what dog should we get?(44 Posts)
Hi, we are a family with dh, 3 kids and I. Youngest dc is 7. All the kids want a dog and have wanted a dog since forever. I work 3-4 days a week and when working get home at about 5pm. Dh works 5 days a week and gets home at about 6pm, so the dog would need to be left alone for quite a lot of the time.
We don't mind the size, and we can put aside 15-20 minutes a day dog walking. We have a large detached house with a large garden. I am not a huge fan of dogs but I don't mind them. Husband likes dogs but it is mainly the children who want one - especially my ds who is 11.
It would be great if you could comment which dog would be good or recommend a site where there is a good accurate quiz thing.
Oh I forgot to say we have a cat so it would have to be OK with her, and we would get it as a puppy.
Looking at your current circumstances OP, I really think that this is the only dog for you.
Agree that a dog isn't really for you. I wanted a dog when I was young - I eventually got one when I was 31! You definitely need to be committed to dogs if you have one or more - it's not just the walking and the poo clearing but the total change of lifestyle. With lots of dog thefts happening around the country I wouldn't be comfortable with children walking the dog alone, and as others have said, you need to commit to longer walks. Not all dogs bought as puppies are perfect - they chew, they make a mess, some even eat their own (and other animals') poo. They can get upset stomachs from time to time - and not always make it outside - though hard floors are easy to clean up rather than carpets. Why not volunteer with the Cinnamon Trust? They're usually looking for volunteers to help out with dog walking for elderly people ... it's not a daily commitment ... you could just volunteer weekends for example. Obviously the children couldn't do it alone, but could accompany you or DH?
I wouldn't be thinking of getting a dog in your position, even a small one. Puppies need training or they'll destroy your house alone all day. Once they get to a year old 20-30 minutes will not be enough per day.
An older dog is an option but it would still need more exercise per day even with a large garden.
Take the £800-£1000 you would pay for a puppy and give it to your local dog rescue. The pup you would have bought would no doubt end up there within a year, so rather than the breeder getting the money and the rescue ending up with yet another young dog to rehome, just give the rescue the money and buy the children a hamster or even better, fish.
Dogs are not commodities to be bought because the children would like one (and thrown away when you realize it shouldn't be left for 5 days a week and given only 15 minutes walk a day). If you only have 15 mins a day to walk it, when are you going to spend time training it etc etc etc?
I speak from bitter experience when I say that no matter how loud and long your children clamour for a dog, the novelty will very quickly wear off when the dog still has to be walked in the freezing cold, wind and rain, and when it's peed on their shoes or chewed up their homework for the umpteenth time. I'm with all the other posters, in your circumstances you really have no time for a dog and it would be really very unfair to any dog to bring one into your home at present.
Why don't you try looking after someone else's dog for a week or so? And make the kids do all the work so that they know exactly what is involved? We have three now and we organise our work schedules so that one of us is at home pretty much all the time. The youngest is 10 months old and is only really now able to be left for maybe 4 hours max (and only after a really good long walk of around an hour). It's bloody hard work.
I have bitter experience of the other side of things. We don't often get very young dogs in the rescue I work with, with it being sighthounds it's mainly retired or failed racers, they normally come to us age 3 or over.
We've had two young dogs both ended up in rescue because they were bought as puppies by people who greatly underestimated their needs. They were both very damaged by the time they reached rescue, both destructive, hyperactive and under trained and both had a history of nipping the children they lived with.
Neither dog was inherently aggressive, or aggressive at all really. Once they were given the correct amount of exercise and attention and a basic level of training they were both lovely, solid, trustworthy dogs.
If you go ahead and get a dog OP, you're playing a very dangerous game. Under exercised, under stimulated dogs, especially younger dogs are far more likely to resort to aggression out of frustration, lack of training or simply a game gone too far because of too much pent up energy
Also, you really shouldn't get a dog if you have such an ambivalent attitude towards them. Because it won't be your children who do the everyday work with a pup. It'll be you. The novelty of a dog will quickly wear off and if the adults aren't 100% committed it simply isn't fair on the dog.
YY to Pandemoniaa
And to be fair, I did the same to my mum when I was young...begged and begged and begged for a dog, got our first when I was nine...and guess who got all the donkey work to do??! And she bloody loved dogs (and still does, adores our three but is verrrry glad they're not hers)
Thanks for the messages, the circumstances have changed because we moved house and I got a new job since I posted last, now I work 3 days a week and get home at 5, dd1 who is 13 gets home at 4:45 and dh gets home at 5:30. Ds has 'decided' that it will be his dog and would walk him all the time (not sure I believe him though he is a very dog person).
There are 3 dogs in both the other houses next door to us (a farm), and I'm sure we could arrange for the dog to be looked after by the owners. Our garden is ENORMOUS so it could run around there. I don't know whether this would change anything. Thanks for all your help
That's some major change in circumstances in 4 days.
You know what, OP, I have always wanted a dog. I've waited years for the right time; DH and I are both home all day, the DDs are out of nappies and I've done tons of research into breeds, rescues, training, life with a dog etc etc. I think the time is finally right for us, but I still feel like we're under-prepared and that it'll be a steep learning curve. How much research have you done? It's not as simple as "let's get a dog". Decisions like that are the reason why I've got so many rescue dogs to choose from!
There are a lot of experienced dog owners who post here and you'd do well to listen to them. Are you looking for advice or just someone who will agree with you?
Do not get a dog, you do not have the time that the dog needs, you will end up with a frustrated and destructive animal.
Get a cat or tank of fish.
God no, don't get fish- they require research and effort too. Get a pet rock
I don't rely get that you have to be around all day long if you have dogs . We had dogs growing up, a Pekingese , peekxpoodle and a chiuuha cross . They were often left all day, had a dog flap so they could go in our as they liked , barely ever walked ( though we had a big garden in Australia) they lived long and happy lives , no behaviour issues .
Um, why would random new neighbours watch your dog?
One with four wheels and a handle.
Nothing with a pulse.
Actually we had one that would have been perfect for the OP. I don't think it was a pedigree, more a mongrel. I did check the Internet in case it was a crossbreed & it's this one. Sorry, but I have to agree with the others: a dog isn't the pet for you. Your son is close to the age where he'll have other (social) interests soon, leaving you literally holding the dog. There are some dogs that can stay alone for longer periods of time or (even better) stay outside without barking the whole time, but dogs really need a nice long walk or 2 each day.
P.S. we really did have Lucky the Wonderpup when I felt my DCs were too young for a dog & before our jobs allowed one of us to be home everyday. My kids loved it.
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