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What 'make' of puppy for a 6/7 yr old only child?

(19 Posts)
dandycandyjellybean Mon 31-Aug-09 21:36:14

My ds, 4, is really terrified of dogs. No bad experiences, but I think it's to do with noise (he has other probs with hand driers hoovers, etc). However, the dog thing is profound. Took him to a friends today, to meet with her daughter's puppy; progress, was happy to be in the same room, as long as on mum or dad's lap, and a couple of times even stroked her rear end as long as he was well away from her head. She didn't bark the whole time - king charles spaniel, very loving.

At the mo we have 2 elderly cats, but i was wondering if, once they wend their way to the big snoozing duvet in the sky, about the wisdom of getting him his own puppy, involving him in the training etc, with the idea that it would also be a companion for him.

My friend, who has am only ds of 14 is of the opinion that their dog has been a life saver in this regard, a playmate and a friend to her ds over the years. Be kind, but tell me your opinions.

I know that different dogs have different temperaments; ideally one that is loyal especially to one 'leader' but that is friendly and not aggressive?

dandycandyjellybean Mon 31-Aug-09 22:06:15

pls?

baskingseals Mon 31-Aug-09 22:16:18

If space is no prob, I would get a labrador. They are very child friendly. Easy to train as extremely greedy and will do practically anything for a biscuit. Very loving and devoted. They are quite big dogs though, he might feel a little overwhelmed, but you can get smaller labs and if you get a puppy he'll just accept whatever size he becomes. I have a black lab and 3 children, he definitely adds so much to the family. Good luck!

beggsie Mon 31-Aug-09 22:16:37

Hi there

We are going through the same process at the moment, although we have the opposite problem in that my dd is totally obsessed with dogs and will do anything for one.

I know that cocker spaniels are very loyal indeed, and that tends to be to one person in particular. They are very loving too, but bear in mind that they will need a lot of exercise. Training classes would be ideal and that could be something your ds could get really involved with.

FWIW we are thinking of getting either a cocker spaniel, a poodle (because of their low shedding, and also because they are intelligent) or possibly a cross of the two, although I know some people really don't like the idea of cross breeds.

HTH a little
beggsie

calypsoblue Mon 31-Aug-09 23:17:04

I love cocker Spaniels and they do look cuddly snd adorable but not sure that they are necessarily the best dog for young children they can be a bit snappy used to work in a dog refuge where a lot of cockers were handed in for readoption for this reason,Of course every dog is different but speaking to a vet they also said they were not ideal dogs for kids,would agree with the king charles spaniel as being a good choice or a breton spaniel, Greyhounds are also softies that love soafing and dont malt.

claw3 Tue 01-Sep-09 07:32:16

If you ds is petrified of dogs i would think twice about getting a puppy, ALL puppies are very boisterous and their play includes chasing and biting, albeit in a playful way, those little teeth hurt.

Have you given any thought to perhaps getting a young dog, who is past that boisterous stage?

I have a Labrador who we got when he was about 2 years old and a 5 year old son with special needs, he is very gentle, calm and tolerant and they are the best of friends.

Mooey40 Tue 01-Sep-09 13:19:43

Helloo..yes my DD was absolutely terrified of all dogs - heaven knows why, there was no apparent reason...we recentlyish got an old labrador from the rescue place and she took to the dog so quickly..would really recommend labs as they are so tolerant, this one wouldn't hurt a flea..yes I agree get an older dog which is more placid and just lies around wagging its tail and sleeping a lot! Now DD loves all dogs..complete turnaround..and the geriatric dog has a lovely new home - two problems sorted!smile

moanieminny Tue 01-Sep-09 14:48:34

Hi.
I think your bestbet is a Labrador if you have room. And if you chose as a puppy take one of the smaller ones - you can normally tell by the size of their paws if they are going to big or not.

I would def. NOT get a cocker. My vet told me that most children biten by dogs are bitten by cockers? very cute but very snappy....

TheDMshouldbeRivened Tue 01-Sep-09 14:58:24

Never get a dog for a child. Get one because you want one and want one to be part of your family. your child will grow up and leave home and leave you with the dog so it must be because you want it.

MissAnnesley Tue 01-Sep-09 15:03:18

Labrador gorgeous but need an hour's walk, minimum, every day, shed a lot, etc.

I'd get a nice kind small but doggy sort, not a scrappy-yappy thing. Not a working dog, not a challenging one. You need calm, reliable one.

Pretty much all dogs will focus on one person as the leader - unless you have exceptional offspring who feed, walk, train, etc the dog, it's likely to be you!

What about a dachshund? Or a beagle? Or a Heinz 57?

HarryB Tue 01-Sep-09 15:24:46

We had 2 labradors growing up and they were wonderful dogs (I too was frightened of dogs due to being bitten by an alsation). Yellow labs are much calmer than black ones though. But, lovely as they are, as Miss Annesley said, labs need a good amount of exercise.

If you can cope with at least an hour's walk per day, lots of combing (they moult loads)and a bit of chewing (they love shoes) then a labrador would be perfect.

Buda Tue 01-Sep-09 15:31:13

My DS was also nervous of dogs and is an only. He is now 8 and we got a yellow lab puppy in June. She has been ok with chewing so far. She is shedding everywhere however and does not like being combed.

She is lovely natured though - very calm. She was nippy and jumpy but seems to have calmed a bit. We have had tears from DS when she has nipped him or scratched him but she went to dog sitter for a week while we were on holiday and came back not doing that. I suspect the other dogs 'trained' her out of it a bit.

So - so far so good and I would recommend a lab. They are so gentle.

floaty Tue 01-Sep-09 15:35:59

What about a mini schauzer they are meant to be very good.We have a cocker puppy,he has been great and I grew up with one never had a problem with snapping.The only thing with a lab is that they are still puppies at 2 and take a long time to mature.Border terriers are also meant to be good family dogs

pranma Tue 01-Sep-09 16:03:40

Cavalier King Charles spaniel-very sweet natured,not too big and very cute indeed.
Labradors are wonderful dogs but have a lengthy puppyhood and need careful training as the puppies can be destructive-the hard work will pay off though.
I also recommend Cairn terriers-mine was in great demand with local dogless families who took him for walks-he played football with his nose and loved children.I have owned all the breeds above and for a novice owner/nervous child I'd say the CKC every time.

MrsMong Tue 01-Sep-09 19:18:40

Another vote for the Cavalier King Charles. They're soppy dogs, love nothing more than being cuddled / sitting on laps. Our have always been happy to go for a walk, but equally happy if a walk isn't offered. In fact one of them was so soft she wouldn't go out for a walk in the rain, and if she had to go out to do her "business" when it rained it was literally done in 10 seconds!

JimmyMcNulty Tue 01-Sep-09 19:56:55

Well we have two labradors whom ds has no problems with - they were here before he was and he has always known them; they are like part of the furniture as far as he's concerned and good for riding his cuddly toys on. However other dogs are another matter. For some reason especially small ones - he is really nervous of them. Just mentioning as you may find he doesn't generalise his feelings about dogs.

mrswill Tue 01-Sep-09 20:44:41

Another massive vote for Cavalier King Charles spaniels. Myself and my partner have grown up with dogs and always had 2 or more dogs ourselves. And this breed has been my favourite. Our dogs are very docile, loving, and are happy to go for walks but just as happy to run round the garden. Infact our female, doesnt particularly like going on walks and usually tries to get in the buggy.
In my experience, (disclaimer!) females seem to be the calmer sex and are usually smaller,even when our bitch was a pup, she preferred lazing around. My older nephews have even dressed her up and taken her for 'walks' in the toy buggy, and she hasnt even been bothered, just chuffed with all the attention! oooh get a king charles...

spiderlight Wed 02-Sep-09 16:33:11

I'd definitely steer clear of a puppy and look for a calm, child-friendly older dog that already has some training and socialisation. A good rescue will be able to help you find the right dog, allow calm, supervised introductions and provide backup support as you all settle in together. There are literally thousands of lovely older dogs out there looking for homes, often through no fault of their own - owners die or have to move, children develop allergies and so on.

arolf Wed 02-Sep-09 16:37:56

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are great - very loving, very energetic (well, ours are), and so loyal - plus they are exceptionally cute. ours can be noisy around their meal times, but it's more comical than anything else, and it's only once they were a bit older. when puppies they just slept or piddled

But I would suggest getting to know a local docile dog to acclimatise your child to dogs in general - probably getting a puppy won't solve so many problems as it would cause to start with!

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