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Coping with a dog and a baby?

(15 Posts)
Odysseus Sat 06-Nov-10 16:00:34

Is it possible?
Has anyone bought/rescued a puppy whilst they had and under-one? Was it manageable or did you regret it??


DooinMeCleanin Sat 06-Nov-10 16:06:26

I got a JRT pup about three weeks before I was due to give birth to dd1. It was hard work. She was not trained as well as she sould have been as early as she should have been.

Recall for example wasn't established until dd1 was a terrier and she wasn't well socialised and a result would bark whenever she saw another dog.

Was it worth it? Absolutly. Best dog I ever owned. Dd1 loved and adored her and the dog Felt the same. Did I regret it? No, not at all. Would I do it again? No, it wasn't fair to the dog. As I said training did not go as quickly as it should have done and she was not walked as often as she should have been during the first few months. Not a good start for a puppy.

I would consider a good rescue dog though, from a foster home who already had a fair level of training. But not as a first time owner. You have no idea at all how much hard work is involved in owning a dog until you have done it yourself.

DooinMeCleanin Sat 06-Nov-10 16:06:56

Dd1 of course grew into a toddler, not a terrier, fortnately grin

beautifulgirls Sat 06-Nov-10 16:36:24

It is a hell of a lot of work to do this, even when you know what you are doing. It is possible, I have done it and I do not regret it but you must be committed to the work involved for both the puppy and the baby. If you have never had pups before then definately not a thing I would advise you to do right now. If you have had plenty of experience then you have a better idea what you are facing.

Have you thought about going to the local rescue centre and getting a young adult dog that would suit your family with his/her personality instead? It would be over all the puppy hard wor stage, but still a long life ahead and has the obvious advantage you can find out what the adult personality is like and choose on that basis - puppies may or not turn out as you hope!

Sparklers0nMyHead Sat 06-Nov-10 17:07:16

I second getting a young adult.

I suppose it is doable with a baby too.

Ive a 1 year old Staffie and a 3yo and 2yo and it is erm..rather hetic when getting ready for walks!

Batteryhuman Sat 06-Nov-10 17:41:25

I rescued a 6 month old lab when DS3 was 3 months. Hard work but fine. They grew up together. DSs best friends were other dog walkers and the hours spent walking with a baby in a back pack made me fitter than I have ever been in my life.

wishingchair Sun 07-Nov-10 09:41:04

I have 7 year old and 4 year old daughters and got a lab puppy a month ago. It is hard work. I wouldn't want DD2 to be any younger than she is now. She knows to keep her toys out of his way and she can at least move away from the dog if he jumps or nips. A baby couldn't. You'd have to be constantly on your guard. I'd wait.

walkersmum Sun 07-Nov-10 12:13:08

It's manageable if you are a pretty experienced dog owner. If it's your first dog

then I'd say a big no and any good dog breeder would not sell you a puppy anyway.

Eeven though I have had young baby and dogs, even a litter of puppies and a toddler, It is very hard and I have had dogs all my life and lots of help.

Older rescue dog would be better.

Scuttlebutter Sun 07-Nov-10 12:59:34

Odysseus, it's virtually impossible to answer the question in the way you've asked it. You would need to consider the number of children you have or plan to have, your domestic circumstances including number of adults, space available, garden and lifestyle, whether you work outside the home, your financial circumstances and your experience with/attitude to both dogs and parenting. There are a number of other threads on the Pets section where people regularly discuss the challenges of pet ownership with small children, and a recent thread discussed why many (not all) rescues refuse to home dogs in households where there are very young children. You might find some of the points raised will help clarify your thinking about the issues.

I'd say it can be done, but only IF you are an experienced, committed dog owner/parent, with plenty of time, space and a SAHM lifestyle. For the sake of the dog, and your children, if you have the slightest doubt, please don't do it.

There are lots of lovely ways that you and your children can get involved with dogs that don't involve owning one. Volunteer for Cinnamon Trust, help out at your local shelter or animal charity, even give fostering a go.

Odysseus Sun 07-Nov-10 20:02:48

Thanks for all the responses - much appreciated. scuttlebucket I wanted to keep it as open as possible so that I got answers perhaps I hadn't thought of. I've been giving this a lot of thought over the last couple of years as DH is desperate for a dog, but I don't think that at the moment we could give enough care and attention. I've listed all the pro's and con's I can think of - and whilst I was brought up with dogs, I haven't owned my own as an adult...and I'm sure I didn't see the whole picture when I was a child. Just wanted input from those who have been there.

Thanks!! Odysseus

Scuttlebutter Sun 07-Nov-10 20:50:59

Odysseus, good luck with whatever you decide. It sounds as though you have been giving this a lot of thought, so will be a responsible parent and owner. smile

hatwoman Sun 07-Nov-10 21:31:21

odysseus - I got a dog when dds were 8 and 6. and I really think, that for us, it was the right decision. I enjoyed my mat leaves and working p-t when dds were pre-school. for me, an important part of that was meeting other mums, going to toddler group, Joe Jingles, swimming etc. having a puppy would have made all that much harder work. my choices would have been very much constrained and I would have spent much more time at home and at the park. which might be ok for lots of people - but I do think I'd have had less adult company if I had had a dog and I would have felt that quite keenly.

also, thinking about the dog - when we got him I had started working from home and dds were at school - and I loved my time at home with him. I was really able to focus on him, did training with him everyday, took him into the garden every 30 mins to house train him (he was trained almost instantly) - made lots of effort to socialise him. I was really able to do it all by the book. Of course it's hard to know what it would have all been like if I had had less time for him - but I can honestly say that I found having a puppy pure pleasure and no stress and that we now have a beautifully trained 2 year old. Every now and then you get threads on here from people at their wits' end with new pups - many have bitten off more than they could chew - many have pre-school kids. I'll admit, that maybe we just got lucky and we would have had an easy pup/well-behaved adult anyway.

It's not impossible to do, as long as you truly know what you're in for. but, imho, you'll get more pleasure from both your kid(s) and your dog if you really turn your attention to each in turn.

another aspect - is that dds were involved in chosing and naming our dog. feeding him is their job and walking once a week (we're working on building that up!) and they adore him. my neice - who can;t remember life without hers - really rather takes him for granted. she's just not that fussed about him. that may well just be her - I accept you can't generalise.

good luck, whatever you decide

FlameGrilledMama Mon 08-Nov-10 09:54:26

I got a Labrador when DD was 6 weeks, she is now 14months and even now it is bloody hard work. Mostly the shedding to be honest because dd is constantly picking things up and crawling on the floor and no matter how much I groom and hoover there is always more fur.

The training was also hard and I second getting a rescue dog but I also reccommend a low shedder whether you go for a puppy or a older rescue dog.

Scruffyhound Tue 09-Nov-10 11:58:48

I think its ok if you can cope? I had a 5 yr old doberman/rotty cross (or so we think she was dumped at the vets where I used to work) and we had a lurcher 2 yrs old when my DS was born. I found it hard two dogs two ferrets and tropical fish in a big tank. The introduction was weird as the dogs were the babies then the baby came. The doberman was soo excited and the lurcher was too but she was chilled out compared to the doberman. I could not imagine a puppy at the same time as a baby! Think people must be brave to do this!!

YankNCock Wed 17-Nov-10 09:50:29

I got a 9.5 week old puppy of uncertain lineage from the Dogs Home, and I have a 14.5 mo DS. We're on week 2, and it is definitely hard. I've had dogs for most of my life, but it's been a while since I had a puppy this young. DH has never had a dog, so it's all new to him and most things fall to me.

I won't lie, it is hard, but I hope with a year of very hard work and effort, we will have a lovely companion for us and DS who is well trained and happy to be around a chaotic toddler.

So far, so good, housetraining is going as well as can be expected.

We figured we may as well have a puppy, there are baby gates everywhere and laminate flooring! We'd originally been looking at an older dog, but the staff at the shelter said they thought it would be better for such a young child to be with a puppy that didn't have any preconceptions of children (was born at shelter).

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