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Do I get a dog?(11 Posts)
I've had pets most of my life but I moved out of my mum's 6 months ago and my two dogs have stayed there. They're family pets so I knew that was going to happen and I visit them as often as I can but I really miss having a pet about. Dd was 6 months when we moved out and had never been bothered y the dogs, just curious. They both loved her and even slept under her crib and 'guarded ' her when strangers came to visit. (I say guard but as they are both tiny and the softest things in the world they used to just sit by us) however now we've moved out and she's had some distance from them she is absolutely terrified of dogs. She screams and crys whenever she sees our two and yesterday at DB &SIL she refused to get off our knee as they have 4 dogs. I think we should get a dog so she can get comfortable round then and hopefully grow up to be an animal lover like me. However DP thinks it will make her worse and we should wait a few years. So what do I do?
What's the rest of your lifestyle like? For instance, will you be going back to work full time? How much time can you dedicate to walking, training and grooming?
And would you be considering getting a dog if it wasn't for your DD?
I agree with your dp actually. I don't understand why your dd would become afraid of dogs just because she was separated from your dogs at 6 months - there might be a lot more to it than you realise.
It would be unfair on her to introduce a dog she's scared of and, of course, unfair on the dog. Wait a while.
I start back at work in a few weeks time, only part time but dog would be able to come to work with me and socialise with my mum's 2 dogs (mum is live on in her job and I work for her.) As I said we moved in to our home 6 months ago so while things still need doing we have a stable and happy home. I've trained all my previous pets and took care of walks, grooming etc so I know exactly what having a pet entails. And if Dd wasn't in the picture then we would already have a dog by now as my home feels a bit empty without a furry companion
@collaran what do you mean by a lot more to it? She's never been snapped at or anything similar and was always happy round then before. Obviously i don't know about being scared of dogs and how it comes about so do you mean something like that? Sorry if I sound ignorant it's just something I've never had to think about before
But your dd is in the picture and your dp is asking you to take her feelings into consideration. I love my dog and can understand how you feel but it seems selfish to push it while your dd is afraid.
Yes that's what i meant Tiger - something must have happened at some point to upset her otherwise why would she be having this reaction?
I wouldn't get a dog if my child was that terrified of them - it's not fair on anyone involved and it would make for a really stressful experience for the dog and your DD.
If she's scared, you need to find another way of letting her overcome her fear. If a friend/family member has a small, calm dog, get her used to that first. Teach her how to act around dogs, how to approach them and let her have some really good experiences in her own home where she's comfortable.
And puppies in general are bouncy, nippy, over-excited little buggers. If your DD is already afraid, how will she cope with a puppy who barks, cries, jumps about and mouths on things? Even an older (and bigger) dog could be too much for her.
I think your DP is right, I'm afraid.
I agree you shouldn't get a dog if your child is terrified but I think at that age it can be a familiarity thing rather than an actual fear. I've seen many young children who are scared of dogs be absolutely fine once they have got to know their own. It can help teach them not to fear dogs. Obviously you'd need to be careful in your choice and too boisterous a dog may make the situation worse but at that age I wouldn't say it was a definite reason not to get one.
I also wouldn't read too much into her being frightened of the 4 dogs. 4 dogs is a lot for such a wee person and I think most would be atleast timid in that situation
@Collaron There isn't always an event that's the explanation - my DD2 was terrified of all dogs (even tiny ones) from as soon as should could register they were there. There was no bad experience, she just didn't like them. She wasn't overly keen on cats either. I think it was something to do with things that weren't humans moving around. DD1 loved dogs (in fact all animals) right from the start.
What worked for DD2, and it wasn't a conscious effort, was that she ended up spending quite a bit of time with a friend who is a dog home-boarder. She was over 4 by this time and she got to see that, in general, they were very friendly and if she didn't bother them they wouldn't bother her. BUT she had the safety net of them not being there all the time, she could 'escape' to her own dog free environment if she felt the need.
We now have recently adopted a 5 year old cocker spaniel, who is the most gentle and loving little soul, and it is in fact DD2 who has bonded with her most. I wouldn't have got a dog before I knew she was comfortable with them.
Perhaps you could try out a Borrow My Doggy type situation? Then it's not a permanent commitment and wouldn't end up in the dog having to be rehomed etc.
My DD was always terrified of dogs. Nothing happened to make her that way but they induced screams from when she was tiny. She doesn't like animals much in general and is always the one that declines the opportunity to stroke the rabbit, feed the lamb or hold the chick.
We got a puppy 6 months ago and DD (now aged 7) was keen in theory but once puppy arrived it became clear she was terrified of him. She is no longer terrified of him but she never turned into a dog lover - she ignores him or moans that he is squishing her on the sofa or nicking her toys. I love him! She still declines any and all offers to pet other peoples dogs or animals!
If YOU want a dog and your DH wants a dog and you can care for one then get one. Just be aware that you may need to keep dog and child separate until they get accustomed to one another and that your kid is still not guaranteed to become a dog lover.
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