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About Dogs again - questions, questions

(75 Posts)
handlemecarefully Tue 25-Nov-03 11:28:14

I want one, I want one, I want one! Had one as a child and lover her to bits.

A few questions:

*Is it fair to leave a dog on their own from 07.05 to 17.00 Monday to Wednesday (whilst at work)?
*If you are going to do this should you get two so that they can keep each other company?
*If yes its okay to leave them, when leaving a dog like this, should they be left indoors or outdoors. I don't like the idea of 'imprisoning' the dog indoors and would like him / her to have run of garden. But would they get too cold in bitter weather?
*which breed of dogs have the best reputation with small children
*which breed of dogs are the least like to escape (jump hedges, tunnel under hedges etc). I live on a busy road and don't want dog to escape and get run over by articulated lorry
* would I be taking on too much with a 16 month old and another baby due next April?

Thanks if you can help

M2T Tue 25-Nov-03 11:33:02

HMC - I assume you'll be wanting a dog that doesn't do the toilet!!??? What animal do you know can hold in their bodily functions for more than 10 hours!?

That is exactly why we won't get one. Well, actually I don't want one but DH does. I don't think it would be fair to leave a dog for that length of time alone.
My Mum & Dad had a dog that used to howl from the minute they left until they got in! Nightmare!!

What about a heated kennel?? That could cost quite a bit though.

Forestfly Tue 25-Nov-03 11:36:57

I wouldn't get a puppy with two kids, there a nightmare, walks feeding wiping up there mess, treating teeth, i think they need more care than kids, and you can't even go out for the night.

whymummy Tue 25-Nov-03 11:41:33

if you leave them in the house that long be prepared to find wee and poo when you get back.
getting 2 dogs will be madness with a small child and a baby.
if you leave them outside they will bark and people will complain.
we have an alsatian and she's brilliant with the kids.good luck finding a dog but remember they're extremely hard work,almost like having another child,they chew things,smell and leave lots of hairs everywhere,i love my dog but it is hard

mothernature Tue 25-Nov-03 11:59:42


If you wish to take on a dog, I think you need to do your homework more carefully, get on the net and search for dog information, I posted a list of dogs suitable for children on a previous thread.

No dog should be left on its own for that length of time, even if you have two, if you insist on having dogs then you must think about your decision. All dogs will try to escape if they are not happy, bored or neglegected. You might even consider fostering one first, from you local dogs home, I know at this time the dogs homes are looking for people to foster dogs and cats over the christmas period.

Personally I think you will be taking on too much if your child is only 16mths, another due soon..when will you have time to walk it, play with it, feed and water it, clean up after it, enjoy it.. Only a week ago when walking my dog over a country lane, we discovered a puppy who had been abandonded, probably for the reasons stated above, new baby, messy puppy, christmas coming, no time for walks and play, if you have children just think before you leap into anything as serious as taking on a dog, they are for life and you cannot treat them as anything other.

handlemecarefully Tue 25-Nov-03 12:01:00


My colleague leaves her golden retriever for 8 hours whilst she is at work, and says she doesn't get wee and poo situations. Maybe she is just lucky.

M2T Tue 25-Nov-03 12:03:15

HMC - I bet she did at first!! The dog must've just learned to cope. But why should they cope with that??

Mothernature - Your post puts it beautifully. Please please please don't get a dog for purely selfish reasons!

handlemecarefully Tue 25-Nov-03 12:03:54


I hadn't thought of that - fostering might be a good idea to see how it might (or might not) work out.

Thanks everybody for the candid and honest replies, but for balance, please could someone tell me that it might (just might?) be manageable?

handlemecarefully Tue 25-Nov-03 12:07:26

What if I got a dog walker for the 3 days I am at work? Will that redeem the situation ?

M2T Tue 25-Nov-03 12:07:38

lol HMC - You rrrrrreally want one don't you!!

What about if there was someone who could pop into your house and let the dog out in the garden for 15 mins?? Wouldn't work too well for a big dog if you have a small garden, but a medium sized dog would really appreciate a run around your garden! and it would give them a chance to do the toilet (if you don't mind that in your garden) and also break up the day for them to reduce boredom.

mothernature Tue 25-Nov-03 12:08:34

HMC obviously you are determined to get one I cannot tell you it 'might' be manageable, could you manage with having twins? because that's what it will entail, not just a new baby of the human kind but a baby animal..just as important... in my eye's 'DO YOU HOMEWORK READ UP ON IT'. END OF STORY.

M2T Tue 25-Nov-03 12:08:36

HMC - Our posts crossed! I dunno how much they cost, but there are a few MN'tters who hire Dog walkers so stay tuned!

handlemecarefully Tue 25-Nov-03 12:09:18

I would promise faithfully to walk it on the other 4 days of the week (dd and new babe will come with me in their kiwi explorer tandem buggy!)

I'm beginning to sound a bit pleading now....

whymummy Tue 25-Nov-03 12:11:08

if i was you i'll wait till you've had the baby that way you'll be at home and the weather will be nice then and she can be toilet trained in the garden,we got ours while i was heavily pregnant and when the nesting instinct kicked in i spent my days walking around with a cloth in one hand and a bottle of detox on the other because of all the puppy accidents

handlemecarefully Tue 25-Nov-03 12:13:08


I am not determined to get a dog (though obviously would really like one)....I do have some doubts; that's why I posted. I do realise that its a big responsibility not to be undertaken lightly - honestly!!!

M2T - just seen your other post. I have a retired neighbour who loves dogs so this could be a viable option!

Crunchie Tue 25-Nov-03 12:32:55

HMC I have a dog, a springer spaniel and TBH I wish I didn't I love her to death, but she is really my dh dog. However when we got her dh could walk her everyday, now he has a full time job and so do I. She doesn't get the walks she should. Before you all scream at me we have a nanny who is there most of the time and lets her out, or the next door neighbours do, and in summer we don't shut our door so she is always outside.

The mess that she makes is incredible, I don't have high standards but I have to hoover twice a week to keep the dog hair under control. We are so limited if we go out as to what we do, both for single days out - we must get home for the dog, and for holidays - where can we go that is child and dog friendly?

Actually that is the key, you maybe a responsible dog owner, but others aren't which means all beaches and play areas are banned for dogs, our local park bans dogs in certain areas, so the kids cannot go on the play ground, as we can't take the dog there. The fenced of play areas are alright, but the dog has to stay outside the fence. Holidays like camping would be fine, but often teh good child friendly campsites ban dogs, and most beaches ban dogs for the summer months. We are very lucky as MIL owns our dogs mum, therefore whenever we want to go away without her, she can stay with them. But do you have this, or are there good kennels locally? To me this is the biggest problem with dogs, we can't even go for a nice long Sunday walk and a pub lunch, as teh dog is barred form most pubs!!

If you are prepared that you will have to make arrangements for this sort of thing, then fine, but these were things we didn't think about when we got the dog, so I am afraid she spends a lot of time at the in-laws. One time when DH was away with a job she had to be with them for 4 months!!

Think very very carefully, particularly if your dh isn't keen, as it is more hassle than having kids at times!!

I can't suggest a good breed of dog as I think each dog is different, our springer is great, soppy and even doesn't care when my girls put fancy dress outfits on her (they are 4 and 2), but she has been around for 7 yrs and is used to them. She was a little funny when they were born however. I would be tempted to wait for a while to get used to having 2 kids before you decide you can cpe with a dog. I found the jump form one to two was far far more work than form none to one!

Good luck, sorry to ramble!

handlemecarefully Tue 25-Nov-03 12:35:23

Ummmmmm - maybe I should postpone getting a dog for a while

sykes Tue 25-Nov-03 12:43:44

I have a dog who I adore and is great with kids but there is so much work. I have two dog walkers, mainly took her on as someone wanted to get rid of her and their cat and felt sorry for her and have always had dogs. But, easy with one child, difficult with two, it's not all walks in the stroller in the sunshine, it's bloody freezing, wet, messy dog, kids who don't always want to go out walking, expensive kennels, vet bills, etc, etc and she doesn't get enough attention. We've had her for eight years and I adore her, but they're not just an add on - and with kids they can become that. My nanny is at home so can let her out etc and we took her on as she was used to being on her own for periods of time, (and was older) but it's not very fair. Also, rescue dogs needs homes but the RSPCA is, rightly, very strict about amount of hours you'd leave a dog on it's own. Two would be bonkers.

CountessDracula Tue 25-Nov-03 12:46:06

hmc, we have a dog, she is going to be 3 in Feb 04, and a 15 month old dd.

Personally I would not be without my dog but it really is hard sometimes. I would not have a dog if I couldn't guarantee that it would get a good walk every day. We pay a dogwalker during the week plus dh takes her out first thing and if I am at home I take her at lunchtime.

If you are ill it can be hard, or if one of your children is ill. How do you get out to walk the dog?

I agree re the holidays thing, but we usually go abroad in which case our nanny stays and house/dog sits or dog goes to my mum. We take a week or more a year in a cottage in wales too, and the dog comes there.

Please don't get a dog and leave it at home all day. Get a guinea pig or rabbit if you want to do that. It wouldn't be fair on the dog, even if you do have a dogwalker. Before we had dd we sent the dog to a dogminder in the day so she was with someone most of the time, now the nanny or I am usually here. Dogs love companionship.

Maybe I am too soppy but I always swore that I would only get a dog if I could give it a good life. Being left alone all day is not that.

Lastly, I would not advise a puppy with small children. Puppies don't understand that they mustn't bite and they have needle sharp teeth. Unless you are prepared to watch the puppy like a hawk all the time (which you won't be able to do with 2 babies) then it will inevitably end in disaster.

If you do get a dog make sure you meet the breeder and the puppy's mum and dad. Get one that has been brought up in a family environment, not a puppy farm, and that is used to being handled by children from birth. Try and find a breeder who breeds for temprement, we did this and our dog is so gentle and sweet, as were her mum and dad.


maomao Tue 25-Nov-03 12:51:03

I agree, two would be completely insane. Our dog is wonderful with our baby. But she is A LOT of work. Has to be run every day, regardless of the weather. Tries to get into the trash, etc. Then there are the vet bills, dog food, treats and toys, giving the dog a bath.... My partner and I split up "baby duty" and "dog duty". That said, I wouldn't give her up for the world. But I do think it would be a good idea for you to wait until you're settled in with your second child and see how you feel then!

handlemecarefully Tue 25-Nov-03 12:56:29

Is there a smiley that you can do that represents a tear stained blotchy face and hunched depressive shoulders?

CountessDracula Tue 25-Nov-03 12:59:05

sorry hmc. Why don't you do a bit of dog minding on the days you don't work and see how you find it, will earn extra cash too.

maomao Tue 25-Nov-03 13:00:07

HMC, I'm sorry! I love my dog and couldn't imagine my life without her. Maybe you could try fostering?

handlemecarefully Tue 25-Nov-03 13:21:01

Don't worry - I'll get over it.

I'm very stubborn and despite this excellent and honest advice I may still get a dog...(and will probably live to regret it and moan softly to myself - why didn't I listen to those sensible mumsnetters)...

However, if I do throw caution to the wind and go for it, I promise to wait until 2nd baby is 2 or 3 months old at least (so that I have an idea about how I will cope with dog plus 2 under twos), and I will seek advice on breed of dog so that I can match its requirements with what we can offer. Also I would make proper provision during the 3 days I work.

I won't do any of this lightly...and you've done me a favour by pointing out all the downsides. Will keep mulling this over for a while...

Forestfly Tue 25-Nov-03 13:23:53

Well the good sides are, they can cure depression, protect your home, and a good way of chatting up other dog walkers (not that you can do that)

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