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Should we bite the bullet and get a dog?!

(16 Posts)
MogwaiTheGremlin Sat 25-May-13 13:24:59

What do you think?
We live in London but do have a small garden and access to parks, common ground etc.
I was brought up with dogs so I'm not totally inexperienced but this would be the first time I was fully responsible iyswim.
Ds is 10 months and absolutely loves the dogs he has encountered so far.
Dh is worried we might be biting off more than we can chew but, like havng a baby, I'm not sure there is ever a "right" time?
My sister (a vet) has a dog that needs rehoming which has suddenly brought our thinking to a head.
Any advice greatly appreciated!

BeerTricksPotter Sat 25-May-13 13:38:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TotallyBursar Sat 25-May-13 13:38:31

Is it fair to this dog to rehome it?

I'm not talking financial cost but do you have the time to dedicate to treating, training, socialising this dog? I assume to your sister this is a known dog?
With a 10 month old baby & childhood experience do you know this dog enough to offer it an appropriate home?

That's what I would question myself. It's about doing the best for the dog in question - if this one has a high prey drive, never lived with dc & spends 23 hours a day trying to eat your infant could you cope with that?

If you think you have the time then a dog is not ridiculous but the right dog is important.
If your DH is ambivalent then I would say no, it builds resentment quite quickly when you find out you have a dog with separation anxiety that eats the house but it's only you that deals with it.

colditz Sat 25-May-13 13:38:48

If now would be a bad time to have another baby, then now is a bad time to get a dog

TotallyBursar Sat 25-May-13 13:39:20

X post BTP.
Umm yeah, what she said. blush

MogwaiTheGremlin Sat 25-May-13 14:12:04

It's not a bad time (for another baby or dog!) but I'm just wondering whether it would be easier when ds is older.
The dog is properly socialised and has been staying with my sister, her two young children and her own two dogs but it is a bit of an 'unknown' so, no, i would never leave it unsupervised with my baby.
It needs training so I'd need to sign up to obedience classes.
It's 100% about finding the right home for the dog - my sister had it signed over to her because the owner didn't want it anymore and wanted it put to sleep.

BeerTricksPotter Sat 25-May-13 14:17:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Booboostoo Sat 25-May-13 18:02:50

It's not ideal. It's certainly do-able, but you would be putting a lot of pressure on yourself and is there a reason to do so now?

Your DS is just at that crawling/beginning to walk stage and then he will be into everything, how feasible will it be to keep him separate from the dog when not supervised? Even with supervision you want a super tolerant and well balanced dog around young children and this is a dog's whose past is not completely known so that would worry me.

How would things work with a dog and a toddler, e.g. going for walks does the dog walk well on the lead without pulling, does he have a good recall off the lead, does he know simple commands like waiting at the door before being let out or waiting in the car before being asked out? If the dog is not well trained and easily under your control you risk having trying to manage both him and a spirited toddler which is always tough.

TotallyBursar Sat 25-May-13 19:12:26

As he is with your sister would the be a compromise with your husband - could you have the dog (for a while, it may take 3 or so weeks for him to settle) and see how it works?

If you are confident that you can do the work he needs (which could involve a couple of surprises) and he has no obvious remedial behaviour training needs then would that be something your DH is happy to do?
The dog might be perfect so if your home would work for him (most important) then that might be the way to go.
What are your DH's real concerns - if you can meet in the middle this might work well.
Yes it is easier when they are older but with a lovely 'easy' dog (or easy baby!) It's not something that would stop me if I had the support of DH & wasn't going to have my hard work undermined.

I frequently have dogs with behavioral difficulties to foster, this didn't stop when I had my babies, but I knew my own limitations wrt to the resources I had to spare so didn't take the hardest ones again for a while.

P.s I didn't mean to suggest you would leave baby & dog unsupervised honest! But having a house like fort Knox so they can't even catch sight of each other is logistical & draining nightmare sometimes. It was an example of a problem dog we had.

MogwaiTheGremlin Sun 26-May-13 12:13:51

Hello again

Sorry, it was such a nice day yesterday we decamped to the park!
Thanks for all your replies - I think from what you've said we should not take on this dog.

My sister had offered a trial but I really don't want the poor thing passed from pillar to post as its already been handed round a fair bit.

It's a terrier (not sure the exact type sorry) and although it hasn't been abused it has had no proper training. So it's not 100% housetrained and it pulls on the lead, has poor recall etc. My sister spoke to a behaviourist who advised treating it like a puppy and starting from scratch with basic training. I found an evening course I could do but it's not something dh would want to commit to.

At the moment ds loves going out in his buggy so I thought I could manage with the dog on a flexi lead but it won't be long til ds is walking so, yes, that would be tricky.

Dh doesn't have specific concerns about this dog but he is ambivalent about dogs in general. He's never been around them and used to be a bit nervous but is much better now having been exposed to all the various dogs in my family. He's very keen that ds is more comfortable around them but he likes an easy life and obviously a dog is a lot of extra work!

MogwaiTheGremlin Sun 26-May-13 12:16:36

Ps if any of you happen to know of a more suitable home for the dog (1 year old neutered male) please let me know. My sister lives in Yorkshire but would travel

TotallyBursar Sun 26-May-13 13:29:38

personally, and it is personally, I wouldn't be happy to have a terrier around a baby so young that squeaks. Older children are slightly different kettle of fish.
I've had a lot of professional run ins with this situation.

Also flexi leads are of the devil.

I think you made a hard but sensible decision on this one.
There is obviously a different dog in mind for you in the future.

Disappointing but very dog minded - you get all my internet points. Enjoy your bank holiday - who knows what's around the corner x

D0oinMeCleanin Sun 26-May-13 13:45:48

Terriers know the difference between squeaking babies and prey. Honestly, they really do. I've owned several of them. None of them ever tried to hunt babies and toddlers, not even the one who hated and distrusted small children.

Flexi leads are the work of the devil.

If you've never had a dog before I would start with something a bit more laid back than a terrier, unless it's a particularly calm for a terrier type terrier.

They're working dogs. They need to be kept busy or they will assign themselves tasks like standing guard in the front window to bark at passers by (my terrier is not allowed in the front room alone because of this), they need on average 1 hour - 90 mins walking per day, with at least some of this off lead, however their total disregard for recall training around prey makes this more difficult (mine is let off only in certain areas, only when I have time to wait him out if he spots a bunny to a chase and only where it would be appropriate for him to hunt should the urge become too much)

They love mud, they're very vocal and have a tendency to lean towards being a bit grumpy.

Mine is currently pacing the perimeter of the yard looking for trouble because of illness he's only been getting out for about 30-40 mins a day, the difference in his behaviour is notable.

If you can handle this they can make good pets in the right hands and are great little guard dogs and full of character, mine makes us laugh daily.

The issues you outline in this dog aren't massive and are easily solved with a little training.

MogwaiTheGremlin Sun 26-May-13 16:32:25

Thank you I think it's the right decision too but am a bit disappointed (both for myself and the dog). Hopefully someone will offer him a lovely forever home soon.
I definitely need to do more research on this and look at different breeds before we bite the bullet!

Booboostoo Sun 26-May-13 18:56:35

I think you are being very wise. It is a shame not to get a dog when you really want one and can provide a good home, but it's really heartbreaking to have to rehome a dog that hasn't settled with you.

BeerTricksPotter Sun 26-May-13 19:48:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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