How would you feel leaving your baby with your pet dog?
It can be a struggle for any parent to welcome a new baby into a house with pets, especially if the animals are particularly large. But for one set of parents, the family dog makes the perfect companion for their newborn baby and young son.
Hulk is the world’s largest pit bull, weighing an incredible 12 stone and able to reach six foot tall when stood on his hind legs. However, his size has not put his owners off letting Hulk lick, cuddle and watch over their sons Jackson and Jordan.
Appearing on This Morning, parents Marlon and Lisa Grennan explained that their pit bull (a breed which is banned in the UK) is allowed to babysit and lick their son.
Marlon, who professionally trains dogs, argued that it’s not about the breed, but how well it’s trained.
He said: ‘There’s nothing to do with the breed of dogs, it’s absolutely how you raise dogs. I’ve lived among my family my kids and lots of these dogs for years and years and we’ve lived in piece and harmony’.
He added: ‘These dogs have to the be the most stable type of dogs and that’s how we raise them at an early age’.
While Marlon said his two children were never left completely unsupervised with the dogs, he admitted to having his children ‘out with 30 to 40 pit-bulls at one time in the field’.
Image: This Morning/ITV
However, animal psychologist Roger Mugford said he was ‘massively shocked’ by the decision to have such a huge dog around such small children.
He said: ‘In this country I’d say send in social services. This is a desperately bad model for dog owners and parents to follow’. He added that no matter how well trained the dog is, Hulk’s size makes it still incredibly dangerous.
‘The size and power of this dog means the parent holding it couldn’t possibly intervene if it launched an attack’, he continued.
Roger also criticised the parents for letting Hulk lick their son, calling it a ‘health hazard’.
Mum Lisa responded saying: ‘I don’t think it’s a health hazard at all for that. No that’s how dogs show each other affection that’s hulk showing Jackson that he loves him’.
Image: This Morning/ITV
But not everyone agreed with Marlon and Lisa’s decision. In a This Morning Poll, 78% of voters said they wouldn’t leave their dog alone with their baby because it’s not safe, while just 22% said they would trust their dog enough.
Marlon and Lisa’s controversial babysitting decision has also divided social media. One Twitter user said: ‘dogs should never be left unsupervised with kids. Children can’t read the body language and warnings when dogs are stressed & that’s when they end up being hurt as the dog sees no other choice than to bite. They should be supervised until older’.
Another argued that no matter how well behaved your dog, leaving them with a child is still a big risk. ‘Regardless of breed, a crying baby stirs a reaction in a dog. No dog EVER should be left alone with children. They are animals!’
However, others argued that as long as the dog was taught as a puppy to behave around children, it shouldn’t be a problem.
They said: ‘I would leave my dog with any child as he was brought up from puppy not to fear anything in life bad treatment makes bad dogs’.
What do you think – would you trust Hulk around your baby or do you think it’s potentially dangerous? Let us know in the comments below!