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Adopting a pup with young kids?

(24 Posts)
Littleredhouse Sat 26-Mar-16 16:08:45


I was hoping for some advice as I'm considering adding a dog to our family (me, dh & dc 3y and 1y). I'm not working at the moment and if I do in the future, it will be p/t, so on that score there's no problem as I'd have time to devote to training and settling in. I would want to adopt a rescue really, as I used to work for one and would prefer that rather than going to a breeder. I know with the kids' ages, the best option would be a puppy who can grow up with us.

However, I can't decide whether their ages are a bit too young and whether I'd be better off waiting? I'm a fairly experienced dog owner but dh and the children aren't that used to dogs..the kids aren't scared of them, but we just don't have many friends/family with dogs. The 3yo is boisterous and while I'd never leave them alone together, it might be stressful...

I also am unsure about breeds. I initially thought some little terrier X mongrel type would be great, but a couple of people I spoke to advised going to a reputable breeder to get something like a labradoodle as the ultimate family dog (seems like the whole world as a labradoodle!). I really don't know what's best and was hoping people had some advice re rescue vs breeder or even whether we should wait?

Costacoffeeplease Sat 26-Mar-16 16:30:16

I'd always rescue rather than buy a breed, but imho the kids are too young, they need to both be school age really.

Littleredhouse Sat 26-Mar-16 17:18:29

In some ways I see what you mean, as they'd be old enough to help look after the dog/read its body language, but I'd be working more by that time so I won't ever have the same degree of time to spend on it as I do now. Seems a catch 22: wait until kids are older but then most parents are working, or get one while they're young and one parent often at home, but kids are too young. .

Costacoffeeplease Sat 26-Mar-16 18:15:55

I'd wait until they were older and look at an older rescue dog - pups are a nightmare to house train/train in general and with a toddler it's a recipe for a disaster.

Slippersandacuppa Sat 26-Mar-16 18:19:00

Pros and cons. We've got lots of animals so are in the swing of feeding/exercising etc plus we already had one dog. We rescued a puppy when the children were 7, 5, 3 and nearly one. It was hard at the beginning and would have been much easier with them all at school but I don't regret adding her to our family for one second. It didn't last long and they're all growing up together. Good luck!

Littleredhouse Sat 26-Mar-16 19:54:41

Thanks Slippers, that's encouraging! Can I ask what breed you rescued?

Slippersandacuppa Sun 27-Mar-16 09:51:12

The cuddliest, soppiest cockapoo! We got her when she was about six weeks old.

Ba£&ard broker dropped her off at the rescue centre because she had worms and fleas - she's a puppy farm reject sad I dread to think how many puppies they've actually sold to people and it makes me so sad to think of her mum and dad.

I think she's happy though smile

Littleredhouse Sun 27-Mar-16 11:40:41

Aw, she is adorable! Those breed mixes are so lovely and generally have great temperaments. I would love to adopt a similar dog; it's just a shame that their popularity means that there are so many unscrupulous breeders out there. Looks like she has a lovely home with you smile

Wolfiefan Sun 27-Mar-16 11:43:34

1 year old and 3 year old and a pup? Not a chance.
I'd leave it a couple of years.

cuntinghomicidalcardigan Sun 27-Mar-16 17:00:24

I recently got a jrt puppy who came to live with us when he was just under 8 weeks. I have a 3.5 yo and a 17mo and am currently a sahm. I've found the toilet training to be really easy as I'm completely in the zone of worrying about when everyone goes to the loo so I've just added the pup into the routine! All the rescues I asked at local to me said that because of the dc's added ages they would only rehome a brand new puppy with us or a dog with a fully documented history (and these were rare).

So far our pup is fitting in painlessly, a bit of anxiety on separation but we're working on it. Ds and I go for long loooong dog walks when dd is at preschool and the dog loves being in the car so we go and explore all over at weekends. We only had 3 or 4 broken nights at the start and now pup sleeps 8 or 9 hours downstairs without a peep.

I would recommend crate training as our pup likes to snuggle in his crate with any treats, he also goes in there when sleepy for some peace from the dc. The dc have been told all the time that when he is in his crate he needs to be left alone and they allow learning. The puppy is great with them and they (the 3.5yo in particular) are learning loads about responsibility - filling up his water, feeding him and holding his lead (when well alleyway from roads etc).

Like you, I'm hoping to go back to work pt but by the time ds is at school dog will be nearly 5 so more able to cope.

Roseberrry Sun 27-Mar-16 17:16:12

We got a puppy and my dc are 5 + 1. It's bloody hard work but doable, you do have to be committed though as you'll probably want to give up a few times.
Ours is a mix but mainly cocker and beagle, he's very sturdy and will not be played with by the children. This was worrying at first as he would nip at them but they have learnt to give him his space. I think if I had a small breed that was placid they would have torn it apart.

Littleredhouse Sun 27-Mar-16 19:26:03

It's great hearing success stories where the dogs and kids are growing up happily together :-). Im 80% decided now that we will go ahead but just want to make sure I've considered everything and think carefully about the right breed. It's going to be hard but am prepared to put the work in - I'd do clicker training and puppy classes. Would also be interested in agility classes later if the dog was a smart cookie. Thanks for the tip on crate training - it sounds very sensible, especially to allow dog respite from the kids!

Roseberrry Sun 27-Mar-16 19:45:37

I forgot to say one of the hardest things we've found has been not being able to have a day out easily. As the children are still so young they enjoy a day out at the farm etc so we have to put puppy in doggy day care. It's a pain as you have to plan a day out rather than spur of the moment but it's just one of those things I suppose.

tryingtocatchthewind Sun 27-Mar-16 20:02:54

Ok I have a 4yr old, 1yr old and a dog (who was here before both kids). Individually they are all pretty well behaved but crikey if I had the choice I would never have a dog with young kids. It's killing me! If it's not one needing me its the other, I'm shattered. It's really tough managing day trips and feeling like I'm not neglecting the poor dog when I'm dealing with kids or cleaning the house. God only knows how anyone manages a puppy with young ones.
A couple of crap examples, two people on my Facebook got puppies to "complete" their families. Didn't last two months!

Hoppinggreen Sun 27-Mar-16 21:22:29

I have a 7 and 11 year old and recently got a largish breed puppy.
Puppies are bitey and poo and wee a lot, the children could just about hold their own but it would have been really hard if they had been smaller.
Also, I can leave the children in the house while I take the dog into the garden and out the front of the house which I couldn't if they were much smaller.
I deliberately waited until my children weren't too small, I know a lot of people cope fine but I really didn't want to

Littleredhouse Mon 28-Mar-16 09:51:21

Hmm, yes the occasional days out...we don't have anyone nearby who could look after it, so it would need to be a pet sitter. I hadn't factored that cost into my spreadsheet! Thanks also for the experiences on the other side of having dogs & little ones - it's good to hear both sides.

ruthsmumkath Sun 03-Apr-16 11:38:56

I have a 5 and 1 year old and a Labradoodle puppy - we all love him!

Tried rescue first - was a disaster. The rescue palmed us off with a totally unsuitable dog.

VocationalGoat Sun 03-Apr-16 11:51:25

I'd wait. We got our pup in January. Youngest was a year and a half then. It's been fantastic but tough. I can see why vets recommend that the youngest is 3/4 before getting a dog.

Walking a puppy with a pram is incredibly stressful. Fortunately, we can let the dog off the lead after 10 minutes and release him and tot into an open meadow. But I feel like elastigirl from The Incredibles. Dog and tot go in different directions and I'm trying to manage both. It's hard sometimes but mostly awesome. It's full-on but I have to say, it's been the best thing ever getting our dog. He's half choc lab, half Vizsla and an outstanding character. Loves the kids...ADORES them. It's a great mix because vizslas are Velcro dogs, so they thrive on love and closeness without being 'needy'. And the lab tempers the vizsla energy levels. He's super mellow. We can't get over our luck.

I was sure we were ready. I grew up with dogs. I knew it would be tough at times. If you're fully aware and prepared then go for it. But honestly, I'd wait. I have a 14 year old and 6 year old, so I have 'help'. :-)

VocationalGoat Sun 03-Apr-16 11:52:40

PS I wouldn't get a rescue dog with kids. I speak from experience. Grew up with them and as much if a fan as I am if rescuing, with kids, I'd get a pup.

VocationalGoat Sun 03-Apr-16 11:54:01

of not if.

DixieNormas Sun 03-Apr-16 11:59:59

Our pup is 11 weeks old now, the younger dcs are 4 and 3 but the 3 year old has asd and is developmentally 18 months if less. It's been fine, they are really good at giving him his space toileting has been an issue but we are getting there slowely

Claraoswald36 Sun 03-Apr-16 21:26:26

Hi op. Firstly though I bloody love labradoodle you know they are huge right?
Secondly I got my cocker puppy when I was a lp and the dds were 5 and 2. Dd1 has been a breeze all the way through and I trust her with the dog plus she's gentle and mindful of him. He follows her everywhere. Dd2 has been a different kettle of fish altogether. She cannot be trusted with him and the two very minor snapping incidents we have had with him have been due to her extreme provocation (poking in the eye etc). I never leave them alone not even when I go to the loo. Pup goes in the kitchen behind the stair gate. Though I was prepared before I got him for this to be the case and considered house layout and where the gates would go. I am including this because your dc are little.

The other problem I have with dd2 is still whining about the walks. A year in she is somewhat better but still gets tired on the long weekend walks and I struggle a bit with this still. Dd1 loves them though. I'm assuming you will be doing weekday walks with your youngest children. I'm visualising at least one in a buggy? And a 3 year old that can't walk that far? I think I would struggle with that aspect unless it's avoidable somehow?

GraysAnalogy Sun 03-Apr-16 21:29:32

I am a massive dog lover but personally with kids that young I wouldn't get a pup. It's bloody stressful. And expensive. I mean it's great bringing kids and animals up together but pups are hard work. I'd probably recommend getting an older dog with a calm temperament if I were you

bowbear Sun 03-Apr-16 22:33:02

We got our puppy when DS was 4 and even then it's been a struggle to teach DS to be gentle and calm around him. He just loves him too much!! Walking rain or shine has it's challenges too with DS in tow. It really depends on the child but I'm so glad I didn't get a dog any sooner.
I also looked at older rescue dogs but found it impossible to find one that the rescue centre would rehome with young children, it took a while but we manged to get a rescue pup in the end.

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