happen)

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pit bulls have been bred for aggresion, in most towns they are banned inside city limits, even the mixed breeds. usually, a dog that is brought into a family as a very young puppy and is raised with the baby does best. I personally would not let my kids around a pit bull or pit bull mix. there are those that are very good dogs and are not hostile, but many are. these are your kids and better safe than sorry.

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Wow I can't believe how much misinformation you are getting. I owned 4 pit bulls when my son was born (sadly due to age we are down to 2 now). I would never judge a dog based on their breed there are good and bad dogs of any breed. I think the most important thing is that the dog is well behaved and that the baby is never alone with the dog. Also if the dog has never been around a baby it will need a little training in how to behave and stay calm. Because the dog is large if it gets excited it may unintentionally hurt the baby especially when the baby starts crawling. Before the baby comes you should buy a doll that makes noise, cries etc. Carry the doll around like you would a baby and see how the dog reacts. The noises that a baby makes are "prey" noises. Any dog with prey drive (research this many breeds have it not just pits) can be excited about these noises and react in an unforgiveable way. If the dog is a little excited at first that's okay you just need to teach it to lay down or sit and not start jumping around when it hears these noises. When I first introduced my son to my dogs none of them had ever seen a real baby before. I swaddled my son and let the dog sniff his butt while on a leash being held by someone else. The person holding the leash can give the dog a correction if he begins to get excited. Once the initial meeting is over make sure that the dog gets treats and good stuff while the baby is around. If the dog is constantly getting banished to another room or getting scolded when the baby is around it will start to get jealous and may act out because of this. There are many good articles and books about introducing a baby to a dog. Read these and be prepared. This dog can be your babies best friend but it will take some training (as all dogs do not just pits). My son is forever jumping on my dogs and telling them to sit etc. Not once have any of my dogs snapped or shown aggression to my son. If anyone has any questions and not just biased BS they are willing to PM me. It's time for this breed to stop being villified. In fact I have news stories where a chihuahua mauled and killed an infant. Any dog can be aggressive especially if they are not trained or socialized properly.

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Mother knows best!! I would not let my baby around a pit bull at all. And I would be cautious about other dogs as well. People will tell you that pit bulls are nice if they are treated nice. Well, his parents just adopted the pit bull from a pound and they don't have the slightest idea what kind of temperament this dog has or what kind of home it came from. Either someone got rid of it for a reason, or it was homeless. I would make sure the dog is in the back yard when I came over. It might get jealous or territorial. Be careful.

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I'm a huge dog fan. I believe some breeds should not be owned by just anyone, not that they are a bad breed but one that needs a more experienced understanding owner.

Pit Bulls were once called the "nanny" because of their protective but gentle behavior. Sadly you only hear the negative things and I an show you more stories of their kind behavior than reports of attacks.

Also, there are other breeds mistaken for the Pit Bull and if a dog carries a few similar traits it's classified as such. I have to believe the attack rate of a true Pit Bulls is actually lower than most believe.

Sadly a breed of dog has faced a very unjust discrimination. The reason they use them in dog fighting, is not due to their overly aggressive behavior, it's because they naturally want to please their owners, they can be dog aggressive if not properly socialized.

We recently adopted a Corgi mix and I do suspect she has pit bull in her. She is around kids, dogs, cats and people. She has never expressed aggression. She has wonderful personality to her and she is eager to please.

To clarify a Pit Bull can NOT "lock it's jaws" they do not have some super jaw Strength. They have the exact jaw structure of any other dog breed. There is not one ounce of proof. You may seen pictures or videos of Pit Bulls grabbing a rope in mid air and hanging on, that isn't from a locked jaw, that is from determination, may breeds can do that.

With any dog, regardless of breed, as an owner you should always know a dog is a dog. Dogs and kids should always be supervised and a child should be taught how to approach a dog.

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Your mom is wrong. I have a pitbull/ Rottweiler mix and he is the biggest love bug. He is around my kids everyday. He sniffs them, licks them and moves on. Now I would never leave him or any dog of any breed alone with a child for any reason. Even the best tempered dog regardless of breed can bite. As long as there is always at least one adult in the room with the baby & the dog at all times you have nothing to worry about.
And in my house my Chihuahua is way more likely to bite than my pitbull.

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Hi T.
I would be nervous myself around pitbulls even though I like dogs in general.
There is something about those dogs that freak me out so I wouldn't have my baby around them.
Thats just my oponion. I'm sure you,your husband and his parents would ensure that the baby was not put in danger.
B. k

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The aggressive breed issue is something I'm not going to get into.

But what I will say, is that pitt bulls have razor sharp teeth, especially the young ones. And their grip is incredibly strong, and they hold their jaws extremely tight making getting them to release very difficult. So, a pitt bull bite... even an innocent nip, can be devastating compared to the average nip from most other breeds.

I worked for years at an animal shelter and vet. One very well trained and lovable socialized pit excitedly brushed up one of the employers on the cheek with her teeth. The employee had to get 6 stitches from the otherwise innocent 'love bite'.

So, while I'm not going to get into the debate, (though I have seen very loving families have well trained pitts turn on them, and have seen them not turn on them)... you must still exert caution simply because all dog breeds do bite, especially little ones like pomeranians and chihuahuas. They get agitated, nervous, annoyed, some snap at random. But when my my border collie mix or pomeranian bites, isn't going to take a finger or a cheek off, or cause a death... when a pitt's bite very likely will.

So, in a family that was raised with many breeds of dogs, and have worked with dogs professionally, I would not own a pitt if I had children under the age of 10. It's just not worth the risk.

Also, the nanny dog reference is a myth:

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Regardless of the breed of dog, you have to be super careful ALWAYS. Never leave the baby alone with the dog. Even if you think you know the dog or the dog has been great every time you are there. It takes the flick of a swich to change the manerism in a dog and pit bulls have HUGE mouths that are extremely strong. I was severely bit by a family member's dog who i had known and played with for years. It was a completely unprovoked attack. I walked into the yard with the second pit bull and was attacked, knocked down and bitten on the arm--He had such a grip on my arm that I had to drag him across the yard and up to the porch, into the house and call for help. HE would NOT let go. I won't tell you how we had to get him off me, it was extremely traumatic. So, long story short----be careful!!!!

I don't hate pit bulls or any other dogs but I am much more leary of them now. I have alot of anxiety still when I see a pit bull.


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My inlaws would not have done this, I have to say. I totally agree with SingleMa's assessment. My head does. My heart and my stomach say that you should invite your inlaws to your house from now on. I don't think I could have my own child near a breed that has been trained to fight.

My heart sometimes wins over my head. Where my little children's safety was concerned, especially.



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I admit I am not a dog person.... They make me sneeze. I however think that if a dog has teeth, it can bite. A seemingly nice even tempered dog snapped on my husband's cousins child just a few weeks ago. The dog was unprovoked. The child needed several stitches in her eye brow but thank God she did not loose her eye as her parents originally feared. Personally, I would not take a chance with my baby.

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No dog is supposed to be left alone with a baby... not toddlers either. Dogs of ANY breed have the capacity and possibility to bite, startle, attack, etc any child at any time. Does that mean most will? Not at all.

Pit bulls are known family dogs and protectors. Only reason why they have a bad reputation is because of BAD PEOPLE training them to hurt other creatures or else they learn they will be hurt if they do not.

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It all depends on the dog and the owner. Pits have a bad reputation because stupid people treat them badly.
Any dog will bite if provoked or not properly trained, no matter what breed it is.
My pit mix would lie on the floor while my friend's toddler sat next to his head and fed him Cheetos. He would take the Cheetos out of her hand using only his lips.
The worst dog bite I ever got was from a cocker spaniel who had never had any obedience training and was allowed to be alpha in his owner's house.

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I'm an insurance agent in AZ. Ask your insurance company what they think of having a Pit in the home. They have paid out MILLIONS of dollars on all kinds of dog bites/attacks. Pits are on the top of the list. The whole point is this is NOT something you want to CHANCE. You can google "pit bulls and babies/kids" and see what comes up. Dogs have turned on their owners and on others by trying to protect their owners. The thing is that you don't want to see "if" something will happen. Because "if" it does, its too late. Your child is either seriously injured or killed. Then you can only WISH you would have stood your ground but of course its too late. I hope you make the right decision. Good luck.

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I love dogs!! We had 4 until a few months ago when one got so ill we had to put him down. I am also a big supporter of adopting dogs/cats from the pound or a rescue. Having said that, I don't trust pit bulls, mixed or not even though people tell me they can be sweet. If the new dog is an adult, it could have been aggressive with it's previous owners or their children. Do your inlaws know if it has bitten anyone? Do they know the dog's history? Just because it is sweet with adults does not mean it would be the same with a child, esp. if it was mistreated by kids. My inlaws have a dog that hates kids because a 3 year old tormented it when he came for a visit many years ago. She snaps at our kids when they try to pet her. She's a yorkie, not an aggressive breed. We have her sister and she is the sweetest dog ever!
I would do as someone else suggested and ask that the dog stay outside while you are there until everyone can get a good feel for it's temperment.

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No matter what the breed, any dog brought home from the pound I would be watching closely until you are sure you know its temperament. Dogs are given up to the pound for many reasons, and reasponsible pounds will evaluate a dog and be honest with the prospective new owners. But...I would be watching the dog very closely before trusting it with any child.

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my ex has a pit bull and he is the biggest baby. the minute you even look at him he is on his back for a tummy rub. all dogs can be the sweetest dogs. it is how they are raised as to if they are nice or mean. just be careful around the dog and the dog should be fine.

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The real key is not the breed but the owners. Was their old dog well-behaved? Did he understand his place in the pack? All our dogs have been trained to allow anyone to take anything from them - food, treats, toys - when they're told to give, they do. They were also taught they couldn't take food out of a kid's hand and not to beg (if the food hit the floor, then it was fair game - taught the kids not to throw things they wanted back - also eliminated need for a splat mat :-)

In turn, our kids were taught not to tease, not to be rough and as they got older to be responsible pet owners.

We have 3 kids and have had 4 dogs over the years, each a different breed. They have all been sweet, tolerant, protective family members who have taught our kids about unconditional love, the importance of responsibility and respect for other living beings.

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Pits apparently used to be called the nanny's dog. Bc the dogs would protect the child and make sure nothing bad happened to the child. I used to have a dog when I was younger that it would alway be me the dog then who ever I was with like my mom or dad or who ever he would do his job and protect me and make sure no one hurt me. Long as the dog is trained by a good fam not a drug fam let the dog and child bond and that dog will protect that child.

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No baby through toddler should ever be unsupervised around a pet, dog or cat. Pitbulls, rotties, dobermans, akitas have dominating personalities at times. If they feel, like most dogs, that you are their equal or beneath (like the baby WILL be considered by him/her) they will get aggressive. The thing with pit bulls is they are very strong. That is why you don't want to piss one off or leave a baby alone with a pit bull. They can be very tame with the right owner, but they do have instincts. I have come across a very lovey dovey sweetheart pit bull who flipped when a friend had her period, she needed 13 stitches in her vaginal area. Akitas, for example, were used to guard the royal families babies. I grew up around an Akita and can't imagine that. The Akita I was around was a sweetheart, but if you crossed her she would get very aggressive if you weren't the owner.

Dogs in general should never be left alone or the baby shouldn't be near the dog without an adult RIGHT THERE, like in your arms. Pits should have extra caution because they are very strong, have aggressive instincts, and when they want to attack good luck stopping them. A mix may not be so much aggressive, but you still need to be cautious. I personally adore the brendel colored boxer/pit bull mix. This topic isn't about whether to hate/love pitbulls and pitbull mixes, but to protect a child from any dog or pet. I told my exhusband hell no to a pitbull when we were divorced if he wanted her over there, but that is because dogs imitate their owners insecurities and that would have been one insecure, aggressive pit bull. With dogs in general you have to be careful and you have to stereotype sometimes because making a mistake can cost a life that could have 100% preventable, but that also coincides with proper supervision of the baby and the dog on both parties.

You also have no idea what the dog's previous life was before the pound. Many people get pitties because they want to look tough and try to treat the dog like a gangster dog so to speak. I would send a blanket with the baby scent, make it clear the dog can't chew on the blanket lol that sends the wrong message about the scent.

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Your baby, your call. End of statement.


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Most pitties are big babies and as sweet as they come. It really just depends on the individual dog. From working in vets offices it was usually the little dogs that caused more problems. Many times more from fear of strange things happening to them than anything else. Granted a small dog bite and a big dog bite are very different. Larger dogs do typically warn though and often times small breeds either don't warn or it goes unnoticed. For all dogs it really is an individual thing though, so get to know the dog and do easy introduction with the baby. The dog' s vet or a local trainer can give you ideas for things to do. Let the dog smell things and see things that are going to belong to the baby. Also once your baby is here send your inlaws home with a used blanket with the new scent.

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I have grown up with pit bulls, and would love to have one now if i had the room. the ones i had were the sweetest dogs you could ever ask for, a little dumb but sweet. my brother has one and when my son was 6 months old i had no problem taking my son over where he would pull on the dog and never once did the dog growl or show any aggression. all he did was lick. i think its sad that these beautiful dogs have such a bad rap when ANY breed can be aggressive. my son who is now 5 is terrified of my MIL little shi tsu (sp) because it bit him for no reason and he needed stitches in his leg. yet he loves going to my brother to play with his 65lbs pit bull.

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It all depends, pit bulls are not born mean their made mean. My son has a white pitbull and he is a big sweetheart, with any animal though you want to monitor children and animals when they are together, another thing as your baby gets older he/she needs to be taught how to be nice, not pull tails, ears thoase kind of things. Pitbulls are storong their very strong, but not all are mean. J.

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I have a Chihuahua and when I first found her, she would get nervous and bite my kids. Never enough to break the skin or anything, but still. I agree with the poster about pits jaws locking. Once they clamp down its almost impossible to get them off. I had a wonderful pit mix. I don't think she would have hurt anyone, but she was never placed in that situation. My brothers friend had a pit bull. Very nice dog. I had gone over to his house with a friend and the dog bit her and it scarred. There are certain breeds that are predisposed to certain behaviors. Even different genders of certain breeds act differently. I wouldn't have my baby around a pit, german shephard, collie, rottweiler, dalmation, and a few more. But it isn't rude or inconsiderate of someone to choose a dog they want and not think about someone who doesn't live there. BTW, its not only big dogs. I read something somewhere that a dachshund chewed off a baby's fingers.

and my dachshund who is the sweetest thing ever, and is patient and just the best dog ever, everyone says so, bit my daughter 2x in the face when he was a puppy because he is scared of the vaccuum and she was on the bed next to him jumping and it freaked him out.

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Never leave a baby unattended with an animal. At four years of age I recall a St. Bernard gently biting the face of a same age friend while I hid in the nearby closet. The dog yawned, she turned her head and the dog closed his mouth with top teeth top of her head and bottom teeth under her jaw. She was fine but it was my scream that alerted the adults. It punctured the skin. As a mother, follow your gut feelings, discuss your concerns with your husband. Allow your husband to deal with his parents by asking to keep the dog outside when baby is visiting. Congrats and best wishes!

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all the responses give you good advice. one thing no one has mentioned is something we were advised to do when we were preparing to bring our new baby (who is now almost 8!) home to our dog: when you are still in the hospital with the baby, have your husband or another family member take one of the baby's blankets it has been swaddled in to your in-law's home and "introduce" the dog to the baby's scent. That should help or at least give you a heads up if the dog reacts agressively to the blanket.

Bottom line, you never know how any dog will react to a baby or toddler, let alone a pit who was in a shelter (so you have NO idea what it has gone through in its former life). And you don't know what your kid might do to the dog! My kids and nephews have run over our dogs with giant tonka trucks, dressed them in princess clothes and swaddled them like babies. Fortunately, our dogs were ok with all that. :)

One other pointer is that terriers in particular can be super protective and territorial - meaning they might protect your baby, but they will also protect their food / treats / bed / toys/ etc. FROM your baby. If the baby grabs the dog's squeaky toy, climbs into the dog's bed or tries to eat the dog's food (all of which the baby WILLto do if left alone, trust me), the dog might snap. so DON'T EVER leave the baby unsupervised with the dog. We have a rat terrier who was a rescue, and even though most of the time she is just a cuddly loving sweetheart,she has snapped at all of us, and bit me once, if she thinks we are trying to take something of hers.

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Pit bulls were known as "nanny-dogs" back in the early 1900s. They were literally the ones that would babysit the youngsters in the house and make sure baby/tot wasn't walking out of the house. Its only been in the second part of the 1900s where they were breed for the aggressive fighters the media has demonized.

Even the Hick's dogs that were savable have been re-homed and in some cases are with families.

I would think that if its a younger dog, or one that was given up by the previous owner then I'd be ok with it. Its just like any other mutt. My SIL got a basenji - pit bull mix and she's wonderful with my kids!

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My daughter was bit my my mother-in-law's little bitty terrier dog. My daughter was just crawling on the ground. On the other hand my huge boxer/pointer mix LOVED her and would do anything to look out and protect her.

I worked in vet hospitals for years. I was bit far more by cocker spaniels and poodles than I ever was by pits, shepherds or rotties.

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There are precautions you should take with ANY dog and child. You can research this online and talk to a few reputable dog trainers to learn what you should do. A lot of it is making sure the dog is trained and the child isn't left alone with the dog or put in an unsafe situation. You should also be comfortable with whatever arrangements are regarding the dog and your child.

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Your mother is right and wrong. Wrong to believe she can dictate what kind of pets other people have and right that you need to be cautious with the dog. Unless you live with your in-laws, I think they can get any dog they want and don't need to consider your feelings or the fact that you are having a baby. When you visit ask them to have the dog in another room or a crate. It's that easy.
All medium to large dogs can be dangerous to children, especially kids under 6. All dog owners that I know always get their dogs in a separate room or crate when they have child visitors over, no matter if the dog is a pit-bull or a labradoodle. I would even be cautious around small dogs, while they may not critically injure a child with their bite, all dogs can bite and even small bites or nips can become infected and are simply unpleasant.
Responsible dog owners will keep their dogs out of the reach of small kids or under strict supervision... and leashed when going on walks together.
I am sure it will be fine.

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I think your mom is being a little presumptuous about the breed. Pit bulls are not a bad breed at all. They are strong dogs, and unfortunately some people have raised and abused them to give them the reputation they have. Any dog and baby should never be left alone- we have 2 dogs (small) and I would never trust my child alone with them even though they are very sweet dogs. Pitbulls can be loving sweet dogs, and many are. So while it will be important to keep an eye on your child when the dog is around, I wouldn't freak out the way your mom is.

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Oh no, not the pitbull debate again, lol!

I think no matter what the dog's breed is, you have to be careful. I have a little chiuaua terrier who's so sweet and would never hurt a fly (Well, she does eat them sometimes...) but I'm still planning on being super careful when my baby's born because, you just never know!

My in-laws have 2 dogs that aren't aggressive, but they are very rambunctious and knock my kids over. They started putting them in another room or outside while we're there, and it really isn't a problem. It still makes me nervous sometimes when they're babysitting and I'm not there.

I have heard a lot of horror stories as well, it seems like every time I turn on the news there's something about a dog attacking someone. There was a story awhile ago about a dog (can't remember the breed) biting a baby's neck while the parent was holding the baby, and the baby died. It's so sad.

Hopefully your in-laws will be understanding and just put the dog in another room/outside/crate/wherever when you're over there with your little one.

2 moms found this helpful

I have 3 friends w/pit bulls & pit bull mixes & never have had a problem w/them around kids or anyone else, in fact, they were kinda lazy, except for one..the mix (pit/chow mix who was young & rarin' ta go all the time, but never mean!) and additionally, they were all males & two, for sure I know, were not 'fixed', still "intact" w/their male parts if you get my meaning & still were not aggressive, just as sweet as ever. True some pit bulls and/or pit mixes can be aggressive but just like any other dog, it depends on how they're treated as pups. One friend has a pit she's had for 11 yrs & has 2 kids, one's a baby & the dog is so sweet & wouldn't hurt anyone, has never been mean, aggressive or has 'turned' on anyone. I think pits get a bad rep b/c the media gives them the bad rep...they're really sweet & loyal dogs but you never hear that about them. Every friend (all 3) who's had pits has never had any problems w/them at all. You hardly hear anymore about dobermans, german shepherds, rotweilers, chows, etc being mean & aggressive nowadays b/c the focus is now on pits but a decade ago, you DID hear the same about the breeds I just mentioned...people just forget that it was the same w/the other breeds just a short time ago. If the dog turned out to be aggressive, then it may've been b/c it was mistreated. A lot of 'shelter animals' are not guaranteed b/c you really don't know where they came from or how they were treated a lot of times. I don't think pits should be entirely discounted just b/c the media is having a heyday w/them for now. I'm sure your inlaws will find a suitable pet. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

We've had a million dogs over the years. WORST DOG by FAR was our Chinese Shar Pei. SO glad we didn't have our son back then because I would have had to make a "Sophie's Choice" and that dog would have had to go! Back in the 90s they the rage and my best friend's sister just "happened" to breed them. Million medical issues and completely unpredictable. He bit our friend and my father-in-law!

NOW we have a white (deaf) Boxer and a Stafforshire terrier (the Target dog.) I'm convinced our house has never been broken into is because of her. She'll bark her head off if you THINK about coming near our house. Little do those people know she's scared of EVERYTHING. The Fourth of July is a nightmare around here. Even our four year old son says "poor Jenna, she's scared."

We've been huge fans of Boxers and have had four so far but those "evil pitbulls" are a close second as our favorite breed. A Boxer Pitbull would be our DREAM dog.

1 mom found this helpful

I do not allow my babies unsupervised around ANY dog. There are certain breeds I will NEVER allow my children around period. Call me ignorant, misinformed, whatever. I am not willing to risk my childrens' lives and well being just to be "politically correct". To say certain breeds have earned a bad reputation unfairly is IMHO ridiculous. Look at the statistics. They do not lie. As with all things there are exceptions. When I worked as a Vet. Assistant I met a nervous, snappy, downright scary Golden Retriever! I know, right? Very odd. I also met a very sweet loving Pitt Bull. Now will I ever own a Pitt? NO. Will I allow my children to be around a Pitt? Hell no. I am sorry if I offend anyone. That is not my purpose. But I have known many pitts who were raised right by great pet owners and STILL turned on them unprovoked. They are a dangerous breed. Unpredictable and dangerous if/when they do snap. I also do not let my babies around shar peis, chows, chihuahuas, and a few other breeds. Some dogs just are not "baby/family friendly". ie are too highstrung, nervous, prone to bite. I would rather be safe than sorry. Its a simple as that.

1 mom found this helpful

If it were me, i wouldn't go to the house with the baby. i had the same issue with my inlaws. the back door always had to remained closed. that being said-all dogs can be a risk. Kids pull on ears and tails...I am always wary of dogs that are not used to kids.

As long as the baby and the dog are properly socialized I wouldn't anticipate a problem. As pitbulls grew in popularity so did the number of bites from them. However, I don't think it is purely a breed issue - part of it is who owns them.
My advice would be to teach the baby how to properly interact with the dog and vice versa. And never leave the baby and dog unattended and together. Supervise all interactions and you should be fine.
If you see any agression of the dog towards the baby, maybe you could ask them to put the dog in another room while you visit.

Pits get a bad rap. They are wonderful dogs in the hands of a responsible owner. Go and get to know the dog. Monitoring is a must with any dog. Don't let ignorance determine your reaction. I have an Amstaff and a pit bull mix. They are wonderful with my children. There are no bad dogs, just bad owners. Give the dog a chance.

So glad the issue is resolved for you. In the future, consider my mantra when it comes to pets, "Don't invite any animal into your home that has the physical capability of killing you."

Well, it seems to all have been resolved, but thought I would put in my 2 cents anyway...

We have two boys, ages 3 & 1 and two pit bull mix female dogs--65 & 75 lbs. They are the sweetest things to our two children. They do accept new animals and people into their "pack" pretty easily--including cats!

I can't say that all pit bull mixes or purebreds are the same, but I have read that pit bulls are extremely loyal and I believe in some countries were used as "nanny" dogs in the past. Personally, I think a misbehaved/violent dog is most often due to being mistreated by their owners or people when they lived on the street. Occasionally, like people, there are a few that are unstable chemically, but it's rare.

Anyway, in the future, it's best to be cautious with your children around dogs you don't know, but I wouldn't rule a particular breed out just because they have a bad reputation.

Best of luck with the new baby!


I saw that they already took the dog back, but wanted to answer anyways =)

Pit Bulls are actually amazing dogs. The mean ones were trained to be mean. My friend had a pit bull and she had puppies. She let everyone pick up her babies and she adored my friend's baby. They are extremely affectionate dogs. Yes they can be fiesty, but they are great guard dogs and protectors. I really would not judge it because it was a pit; judge it if it is mean.

I have a Boxer Pitbull mix and he is an ABSOLUTE LOVE!!! We adopted him when he was 9 weeks old and haven't looked back once!!! My nephew has a full on pit bull terrier and won't even hurt a fly...seriously...

Pit Bulls have a bad name...don't fall for it...did you see the poster who said her Chihuahua nipped more?

ANY dog will pick up on your queues and if you are not comfortable. I'm not walking in your shoes...a dog will know if you like it or not...let the dog show you how wonderful he is...go with an open mind...

I've ALWAYS been a dog fan/lover so I wouldn't be concerned...however, like Theresa said - your baby - your decision...

Wow you got a lot of responses! And it looks like it's a non-issue if they had to send him back... don't want an aggressive dog of ANY breed around children.

I had to respond because this was a familiar issue in our family when I had my firstborn. My BIL had a Pit about 5 years old, very well trained, very well behaved, cool, mellow dog. This dog was a surrogate grandchild for my MIL, she called herself "Grandma" to it, spoiled it, "babysat" often when BIL went out of town or just on a regular workday. She also committed to watching my baby a few days a week (a REAL grandchild) and I made the rule she could not "babysit" the pit bull and baby on the same day. I got a lot of flack for this but I stayed firm on it. I trusted and liked the dog, but YOU JUST NEVER KNOW. I had no idea how he would react to his "grandma's" attention being taken by a new infant. Frankly, I didn't trust my MIL. She spoiled that dog and treated him like a human, would have had them curled up sleeping next to eachother within the first weeks I am sure. She really pushed him on us too, but I did not back down. I'll never forget she came over to visit the baby a couple weeks after she was born, and waltzed right up to our front door with the Pit Bull on the leash, expecting to barrel into the house with him. I held firm and said he needs to stay outside for now. She did that just to push the boundaries, hello, it's not even her dog, he lives with my BIL! I had to do what was comfortable for me as a new parent though.
The dog is a big part of my in-laws family, so obviously, I didn't avoid him completely, I had no problem being around him when I was present to moniter. At almost a year I lessened up the restraints and they were allowed to be watched by my MIL at the same time. I knew the dog was used to my daughter by then, my BIL had gradually taken a little responsibility back for his own dog, and my MIL had less of a need for the dog "grand-baby" now that she had a real one. So the issue slowly fizzled.
I'm still wary of him though (the dog)... he's great, I've since had another child, my BIL and SIL have had their own baby and it's been fine (my SIL was like me, very cautious about integrating the dog and baby, and they obviously live in the same house). The scary thing about Pit's is just how powerful their jaw is. They may have a great temperment, but if something were to happen, it could be fatal.

OK I know this is getting long, but about a year or 2 after the family Pit Bull debacle, My very good friend's baby was bitten on the head by her own lovely golden retriever (scary, but she was fine after stitches and a cancelled b-day party). It was unprovoked, unexpected, but served as proof that you can never be too careful with babies and dogs. And it was sad because then the beloved dog had to go. I felt I got a lot of flack from my in-laws for my over-cautious attitude, but I was just trying to minimize chances for a terrible situation like that.

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