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How do I persuade a 5yo and 8yo we don't want a dog?

(31 Posts)
Apocalypto Fri 01-Jul-11 11:40:27

They keep banging on about this and I need good arguments why they can't have a dog.

I had a dog when I was a kid. They are a lot of work. A 5yo and an 8yo will not be able to take the dog for a walk on their own (I used to when I was 7, but I don't think this is allowed any more), so this means it will be me, getting up early to do this before work and doing it in the evenings. I have no time to myself as it is and this will take up even more of it.

So what convinces small children dogs are a bad idea?

ZZZenAgain Fri 01-Jul-11 11:42:11

nothing I should think but you know what is involved and if you think it isn't going to work out, it is your decisioni n the end. As to whether an 8 year old is allowed to take a dog out for a walk unaccompanied, I have no idea actually.

Madsometimes Fri 01-Jul-11 12:00:10

Unfortunately they will just have to accept the situation. I would have loved a dog as a small child, but it was not possible. We did have a cat though.

I do not think that children of any age, including teenagers, will reliably walk a dog. If you do not have the time because of work, there cannot be a dog. Maybe you could sponsor a dog instead?

Scuttlebutter Fri 01-Jul-11 12:07:42

Because you are an adult, and sometimes that means saying No?

If they really like dogs, there are lots of options for more doggy involvement that don't involve dog ownership. Big charities such as the Dogs Trust offer junior membership. Many dog charities offer a Sponsor a Dog option, where you get cards, photos, updates etc, ideal as childrens gifts. Find your nearest dogs home - most are desperate for dog walkers - take your children regularly - if they get tired and fed up and bored, or don't like the rain, point out that your own dog would also need to be walked in these circumstances. Find out your local charity dog shows and fun days - we're going along to our local Dogs Trust Fun Day and Show on Sunday. Get them along to a few events like that which they can enjoy watching and being close to lots of dogs. Find out if local obedience/agility groups have a junior handler section. We started taking our 9 year old nephew along to a few charity shows, and now he's been invited to take other people's dogs into classes - he loves it.

You could also consider fostering if that's feasible or dog walking as a family for the Cinnamon Trust - this would have the immense benefit of your children also learning about helping others and learning to enjoy helping and getting to know older people.

Apocalypto Fri 01-Jul-11 14:03:46

I'd like a dog too but when I was a kid I had a brother and a dad who shared the dog walking duties. One did mornings, the other did afternoons and my dad did nights. I grew up in a house that backed onto a golf course, so the dog could run around a bit in the garden and in the space just beyond during the day.

But he still needed 3 to 4 walks a day, I guess because he was a pack animal.

I like the dog walker idea, I will look into that. At the moment I've just said no way, there is more to having a dog than cooing over it for 5 minutes and that will be down to me to do for 12 years - which I'm not doing.

DaisySteiner Fri 01-Jul-11 14:23:04

As you probably realise, getting a dog because the children want one is just a bad idea full stop, everyone in the family has to really, really want one. It was actually me who was the most keen on getting a dog and occasionally I get fed up with him! I think children get most out of having a dog if they can get involved with walking and training, and so we waited until eldest was 10 and he and second-born (8 yo) do regularly walk him on-lead in our quiet village. (There's no law to say how old they have to be afaik, I guess it depends on individual maturity, common sense etc!) It sounds as though in your family the responsibilities would be entirely on your shoulders and I think it's totally fair enough to just say NO.

DaisySteiner Fri 01-Jul-11 14:24:55

Oh, also we tried to get a breed who would suit our lifestyle as much as possible - 3-4 walks a day, every day would be out of the question for us, so we got a dog who is OK with a couple of 20 minute walks a day if necessary but also happy to have much longer walks at other times.

Areyoujoking Fri 01-Jul-11 14:27:05

Make them get up at 6am in the morning and make them trapse around the perimeter of the garden for 15 mins.

Then at the end of the day after school make them do the same. Maybe extend the time to 30 mins grin

Repeat for 3 months regardless of weather conditions or however long it takes for the novelty to wear thin.

CareyHunt Fri 01-Jul-11 14:29:36

The ONLY way to persuade your kids that a dog is boring and annoying, and that walking it is a pain in the arse, is to actually GET one.

They go right off dogs once you've got the bloody thing, and then you're stuck with it for 10 15 a million years or however long dogs live, while they all piss off to university and generally have a life that doesn't involve getting up at 6.30 to walk the dog. grin

Areyoujoking Fri 01-Jul-11 14:34:39

How true Carey... how true !

Have to just point out despite my plan described above which my children followed religiously, once the dog is here they strangely feel disinterested and cant be bothered !

ragged Fri 01-Jul-11 14:38:31

May I suggest to OP that you consider joining the Cinnamon Trust? Basically, you can be a foster dog carer or a regular dog-walker and have one part-time but with much lower expense and commitment. It's a good way to show your DC how much work a dog is, to let them socialise and get to know dogs (I think that's important anyway), but without the overwhelming commitment of actual ownership.

Lancelottie Fri 01-Jul-11 14:42:29

That's a great link, Ragged -- might have to try that ourselves.

ragged Fri 01-Jul-11 14:50:24


Avantia Fri 01-Jul-11 15:39:14

You dont persuade them - you just tell them NO.

I think you have to be 11 to be in sole charge of dog .

mollymole Fri 01-Jul-11 15:41:51

take them out to pick up shit !!

Flippingebay Fri 01-Jul-11 15:44:59

Just tell them 'no'.

chickchickchicken Fri 01-Jul-11 16:49:11

there is also for volunteer dog walking

MotherJack Fri 01-Jul-11 16:49:39

Lol Mollymole grin

I bobbed in to add my twopennorth that you don't need to convince them, you just need to tell them, no..... but can see that others have beaten me to it, in which case I am just registering my vote. Love the Cinnamon Trust idea.

clam Fri 01-Jul-11 17:53:49

Think children wanting a dog is kind of a default position for all kids. So needs to be discounted as a reason.
Do you want a dog? No? Then say so.

But if you're working all day, then surely it's a non-starter anyway?

AandK Sun 03-Jul-11 07:07:58

I own 3 dogs (I also run my own doggy day care busniess so I can handle it) My 9 year old walks one of the dogs as he is his. and yes he could do it at 8. If you don't think they'll be good at taking responsibility thenwhy don't you start them with a smaller pet and see how they handle that not a cat though they're too independant but maybe guinea pigs or rabbits that need cleaning out etc and see when they get older Xx

mathanxiety Sun 03-Jul-11 07:16:06

Just tell them no. Or get them to wear rubber gloves and fish their poop out of the toilet and put it in a plastic bag and then carry it around for twenty minutes outdoors.

Pleeeeeeease do not get guinea pigs or rabbits. The mucking out of the pigs or bunny will fall to you, and the endless supply of hay and veggies is costly for guinea pigs. Plus they are just about the most boring animals ever created. Bunnies tend to die a lot, and they're not very exciting.

I got the DCs a cat who provides endless hours of amusement even now, 16 years on, and pest control into the bargain. The beauty of the cat is that she is independent, doesn't need walking, keeps herself clean, and the litter box scooping is easier than picking up dog poo while it's still warm (bleeeeeuuuurgh).

midlandsmumof4 Sun 03-Jul-11 23:27:01

As the saying goes......a dog is for life. Not just until they get fed up. No holidays unless you can get someone to look after it....

silentcatastrophe Mon 04-Jul-11 11:18:18

Don't get a dog just because the children want one. Some dog training places allow people to come in and watch. So they should, especially if there is a glimmer that someone is THINKING about getting a dog. Some of the better training establishments should welcome children as they can be very helpful with dog training. If they are really that keen, find out about reputable local classes and take the kids along. They may well be put off by the amount of work involved. There are so many people here in the doghouse who have worked in rescue who would probably say DON'T DO IT UNLESS YOU WANT A DOG FOR LIFE! You would be getting a new being in your family. Potentially for 15 years. Your older child could be 23 when the dog dies. That's a lot of school, girl/boyfriends/college/work/growing up. If you want a dog, it will be for you.

ProfYaffle Mon 04-Jul-11 11:24:00

I told mine there would be no holidays or nice days out EVER once we had a dog because they can't be left on their own. They've since decided they don't want a dog after all.

DooinMeCleanin Mon 04-Jul-11 11:28:27

Problems with dogs and children:

If you leave your toys on the floor they will be chewed.
If you leave your supper/sweets/food to go to the loo it will not be there when you get back
You must wait for your mum/dad to go and pick up all the shit in the yard/garden before you can play out
Day long trips to the beach are limited to the dog friendly part, usually the most boring part
You must go on a long dog walk after school before you can go and play out. Your friends will not want to join you
Lots of your friends are likely to be scared/allergic to dogs and won't come to your house to play
You need to walk in the rain/snow/hail.

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