dog before baby?(51 Posts)
Hi all, I'm 18 weeks, due in April. Me and the OH have wanted a dog for a good while now and have decided it's a definite yes. The breeds we like are lab or boxer.
I think It would be great to get before the baby so that it's trained before baby arrives, and atleast then it gives me something to get out and about for before and with baby. What do you think? I know some say it's best to get afterwards Incase the dog gets jealous ect but I think if we get one while I am pregnant the dog will be aware that there is a baby to come... (I think dogs are clever like that) a lot of my friends have had dogs before babies and there dogs have been great!! I also don't believe the whole bad dog thing, I genuinely think that the dogs are only bad if they have been brought up wrong ect. I am used to big dogs as my parents have always had collies or need breeds. Just now they have a collie a Rottweiler/German Shepherd and a German Shepherd. I love dogs and can't wait to have my own please let me know of your own experiences and the breeds you have and prefer?
I have no knowledge or experience but this sounds like a bad idea to me. Not thinking the dog will turn bad or be jealous but just that a first baby can be all consuming and the dog will end up being second.
I've watched my sister raise a puppy recently, and it's put me off ever getting a puppy... Just like a baby, but harder to deal with, as they are fully mobile yet have no sense. I'm also not keen on Boxers as every one I have met is very very bouncy...
Trying to find a grown up rescue dog that is familiar with children can be tricky, whenever I have looked, most seem to be recommended for a household without children...
It's doable... I'm fairly certain I wouldn't do it at this stage, but it could work for you... Good luck with your pregnancy, and the dog if you go for it!
I've got a retriever and 2 small dc (2 under 5) and I would strongly advise against getting a dog while pg or having very small children for many reasons. 1)presumably you don't have a first baby yet, so don't understand the exhaustion/shock of relentless looking after of non sleeping babies 2) are we talking about a puppy? If so you're going to have toilet training and nappies happening at the same time. 3) You've also got 2 unpredictable things together - puppy/dog and baby. 4) Lastly and mostly, my very small dc do not enjoy the dog much - he steals their food when I'm not looking and hovers around them waiting for them to drop things, they want to go to the playground whereas he's not allowed in and whines when tied up. Barking, waking up a finally sleeping baby or tot. The breeder of my dog asked us whether we were going to have small dc when our dog was small and specifically advised against it and he is a really safe family dog with a lovely nature. I love my dog, but we had him a long time before dc and with small screen there isn't much real cross over in needs, taking a child or 2 just toddling to the park with a big bounding dog isn't fun for anyone, unlike when you have kids 5 and over that love dogs etc
Iv two labs. One 9yo the other 1. I love labs, brilliant temperament. But, and it's a big but. Puppies r hard work. My young one tore my house apart, ate everything he could get his teeth into, doors kitchen table and chairs, ate a hole thru a radiator. I'm a massive animal but wouldn't have puppy and baby together. And they don't all house train easy. My first one was trained in 3 weeks, second one was easily 8 months. Do u wanna be cleaning baby and dog poo at same time?
No no no (of course you can do what you like!). I think baby needs to come first anyway but I got a puppy when I had a 22mth old and an 8 week old, more than a year ago now, and it was he'll on earth. Puppies are he'll on earth. You will be cleaning up piss, poo and vomit on your hands and knees daily when you are heavily pregnant. Or with young kids screaming through the door hysterical as you had to separate them from the grossness as you cleaned it up. Puppies destroy everything. We don't have a dinosaur in the house that has its limbs and all our chairs, doorframes, skirting boards are destroyed. Puppies are chaos for about a year. The stress of having a newborn with that.....and a boxer or a lab???? Just no. Ours is a smallish breed, very family friendly and a gentle soul. And she has growled at my littlest one who does anything to get to her and pull out of her, I have to be constantly vigilant. It's exhausting. I honestly honestly think you need to put it on the back burner till your youngest is at least 3.
I had a 7yr old dog and then took on a 6mth old lab when I was pregnant with my first. The lab turned 1 the month before I gave birth so he was already house trained and had done the worst of the chewing etc.
I loved having the dogs as it forced me to leave the house every day and go for a walk whereas I wouldn't have if I hadn't have had them.
That said, I had a short, easy labour and was home the same morning as giving birth. DH walked them while he was on paternity leave but when he went back to work it was up to me so it's worth bearing in mind what you would do if you have a c section or bad tear and can't go for walks etc.
I understand your logic and can see myself doing something similar. We had boxers when I was growing up and they are truly "Peter Pan" dogs that have bags of energy and seem to behave like pups well into adulthood. Ours were also not brilliantly trained, though that may not be the dogs' fault . On the other hand, ours were good with babies and children and generally delightful. So, basically, if you're keen on a boxer, do thorough research first, and make sure you're happy with their energy levels .
Also, when the dog steps in mud etc in the garden (daily) in winter and the crawling baby or toddler tries to then eat it.
I would wait until well after the baby is born.
Dogs can take a lot of time and effort, without taking into account the time and effort a baby requires.
Plenty of women (me included) find that after their new baby is born, they almost resent having a dog around, which needs to be given attention, needs walks etc. I accept this is a hormonal thing and is likely to pass, but having been through it, I would advise you to wait until your baby is a bit older and you have the energy to take on a dog and give it the attention it deserves.
roto72 sorry, I am proper laughing to myself at 'I'm a massive animal'
I'd wait til the baby is born and I'd wait til said baby was old enough to interact with a dog properly, so when they're a slightly older toddler. I actually think getting a dog while you're pregnant then not long later turning their life upside down when the baby arrives is cruel. It's different if you've had the dog prior to being pregnant and it is secure and can adjust better (and I say that as someone who isn't a dog lover)
We got our dog when I was 3 months pregnant for similar reasons. I'd grown up with dogs, so had OH, we wanted one of our own and wanted to give it time to settle before baby arrived. She's a beautiful, lovely natured dog and she's brilliant with my older kids (late teens).
However, if I could do it again, I wouldn't have got her when we did. I'd wait until the little one was a couple of years old. I now have a 9 month old crawling about on the floor and it doesn't matter how much I Hoover, I just can't keep up with all the dog hair. It's bloody everywhere and I hate having to constantly pick bits off him.
The baby is an awful sleeper and you can almost guarantee that when I do manage to get him down for a nap, someone will walk past the house or a car will pull up outside or the postman will arrive and the dog will bark and there you go, baby's awake again
She's also been difficult since we started weaning. She will take any opportunity she can to steal his food. Now I put her out in the hall while I feed the baby but she scratches at the door, whines and barks.
I honestly wouldn't have her if I could do it all again. She's beautiful and I do love her, but the stress she causes me daily added to a small baby is not worth it.
A puppy - if you got one right now, would be 7 months old...bang in the middle of chewing and about to hit adolescence and would not be fully trained by then.
Both breeds you've picked are slow maturing, so while they'd be large by then, still large bouncy puppies.
Also, they're both breeds that have health issues you need to be aware of and the chances of you being able to find a puppy from a decent breeder available now are none.
Either look into getting an adult rescue that's been fostered in a home with children or put off getting a puppy until your baby is older.
I had a similar thought process, wanting a dog before a baby. We put a deposit down on a litter, and started TTC. Was surprised to find I took right away and discovered I was pregnant the week before we picked up our puppy. I am now 31 weeks pregnant, and pup is 33 weeks old.
She is an irish setter, so not too dissimilar from the dogs you are thinking of getting in terms of size/energy. She is our first dog and has been really really hard work. Now that she is 7 months old, has her adult teeth, and has some basic training, things are better and she is becoming enjoyable.
I can't imagine dealing with a baby in the first four months of puppy hood. I also can't imagine getting a puppy in the winter (house training will be so much more unpleasant!)
I personally would say you are too far into your pregnancy to be getting a puppy. You are 18 weeks and presumably haven't found a breeder and a litter yet, so you might be quite far along before your puppy can come home. I think a very young puppy and a new baby would not be pleasant for you.
Tbh I think most people would say I'm pushing it, and mine will be 10 months old when the baby comes.
If its your first baby, that in itself is a huge adjustment and pretty chaotic (for many mums, not all). But I can tell you that you will feel pretty resentful of dog when DH finally gets home to help but has to head out on a 2 hr walk instead of saving your sanity.
I really missed having a dog (work/housing/traveling made it impossible for several years) and was desperate to get one as soon as I could. However, we decided to wait until our daughter was three (safely out of nappies, better level of understanding - I'd say definitely avoid any crawling stages). Even then it was sooooooo hard managing her and the puppy - and she's a pretty sensible three-year-old. They need a lot of protecting from each other. Housetraining went fairly smoothly but having to be so vigilant is exhausting. And they chew everything - you need clear floors and surfaces - everything out of reach. I was in tears at some point most days for the first few weeks wondering why on earth I had ruined my life! Aside from walks you need to put in a lot of time and effort with training. I would honestly say wait. I love pooch now but he's still hard work at 10 months (stroppy hormonal teenager) and will be for the foreseeable.
I got a puppy when I was about 8 weeks pregnant (planned, and I'd already got my BFP) I already had a 2 year old dog who I've had since he was 4 months, so I wasn't new to dogs, but hadn't had a 12 week old rescue pup before.
It has been SO hard getting him settled in whilst growing ever more tired and dealing with a growing bump. Just when I thought he was house trained he's had a few nights of regression. I can't let him off lead in the woods because he's lightning fast and his recall's not quite there yet. I'll have to deal with the expense of castration whilst I'm still recovering from the price of all the baby things I'm going to need to get both before and after the baby arrives.
That said, I wouldn't be without him. I wouldn't be without either of my dogs, as hairy and messy and annoying as they are. I'd definitely recommend getting an older dog - puppies are horrible, even when you're not pregnant. But if you think you can handle it, and you accept that there will likely be a lot of rough to take with the smooth, and that you might not get said dog fully trained and settled in by the time baby arrives, then don't discount a new dog just because there's a baby on the horizon.
I also have an Irish setter and I have a nearly four month old baby.
The difference is that my dog is now four years old. I reckon he was fully two years old before he was really well trained, mature and reliable. I put a huge amount of work into training him, and I promise you I couldn't do it now, even though my baby is easy and relaxed. I walk him for about 90 minutes a day (baby in sling) and he is still very well loved and looked after, but he is no longer my main focus.
I reckon you either get an adult dog with an ultra-relaxed character, or you wait quite a while.
My little one likes to lick the dogs tongue. She has no concept of not going for a cuddle with the dog (which I discourage anyway as its not fair to smother dog like that) into its bum area. Also, who knew dogs liked dummies so much.
Small kids and dogs are gross, just gross.
I did dog first, but a good 2-3 years earlier than baby, thankfully she (dog) has turned out to be fine on no or just 1 short walk a day on the days I was too ill or sleep deprived or baby poorly to make it out of the house. We have a back yard so she just ran around there on those days. I think it was good to have the 2-3 years to figure out whether she was going to be good with children, sort out some training issues, let her settle in, she was an adult rescue dog but I guess with a puppy it is also a good idea to have a few years to train them and get them settled in. So I think if you want to do dog before baby on a shorter time scale I would say you need to find a really good almost perfect adult dog to live with a baby and manage OK on no long walks for a couple of months (unless you have someone who would do that for you when you couldn't manage) - which may or may not be the breed you want. I think it is a bit risky getting a puppy as you won't have enough time to train them potentially and they would be demanding with toilet training etc which you don't need when heavily pregnant, I would opt for finding a rescue dog that has been assessed to be suitable with very young children and not too obsessed with long walks. Our dog and my son have been great together, don't think the last few years would have been half as good without the dog walks the 3 of us, and there are so many other benefits - no need to sweep up after meals with a toddler, learning to empathise, likely benefits to immune system etc etc, but there have been plenty of dramas eg newborn asleep at last, postman knocks on door, dog barks, newborn wakes up screaming again. Also, baby wakes up screaming, have to not only settle newborn but also dog who is distressed at the newborn crying (arg!). Our dog is far from the perfect dog as has terrible separation anxiety, can't be off lead, totally traumatised by fireworks, storms etc, pulls on the lead but she is great with my son and happy to be at home on the days I can't get out - it might be you have to make compromises on the type of dog you imagine to get one that fits in with your pregnant\newborn\toddler lifestyle. Also, don't underestimate the work that goes into keeping dog and child never unattended, we have so many dog\child gates and am constantly thinking about this throughout the day. The other thing to consider is work and if\how you would manage with a dog in you were back at work, also if you get a puppy if there are issues with worming etc with a newborn.
I would say after, you don't know what the dog will be like. My dog was an absolute nightmare (behaviour wise) until he was 1. He would chew everything, bark at everyone, run away. It takes a long time for a dog to mature and you don't want to be going through all that with a newborn baby. You might have a really tough baby, you just don't know so I would wait.
Our old boy was three when the first dd came along. He was trained and sensible by then but it was still difficult juggling walks and his time with a new baby. No bloody way would I have a puppy and a baby together. It's like having two babies with totally different needs. The dog will need so much of your time for training, toilet training, walks etc and you just won't be able to do it with a new baby. Both are a massive commitment but in different ways. And you won't be able to just pop out and find a puppy. It can take ages to find suitable dog and that's just from a rescue. If you're looking for a pedigree it could take months to find a suitable breeder who doesn't already have a waiting list and who's dog is actually expecting a litter. Please leave it till the children are a bit bigger. Seriously.
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