I would like to get a puppy as with the arrival of DC3 I am now a SAHM. DH isn't keen on the idea because our dog (11 year old Lab cross) was a bit of a nightmare as a pup: ate a sofa, separation anxiety, broke the front door glass going after a cat, chewed EVERYTHING, ran away whenever let off the lead, had trouble with toilet training, etc. She is now an extremely well behaved dog (apart from a bit of bin raiding), she walks off the lead, obeys a range of commands and is generally very easy to get on with.
DH thinks new dog (12 week old Labrador) will be another nightmare and it will all be awful. I think we know what we're doing now so will make less mistakes along the way AND because we have an older dog the puppy will be easier to manage because he will probably copy her behaviour. Another issue is that we adopted her from a rescue centre at five months old so she was already too big to be able to lift her and she hasn't had any training at this point.
I don't have rose tinted spectacles, I know I will have to train the dog and there will be a certain amount of accidents and damage to possessions and furniture no matter how careful we are. But is getting a puppy really the awful experience my DH expects?
I wouldn't have another lab puppy. Mine's a lovely calm well behaved 2 yr old now but he turned our lives upside down chewing everything and jumping about in the first 12 months. Although labs are thought to be ideal family dogs, and as adults they probably are, I think they must be one of the most unsuitable breeds to have as a puppy with young children.
Are puppies really that bad? I've had a pup twice before and I remember it being difficult but not all the time. I know a few people that have adopted a puppy in the past year and I haven't heard endless tales of woe. In fact two are on their second pup in a short time. My childminder has managed two puppies with six children in the house.
Thanks for the link. I'm wondering whether puppies are like babies. When I think about having a baby I think of being tired all the time, endless dirty nappies, getting puked on and peed on, crying, etc. All true of course but now I'm in the middle of it with DS3 I wouldn't be without him.
I have been assessing my situation: where will the crate go, will my older dog be over-protective of her food, do I need the stairgate up, will I be able to get up in the night for loo breaks, what will be chewed, where will the pup go in the car, etc. etc. Ir all seems achievable until I hear people telling me I'll never cope.
Stunt, unless I've missed it, you haven't said how old DC3 is?
I'm extremely used to puppies. As a breeder I can take them in my stride. We don't get things chewed, it's very unlikely we'll ever have any accidental wees or poos in the house, we don't really get any 'teenage' stage as such, etc. however, that is because any puppy in this house gets a hell of a lot of attention and time and I think they deserve that. it's what makes them grow quickly and easily into well rounded dogs.
I also think that babies/toddles deserve my undivided attention as much as possible and that they don't deserve to be stood in the garden with me on and off all day in potentially the freezing cold and rain, while I toilet train a puppy. or left while I bugger off to training classes or ring raft.
The fact that I think both deserve as much of my full attention as possible stops me having a baby or toddler and puppy at the same time. For most people though, the fact is, statistically, if they have a baby and a puppy, the puppy is far more likely to be rehomed and that is because most people find it bloody hard.
I also don't think getting a puppy from a friend or family member who happens to have a litter (and forgive me if I'm wrong there and they are reputable breeders) is a good idea either, for all the reasons I stated in my previous post. If they hadn't had puppies, would you even be considering one?
The toilet training, the chewing - yeah they're not fun, but manageable, it was the biting...
Every time the DC moved he chased them and bit their feet, if they had a foot or a hand hanging over the couch it got bitten, just before he started to grow out if it they were avoiding the rooms he was in because they were just so sick of him trying to play with them like that. I have friends with toddlers, he ended up being crated when they visited because he made them cry.
At nearly 9 months he's still not trustworthy with small children, not because he doesn't like them, but because he does and is desperate to play with them, but still is in the process of learning what appropriate play with little children is. (it's not bouncing on them, which is his default move).
We got a lab cross pup aged 10/12 weeks last year when dds were age 5 and 7. I definately wouldn't have considered it if they were any younger. They have also both grown up with dogs, understand how to behave around them and are responsible about training. It is is still massively hard work. Our first two pups ( six years ago ) ate everything in the house from the skirting boards to the television. This boy doesn't chew but he is massively bouncy and pretty hard work in other ways. We couldn't love him any more he is completely gorgeous but I know that next time we will not get a pup
FWIW we are also in Northern Ireland and all the pounds and shelters are full of Labradors if that us what you like. We got our pup from Carrick Dog Shelter just over the border and the day I collected him there were 15 black lab pups brought in. Monaghan SPCA also always has loads of labs - they both update their facebook pages frequently . Maybe something to think if for the future if you decide this is it the right time just now.
I am in two minds about what to suggest . You seem open eyed and up for the challenge and you have experience too.
We have a 5.5 month old Springer puppy, he's our first dog and the DC are 13 and 11. I posted fully on a different thread about what you might hope for in a good breeder I believe that I got him from a very responsible one. We certainly researched this aspect tons. (Midori may disagree but she certainly ticked all the boxes that you would hope a good breeder would and her ongoing support is fantastic)
My other caveat is that (as we were a reserve on a waiting list and the litter was larger than anticipated at 13) we got the 'small, quiet and timid' one of the litter. This has actually worked out wonderfully for us as he is so gentle and placid and seems to give off all the correct signals to other dogs (i.e 'I am a wuss therefore no threat!'). We love him to pieces and I feel that he's been an easy first dog. He hasn't chewed or nipped or jumped up too much, toilet training easy and crate training super too. We have been so so lucky.
However, the input that we put into him is huge! DH gets up with him at 6am (puppy doesn't need to get up but DH loves to spend time with him before going to work!) and plays and trains him in the garden for 30/40 minutes. He's then fed and the DC's appear and spend time with him. I take him out for an hour off lead at 8am once they have gone to school. We meet other friends with dogs so he has a good play.
He usually naps then and, just two mornings a week I work for 3 hours so he's crated.
Another long walk at 2pm ish (getting up to 90 minutes now he's older).
During the day, tons of clicker training, play etc. Add in grooming, needing a bath occasionally. Time at the Vets (loads of this for us due to eye injury) Saturday mornings we do the KC Bornze award. Had the kids been younger, I wouldn't have been able to put this much into him and been very stressed. I can leave the DC at home alone too which is a bonus, given their age.
I appreciate that many many dogs probably turn into wonderful family pets without so much input but I just wanted to post that, despite him being a little dream, it's still been hard work!
If you are still up for it, then at least you have your eyes open!
Agree with needastrongone, you do seem to know what is involved but with a very young dc would you be able to give that much time? We have a 10 week old puppy who has also been great, easy to toilet and crate train, still does jump up a bit and nip but yes, needs a huge amount of input. Whenever our pup is awake someone is constantly watching him, playing with him, training him and making sure he is not doing anything he shouldn't! My dds are 10 and 8 and so are able to help out, train and be left with him downstairs if I need to do anything, even so he nips and jumps up on them but they are old enough to understand this is part of puppy behaviour. DH gets up at 6am with him so I can get ready and come down at 7am to take over whilst he gets ready, same of an evening, one of us goes to bed earlier, one a bit later to take him out for a wee before settling down for the night, it is pretty exhausting and atm our lives revolve totally around this puppy. We don't allow him in the lounge yet so are confined to the extension which is fine, has a sofa, tv etc but there is no relaxing in front of our big tv in the lounge yet unless we take it in turns to go in and have a bit of chill out on our own! We are fine with that as we know it is not forever, but most importantly, all on board, you say your DH is not so keen so would you be doing most of the work, as well as coping with dcs? I love our puppy to bits but there is no way I would have coped with a younger dc in the picture, an older dog might be a better bet or just stick to your one dog for now and reassess in the future when the time comes . If she is 11 she may not want a young pup bothering her in her twilight years. But...if your mind is made up, then all I can say is good luck!