View Full Version : Dogs!

Lady Haha
20-03-2009, 10:00 PM
I have just been reading the thread about the poor cm who got the really over the top inspector who said that her dog should be locked away when kids were there.

I am going to pose a question that I want a good mix of answers to as I have had differering advice on this from the 'experts'.

I have a dog. When I first became interested in childminding , my development worker told me that I needed to have her locked away when I was working and a seperate area in the garden for her. So that was it for me, I didn't take it any further and got a 'normal' job.

A couple of years later, I tried again and got a different development worker who said that as long as I didn't leave the dog alone with the kids that was fine.

I got my pre reg inspection and had the dog up in my room to be on the safe side. I must admit, she wasn't normally up there:blush: and then one of the kids asked where she was while the inspector was there. The inspector was really nice and said that I didn't need a seperate area in the garden for the dog as long as I kept it 'clean' so to speak!

Now, I am really interested to know what everyone here who has a dog actually does. I've now been minding for two years and I'm going to be really honest now. I have a Lhasa Apso, small fluffy dog who wouldnt hurt a fly. My dog is part of the family and the kids love her and yes, she is usually asleep on the sofa while they are here or running around the garden at the same time as them. She isn't a playful dog, so the kids don't play with her. I never leave the kids alone with her and I do a 'dog check' before they go out to play every single time. I also have a Pet Permission form signed by parents who all love our dog too!

I just wondered if any one did the same as me, and this was okay at their inspection?

To be honest, as much as I love my job, if I was told I would have to lock my dog away while I worked I would quit tomorrow.

20-03-2009, 10:09 PM
I am not registered yet but I am having a similar problem

I have to cats and my development coordinator told as at the induction meeting that they need to be away from the kids at all times.

I thought it would have been enough to have them supervised when interacting with the animals and I was also going to do a permission form for the parents to sign to say that they are happy with their kids being around the cats.
obviously and food or cat litter trays will be in areas of the house where the kids don't have access to ensure there are no hygiene issues but also to give the cats some peace to eat and .......

but I was worried about what the development person said as she said you could get a complaint from a parent if a child got scratched or something and it would probably go through even if they have signed a permission form ....

20-03-2009, 10:15 PM
Right i have two dogs.
Currently while I am working they are in the "old" kitchen (which will be the bathroom when funds allow for the extension to get back on track). The door leads out the side of the house. We are lucky enough to have a big garden to section of a bit of the hounds.
The dogs do come through into the house while I am minding (but they are not allowed out into the garden while I am working. Children are closely supervised when with the dogs - as much for the dogs well being as the childrens. Whilst my dogs would not hurt a child they are a dog and will use the only defence they have if they are hurt or a child gets a bit "too loving" with them - although the mutts would growl a warning first or get up and move.
Pet food is kept out of the way, water bowls are kept out the way
Hounds are cleaned and groomed reguarly - up to date vaccinations, worming etc.

I check the garden each morning in case their is any poop from my mutts or other animals.

The inspectors have always been fine about the dogs, as has my CDO/EY team.

At the end of the day my dogs are part of the family, this is their home too.
I use my dogs as a "selling point" - kids can can pets without all the hassle, they learn to care for something else etc

We are a homelike setting at the end of the day - children need to learn to respect animals and what a great way to do it.

20-03-2009, 10:16 PM
I have 2 dogs who would never hurt a fly but they may snap at a child when cornered.(have never yet and are 9 and 13)

I've always had dogs but thats what they have been, dogs. They are part of my family but a part that I would not let interfere with my work.They are also small dogs(JR's) and have been brought up with my kids but I DO NOT trust them with other peoples' kids.They are pack animals and no matter how soft, they will act "dog" when they need to,feel threatened or hurt.(I think more so probably with having 2 as well)

I'm sure absolutely nothing would happen with your dog but is it worth the risk? Thats the way I think about it.

I'm lucky, my dogs are in the conservatory or kitchen ,we have a dog run in the garden.My older mindees are allowed to walk them up and down our cul de sac occasionally.

It's your business though and parents are happy with the way you run it.We all do things differently and thats the best bit about childminders is finding one that suits you.

Thats my opinion,not whats right for you or anyone else.:)

20-03-2009, 10:20 PM
I have a dog & 3 cats. The dog and 2 cats (indoors cats) have access to the whole house, they can go upstairs when they want to but the mindees can't. cats just go through the banisters dog barks to go up. Dog cannot go on the children's play area as we have a large enough garden to do this. Where I minded before my garden was too small and I just made sure it was clean.

20-03-2009, 10:21 PM
Although im not registered, my personal opinion is that all animals are fine as long as kids are supervised when with them. However animals do have minds of their own and cats especially wander around themselves. It is usually easier to make a dog do what you want!:rolleyes:
I grew up with dogs and now i have a cat who to be honest sleeps 99% of the day so would not be a problem.:)

The problem is the animals are part of our family too and in most cases were here long before we started minding (ive not yet) and although we know they wouldnt harm anyone sometimes things happen thats no ones fault.

I have heard that some inspectors encourage pets because its good for the kids to learn and understand about them. Im sure according to some polls that even the inspectors have some sort of pet! LOL

20-03-2009, 10:33 PM
I have three cats and a puppy. The cats usually make themselves scarce when the children are here and their food is on a high worktop in the utility room.
Puppy is kept in kitchen and utility room with closely supervised visits from the children , she is not allowed in the playroom.
When the children are in the garden the puppy is only allowed out with me - she is still too young to be trusted :rolleyes:

I do a ' poo patroll ' before the children go into the garden although when she's older I have a side access that she will use as a toilet area.

The other important point is that they are all kept away from sleeping babies.

20-03-2009, 10:52 PM
I have a lovely wee collie cross, and he has full use of the utility when I'm minding and a run out the back seperate from the play areas. I figure that if I was out working he would have less freedom. We regularly take him for walks, but he doesn't get the run of the house when I'm working.

Much as we love our pets, you just never know what might happen, so better to be safe than sorry.

21-03-2009, 06:33 AM
Over the years I have had inpsectors who have loved my dog, one who wouldn't even check my kitchen because she was in there and one who told me to move her water bowl out of the rech of children. At the time it was a very hot summer and I thought it was totally out of order to tell me to do that so I refused. I also said that if they insist I move the the water bowl I would report them to the R.S.P.C.A :angry:

21-03-2009, 06:42 AM
interesting reading, i havent got a dog but have been considering getting one.

I've just signed contracts with a 21 month old so now for me a dog is out of the question as i do not feel i can manage a dog and a young child 9its been a while sinces I've had any under 3's).

I'm off to find my stairgate now or just buy a new one as going out anyway lol.

21-03-2009, 07:39 AM
I have a dog and it depends on who is here as to where she is. She has a 'den' downstairs where she can go but the kids can't but she can see us. This is where she is put when little ones are here. When its just my after schoolie here then the dog comes in with us as otherwise mindee spends her whole time at the gate talking to the dog anyway, she lost her springer to cancer before christmas so misses the bounciness of having a dog.

My garden has 3 seperate areas all fenced off, the grass is out of bounds to everyone unless I unlock the gate (when its not wet), the play area, the dog is banned from there totally and an area with concrete floor, this is used for ride on toys (put the dog in the grassed bit) the dog spends most of her time there and has a bench that she sits on watching everything thats going on.

21-03-2009, 08:01 AM
My 2 cats spend their time upstairs on my bed or on their bed on the landing.

The dogs have their beds in the playroom (there is nowhere else to put it). Their water bowl is by the back door which is also in the playroom.

I can block of access to the back door and the dogs using the toy kitchen, but this is only used when I don't want the dogs to come through with muddy feet. Otherwise the dogs have access to all of the downstairs whenever they want.

One of the mindees helps my son to feed the dogs every morning when he arrives. All of my parent's adore my dogs and call Harvey one of a kind as he is so gentle and laid back. J and O learnt to stand up when they were babies on Harvey. They would pull themselves up using him as a prop. J's parents have some lovely photos of him lying on Harvey and cuddling him.

I have never had an inspector come and tell me I must keep the dogs away from the children. Harvey is now getting old at 12. If I had to keep him shut away, he would bark all day. (Trust me, I've tried it). The parents wouldn't want me to either. Some of the parents have chosen me because of the animals.

I now have 2 kittens who are just beginning to go outside but still have the cat litter in the house. This has a lid on it so the mindees can't get at it. The kittens will come and lie on the older mindees laps in the afternoon if they are reading.

I intend to let the inspector know that I have thought of the risks, but at the end of the day this house is the animal's home!!!

21-03-2009, 08:19 AM
I have two dogs, one is very excitable. If I let her in when the children were here my younger dog Jade would come bowling in like a hurricane barking her head of spinning round in circles jumping all over the furniture jumping up at the children and licking them in the face :rolleyes:. It lasts all of 3 minutes but she can't come in because there is nothing I can do to prevent that initial 3 minutes of excitement. Its not specific to children its to anyone - including me and my other half when we come back in (even if its only taking out the rubbish) :rolleyes: .
My older dog has been in here with the children and she has been fine but to be honest she hates the attention! :eek: Aleigh really prefers to be left alone she doesn't want some kid putting their hands all over her she just wants to go in her basket and sleep! She is a whippet after all :)
I am in a flat - the arrangement I have is a gate across the living room, the dogs can come to the gate and interact with the children if they want to but can also go in my bedroom if they want some peace. Its a pain when the kids need the loo because I have to climb over the gate and shut the dogs in the bedroom so the children can come in the hallway. I then get the child to go in the front room close the gate and then I open the bedroom door again and climb over the gate. Its going to be more tricky when I have a really little one. However as far as I am concerned this is just a disadvantage of being in a flat.

21-03-2009, 08:28 AM
I have 1 dog who is so soft. My dog is in the house when children are here(how do they get used to animals if they're locked away). She's only a small mixed breed. She has her own settee in our hallway(huge hall) where she sleeps most of the day. We're lucky that outside we have a huge field at the back of our house which is ours so we've built a paddock for the dog so she can do her 'business' without the children being near it and when it's nice weather she's outside most of the day. When we play out the dog comes into the garden as well as i think it's good for children to be around dogs(i'm nervous of strange dogs). You know your own dog, wether it's suitable to be around children.
When my daughter was born we had to give our other dog (which was a springer) away as it kept barking at my daughter and i was scared he'd bite her as when she cried she sounded like a distressed rabbit (he liked to chase and eat rabbits although he wasn't trained to do this, he was a pet not a gun dog).
I fully trust my dog but i still wouldn't leave the mindee alone with her as i don't trust them, although i do leave my daughter alone with my dog. I know some people would have their opinion on this issue but that's how i was brought up around dogs and cats and i respected them.

21-03-2009, 09:53 AM
I have a Lhasa Apso too and I have had 2 inspectors meet him (at pre-reg and then my graded inspector) and they were both fine, in fact they both fussed my dog up no end.
My Development officers fuss him up too.

I have pet permission forms signed by parents and a pet policy.
All my parents love my dog.

21-03-2009, 10:04 AM
I have a dog who spends her day in the kitchen when I am working. She is used to it and has a dog flap so she can go out when she wants but she also has her own part of the garden for hygiene reasons. My 2 cats are very clever and keep away from the little mindees. Pets have never been a problem in the 12 years I have been childminding. I keep all food, water bowls and litter tray away from all the childminded children.:thumbsup:

Princess Sara
21-03-2009, 10:18 AM
I have been speaking to a mum who was looking for a childminder and she found the perfect one, but she had a dog. The mum didn't feel comfortable leaving her lo with a dog she didn't know, she she carried on looking. I think if the childminder had made certain things more clear then the mum would have been happy to use her, such as not leaving the dog alone with her lo, checking garden etc for poop before letting lo out there to play etc. Little things like that really make the difference for some people.

Personally, I don't think there's a problem with having a dog and childminding, it's good for the children, but there are certain things you need to consider to keep the parents/Ofsted happy and to cover yourself if anything went wrong.

There are all these horrible stories in the news about children getting ripped to peices by a loving dog that has never shown any signs of causing harm. This obviously frightens parents and makes that little risk assesment light bulb flash in Mr Ofsteds head.

I was bitten by a dog when I was alot younger. Pretty badly, I have a scar above my lip where it's teeth cut straight through to my gum. But I don't have anything against dogs because I know if I hadn't been sitting on it and pulling its tail then it would not have bitten me. I do feel a bit angry at the owner for alowing me to do this to their dog though while they were sitting across the room! (I was at a friends house at the time.)

I would happily send my children to a childminder that had a dog, as long as I was asured my children would never be left unattended with that dog, and that appropriate behaviour was taught about handling the it.

21-03-2009, 10:29 AM
I am the cm with the over the top inspector :(
Regarding the dog, we have a labrador who is not overly excitable and is extremely obedient. He is usually out in the garden when I am working. He has a run out there that I put him in if I am out with the children, as much for his benefit as the safety of the children, they all love him and he wouldn't get a minutes piece! We take him out along the beach for a walk after lunch whenever weather permits it and the kids throw sticks for him, which he never brings back but loves to chase! The parents are all aware of the dog and the precautions that I have in place.
I would never leave children alone with the dog, even for a second, I don't even leave my own 5 yr old alone with him.
OTT inspector was concerned that he even had access to the areas that the children play in whether they were out there or not. Even though I tried to explain that I always put him in his run and checked for fouling before the children went out, this was not good enough for her. :angry: I have never had this problem from previous inspectors.

21-03-2009, 10:49 AM
I have a dog who is a truly lovely everyone loves him, he is quite content just to lay down all day after anyone comes in as he does like to say hello, inspector and other people have loved him.

I did have one prospective parent come for a visit with her two children, she said oh yes they love dogs, but when he walked passed the little one not even touching her the mum said oh perhaps he would have to stay out the way they are here, she wanted the little one here from 7.30-6pm, i told her that my dog would harm nobody and would not be left alone with a child anyway and that as he was one of the family as her children were hers would she be willing to shut one of them out the way all day? needless to say i didnt get them but think im better off without that hassle, no parent has ever mentioned the dog being nasty they all love him

21-03-2009, 11:00 AM
We have a zoo full of animals from rats to cats and dogs.

Nobody has ever pulled me up on the meneagerie, if they did I would quit in a heart beat. I have one dog who is a border collie, he is a miserable old goat sometimes and growls at his own reflection. He stays outside if I am working, but if we come outside then he is hapy to lay down and watch us.
We have a separate bit in the garden for the kids and the other two dogs do come into the garden with us if we are out there.

The cats , rabbits, rats, horses, ducks, chucks, geese etc are only petted under close supervision.
The kids love looking for eggs and feeding the horses. They are so excited about the forthcoming foal.

At the end of the day you will get some people who won't use you cos of the animals and the other half will use you because of them ifyswim.

Have rigourous policies in place, keep a wriitten record of worming etc and show the powers that be that you have thought of the implications of having animals and kids in the same space.

Best of luck :thumbsup:

Lady Haha
21-03-2009, 11:30 AM
Wow, thank you all SO much for your replies! It has completely put my mind at rest!

Basically then, it comes down to the inspector really! Most of them seem fine about it,just the odd one or two being a jobsworth. If I had one of those, I think I would appeal rather than quit then.

My dog just wants to be left alone most of the time and the kids are old enough to respect that. They have a 'one stroke, then leave her' rule! She wouldn't get aggressive, but its just not fair on her if she doesn't like it!

As for prospective parents, I hadn't even thought about it til I read all the replies here! I have only had one set of parents not use me out of all the ones that have come to see me (and now I have no vacancies) and they didn't say why, but maybe it was cos of the dog. Most of the parents I have, like I said, love my dog and I have to apply the 'one stroke, then leave her' rule to them too!:laughing: :laughing:

21-03-2009, 06:21 PM
i had a bulldog, was at work during the day, apart from one day a week, Oftsted were more interested in her injections being up to date than anything else.

my CAT is what im worried about - now he will not attack the children, but he doesnt really like adults, hes an abyssinian cat and is VERY protective of his house! If an Ofsted inspector came over i would not trust my cat as it would probably swipe her, he does this to one of my mindees mums nearly every morning - he is a little git!! so i would have to pretend i dont own a cat and hide him at my inspection - lol. He is very loving too but can be funny with certain people and he will swipe and hiss them!

Pudding Girl
21-03-2009, 06:47 PM
The only pet we have is a dwarf hamster!! so can't really comment on the CM angle of it, but as a parent I honestly wouldn't place my child where there were pet cats or dogs, I don't like the smell, the fluff, and the possibilty of them turning and hurting a child, I would simply worry too much - sorry!

21-03-2009, 07:09 PM
I have a labrador who is the most soppiest loving dog ever but any dog can turn and i am fully aware of this and so the dog is never in the room with children without me being there and this is not only for the kids sake but for his, any dog would get fed up with constantly being pestered and pulled about.
he does have the run of the whole house and garden but his bed is in the kitchen and he has a blanket outside if he wants to lay out there. I find that when the children are here he prefers to stay in the kitchen out of the way or in the garden on his blanket.
we do all take him on walks and he does the school run with us as otherwise he would not get any exersise til late in the evening when OH gets in.
He has two water bowls , one is tucked beside his bed in the kitchen and the other is in the garden near his blanket as somtimes i leave him out there if we pop out for a short time.
I have actualy had 3 parents who were nervous of dogs one of them extremely so who all said they would rather send their child to somone with a dog so they dont have the same fear as they do. I have only ever once had somone say no because of him and that was becuase the child was allergic to dogs/fur.
The kids love him bits and help groom and feed and walk him all with a signed permmision form in place.

22-03-2009, 08:44 PM
Our house is also full with animals including a cockateil, two guinea pigs and a very large dog who is a Bouvier des Flandres called Merlin, i worried in the beginning about his size but it hasn't been an issue he is quite a slow and calm dog, my inspector loved him when she came a week ago especially when he curled up and went to sleep for the two hours she was here.

He spends most of his time in the kitchen or the garden, is never around the younger children and only around the older ones with supervision.
I also keep him on a lead when we are playing in the garden so he cant try and play with them. my inspector was fine and happy with his food bowls on the kitchen floor as the children cant reach them and the area kept clean etc.

Altogether having a dog has had no affect on my minding and the parents of my mindees couldn't be happier that i have a dog so they don't have to!!