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Does breed really matter with young children?

(51 Posts)
LauLauLemon Wed 03-Aug-11 10:27:43

I've grown up around dogs my whole life and DD1 (3) is asking for a dog. Now we finally have a garden and a house large enough we said yes as we've always wanted a dog too but it was a case of waiting until we could give it enough time and exercise.

Now that I'm a SAHM to DD1 (3) and DD2 (8 months) we thought a puppy would be a lovely addition.

I'm meeting a lovely 8 week old pup who's a terrier cross breed. Jack Russell terrier crossed with a mixed terrier. I've been Googling for tips and a lot of people say that terriers are not good around children and no way would they ever have a terrier around them, even if raised with children from birth and brought up in a loving environment.

I've always been of the 'it's not the dog, it's the way it was raised' brigade but now I'm starting to wonder. Obviously the pup will be well trained but is it irresponsible of me to get a terrier cross breed or is the internet a big pile of stupid?

bran Wed 03-Aug-11 11:02:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bran Wed 03-Aug-11 11:04:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ormirian Wed 03-Aug-11 11:11:02

Dad had a JRT who has just been PTS at hte age of 16. He was a lovely natured dog that adored people and most other dogs. He was never a threat to children. Mine were brought up around him - we all miss him sad

CareyHunt Wed 03-Aug-11 11:11:58

We have a Jack Russell.We got him as a puppy when dd was 2.

I know that we have been really lucky, and he is probably the exception rather than the rule, but ours is lovely. He is gentle and sweet natured. However, I have always been extremely strict with the children about what they are allowed to do with/ to him. I don't think any of them found the tiny puppy phase much fun because they were absolutely not allowed to pick him up, tease him, annoy him in any way. We have also been very strict with him, going to puppy classes and making sure that we always fed the dc's before him, pushed him off the sofa so they could get on ( I know that sounds a bit mean, but it truly wasn't!), let them go through doors before him etc...lots of things to make sure he understood where he was in the pecking order.

I think you just have to remember that a Jack is NOT a labrador! They won't tolerate being trodden on, squeezed etc in the same way, and you will have to be aware of their limitations...that said, we are so pleased with ours and he has grown into a lovely family dog who is a lot of fun to walk (even though
the little bugger does like to roll in fox crap!)

LauLauLemon Wed 03-Aug-11 11:12:05

According to the breeder she is a lovely temperament and doesn't get involved with play fights with her brothers. She spends most of her time cuddled up to her mum or in the arms of her children so she seems docile right now but I'm aware that can change.

She's being brought round tonight so I can see her temperament around the girls before I definitely buy her. I've heard so many good and bad stories I'm a little confused about the whole thing but if she is a good temperament then we definitely want her. I just don't want to put my children in unnecessary danger. We passed up a collie pup due to the herding instinct and DD was devastated.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 03-Aug-11 11:14:55

Its both the dog and the way its raised - but its the individual dog not the breed. People have had problems with supposedly 'good with kids' breeds - a false sense of security leading to laxness of dog/child boundaries and supervision is probably worse than getting a (docile) terrier and being vigilant.

tabulahrasa Wed 03-Aug-11 11:28:06

One of my theories is (I have lots, lol) that terriers are big dogs in little bodies and one of the reasons that people have problems with them is that they don't treat them like 'real' dogs - they let them do things that bigger dogs would never get away with, they don't walk them enough and you end up with tiny bored dictators...

I've met some lovely Jack Russells and some awful ones, if you're starting off with a nice puppy and you're going to train it and exercise it and keep it entertained, I don't see why you'd have any more problems than with any other type of dog.

Terriers do have big personalities, but that's a good thing.

LauLauLemon Wed 03-Aug-11 11:44:44

I think that's the issue here. My sister owns a Jack Russell and he's not good with children and is so overenergised because she NEVER walks him. He has room in the garden but it isn't a big garden by any means and when my grandma previously owned him he used to get away with murder.

I know they have a lot of energy and we have a big garden but we'll still need to walk her to burn that energy off. I'm lucky that I know bits about terriers but I still have a lot to learn about their temperament, exercise etc so any tips would be greatly appreciated.

DooinMeCleanin Wed 03-Aug-11 13:01:18

Puppies and very young children are a match made in hell. I speak from bitter experience. I am dog mad. I live for my dogs. I would move hell and high water before rehoming them. I have been pushed to the edge by lively puppies and lively toddlers.

Please for the sake of your sanity and your hearing, go and get yourself a nice, clam, past the god awful 'teenage' phase, rescue dog.

We fostered a JRT pup for a few days not long ago, t'was not a bad dog <twitch>

LauLauLemon Wed 03-Aug-11 13:09:51

I'd prefer not to buy an elder dog as I'd like to know how the dog has been treated, that it's been brought up around children, that it knows it's place within the pack and so on. A calmer dog may be better for my sanity but in your personal opinion, would it be better to raise from a puppy around the family she'll live with?

DooinMeCleanin Wed 03-Aug-11 13:15:22

You can get all that with a rescue dog. I have such a dog with me atm who needs a forever home. She is only 14 months old and has lived with me and my two young children without issue for the last two months. She is very calm, very clean and very loving.

Before us she was living in a racing kennel.Tthis particular dog would not suitable for your home as she cannot live without other dogs, but there are plenty more rescue dogs with similar stories out there. Tell me where you live and I'll find you on in a snap.

In my personal opinion a rescue dog is much better idea with young ones becasue they wil have been fully assessed by a behaviouralist and you would not be given a dog who was not suitable for your home. You get no guarentees with pups. Raising one around children does not mean it will automatically tolerate children.

LauLauLemon Wed 03-Aug-11 13:23:17

I live in South Wales, Newport to be exact. I've checked the local shelters and RSPCA here but none will rehome a dog where there is a child under the age of 5.

DooinMeCleanin Wed 03-Aug-11 13:27:02

There will be loads suitable here

DooinMeCleanin Wed 03-Aug-11 13:29:42

What about rahnee? On the dogs no one wants section sad she looks very sweet andis living iwth young children right now.

LauLauLemon Wed 03-Aug-11 13:37:25

I'm going to call about Rahnee. I cried reading that.

higgle Wed 03-Aug-11 13:48:09

Oh LauLau, I hope you do. I got my dog from MT after spending a whole day in tears about him being so unwanted. I look at the "dogs no one wants" and just hope there is going to be one less there. Unfortunately my dog would not behappy to share, but I'm hoping Amy gets a home soon too.

LauLauLemon Wed 03-Aug-11 13:53:10

I've had to do an application and now I'm waiting. It's quite far out and I have no transport so I hope I qualify for the service.

hellymelly Wed 03-Aug-11 14:03:23

I have a terrier,my second one (fox terrier) and he is lovely with my children.I agree that Jack russels can be great or they can be a bit snappy,but the majority of the terriers I've known have been lovely with children,partly because they are always on the go and up for a game,they will take a lot of rough and tumble,and are devoted to their family.

AandK Wed 03-Aug-11 16:11:34

oh dear me I own 3 terriers (daschund, yorkie and a jack russel) all 3 are best friends with my ds they run around the house together, run around the garden bounce on the trampoline chase balls stare in to the local pond together at the fish. The dogs then jump into the pond. I find terriers are the best for him he can hold the lead and not be pulled over by either of them too.

As goes the phrase the best things come in small packages Xx

GrimmaTheNome Wed 03-Aug-11 17:04:02

(dachshunds aren't terriers, they're hounds ) - the main difference being they bark instead of yapping grin)

munstersmum Wed 03-Aug-11 17:12:04

Border terriers seem tolerant of children from our experience with friends. (much prefer to JRT but then am a labrador person).

tooearlytobeup Wed 03-Aug-11 18:02:58

I grew up with JRT's and think they are fab! When I was a kid, ours was two years older than me, and a great family pet. I was devastated when he had to be PTS at 16 sad

He would happily tolerate being dressed up in t-shirts and sunglasses, and the only time i saw him growling was if another dog tried to come near us kids, he would then try to stare down German Shepards grin

He was very obedient, he was hardly ever on a lead as he would come back immediately when he was called.

He did get a lot of excercise though, at least 3 hours a day usually, so was probably too tired to get up to mischief

Scuttlebutter Wed 03-Aug-11 19:04:19

OP, if you are in Newport, have you talked to Greyhound Welfare (based near Rogerstone?) I believe they will sometimes home with children. Greyhound Rescue Wales will definitely home with children, depending on the dog and the home (no strict rules, very much assessed on a case by case basis). Greyhound bitches are often quite small, they come in quite young, but already house trained, good on the lead, good at travelling. They are gentle, quiet dogs who don't need huge amounts of exercise and like to sleep on the sofa during the day.

Also, just checked on the Hope Rescue website - they will occasionally home to people with children under 5, again it depends on the dog, and a quick look shows that they have 2 lovely JRT type dogs currently in assessment. Why not talk to them?

Spamspamspam Wed 03-Aug-11 19:51:48

I have a 22 week old Parson Russell Terrier and she is absolutely fabulous with children. But she is a very calm docile little dog, she was calm when we met her and her personality was the main reason for getting her -she was not the prettiest in the litter smile but she was so endearing and sweet natured. I know you can't allways tell at such a young age on a half an hour visit but the calmness has carried on. My daughter is 8 though and all her friends are old enough to know my rules about teasing her and winding her up too much, although to be fair she seems to put up with quite a bit and has never been snappy. I have really managed her sleep and over stimulation and if I think she is getting too worked up I make sure she as time out away from my daughter and her friends. She can have her mad half hours but as long as we play with her in the garden or take her out for her walk and calm her down she will then happily snuggle up on the sofa with my daughter and be hauled about, kissed, put on her back and have her tummy tickled, she is absolutely adorable.

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