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Sunday dilemna: what to do about Max?


I am having a bit of an ongoing dilemma at the moment over where my dog, Max should live. He isn’t living with us at the moment – no, he hasn’t been sent to the “farm” but rather to my parents house.

The problem is this: he is growls at the kids. Not sometimes when they pull his tail or steal his ball – no – all the time. When my oldest was 3 years old he hassled poor Max a lot. Max was very patient and tolerant back then but late last year he went to my parents to recuperate after a pretty serious accident to one of his hind legs and since then, even though the kids don’t hassle him at all now – he basically doesn’t seem to want them anywhere near him.

Just last week there was an awful story of a toddler in Sydney being mauled by a dog and the adults had to fight the dog off with a chair. The little boy who was attacked was okay, but the dog was put down. While it is all well and good to say that I can’t imagine Max hurting anything (he is the sort of dog scared of things like cats and empty cardboard boxes) when he growls these horror stories enter my head.

The other thing is Mum spoils him so he has a pretty good life there. He gets walked every single day, fed on time, left to sleep in the sun whenever he wants. He even gets his daily “treat” of a chicken neck or two.

But I keep coming back to this: Max was my first baby. My husband got him for me from the pound a year before our first son was born. He is my very own dog and I miss him terribly. And I do believe pets are good for kids and he is part of our family, so I really don’t know what to do!

What do you think?

Categories : Things to Do


  1. Jane says:

    Oh that is horrible. I can understand your worry. And I can understand why you miss him so much. Maybe you could wait until the kids get just a little older?

  2. Fiona says:

    No way would I even take the risk of having him around the kids. It takes only 1 second for something to go horribly wrong and you would never forgive yourself! I won’t allow my children to stand at our nearest bus stop due to a dog that growls at them, let alone be in the house. You can still see Max on visitation and your children will be safe and Max will be happy. (Sounds like your Mum is enjoying him too). You could look into getting another dog that may be more tollerent of the children?

  3. Hannah says:

    If you are interested I can highly recommend dog trainer Suzanne Bark. I started puppy preschool classes with her and have found her to be VERY helpful. Max my need to be eased back into life with kids so I would suggest some professional advice. Even if you do decide to leave Max with your parents it might still be a good idea, so that you can trust him when yours and other kids are around him. Suzanne also teaches the kids how to understand dogs. Just let me know if you would like her details. GOOD LUCK!

  4. Jane S says:

    It sounds like Max is displaying dominant behaviour which is a big no no, especially around kids. We have a standard schnauzer (Otto) who went for obedience training and is now an absolutely delightful dog. However he sometimes still tries to be pack leader of the kids (aged 8 & 9) by standing/pushing against them, going ahead of them through doorways or playfully growling. We all learned from the training that it was us humans that needed training in how to be the pack leader so it doesn’t take long for Otto to be reminded that he is the lowest in our pack. I can absolutely recommend the trainer (based just south of Kempsey) so let me know if you’d like further information. PS. What a wonderful site you have going here, well done!

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