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Is a dog a mad idea under these circumstances?

(22 Posts)
TheBookofRuth Mon 29-Dec-14 11:30:27

We have a nearly three year old and a nearly six month old, and I would love a dog too. Is it a completely ridiculous idea with such young children?

Both of them are used to dogs - my mum has two, who they've been around regularly since birth. DD is very good with them - gentle and appropriately cautious - but DS is more of an unknown quantity, being so young. He's only just really started to notice them.

Both DH and I had dogs when we lived with our parents - me a rescue staff, him a spaniel - and in my case the dog was very much "my dog", in that it was me who walked her and trained her and did all the grunt work, so I understand the responsibility. I'm a SAHM, so doggie would rarely be left alone and never for long.

We have a small house with a small enclosed garden, so would need a small dog. There's a park at the end of our road for walks, too.

The rescue near us has a litter of daschund x collie 16 week old pups, which sound adorable although I'm a bit wary of the potential personality such a mix could create. Or there's also a 10 month old Scottie they describe as very loving and affectionate.

It doesn't need to be a puppy but I would like a younger dog that the kids could grow up with.

What do you think, am I mad to even consider it? Should I wait till the kids are older?

basildonbond Mon 29-Dec-14 11:33:54

Short answer - yes you are mad!

Not that it can't be done but babies/toddlers/dogs are not a great mix

In your shoes I'd wait until your children are older

(I'd also run a mile from a collie/dachshund cross shock)

AlpacaLypse Mon 29-Dec-14 11:40:18

I don't think you're mad. The most important thing is that you can create a space in your home where the dog can be kept apart from the children while you're in the loo/shower/unavoidably distracted.

I also think a dachshund collie cross is unlikely to be a success.

Truckingalong Mon 29-Dec-14 11:42:02

Under no circumstances get anything with collie in it! I think growing up with a dog is fantastic for kids but just chose wisely. Go to the rescue centres and get a very steady, safe little friend that's low maintenance and likes cuddles and affection.

MothershipG Mon 29-Dec-14 11:45:50

I think it would be hard to add the grunt work of a youg dog to the grunt work of little kids. But you know that, so only you can decide if you're up to it.

You're a SAHM now but will you be for 10 years? If you get a dog it will limit your ability to work full time for many years. Is that ok?

JoffreyBaratheon Mon 29-Dec-14 11:52:05

Think I'd avoid either of those 2 breeds, let alone a cross of them. But some other breed? Maybe. So many staffies and staffy crosses in rescue... And you have experience of them. 16 weeks is right the end of that window of opportunity for socialisation, etc, too.

rastamam Mon 29-Dec-14 12:09:29

Crikey who thought it was a good idea to cross a collie and a daschund thats mad! Dont get them - a collie needs to be working not sitting at home, and a daschund is severely prone to spinal problems.

I definietly wouldnt do it - I have a 14 month old and a jrt that Ive had for 8 years and it is so not easy, dogs need a lot of care, a lot of walking and I do feel bad for ds that he has to let me spend sooo much time sorting out the dog. I also feel bad that the dog is neglected abit - he barks the whole time through bath time and bed time which is sooo annoying but he just wants attention. It is also very limiting remember - even if you are a SAHM you need to add the dogs routine into yours so we have to be home by 5 for tea, we need a dog sitter for going away for the weekend without him, you cant just go out for the day as itl be either too hot or too cold for the dog to stay in the car without you but too long to leave it alone etc etc, its a huge commitment. Also remember they live alooong time, mines 18 and still going strong, so you have to think into the future.And the expense, mines on a huge amount of regular drugs for his arthritis, they cost a lot to keep.

I definitely wouldnt conisder a puppy as they are the most hard work, like having a new baby again and need serious training and socialising. A rescue is better as you know how the dog would deal with children.

I would wait until the children were bigger and can help you look after the dog, and enjoy the dog more. I wouldnt have chosen to have my ds with my dog as its difficult with him this young, and wont get another until hes much older.

lemisscared Mon 29-Dec-14 12:13:27

just echoing the don't get a collie voice.

TheBookofRuth Mon 29-Dec-14 12:30:51

These are all good points, and I think I knew them already but was hoping to be told something different! It just feels like a dog would complete our family, but maybe I should just exercise some patience and wait a while.

tabulahrasa Mon 29-Dec-14 12:53:00

While people are making valid points...you've had dogs before, you know what's involved in the way of time and care, if you think you'd manage then get a dog. Just really think about it first.

Not a puppy though they're bitey PITAs and definitely not a dachshund collie cross, lol. (Seriously, I can't think of a worse combination of breeds)

reallystuckonthisone Mon 29-Dec-14 12:59:41

Your clearly know what having a dog involves, I don't think you're mad.
I had 2 JRTs when DD was born. Although hard work they have probably been more useful than a strain: DD and I have taken them for a walk every morning I'm not in work since she was born. First in a sling, then a buggy, now a trike or the back carry sling, so she can walk a bit too (she's 22 mo). She adores them and they have got used to her and are very protective of her.
They MAKE us get out of the house and as a consequence DD is always ready for her nap / bedtime.
I have a dog walker for the days I am in work so they are not alone for more than a few hours and they love that time because they get some peace
Think hard about the breed and just go for it I say.

TheBookofRuth Mon 29-Dec-14 13:04:00

Yes, I think you're right about puppies, I just got carried away with the squeee factor!

I might ring a couple of rescues, see what they think, they may have a dog they think is suitable. Mind you, it was a rescue I got my staff from and they were absolutely mad to let me have her, she was completely the wrong dog for me. It was only due to a combination of her innate loveableness and my innate stubbornness that got us through our first hellish year together.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 29-Dec-14 13:19:52

I would wait until your 6 month old at least 2 but heading for 3. Old enough to understand not to walk in dog poo basically, never mind crawl straight into it. But also old enough to understand a little of what you are trying to do when training a puppy. My neighbour has bought a beautiful pup and her 2yo spends his entire time either chasing it and rough-housing it, or whinging because he has been nipped [understandably]. I think she is regretting getting it especially as she is trying to toilet train it in a tiny garden which is mostly paved so now her kids can't use it as it is wall to wall poo unless she is out there constantly cleaning up after it.

Someone will be along I am sure to berate me about all this. I'd love a dog but we don't have the outdoor space imo.

WitchOfEndor Mon 29-Dec-14 13:42:51

Not totally mad but having a crawling DC does make things more difficult. It is worth talking to some rescues though to see if they have something suitable (although I think a lot won't home a dog to a house with such small children). You could go for something large but that has relatively low energy round the house, like a greyhound? Are you at home all of the time? If so you could consider contacting the Guide Dog society to foster? I can't remember the exact details but you get a puppy before it is trained and socialise it - take it on buses, trains etc, meet other animals and children before it goes in for its training. Upside is that you get a dog that has been bred to be very trainable and, if having a dog doesn't suit you, get to hand it back when it goes for training, downside is that you will probably fall in love with it and have to hand it back when it goes for training! I think you can also foster the stud dogs, and breeding bitches but as they would be having puppies that's probably more work than you want to take on(plus you need to live about 1 hours travel from one of the breeding centres) You can also adopt puppies that have 'failed' training or old dogs that have retired. Can you tell that I want to foster a breeding bitch if I ever stop working? We have a 10yo lab and it was a drain, energy wise when DS was smaller, and I do feel guilty that he doesn't get the gloriously long walks he used to get so when he passes I'm not sure we will get another while I'm working.

Hoppinggreen Mon 29-Dec-14 21:16:13

Up to you and what you think you can cope with at the end of the day but I would probably wait until the youngest child is 3 or more.

Wolfiefan Mon 29-Dec-14 21:18:43

Agree with Hopping. It's like adding another baby to the family.

ScrummyPup Mon 29-Dec-14 21:55:21

Having a dog as a child doesn't mean you know what having a puppy involves ... am just learning thatn myself! I love our pup to death, but there is no way I would have wanted to do the puppy stage and baby stage together in a million years.

BirdyArms Mon 29-Dec-14 22:22:36

Controversially I think that you should get one now, wish I'd got one when my children were younger. You are tied to the house with the children so might as well be tied with a dog too. Nice for everyone to get out for walks etc. It will be really hard work for a few weeks whilst a puppy is little but as long as you are expecting that and you yourself really want a dog should be OK. Mine are now at primary school and we are about to get a puppy but with hindsight I'd have got one sooner.

I do agree that the collie cross sounds like a bad idea. Top priority needs to be a breed that's generally good with small children.

sweetkitty Mon 29-Dec-14 22:41:47

We waited until youngest was 4 as we wanted a large dog and was worried he would get knocked over plus I wanted to be past the crawling/potty training/pram stage. DS is quite happy to come on a walk with us and as he's at nursery I get some time alone to walk her.

I'm glad we waited.

A friend got a Rottweiler/collie cross the same time we got our hound confused

TheBookofRuth Mon 29-Dec-14 22:47:57

I wasn't a child when I had a dog, Scrummypup, I was in my mid-20s, and she was my dog that happened to live in the family home, rather than a family dog, if you see what I mean.

As I mentioned earlier, she was a very difficult dog and they shouldn't really have let me adopt her. But they did, and I got up every morning at 5.30 to walk her, in all weathers; came home in my lunch break to see her so she wasn't alone for too long, walked her again in the evening, took her to obedience classes to deal with her total lack of recall and frightening level of dog-aggression, paid for her insurance, paid her vet bills, bought her food and toys suitable for a power chewer.

I sort of feel I went through doggy boot camp with her, and she ended up a lovely, calm, happy girl eventually.

Makes me question why I want another one really! grin

littlehayleyc Mon 29-Dec-14 23:17:23

We made the mistake of adopting a collie x puppy when my DS was 3 and my DD was about 6 months. Our old dog had just died and we felt a massive gap. We thought it would be nice for the kids to grow up with the puppy.. The pup was adorable, and very sweet but he was also quite nippy. My DD was just starting to crawl at the time, so it meant she couldn't go on the floor when the pup was there 'cos he'd make a beeline for her thinking she was a puppy wanting to play. Obviously we expected to have to train him, but in the end we realised that it was too much for us to cope with. Our old dog was 12 when he died, and I think we were looking at things through rose tinted glasses and hadn't fully thought through the realities of having a puppy alongside the children. After a month or so, we reluctantly returned him to the rescue. Of course a lot of families with young children manage to have a puppy too, but for us it just wasn't practical.

TheBookofRuth Mon 29-Dec-14 23:53:19

Yes, I realised earlier that a puppy is a non-starter, if for no other reason than I don't want an extra lot of toilet training!

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