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can a dog help my very difficult child?

(14 Posts)
SophieofShepherdsBush Sun 20-Nov-16 20:42:01

And if so, which one?
I have a beautiful, intelligent ds, who due to ASD and maybe ADHD can be violent, impulsive, unpredictable, rigid thinking..... sensitive, worried, sad, remorseful...... we'd love to get him a friend, a dog.
I know that autism dogs are a thing....but was wondering if maybe they only benefit some kids with certain traits...
It would need to be a robust dog, he can be rough with all of us. He is very good with all the dogs we know, big and small, and had never hurt our cat, but I think a small dog might not be able for him....he likes to move the cat around.....I like to thibk a dog would bring out the best in him , and be a friend.
I like some dogs, I'm not a big dog person, but dh had dogs all his childhood and wants one too. Am I beinf ridiculous in leaning towards an Irish wolfhound? They seem gentle and calm, I've known and liked a fair few, much more than msny other types. He needs a calm predictable dog!
Im aware that a commitment to a dog, especially a big one is a huge deal, like having another baby. Im happy with that, but also happy to take advice here even if you tell me we're mad, forget it!

PragmaticWench Sun 20-Nov-16 20:46:16

I think a puppy would not be a good idea for your son, and a specially trained dog may be the way to go. At the very least I'd recommend approaching a specialist charity or organisation who would know all of the implications and best approaches.

SophieofShepherdsBush Sun 20-Nov-16 20:49:12

Thanks pragmatic yes, I'd like to take advice from an organisation like that for sure...just testing thr waters by posing here really....its just an idea at present, something to consider for maybe a couple of years down the road.

cankles Sun 20-Nov-16 22:23:36

Hi sophie, we had our name down for an assistance dog but the waiting list for this was very long and eventually it got to the pnt that ds was turning 15 on his last birthday so we decided to go ahead and get a dog of our own. ds2 has a dual dx of asd/adhd.

So we got ourselves an Ozzy, he is a mongrel and he's the best thing we have ever done. Everyone in the family loves him and ds2 is in charge of him whenever dp and I are out. ds2 wont take him for a long walk on his own but will do little short ones but he will feed him, play with him, cuddle him - sometimes if we can bring the dog we can even get ds2 out of the house. He loves him to bits. The focus of everything within the home is the dog, we all love him, we all talk about the dog together. It's lovely, so the best of luck with your decision.

TrionicLettuce Sun 20-Nov-16 22:37:32

Irish wolfhounds are wonderful dogs but they're more of a lifestyle than a pet!!

This page on the breed club site is worth a read if you're considering one.

Wolfiefan Sun 20-Nov-16 22:40:12

A lifestyle/addiction/obsession?!
The username should be a clue! grin

Blackfellpony Mon 21-Nov-16 06:42:54

I would be careful to choose a dog that has some form of training for the task in hand, I only say this as I know of a dog who has become fearful of people after being manhandled by a boy with autism as a puppy. The boy obviously wasn't intending to hurt him but the dog now visably shakes around children and cowers if he hears shouting and he had to be rehomed as he eventually bit out of fear when the boy grabbed him sad
Obviously it's temperament wasn't quite right for the job but I think you need a really solid dog from a line proven in assistance dogs or something.

I love wolfhounds! They aren't particularly long lived which would put me off but the ones I have met have all been gentle giants!

One thing I would consider if by having an unusual dog (people love the giant or rarer breeds) you might get lots of people trying to stop you and talk to you about it etc. Would that worry your son if it's unwanted attention?

I wish you loads of luck!

SophieofShepherdsBush Mon 21-Nov-16 20:04:42

Ok good advice here. I've lots more thinking to do, and not going to rush into anything. Taken on board that a puppy probably not the best idea.....I've heard the waiting list for specially trained dogs can be very long, but as ds is only 6 it might br ideal if we got the dog a in a few years at least anyway. Thanks for the advice, dog-lovers!

Ylvamoon Mon 21-Nov-16 21:13:47

Have you had a look at assistance/ guide dogs that didn't quite make the grade? My child minder had a huge black Labour. He had all the training for a guide dog but failed to be a leader...
Was a lovely, gentle giant, my daughter would always say Hello to the dog first, by throwing her arms around his neck.

GazingAtStars Mon 21-Nov-16 21:19:45

I don't think buying a puppy would be a good idea. Definitely have a chat with an organisation or charity who specialise in these sorts of dogs. I do think you need to think about whether it would be a good environment for a dog as well. It may tolerate your ds being rough with it but it's not really fair on the dog to expect it to put up with it and there is always the risk it could bite

Blossomdeary Mon 21-Nov-16 21:23:53

Please do not finish up with a problem child AND a problem dog! Take great care here.

SophieofShepherdsBush Mon 21-Nov-16 21:35:31

Don't worry blossom, we won't rush in to this and are trying to get as much advice as possible before making any decisions. I have no wish to mske our lives more stressful!

Owllady Mon 21-Nov-16 21:39:53

Don't canine partners match up dogs?
Might be worth emailing them?

We have a dog with a child with autism but she has been brought up with dogs and are experienced owners. I think researching breeds and charities is the way to go. Canine partners might know of dogs your son can meet occassionally for example as therapy without you having to have one, for example smile

SophieofShepherdsBush Mon 21-Nov-16 21:42:37

Thanks owl, that's a good idea actually.

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