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

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.

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!

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 20:12:57

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.

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!

Sorry auto correct and new phone!!!

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!!!!

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

D0oinMeCleanin Fri 04-Jan-13 17:22:00

I talk to Devil Dog all the time, mainly about sausage factories and where the bad dogs go blush

littlewhitebag Fri 04-Jan-13 17:10:31

It always make me very happy to hear that other dog owners have some troubles with their dogs - especially getting them to drop whatever they have found - in pupski's case it is socks retrieved from DD2's floor. She loves them!

Maybe i need to retrain DD2 not to leave them on her floor and put them in the wash!

tabulahrasa Fri 04-Jan-13 17:07:35

'What's wrong with conversing with your dog?'

Nothing, in itself - I talk to the dog and the cats, about nothing much at all, but if I want him to give me back the sellotape he's just stolen I say drop because he will, I don't say, oy tiny dog give me back my sellotape, that's the only roll I've got left in the house and it's not for dogs...well not till I've got it back in my hand anyway, lol

tabulahrasa Fri 04-Jan-13 17:03:31

I wouldn't even mind him having different commands so much except he does things like announce proudly that he's trained the puppy to lie down and it only took 20 minutes...Monster puppy has been doing a reliable down since he was about 10 week old hmm and I have to listen to him wittering on in full sentences and being ignored until he says, come and make the dog do...

Why? just use the commands the dog knows angry

My puppy doesn't seem to have an off switch, I can keep him a entertained as I want, he'll still be up to no good the second after you stop.

Lifeisontheup Fri 04-Jan-13 17:02:32

My FIL has a staffy, lovely friendly dog although not brilliant with other dogs, but my youngest DS was terrified of her until she was about five and he's grown up with dogs,first a border collie and then our springer.
She would run after him and jump up at his back which,when he was smaller, used to leave scratch marks down his back. She also still insists on licking bare feet and legs, to the point where she'll shove her nose up your trousers, it drives me mad.
Whatever dog you get, be it a puppy, or a slightly older dog, be prepared for hours of training and preferably training classes. Badly trained dogs are awful for everyone.

mistlethrush Fri 04-Jan-13 17:02:17

I was terrified of our puppy when I was 5 - and can remember it now. She had needle sharp teeth. And she wasn't even that much of a chewer!

Staffies are absolute darlings - and I'm sure that there's a good one out there that would help show your son that some dogs are OK.

littlewhitebag Fri 04-Jan-13 17:00:25

What's wrong with conversing with your dog? I do it all the time. The family used to say i was like a crazy lady as i talked to my self al the time, so now i just talk incessantly to pupski. I have no expectation of a response mind you!

Our lab pup was also nippy and jumpy when we got her and she reduced my DD1 (age20!) to tears on more than on occasion. She is so calm and lovely now i can't believe it is the same dog.

Twattybollocks Fri 04-Jan-13 16:54:28

Honestly, staffy pups are gorgeously cute. but they are as young dogs, very very high energy, some are like that for life. Peppa the pest (surely the name tells you something) is now approaching 2yo. She is still completely loopy with visitors despite everything we have tried she jumps up, barks, wags, licks frantically. All very friendly but can be very off putting to guests if they don't like the dogs tongue in their ear. She is trained, will sit, stay, recall, lie down, high five, go to her basket... Until someone new arrives then she just gets so excited that she can't contain herself and explodes. She also gets very giddy with the kids, if they are playing anything involving running/shouting/throwing ball she tries to join in and it's very hard to dissuade her. Thankfully neither of my kids were scared of dogs, dd went through a phase of being a little wary after peppa nipped her when she tried to move her off the sofa (about 4 months old) to sit down, but we did training and banned dog from sofa and there haven't been any issues with her nipping since.
Staffs are buggers for chewing too, they can do a truly amazing amount of damage in a very short amount of time. They can also be stubborn and selectively deaf! if I could have bypassed the last 2 years and got the dog I have now ready trained from a rescue there is no way I would have had a puppy I can tell you! As it was dh bought her for me as a pup from a pet shop for my birthday. Right now I couldn't imagine a better family dog than her, she is my kids best friend, and mine, but boy she is hard work some days!

D0oinMeCleanin Fri 04-Jan-13 16:53:17

To add balance it is not just a man thing I caught my mum conversing with the flying whippet on boxing day "Come sweetheart, people are coming over and they'll want to sit down, you have that lovely bed that D0oin bought you, why don't you go and lay on your bed? Go now, do I need to get the other dog to go and lay in your bed? Should I lay in your bed?" confused

I actually taught their dog "Off" for them when my mum said she was having problems moving her off the sofas without her snapping so I know she has an off command.

D0oinMeCleanin Fri 04-Jan-13 16:49:46

Yes whippy was very calm. She was socialised to within an inch of her life and did have the opportunity to get bored after the staffy pup minding incident grin

She went everywhere with us in dd2's lap in the buggy and dd2 was trained to fed her puppy treats every time someone petted her or a bus or bike etc passed.

Why do they do that?

I cannot get my DH to use one word commands.

Why is it so hard to say one word? Why use 4 or 5

tabulahrasa Fri 04-Jan-13 16:47:23

Is it the whippety one that was calm? In the early stages of acquiring the monster puppy I was quite taken with a whippet. <sighs wistfully>

My DP changes all the commands - because apparently off and down are harder for him to remember than get down and lie down...he won't have it that they sound anything like each other either hmm

Oh I'm so pleased op.
do you want to pm me where you are and I'll put you I touch with some people?

You will get a lot from fostering, mind you, you might acquire a dog you were not planning for <glares at LittleDog>

My DH always said to me "I thought you had trained him to get off? The bloody dog is in my chair again and he won't move"

No matter how many times I explain that having a 5 minute convo with the dog, which goes "dog, why are you in my chair, I want to sit down. Why don't you go to your own bed? Why are you always on my chair? I want my chair back" is not nearly as effective as "off" which makes him move in 5 seconds.

D0oinMeCleanin Fri 04-Jan-13 16:40:42

I had a nice calm puppy [smug]

It's down to her breed, general disposition and a massive dollop of luck.

I saw a link for dogsblog on here, have a look, it really brings home to you how many dogs need homes.

tabulahrasa Fri 04-Jan-13 16:37:30

I hear that some people have nice calm puppies...but mine has definitely put me off getting one again.

My DC aren't littlies either, they're 12 and 16, lol, so it's not like he was able to jump up on them properly or get their stuff often.

To be fair to the monster puppy, he's the sweetest thing in the world when he's asleep, he picks up commands in hours and he is very very slowly turning into a lovely dog - but the first few months were horrendous.

D0oinMeCleanin Fri 04-Jan-13 16:32:42

Yay, well done OP.

Fostering is sooo rewarding. Tantrums will know of some good Staffy rescues you can foster for, I'll bet.

I've read the Barry Eaton book. It's a really easy read, but I do now have visions of a family all lining up to eat a biscuit in front of their puppy before they feed him, every time pack theory is mentioned and of a family sitting on the edge of their sofa all ready to dash to the door if looks like the dog wants to leave the room. Funny, but exhausting and utterly pointless from a training POV.

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