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DH doesn't want a puppy, he only remembers the bad stuff

(37 Posts)
StuntNun Wed 03-Apr-13 09:31:48

I would like to get a puppy as with the arrival of DC3 I am now a SAHM. DH isn't keen on the idea because our dog (11 year old Lab cross) was a bit of a nightmare as a pup: ate a sofa, separation anxiety, broke the front door glass going after a cat, chewed EVERYTHING, ran away whenever let off the lead, had trouble with toilet training, etc. She is now an extremely well behaved dog (apart from a bit of bin raiding), she walks off the lead, obeys a range of commands and is generally very easy to get on with.

DH thinks new dog (12 week old Labrador) will be another nightmare and it will all be awful. I think we know what we're doing now so will make less mistakes along the way AND because we have an older dog the puppy will be easier to manage because he will probably copy her behaviour. Another issue is that we adopted her from a rescue centre at five months old so she was already too big to be able to lift her and she hasn't had any training at this point.

I don't have rose tinted spectacles, I know I will have to train the dog and there will be a certain amount of accidents and damage to possessions and furniture no matter how careful we are. But is getting a puppy really the awful experience my DH expects?

midori1999 Fri 19-Apr-13 22:23:43

That must have been really hard to do, but at least it will give you as much time as you need to think about things, it sounds like you're being very sensible.

StuntNun Fri 19-Apr-13 19:29:32

Just a quick update to say that I told the breeder last week that I would not be taking the pup. I'll give it a while and see how we go. Thanks everyone for your input.

ILikeToClean Fri 05-Apr-13 14:00:24

Agree with needastrongone, you do seem to know what is involved but with a very young dc would you be able to give that much time? We have a 10 week old puppy who has also been great, easy to toilet and crate train, still does jump up a bit and nip but yes, needs a huge amount of input. Whenever our pup is awake someone is constantly watching him, playing with him, training him and making sure he is not doing anything he shouldn't! My dds are 10 and 8 and so are able to help out, train and be left with him downstairs if I need to do anything, even so he nips and jumps up on them but they are old enough to understand this is part of puppy behaviour. DH gets up at 6am with him so I can get ready and come down at 7am to take over whilst he gets ready, same of an evening, one of us goes to bed earlier, one a bit later to take him out for a wee before settling down for the night, it is pretty exhausting and atm our lives revolve totally around this puppy. We don't allow him in the lounge yet so are confined to the extension which is fine, has a sofa, tv etc but there is no relaxing in front of our big tv in the lounge yet unless we take it in turns to go in and have a bit of chill out on our own! We are fine with that as we know it is not forever, but most importantly, all on board, you say your DH is not so keen so would you be doing most of the work, as well as coping with dcs? I love our puppy to bits but there is no way I would have coped with a younger dc in the picture, an older dog might be a better bet or just stick to your one dog for now and reassess in the future when the time comes sad. If she is 11 she may not want a young pup bothering her in her twilight years. But...if your mind is made up, then all I can say is good luck!

needastrongone Fri 05-Apr-13 12:28:20

Hi Stuntnun.

I am in two minds about what to suggest smile. You seem open eyed and up for the challenge and you have experience too.

We have a 5.5 month old Springer puppy, he's our first dog and the DC are 13 and 11. I posted fully on a different thread about what you might hope for in a good breeder I believe that I got him from a very responsible one. We certainly researched this aspect tons. (Midori may disagree smile but she certainly ticked all the boxes that you would hope a good breeder would and her ongoing support is fantastic)

My other caveat is that (as we were a reserve on a waiting list and the litter was larger than anticipated at 13) we got the 'small, quiet and timid' one of the litter. This has actually worked out wonderfully for us as he is so gentle and placid and seems to give off all the correct signals to other dogs (i.e 'I am a wuss therefore no threat!'). We love him to pieces and I feel that he's been an easy first dog. He hasn't chewed or nipped or jumped up too much, toilet training easy and crate training super too. We have been so so lucky.

However, the input that we put into him is huge! DH gets up with him at 6am (puppy doesn't need to get up but DH loves to spend time with him before going to work!) and plays and trains him in the garden for 30/40 minutes. He's then fed and the DC's appear and spend time with him. I take him out for an hour off lead at 8am once they have gone to school. We meet other friends with dogs so he has a good play.

He usually naps then and, just two mornings a week I work for 3 hours so he's crated.

Another long walk at 2pm ish (getting up to 90 minutes now he's older).

During the day, tons of clicker training, play etc. Add in grooming, needing a bath occasionally. Time at the Vets (loads of this for us due to eye injury) Saturday mornings we do the KC Bornze award. Had the kids been younger, I wouldn't have been able to put this much into him and been very stressed. I can leave the DC at home alone too which is a bonus, given their age.

I appreciate that many many dogs probably turn into wonderful family pets without so much input but I just wanted to post that, despite him being a little dream, it's still been hard work!

If you are still up for it, then at least you have your eyes open! smile

bubble2bubble Fri 05-Apr-13 11:12:43

We got a lab cross pup aged 10/12 weeks last year when dds were age 5 and 7. I definately wouldn't have considered it if they were any younger. They have also both grown up with dogs, understand how to behave around them and are responsible about training. It is is still massively hard work.
Our first two pups ( six years ago ) ate everything in the house from the skirting boards to the television. This boy doesn't chew but he is massively bouncy and pretty hard work in other ways. We couldn't love him any more he is completely gorgeous but I know that next time we will not get a pup

FWIW we are also in Northern Ireland and all the pounds and shelters are full of Labradors if that us what you like. We got our pup from Carrick Dog Shelter just over the border and the day I collected him there were 15 black lab pups brought in. Monaghan SPCA also always has loads of labs - they both update their facebook pages frequently sad. Maybe something to think if for the future if you decide this is it the right time just now.

tabulahrasa Fri 05-Apr-13 09:56:46

The toilet training, the chewing - yeah they're not fun, but manageable, it was the biting...

Every time the DC moved he chased them and bit their feet, if they had a foot or a hand hanging over the couch it got bitten, just before he started to grow out if it they were avoiding the rooms he was in because they were just so sick of him trying to play with them like that. I have friends with toddlers, he ended up being crated when they visited because he made them cry.

At nearly 9 months he's still not trustworthy with small children, not because he doesn't like them, but because he does and is desperate to play with them, but still is in the process of learning what appropriate play with little children is. (it's not bouncing on them, which is his default move).

colditz Fri 05-Apr-13 08:41:37

I agree with you dh. Get a DOG but not a pup.

midori1999 Fri 05-Apr-13 08:36:13

Stunt, unless I've missed it, you haven't said how old DC3 is?

I'm extremely used to puppies. As a breeder I can take them in my stride. We don't get things chewed, it's very unlikely we'll ever have any accidental wees or poos in the house, we don't really get any 'teenage' stage as such, etc. however, that is because any puppy in this house gets a hell of a lot of attention and time and I think they deserve that. it's what makes them grow quickly and easily into well rounded dogs.

I also think that babies/toddles deserve my undivided attention as much as possible and that they don't deserve to be stood in the garden with me on and off all day in potentially the freezing cold and rain, while I toilet train a puppy. or left while I bugger off to training classes or ring raft.

The fact that I think both deserve as much of my full attention as possible stops me having a baby or toddler and puppy at the same time. For most people though, the fact is, statistically, if they have a baby and a puppy, the puppy is far more likely to be rehomed and that is because most people find it bloody hard.

I also don't think getting a puppy from a friend or family member who happens to have a litter (and forgive me if I'm wrong there and they are reputable breeders) is a good idea either, for all the reasons I stated in my previous post. If they hadn't had puppies, would you even be considering one?

StuntNun Fri 05-Apr-13 03:10:46

Thanks for the link. I'm wondering whether puppies are like babies. When I think about having a baby I think of being tired all the time, endless dirty nappies, getting puked on and peed on, crying, etc. All true of course but now I'm in the middle of it with DS3 I wouldn't be without him.

I have been assessing my situation: where will the crate go, will my older dog be over-protective of her food, do I need the stairgate up, will I be able to get up in the night for loo breaks, what will be chewed, where will the pup go in the car, etc. etc. Ir all seems achievable until I hear people telling me I'll never cope.

tabulahrasa Fri 05-Apr-13 01:15:22

Have a read through this puppy thread you'll probably realise why I'm so negative about puppies fairly quickly, lol.

StuntNun Fri 05-Apr-13 00:54:02

Are puppies really that bad? I've had a pup twice before and I remember it being difficult but not all the time. I know a few people that have adopted a puppy in the past year and I haven't heard endless tales of woe. In fact two are on their second pup in a short time. My childminder has managed two puppies with six children in the house.

thegriffon Thu 04-Apr-13 13:30:53

I wouldn't have another lab puppy. Mine's a lovely calm well behaved 2 yr old now but he turned our lives upside down chewing everything and jumping about in the first 12 months.
Although labs are thought to be ideal family dogs, and as adults they probably are, I think they must be one of the most unsuitable breeds to have as a puppy with young children.

StuntNun Thu 04-Apr-13 13:22:13

Thanks for the link Mistle I might take a jaunt up there and see what happens.

Fairylea Thu 04-Apr-13 13:19:38

Personally I wouldn't go for a young Labrador with a baby or toddler. They are so bouncy and over excited - they tend to bounce all over young children who are just finding their feet etc and they aren't exactly small dogs...! But having said that, plenty of people disagree and think they make great family pets and you already have one so.......!

I would never have a puppy again personally.

mistlethrush Thu 04-Apr-13 13:14:44

here's a 6mo black lab and there's also a 2- 5yo yellow there - both males so ideal with your female....

StuntNun Wed 03-Apr-13 13:42:09

Thank you for your considered posts, especially Midori. The puppy that I am considering is currently 3 weeks old so I have a bit of time to make a decision. It is not from a breeder, it is a family pet that has been bred. It seems to be more difficult to find dogs here in Northern Ireland, I have been looking for some time and have my name down on a number of waiting lists.

I am weighing up my options. I realise that I would be solely responsible for the dog. I would hope that my older boys would be able to help out but I wouldn't expect them to do more than give me a hand or to get the pup outside if I wasn't available (i.e. on the loo or something.)

The feedback on this thread seems to be that it would be very difficult to handle a puppy.

midori1999 Wed 03-Apr-13 12:32:12

As what I consider a reputable and responsible breeder, I think you are seeing it through rose tinted glasses tbh. Where is this 12 week old puppy coming from anyway? You could well be setting yourself up for problems because it's unbelievably rare that any decent breeder has a 12 week old puppy left available and at 12 weeks, unless they have already had extensive socialisation, they have missed almost all of the vital socialisation period for puppies. Plus, if DC 3 is very young, no responsible breeder is going to let you have one of their puppies anyway. I wouldn't. So, if the puppy isn't from a responsible breeder, it's possible that health tests to the parents haven't been done and no thought to temprement or health has been given with breeding the puppy.

IMO, allowing a 10 and 6 year old to 'help' with a puppy in any serious way is also setting yourself up for problems IMO. I wouldn't allow them to be with a puppy with no supervision, for a start, so that means helping with toilet training is out. (you need someone to stay out with the puppy, you can't just let it out) Yes, they can help with training, feeding etc, but this all needs to be under strict adult supervision. Children can very easily inadvertently encourage undesirable behaviour in puppies.

I agree with the other posters that you would be better off with an older 'made' dog. One that is toilet trained and has basic commands. Even if there are minor problems, if you can cope with a puppy and all that entails, you can cope with that. Not all rescue dogs have problems though, in fact, far from it and sometimes breeders will have older dogs of 6 months to a year or so that they have grown on for showing but have turned out not to be quite good enough and they are looking for pet homes for these. They will have impeccable behaviour and manners and be well socialised.

tabulahrasa Wed 03-Apr-13 12:30:30

Personally I think a puppy is much more of a gamble than a rescue dog - its all a surprise with a puppy, you put in the early work and just hope that they turn out ok... But you've no idea what personality is going to emerge really.

A good rescue should be able to match you to a dog that already suits you.

My DC found my puppy way too much for them - they're not even young, they're teenagers and used to living with dogs, but a small bitey thing was something else entirely.

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 12:19:57

Unless both of you want a dog then you shouldn't get one. Agree with flowery on this. I'm not a dog person but I know several people who are. And some of them have the patience of saints with those rescue dogs.

flowery Wed 03-Apr-13 12:15:52

Presumably you and DH both need to agree before you go ahead OP?

Frettchen Wed 03-Apr-13 12:11:59

That's such a sad thing to read - that you wouldn't get a rescue dog again. Between myself and my immediate family we've taken on 6+ rescue dogs between us and each one's been completely different in terms of health, training and temperament. Some have had issues, some not so much.

It looks like you're pretty much set on the 12 week old lab, and I'm not sure we're likely to change your mind on that front. Just so long as you realise it's going to be hard work; really hard work - harder than before because you have the extra complication of the DCs this time.

Also don't be so sure your old dog will be happy with a new puppy. I also have an 11 year old lab cross and she's fine with older dogs, but she really doesn't like puppies; anything which will try to clamber over her really stresses her out.

flowery Wed 03-Apr-13 11:58:47

We actually got ours direct from the breeder. He was returned to the breeder by the family who initially had him due to a change in circumstances, but they'd looked after him well and socialised him brilliantly, so he's a great (although bouncy!) family dog with no behavioural problems or anything.

I understand getting a dog from a rescue with small children/a baby might be difficult, but I'm sure people on here could advise good places to try if you do want to go that route.

mistlethrush Wed 03-Apr-13 11:54:04

Stuntnun - the rescue I recently got our dog from fosters their puppies out to homes until a permanent home is found for them - several of the foster homes have small children - so you end up with a well-socialised, family friendly dog.

flowery Wed 03-Apr-13 11:33:19

Seems a shame to assume that another rescue dog would have problems as your current dog did.

Toilet training isn't just letting them out though. It's taking them out at least every hour, probably more at the beginning, and also as soon as they wake up and immediately after feeding etc, and then standing outside for ages until they do their business so you can 'catch' them doing it and huge amounts of praise etc. I wouldn't want DC to have to do that.

Of course loads of people have puppies when they already have children, and if I wasn't working and had school age children, I'd consider it, but not with a baby as well tbh.

StuntNun Wed 03-Apr-13 11:24:14

I always thought it was better to get a puppy when you have children so that the dog grows up used to them and you don't get any surprises. I wouldn't get a rescue dog again as my dog had a lot of problems when we got her - she had had a botched spaying operation, was malnourished, had some kind of stomach infection, wasn't toilet trained at all and she can be quite aggressive to other dogs (anything bigger than her).

My older boys are 10 and 6 and used to puppies as their childminder got two in the last two years. I was hoping they would be able to help with letting the puppy out into the garden to do his business. I think I would put the stairgate up to keep him confined to downstairs and we would use a crate at least initially.

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