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Would you get a rescue dog if you have kids? or a rescue puppy?

(57 Posts)
gingerhousecat Sun 22-Jan-17 21:18:05

Just looking for a bit of advice - starting to think about getting a dog and would love to get one from a rescue place but I have a two year old and almost five year old (also have two housecats) . Would it be best to try to get a puppy from a rescue centre rather than a dog? I haven't called any of my local ones yet but I do know some of them don't know the history of the dog as they have been strays which is why I'm wondering if it would be best to get a puppy if they have any available

SickRose Sun 22-Jan-17 21:30:17

My family had never had dogs and when I was 17 I had managed to convince them to get one. We got a rescue dog that, as far as we were told, was brought up well but previous owners just didn't have time for him. He ended up being a very difficult dog and I ended up with a bad bite and I moved out. I'm sure this isn't common but it did put me off rescue dogs. So now I have my own dog I insisted on getting a puppy. Of course even a puppy that I personally train could still turn. But I felt better for it and when my baby comes I wouldn't feel uncomfortable about them being in the same room. Now my confidence is back with dogs I would probably be happy about getting a rescue, but once my baby is here it would need to be a dog they know a lot about. So I guess my point is that it depends on your confidence. If you feel you have the ability to put the time and effort into training an older dog that may not have been trained before then go for it.

SickRose Sun 22-Jan-17 21:31:23

Also, you'd probably find it difficult to find a rescue centre willing to rehomed an adult dog with cats and children anyway.

Phillpot12 Sun 22-Jan-17 22:13:28

I'm in a similar position with kids and cat...think pup would be fine, often 4-5 mths in rescues but untrained so need lots of input. Some dogs are ok, better if living in foster care as get a better idea of character etc.Just need my hubby to agree....

Soubriquet Sun 22-Jan-17 22:16:21

Before children, I would have advocated rescue dogs in a heart beat.

Now I've got kids myself, I'm much more cautious. If I saw the perfect dog, then yes I would probably get a rescue. Adults are much easier with kids than puppies because their temperament is known and there's no annoying puppy chewing.

But the breed I want rarely comes up and they don't like rehoming them with kids so I will be buying my puppy when we decide to get a dog

Hotwaterbottle1 Sun 22-Jan-17 22:18:19

I got my rescue dog from a centre that fosters out dogs so for me more reassuraning as foster mum had 3 kids. My kids were older though when we got her (13 & 10). She is amazing, my baby lol

Wolfiefan Sun 22-Jan-17 22:21:12

Really wouldn't want any pup and a two year old. They are bitey pissy little blighters. The pups. Not the two year olds!
We ended up with a pedigree. Did try rescues but struggled as we had cats and kids so I'm afraid I bought my dream dog (username a clue!)
Many rescues foster dogs and so could advise on one to suit though. GRWE and Black Retriever x to name a couple.

Soubriquet Sun 22-Jan-17 22:22:58

Wolfie you obviously haven't met my almost 2 year old!

He's a bitey pissy creature too grin

sniffle12 Sun 22-Jan-17 22:25:14

Our local rescue centre has a placard on each kennel which says whether the dog is good with children and cats - in some cases (e.g. strays) it's not known but in some (dog's history is known) they can say quite confidently it's fine with all children, only children of a certain age, etc.

As for puppy versus adult... a puppy may potentially be more mouldable/trainable, but with an adult dog, you kind of know what you're getting into as its personality is already set.

Wolfiefan Sun 22-Jan-17 22:25:50

Haha. Bet mine has bigger teeth!! wink

wineusuallyhelps Sun 22-Jan-17 22:31:28

We wanted to get a rescue when my youngest child had just turned 7. The rescue centres weren't keen as they said children should be at least 8. I was a bit gutted as I've always had rescue cats, but we ended up getting a pedigree puppy instead. The way it has worked out has been perfect for our family at this time. In later life I hope I can rescue another dog!

Mungobungo Sun 22-Jan-17 22:38:03

Personally I think it's worth going along to a rescue and having a frank chat with them about your wants and needs. If they're conscientious, they'll only regime a dog with you that is proven good with children (and small furries) and has met every member of the family more than once. If they're just happy to give you any dog, get the hell out of there. The good thing with most rescues like dogs trust is that they provide after care too.

If after you've spoken to the local dog shelters and you feel it's not right, then do look at a pup but do remember that puppies are bloody hard work, messy, nippy and destructive. Yes, it's a more mouldable and trainable mind, but it really is like having a furry toddler and they take time to train.

Also, if you are going for a pup, please, please, please be responsible. Do research into breed types, then Save up and buy from a reputable breeder who has good reviews - don't go for a cheap pup on gumtree or the internet as they're likely to be puppy farmed, which in turn can lead to serious health and behavioural issues later on.

I've got two rescue dogs, from dogs trust, and our stipulations were that they be good with dogs and kids.
We met and walked our dogs on several occasions before we took them home (individually, 4 years apart). We had teething problems with both while we were getting to know each other, but with time, giving them space and building love and trust they truly are the best. They're loving and calm and it's really rewarding seeing how far they've come in their confidence and their training. Rescue dogs really are rewarding, but you really do need to take time, not rush and make sure the dog is right for you, and you for it before you even consider taking it home.

5OBalesofHay Sun 22-Jan-17 22:38:56

I wouldn't have dogs near children. Maybe wait till your kiďs are at least secondary age

GinIsIn Sun 22-Jan-17 22:44:06

Puppies and toddlers are rarely a good combo so in that sense you'd be better off with an adult dog. Have you owned dogs before? If you are not experienced I really do think that your children are too young and you should wait a bit.

Scuttlebutter Sun 22-Jan-17 22:46:51

Many rescues are willing to home dogs to families with small children and cats. The best rescues will be ones that foster their dogs in homes with DC so they can actually give you a detailed picture of how the dog is with DC and other animals. There is actually a lovely thread running at the moment where another poster is describing her lovely new foster pups which live with a cat and DC.

A young rescue pup from that sort of wonderful foster home is going to be a fantastic bet as it will already have had excellent care and a very thorough assessment. I also know that the rescue concerned, EGLR have a very thorough vetting process and take care to match the dog to the family, arguably far more than simply buying a pup from an online seller. EGLR even have a handy filter on their website allowing you to check available dogs for their compatibility with cats and DC. And they home nationally. Other rescues also share this type of approach - the key is to pick your rescue carefully and don't expect the perfect dog to be waiting for you in a couple of days - dogs that are cat and child friendly are much in demand and get homed very quickly.

mjt73 Sun 22-Jan-17 22:50:20

I have a rescue dog that I got when he was 6 moths and my son a toddler there was a few issues at first but with some time and patience, it all went well

Orangebird69 Sun 22-Jan-17 22:53:03

50bales yep, it's a nightmare. You should see how vicious read happy and licky my mums two lurchers are with my shrieking in terror read glee and excitement 15mo ds. It's proper savage. hmm

Costacoffeeplease Sun 22-Jan-17 22:55:50

I would wait until your youngest child is school age before getting either a puppy or a rescue dog

gingerhousecat Sun 22-Jan-17 23:25:21

Thanks for all the replies. We had two dogs and a cat when I was growing up - one a lab cross and the other a cheeky little mongrel but haven't had my own dog since then. I used to take out the dog in a care home I worked in before having the kids (my favourite parts of the day haha)! Alot of my family have dogs so the kids are used to being around them.
Think I'll give the local rescue places a ring and see what they say. I know some don't offer rehoming to homes with kids under a certain age. I don't mind waiting, either for my littlest to get a bit older or for the right dog/puppy!
Love the black retriever x page, a retriever would probably be my choice if I was picking my dreamdog!

Blackfellpony Mon 23-Jan-17 07:06:06

I have always rescued but now we have children I probably wouldn't. I think it's safer to get an adult who's temperament is already established and evident than a puppy who could turn into anything. As much as people say a puppy is what you make it, it's not always as black and white as that.

We got burnt with a rescue puppy. The reason they tell you to see the parents is because nervous, aggressive or unsound parents can pass on these traits to the puppies. Also early experiences as young as 4-5 weeks can create issues, which is why good breeders socialise properly. A puppy who has been bred badly, from god knows what and kept in less than ideal conditions has a much higher chance of behaviour issues. I had my rescue puppy from the beginning and socialised perfectly as I always had done many times before and he is still seriously nervous aggressive. In fact he was nervous from moment one which I thought I could train out of him- it's not as easy as that!
If I had my time again I would pick a puppy that came from parents that I knew and could see produced proper family pets. You could see the difference in a well bred puppy and mile a mile off from 8 weeks.

I'm sure there are many lovely rescue dogs out there, I actually have another who we have had from 9 months and he is perfect. Difference is he was older and I could see he was as soft as muck the moment I met him. I just don't think I could risk it again around my children and I think it's worth paying the extra money for a well bred puppy to reduce the risk of getting a bad one blush

Proudmummytodc2 Mon 23-Jan-17 07:11:11

In my local dog rescue when you go to see the dogs they have information on them on the outside of their kennel and they tell you if they are suitable to have with kids or not, it will say something like "this dog is suited to an adult family only" and that's because of a bad back ground and they are worried it will bite a child.

Could you phone ahead and ask if your dog rescue can provide you with this information?

MistressMaisie Mon 23-Jan-17 07:16:12

Wait until DCs are older. A 2 year old will just pester a dog.

AML84 Mon 23-Jan-17 07:28:02

I have a rescue German Shepherd, we got him when he was 10 months old and he's a big softie, amazing with children and adults. He had been abandoned and was starving - 20lbs underweight when we got him angry - but the only lasting damage is an insatiable appetite! grin

As you probably know, many rescue dogs haven't been abused, but abandoned or given up to shelters because their owners didn't realize how much work a dog could be, couldn't afford it, etc. etc., so the idea that some people have that all rescue dogs have issues simply isn't the case.

Lots of rescue dogs are "well bred," but have been given up for reasons not to do with their temperament. Getting a slightly older dog will help you see what kind of character they have, and I agree with Scuttlebutter that finding one who has been fostered with children is a great idea. Good luck! Wish more people adopted star

NoBetterName Mon 23-Jan-17 07:48:31

We have a rescue Whippet that we rehomed from the RSPCA when ds1 was 6 and ds2 was just short of being 3 (so similar age to yours). We got him at 12 months old and he's now nearly 7 years.

A year later, we got our lurcher girl from the dogs trust.

Then, two months ago we fostered a whippet from Just Whippets Rescue. He's still with us, but will be leaving for his new home soon.

In every case, we listened very carefully to what the rescue told us about each dog. In the case of our own two (as opposed to the foster), we looked for the right dogs for months (they were not in kennels for months btw). Remember, whilst there will probably be work with a rescue dog, there will also be work with a puppy. You'll have to house-train a puppy and dog wee or poo plus a toddler is not a great combination. The puppy will nip your children - an adult dog should not. Even playful little nips can hurt. A rescue, especially one like Just Whippets that uses foster homes will be able to advise on any issues the dog may have and the fosterer will most likely have done some training with the dog. They will also be able to advise on how used to children, cats etc a dog is. A puppy with small children will be very hard work.

ClarkL Mon 23-Jan-17 08:00:38

we got a rescue puppy, it was the biggest mistake of my life and after 18 months of trying we acknowledged we just couldnt cope. Our dog walker took her in and within 3 months the dog had bitten her husband twice and PTS
The thing is, the 'rescue' we went to was a shambles. We arrived, they handed us a puppy told us to take her home and see how we get on overnight, big mistake, by that point we'd all fallen in love with her and whilst it was clear she was riddled with fleas and a poorly tummy (runny poos) we took her as we felt we were 'rescuing' her from the rescue.
She was around 6 months old, was food aggressive (turns out the 'rescue' had multiple dogs in pens forcing them to rush for food) and she was terrified of other dogs. When we walked her she'd lie down and cower on the floor if she saw a dog and then lunge at it when it went passed.
Then of course there was the major destruction of the house. She was walked in the morning before work, then the dog walker came in mid morning, I'd go back at lunch to let her out again, dog walker would come mid afternoon and I'd get home from work 5 ish and walk her again. It wasn't enough, if she was alone for more than 20 minutes she'd become destructive.
The thing is, whilst they were rehoming dogs they weren't a true rescue in the sense of somewhere with the dogs best interests at heart - which in turn puts the families best interests at heart. There's a reason Wood Green wouldn't consider us for a rescue dog, 2 small kids and me working full time... so we went to the place that would let us have a dog.
Go to a reputable rescue, Wood Green, Dogs Trust. Talk to them - if they don't consider you suitable for a rescue dog they will tell you, but then think seriously about their reasons before buying a puppy elsewhere. If you aren't yet in the right place to have a dog then both rescue and puppy would be bad choices.
My parents did get our family dog when I was 6 months old though, and it worked brilliantly, although it was hard work - you just have to think very carefully about the logistics of not leaving small children unattended with dogs and walking in all weather with small kids

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