View Full Version : Advice for New CM Re Family Dogs

20-03-2012, 06:08 PM
I'd be interested in any views regarding how I manage our family dogs in a CM setting.

Some brief facts:

We have 2 dogs - both English Springer Spaniels - bouncy, active breed
Both dogs have crates in the house - in a corner of our kitchen/diner
Their daily routine is: early walk, brekky, snooze, leg stretch in garden, more snooze, tea, evening walk or agility (depending on day of week).
Sometimes they forgo one of their walks and instead me and LO take them to the woods or seaside where they have a good run off lead while LO splashes in puddles etc.
We live in a townhouse and playroom is on 1st floor
Dogs don't go upstairs at all (ground floor tiled and everywhere else carpeted)
House rules are that if we are at the table (doing craft or food activity) then dogs are in their crates (easiest way to prevent kids encouraging dogs to beg at table).
LO is nearly 2 - introduction to dogs has been gradual and he is being taught to respect the dogs and hold out a flat hand to stroke them - no grabbing.
Due to bonkers nature of dogs we don't allow dogs and toddler to run around indoors together - toddlers are too clumsy and don't understand dog language (just my view) and dogs are too bonkers and rough
We have a playpen in our lounge to ensure dogs can always get away from the toddler if they choose
One dog is a rescue and needs to adjust to new people and situations very gradually - she is comfortable with our toddler - having adapted slowly - but barks at strangers and visitors to the house.
Other dog is very friendly (but very bouncy) but his obedience is very good (Kennel Club Good Citizen Gold - just showing off there!)
Because the playroom is upstairs we don't really have the situation of consciously separating dogs and children, but the way we structure our days naturally puts them in different places IYSWIM

When I had initial visit from CM Liaison lady from our council she saw the dogs in their crates and I suggested that we might put the dogs in the study while minded children were being dropped off and collected as the dogs would probably bark and people might find this off putting/frightening.

She said that people who are frightened by/dislike dogs probably wouldn't choose our setting anyway, knowing that we have dogs and that she would be more inclined to think we had something to hide if we had the dogs locked in a separate room (I had mentioned a childproof lock on the door to prevent a child accidentally releasing the dogs).

I know our insecure dog will bark at adults, especially, entering the house - but once she recognised their voices and if they totally ignore her, she will eventually get used to it and won't react as much.

Now I'm not sure what to do for the best - lock the dogs in the separate room or carry on with routines as we do now on the basis that people who hate dogs won't want to visit our setting anyway? or something else?

Can anyone make sense of any of that at all?

Any ideas appreciated.

Many thanks

20-03-2012, 06:26 PM
We have a springer as well (our 2nd one), l would continue with your normal routine and explain to new parents that they will bark at strangers (which is what a dog should do) but once they recognise them they will not do it. I always explain at initial contact that we have a dog and have a very strong policy which also covers how dog and new children will be introduced, l have only ever had one parent in 14yrs of being a dog owner not come and that was a cultural reason.

20-03-2012, 06:40 PM
Okay, as a person who is mortally terrified of dogs (with good reasons), your way of doing things is perfect! You, I would be more inclined to trust than most dog owners I have ever met or heard online. You clearly appreciate that other people have fears, you do not disregard those fears, or belittle them, you appreciate that your dogs have needs and fears and you cater for all those needs and fears.
What you are doing, by the sounds of it, is perfect. Continue to go by your gut cos it is right. Ignore other unsolicited advice. Do what is working for you, your dogs, your minded kids and their families. Be confident that you have a good understanding of the situation, and don't let anyone shake that confidence.

20-03-2012, 09:11 PM
Thank you for taking the time to reply - and for both being so positive.

I'm encouraged that another springer owner manages to combine the needs of an active breed of dog and childminding - I suppose I've been doing what feels right to me since LO was born nearly 2 years ago - we've had the dogs for nearly 5 years now - it's just having the confidence to stick with my gut feeling on it all - just as you've said :)

I feel a better about the whole thing - thank you.

I'd be interested to hear anyone else who has a dog(s) in their setting and how they manage theirs.

Thanks again x

miss mopple
20-03-2012, 09:18 PM
Sounds to me like you have it sorted :thumbsup:

I have 2 dogs, both very bouncy and quite large ( A retriever cross and a springer cross). I am lucky as my house has a side store that the dogs have to themselves during the day. They go in the garden when the kids arent out there, and we all go out on walks together. It works for us, and means I dont have the anxiety of worrying about the combination of kids and dogs upsetting eachother. As soon as I finish work the dogs come in the house to settle.

21-03-2012, 12:42 AM
We also have a 5yo Springer so I'm interested to read your replies. We also live in a town house but our living space is all on the ground floor, so seperation of dog and children is more difficult. We don't have a utility room or study or anything, just a fairly open living/dining/kitchen space. He also barks at visitors because we don't have many so it's unfamiliar! It takes about two visits from a stranger before he becomes indifferent.

We have never crated him before, but bought one a week ago and have been using it for four days now. He's taken to it brilliantly - he sleeps in it downstairs overnight and will get in on command. I have been leaving it open during the day and he is already using it by choice when he wants some peace. I'm hoping to train him to use it when he needs a break, and when I want to seperate him from the children.

Could you train your dogs not to bark at visitors? It's probably going to take me at least two more months to register and in that time I reckon I can stop him barking, if only i can find enough random strangers to visit us :laughing:

21-03-2012, 06:28 AM
I have a GSD cross who barks at strangers in the house.

I have a treat ball for him, what I do is fill it up and keep it by the door. Everytime the door bell rings or someone knocks (he hears it before me) I will give him the treatball if he is quiet, if he barks I say "quiet" and the second (important to time it right) he is quiet he gets it.
He will then allow people into the house without barking at them, as he is too busy trying to get his food out of the ball. By the time he is finished he really isn't that bothered about people coming in.

Over a period of around 4 months, he will now let a mindees parent in the house without constantly barking at either when the door goes or the person coming in

21-03-2012, 07:26 AM
I have a little mixed dog (some type of terrier in her), she's great with the kids, very tollerant. I allow her where the children are under supervision as i have toddlers. I think the children need to get used to how to handle dogs and the dogs needs to get used to children (my children, especially my 1yr old climb all over her). I'd just get on with your normal routine, your dogs are part of your family. My dog jumps at adults so i always put her in the kitchen with the stairgate closed but the door open so she can still see. She also barks when people come to the door if she's in the kitchen but it shows she's 'security concious' (iykwim).

21-03-2012, 09:47 AM
I also have an ESS, he is still young and like you say they are very bouncy energetic dogs. Your routine is exactly the same as mine. He has his crate in the kitchen and he can have free acess to the kitchen when mindees aren't in there so not during messy play, mealtimes etc which is when he is shut in his crate. He is very noisy when people he doesn't know come in the house but at the moment he is not barking at the door bell or when regular parents come to drop-off / pick-up as he now is used to their voice but when new people come he will bark and bark. He will usually stop once I have let him see them. He wants to come and say hello although he is nervous around new adults. All my animals are part of my family and all prospective parents know what pets we have before they come so as you say if someone was very anti-dogs they wouldn't bother to come and see me. I think you should leave things as they are it sounds like you are doing it all correctly both for your mindees and your dogs. Just mention to someone new that the dogs will bark initially as they are strangers but will calm down when they get used to them. My dog never barks at children whether he knows them or not it's only adults. He has supervised short periods of mixing with certain mindees but it's closley supervised as he is too bouncy and OTT usually.


Forgot to say. Having dogs has never prevented me being full with mindees. Most of my mindees don't have dogs at home and the parents like the fact that they can mix with my pets here. Obviously i don't know how many people haven't bothered to ring me because they can see from my details that I have a dog but I've never had a problem filling spaces so don't worry that it will adversly affect your business :thumbsup:

21-03-2012, 02:09 PM
I have two dogs and a very small house! We have a ten foot by 5 foot run for them in the garden so we can all go into the garden to play but the dogs don't get run over by bikes and the kiddies don't get knocked over by bouncy dogs.

In the sitting room/playroom we have a huge crate which houses them both with plenty of room, they go in there to rest and get away from crawling babies when they're tired or the children are being rough.

The lab barks when the door is knocked. He sounds like a ferocious wolf but the way he greets the children and their families when they come in has always allayed any fears.

Two days a week both dogs are taken by a professional walker and dog psychologist for a run in the woods. I time this so it's on my busiest day so both kiddies and dogs get a good break. It costs a lot of money but as they are out all day I consider it good value and the dogs love their other doggie family (lots of dogs go together) and it has been fabulous socialisation for the pup.

Nobody is put off by the fact that I have dogs and they have actually gotten me business too as one lot of children chose me over another minder because I had dogs (i turned them down though...). I am turning people away so no probs here.

21-03-2012, 02:23 PM
I have two labs, whilt i work they live in the kitchen and have full access to all the back garden,

they are only allowed in cm areas when i don't have toddlers as they are both very bouncy, they are still very young.

I also pay a dog walker too come in twice a week, the dogs are out for a few hours on my busiest days, they come back utterly exhausted and then sleep till i finish work.

I don't think anyones ever not come because of the dogs, half the time you wouldn't know i had them, except for the hairs that is.:rolleyes:

I think its good for the older children, they all now know to ask other dog owners if they can stroke them etc, one of my mindees were massively scared of dogs, so its helped her to see mine grow from puppies, and shes still cautious but not scared. she now asks to see them when she arrives.

Sometimes i keep a stairgate over the kitchen so they can see and stoke the dogs.

21-03-2012, 02:24 PM
I have two loony loopy spaniels (ESS and a Sprocker), my both bark at almost anything and dislike the postman (old postie used to tease them) x

Luckily both of my mindees parents are okay and the kids love the dogs, the dogs are always supervised with mindees, never fed whilst minding, garden is poo picked every morning and afternoon, I have an are shut off to pop dogs when visitors etc come round (but then have always done this) x

21-03-2012, 03:00 PM
Hi, we have a bichon that sometimes barks, depends what mood he is in! He stays upstairs most of the time while I am working, I let him in the front garden when I get in from toddlers groups and he comes when the kids are sleeping. works ok really, we take him out for walks, kids love that, we have rabbits and birds, bit of a zoo! some parents love it, others dont ring! One parents said ' I love all the pets you have, means i dont have to have any'.!! So it can be a plus!

21-03-2012, 04:40 PM
After a seemingly endless dogless period, we're finally getting a new puppy in about a month's time ( :clapping: ), so interested to hear how others cope.

We used to have a Springy Spaniel, lovely dogs once they stop bouncing off the walls!

21-03-2012, 05:40 PM
After a seemingly endless dogless period, we're finally getting a new puppy in about a month's time ( :clapping: ), so interested to hear how others cope.

We used to have a Springy Spaniel, lovely dogs once they stop bouncing off the walls!

so when does that happen then? I'm waiting :laughing:


21-03-2012, 06:09 PM
well we will (not me personally) will be making my last litter of puppies later this year, and yes lol!! last time 10 pups and 2 dogs and children makes for an interesting hectic fun fun time x

21-03-2012, 06:44 PM

so when does that happen then? I'm waiting :laughing:


I've been told that ESS puppyhood lasts about ten years :laughing:

Ours is pretty chilled now though at 5, so maybe we got off lightly

22-03-2012, 01:36 PM
My dog is in the kitchen with a gate whilst the mindees are here. This is for her safety as well as the children's. She is a lovely,friendly dog but with toddlers around I would rather her be out of reach than risk them hurting her.
I have a parent who is scared of dogs but was happy with the arrangement in place. :thumbsup:

22-03-2012, 08:12 PM

so when does that happen then? I'm waiting :laughing:


Usually when they're knackered and go to sleep! :thumbsup:

25-03-2012, 05:15 PM
Another one here with two springers!