So, getting a puppy, what to expect?

(58 Posts)

Just that really. Grew up with dogs, have had cats for the last 19 yrs (the same 2 they were just very long lived)! My ds is an only one, and although I had a sister i was very close to growing up the sense of companionship I had from our family dog was immense and I want this for my son.

We did look into an older rescue dog, but my ds is a little nervous around dogs, and I feel that a puppy coming into the home and 'growing up with him' would probably work better, especially from a pack point of view iyswim.

So, tell me the worst...grin

cq Fri 04-Jan-13 17:25:13

and then they get to 6 months and decide they will ignore everything they were ever taught and go through a teenage rebellion where they totally ignore you calling them back in the park, and just stand there looking at you as if to say "I know you won't leave me. I'll come back when I feel like it and you can do nothing to stop me"

Light bulb moment. Have just realised that my rescue lab mix must be a rescue lab/staffi mix!!

She has perfected the art of a canine 'two fingers' at me when I call. grin

Ok I see now that I am lucky!!!

Am laying on floor with puppy who is chewing a stinky bully stick, I am having a glass of wine. I am pulling his ears gently, stealing his stock, messing with his feet and generally annoying him. He cares not.

I might have a miracle calm puppy!! Worried not that our next one which dh already desperate for will be the nightmare of which you guys speak!

I put his tea in a cardboard box today! So funny watching him wrestle and fight his way to the food!!!!

Sorry auto correct and new phone!!!

babyboomersrock Fri 04-Jan-13 18:22:31

Well done on taking advice so well, OP. I hope you didn't feel "got at" - it's just the voice of experience speaking for most of us.

I would never have a puppy again, but I did adopt a two year old Cavalier 7 years ago - she's been the easiest, most loving dog I've ever had. I did not miss the toilet training/chewing/nipping stage one bit, and I got a little dog whose (good) behaviour was established. She is calm and gentle and an excellent family dog - at the moment she is being patient while we train our toddler grandson to be equally calm and gentle around her!

Fostering is a brilliant idea. Good luck!

spudballoo Fri 04-Jan-13 20:12:57

Just to echo what others said...I got a puppy because I thought my DS1 (7) would do better with a puppy as he is nervous of dogs, and that the cats might adapt better. I could not have been more wrong, it was a nightmare. DS1 was terrified of him and spent much of his time upstairs, or perched on the back of the sofa screaming and crying (which is VERY exciting to a puppy and just made it worse). he hated the nibbling of feet/socks/bottom of trousers, nipping etc. I really thought I'd got it all sussed, read all the books, had the 1:1 trainer sorted. He wasn't a difficult puppy at all, but puppies are puppies and the first few months were dreadful trying to manage puppy and my boys. I lost an enormous amount of weight with the sheer energy it involved looking after the puppy AND juggling the boys/puppy.

I sound like a broken record but I would never have a puppy again, I wouldn't put my son through that again or myself. And the cats hated him anyway, one has moved out and the other has only just come back in. The puppy is now 10 months old. Next time I'd get a steady older dog from a rescue.

My nervous son does now love the dog, but gawd it's been a bloody rough year. It's been such a huge adjustment, this is our first dog and he has reduced me to tears on occasion. One of the hardest things I've found is managing dog walks when the children are on holiday and, especially, ill. The children often just don't want to go for walks, but that's non negotiable. But when they are ill it's a nightmare.

I would think very carefully and perhaps consider an older, rescue dog. I was totally and stupidly naive about rescues, and assumed they were all problem dogs. that's not the case at all. In fact a rescue is often better as you generally know where the dog has come from, their likes/dislikes etc. A puppy is a total unknown.

iloveeverton Fri 04-Jan-13 20:27:34

I can only add my experience- I wanted a rescue dog but as my dc are under 10 the 2 local rescues would not allow me.

I got a 12 week old old english sheepdog( the dogs I had growing up), he was from a family with children and was used to being handled.

He is now 10 months old and as he has always been used to the family set up he has been a dream dog. I took him to training twice a week from 12 weeks until 8 months to learn the basics. He is now nearly 5 stone but gentle and respectful around the dc (3 and 5) who also respect him and give him space- to sleep/ eat etc.

spudballoo Fri 04-Jan-13 20:29:11

oops sorry hadn't spotted that you're reconsidering a puppy. I do hope you don't feel like we've all piled in an spoilt your puppy dream, but honestly it's not worth risking really upsetting your son and potentially taking on a puppy that is just too much. I think I only survived because my puppy arrived the day before my children went back to school for the Easter term and so I could deal with the 'worst' of it while the children were out. I have had so, so many low points this year - but I love him, and my children do too. I could never, ever get rid of him but even a very experienced dog owner friend has asked me recently if I want to continue with him (a big long story, he bites me sometimes and very badly when I walk him).

Please do foster, what a great great idea! And who knows, fostering might lead to a long and loving relationship.

Enjoy your foster dog hunting!

mistlethrush Fri 04-Jan-13 23:02:43

The rescue we got mistlehound from said 'take her today and foster her and see how it goes'. Lots of support, no pressure to make a decision. She's now officially adopted. I can't think of a better way to find out whether a dog is the right one to fit a family.

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