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is it too early to get a puppy?

(11 Posts)
caramelcoffeelover Fri 10-Dec-10 09:54:46

To those of you who have dogs, do you think it is too early to get a puppy for my 1.5 year old daughter?

DooinMeCleanin Fri 10-Dec-10 09:56:05

Yes. Puppies and toddlers are not a good mix. Pupies bite, toddlers scream, puppies get excited and bite more, toddlers scream more and so on.

An older rescue dog might be an idea though. Habe you owned dogs before?

caramelcoffeelover Fri 10-Dec-10 10:10:02

yes, but never rescue ones. i've always thought it might be safer to bring a dog up together with the child so they get used to living together from the start. i'm a little worried about getting an older dog, since you can't always be sure about their history

DooinMeCleanin Fri 10-Dec-10 10:21:32

That's a load of bollocks btw. Nothing is more unknown temprement wise than a new puppy. Raising a dog with a child does not mean that the dog will automatically tolerate/like children.

Many dogs come into rescue through no faukt of their own and have a full history. It maybe because the family need to move and cannot take the dog or because they need to increase working hours and feel it would be unfair on the dog.

If you go to a reputable rescue then the dogs will have been assessed by a professional, experienced behaviourist and you will recieve lifelong support including the option to return if your circumstances change. You don't get this with puppies.

I'd suggest starting a thread in 'the doghouse' and asking for Vallhala. She knows the most about rescue.

Lots of rescues won't rehome with small children (as much for the diogs sake as the child) but some do, so it's worth asking round your local ones.

Vallhala Fri 10-Dec-10 11:10:18

What can I add? Dooin is completely right.

Reputable rescue will assess, neuter, vaccinate, microchip, provide a full support and back up service, homecheck - which is for YOUR benefit as much as the dog's - and be insistant on taking the dog back should you ever not be able to keep him.

True, there are lots which have blanket policies and which will not rehome to families with young children, but there are others which will consider each application individually. Your best bet in this respect is an independent smaller rescue rather than the RSPCA/Wood Green etc.

And yes, this whole thing about alll rescue dogs having no history and a pup being better is absolute bollocks! There are NO guarantees with a pup whereas a rescue dog may well indeed have come from a family home and be in rescue through no fault of his own.

Let me tell you a secret too - when an owner comes to rescue with a dog which he says is perfect in every way but which he can't keep because he has to move/is ill/whatever, we don't believe him! This is because people lie... so we carry out our own assessments first, before considering allowing a family to adopt that dog.

Blunty, I would put it this way: if you can promise me that you will seperate your child and dog, if you can guarantee that you won't shriek "killer dog, put him to sleep!" because your child has pulled the dog's ear and the dog growled, if you can find time for your dog as well as your child, if you will train your child as much as your dog - e.g. not to disturb the dog while he's sleeping, not to touch the dog's food or disturb him while he is eating, not to think it's cute and acceptable that Johnny climbs all over Rover, that you will cope with a settling in period, maybe a dog which needs housetraining or lead training and be able to do that and be a mum... in anotherwords, you won't give up on that dog an I won't in time be seeking a rescue place for him or imploring you not to have him killed, go for it!

MrsDanverclone Fri 10-Dec-10 13:33:09

I have two dogs, one bought as a puppy and brought up with my children, the other is an older rescue dog. The rescue dog is actually much better suited to the children, as she has a lovely, gentle temperament. The other one is as mad as a hatter! Dogs have their own personalities like humans do, so don't discount an older dog ( who would love a 2nd chance at a loving home ) in favour of a puppy, thinking it will be more child friendly.
I have always had dogs, even when my children were babies, you just need to teach them respect for each other and always remember dogs are animals and will behave accordingly.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 10-Dec-10 13:50:16

We got our current dog at 10 months old from the breeder - they'd kept him because he was lovely but he wasn't up to the mark for showing/breeding (poor little chap goes bald in winter grin). So, he'd been socialised with other dogs and their grandchildren, housetrained and basic obedience trained - much more of a known quantity than our previous dog who we got as a pup.

So, in addition to rescues, I would recommend checking out reputable breeders.

DooinMeCleanin Fri 10-Dec-10 13:56:43

Yes I also have a puppy (rescued by us at ten weeks old and raised with my children, was housed with a small child since birth) and an older rescue with unknown history (ex-stray).

The older one has never bitten anybody. The puppy bit the neighbours child last week. And I do mean bit not, snapped or mouthed, she had tried snapping previously and her warnings went unheeded. She bit to cause damage, fortunately she is too small to cause much damage atm.

My older dog is 'child tolerent' the puppy likes well behaved children who know the rules, but will not hesitate to 'teach' them the rules, where as the older one just walks away from rowdiness.

Vallhala Fri 10-Dec-10 13:59:20

PS I forgot to add that a reputable rescue would be very unlikely to even suggest a dog without a history to a family with a 1 yo unless under exceptional circumstances... and, as I've already said, on top of that would have assessed the dog themselves.

millyjay Fri 10-Dec-10 14:04:23

No, dogs need lots of looking after, walks, vets, grooming etc and what happens when your child is not well and doesn't want to go out. Who will look after the dog then.

I have 2 dogs, both from puppies, one is fine, but the other we have to be really careful with. They have both been treated exactly the same.

Also now the chidren are all at school and I work it is a problem getting everything done.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 10-Dec-10 14:23:32

Not all dogs need a major walk every day - whether you've a small child or not, of course you should only consider breeds which would fit your activity levels.

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