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am i insane to want to get a dog?

(21 Posts)
ellenjames Mon 21-Sep-09 22:55:05

am moving house on the 1st to a 3 bedroom bungalow with a large garden because we need a bigger place but also as we rent and want to have pets. The new contract doesnt mention pets at all so am assuming i am fine to get pets as long as i look after the proprty, which obvoiusly we will! The landlord seems pretty chilled too.
We have 3 children, 6 months 3 and 4. I am a sahm and dh works 12hr shifts so has loads of time off, eg normally works 3 days then rest week off, so plenty of time.
Have been looking at a lab pup, or 11 monthold collie. Am i insane to do this? I dont think so has anyone else done it with family set up like mine that can give me some advice cheers

LadyGlencoraPalliser Mon 21-Sep-09 23:04:27

Not insane to want to get a dog, but not sure a collie would be ideal for the set up you describe. They are pretty high maintenance IME. But there are many people more qualified to advise than I am, I'm sure one of them will be along soon.

FitOfBun Mon 21-Sep-09 23:21:21

Collies need a LOT of stimulation from what I recall. A smaller, child-friendly option might be a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? Just becaise that's what we had growing up. I've got a cracking little patterdale/border cross myself (on my profile), who is fantastic with the kids, and with few enough brain cells to be low-maintenance grin

FitOfBun Mon 21-Sep-09 23:23:54

Oops, I need to move my profile page, hang on...

ellenjames Mon 21-Sep-09 23:31:19

sorry but dont like the smaller dogs think it may be the lab after reading other posts in the pet section! Everyone seems to say collies are VERY hard work! Bless them! but thanku x

chickchickchickee Mon 21-Sep-09 23:33:13

If you go down the collie route, are you happy walking it 3 times a day, for 45min at a time, ideally off lead? (I should add in here, not til after 18m cause of bones. At 11m I would be expecting to do 3x 15min on lead walks a day) In the rain, in the dark, you name it because if you miss a walk, you WILL know about it.

Will you commit to training classes and putting in 15min each day to keep up on the training and keep its brain active?

Would you be happy giving up more free time to agility or something similar, because there is a reason why 90% of the dogs that do it are collies?

Could you cope if the dog started to nip at the children? Collies WILL herd, and kids playing are a prime outlet for this cause they squeal and run.

valhala Mon 21-Sep-09 23:46:48

I agree that a collie may not be the best of choices for an inexperienced owner with a young family - they ARE a demanding breed although lovely.

However I am loathe to generalise too much, being a supporter of the "Deed not Breed" campaign, the view being that ALL breeds and crosses CAN have problems. I know of a few snappy JRTs and yet the GSDs which I have owned and which have a certain reputation amongst some were/are marvvellously gentle and affectionate. I couldn't praise them more highly.

Much will depend on the dog's background and the way he is treated. I have a Lab who can be temperemental - I trust him 100% with me and my children but he was abused by a previous owner and Lab or not he can be bloody stroppy to men, especially those who have been drinking. If you go for the Lab pup, although there are no guarantees in this life, you will be responsible for moulding his personality and providing you do that with a gentle manner you should have a loyal and loving friend for life, largely because he will never have known unkindness.

As a rescue volunteer and owner of large breed dogs as well as a mum I would just respectfully say this - please remember that pups need quiet times and that the best brought up baby or young child can pull a dog around if your back is turned, however innocently. Make sure that he has plenty of "down time" to rest and that the children ad he have time and space to be kept apart when necessary.

Most of all, good luck in your choice and may you all have a wonderful friend for many years.

sazm Mon 21-Sep-09 23:49:40

we have more or less the same situation as you (3 kids of same age and im a SAHM)
we have a lab x collie, we got him when he was 15 weeks, i do wish we had got him earlier as he had a few bad habits which were hard to get him out of,
he does not nip/herd the children,he is a great companion for them and loves to play,we have a huge garden and the kids spend hours a day running around with him,
he doesnt get a proper walk,he gets a good run around playing with a ball,

i would def go for a puppy though,MUCH easier to train and it will adapt to your lifestyle easier than an older puppy/dog and you will be able to train it the way you want,its really not easy to get rid of bad habits an older dog has,

one thing we done is we got the kids to do lots of the training with him,it lets him know he is below the kids and he should listen to them,it works great for us,

good luck x

ellenjames Mon 21-Sep-09 23:56:23

thank u ever so much for ur advice it has been very helpful! Valhala have thought about the quiet time and think will go with cage in a utility what are your feelings on the use of cages as u seem very experienced, i have some experience of dogs but golden retrievers and he was fab! and no experience of pups. any advice even if i dont want to hear it! welcomed x

valhala Tue 22-Sep-09 00:06:58

Lol what a compliment! Thank you!

I and most I know in rescue have no issue with cages if used properly - not a good idea for a long period of time in one day obviously but a godsend sometimes.

They are useful for rest time, just as you said, especially if you introduce the crate with the door open, blanket, toys, a hide bone to chew etc, then pup can go in and out at will and will quickly come to regard it as his place of safety and peace with happiness.

Whatever you do though, don't use it as a puishment like a sin-bi as he will associate it with nothig more than that and won't want to go in there at all.

I have used crates like his to good effect with many of the dogs I have fostered (although I did have one SBT who chewed holes in the metal tray of hers whilst I was in the sitting room hoovering and wanted her out of harm's way yet unwilling to let her run free in the kitchen and chew the door to pieces again!).

I get the feeling you will be just fine hun and your dog a lucky pooch.

BettyTurnip Tue 22-Sep-09 11:36:08

I also am a SAHM and have three dc, age 15m, 3 and 5. We really want a dog (Golden Retriever), but have found it difficult to find a quality breeder willing to sell us a puppy. They have said that very young children and puppies are not a great combination and to wait until they're older.

hatwoman Tue 22-Sep-09 11:53:35

just melting at "you should have a loyal and loving friend for life, largely because he will never have known unkindness". it's so true.

the only thing I'll add is you say you've been "looking at a lab pup, or 11 month old collie" - I assume then, these are specific dogs - I would definitely not go for the collie - added on to what everyone else has said about them you have to ask why someone is getting rid of an 11-month old - presumably because they can;t cope with him...which almost certainly means he hasn;t had the attention and training that's so important in his first year.

I really recommend a book called the Dog Manual by Carolyn Menteith - worth getting for teh stuff on chosing a dog and what to expect - before you make your mind up. also brillian for training and looking after them once you've got one.

The kids are pretty young - are you honestly going to be able to get out for a walk everyday with all 3 in tow? It takes so long to get out of the house with kids that it could well mean sacrificing other (more sociable) stuff - toddler group etc. the alternative will be you or dh taking the dog out before going to work. I'm not saying it's not possible - but do think really hard about it. we held off until dds were 8 and 6 and dh and I were both wfh. if you do have any doubts then just wait a couple of years - until at least some of the kids are in school - better to do that and have a life-long friend for 10+ years than to have a year or two of real stress in which no-one - you, family or the dog, gets a good deal.

ellenjames Tue 22-Sep-09 23:23:51

have gone for a black lab bitch ready to collect on 10th. Dont worry have thought bout this very much and the walking isnt an issue as my 2 eldest are at school, one full time and other nursery 2 and half hours a day. Have checked all buggy friendly walks ideal for summer/winter walking and dh does long distance walking and running, so no issues there!

YouLukaStunning Tue 22-Sep-09 23:35:48

Admit it, you want a baby really

ellenjames Tue 22-Sep-09 23:38:06

god no! Have a 6 month old! And dh had vasectomy so no more babies here!!

valhala Tue 22-Sep-09 23:41:48

This Lab IS going to be your baby I reckon!

Please come back with pics and tell us how you are getting on.

And no, I'm not jealous... not at all... much!

thesunshinesbrightly Wed 23-Sep-09 10:21:58

I have a border collie and she isnt hard work,she's a bit scatty and wants attention but she will also cuddle up on the sofa, i've had her since she was 12 weeks old she was a very good puppy, bit of a chewer but fab all the same smile
she needs plenty of walks in whatever the weather, collies pick up things very quickly so trainingis ideal and they love it!!
I take her everywhere(i can)
i have 3 children also and she has never bit or nipped or tried to herd them, when i was getting her quite few people tried to put me off, but i got her all the same.

She is great with the kids i couldn't have a better dog, i don't think i would ever get another breed of dog.

team collie grin

thesunshinesbrightly Wed 23-Sep-09 10:23:31

just noticed you have gone for a lab smile

hatwoman Wed 23-Sep-09 11:09:28

sounds like you're sorted! if you've got time when 2 are at school then you'll be ok. baby will get lots of fresh air and sleep well for it hopefully smile. we have a male black lab and he is wonderful. very trainable and very gentle. he did have a rather short boisterous phase - roundabout 9-12 months iirc - if kids were playing in the garden he'd try to join in but would get over-excited and jump up - but there was an obvious solution - which was to shut him in the house if kids were running around. Now he can be trusted though - he loves children and gravitates towards them - but he knows not to jump or grab toys off them etc.

nappyaddict Wed 23-Sep-09 11:29:16

I would get a king charles cavalier spaniel.

BettyTurnip Wed 23-Sep-09 11:42:10

Too late now!

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