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Am I mad to consider a puppy with a toddler

(21 Posts)
NeedSleepNow Wed 05-Sep-18 12:35:10

I have 3 children (ranging from 18 months to 8yrs) and the older two are very keen to get a dog. A friend's dog (beagal) has had puppies and they have one still in need of a home when old enough. We went to visit yesterday and the kids loved them (I've always wanted a dog too). My concern is that my youngest is too young and it would make things a bit tricky for a while. The constant chewing in particular worries me, it did hurt when they tried to nip my feet so I'm sure the kids wouldn't like that at all. How long does the chewing/biting stage usually last?feet

We have enough space at home, have a garden and I'm a stay at home Mum so puppy wouldn't be left alone except for half an hour on the school run and eventually 2-3 hours once a week when the older ones have swimming lessons (at what age can a puppy be left that long?)

I think a dog for my eldest would be amazing. He is struggling with things a lot at the moment (school, friends, relationship with Dad) and I think a dog would be very therapeutic for him.

My big concerns are:
1. if my youngest is too young. Would it be a nightmare trying to keep them apart
2. my husband has allergies and I would hate for him to decide we had to re home a dog for this reason. The kids would be devastated
3. How hard is the initial puppy stage. Would I struggle to find enough time for the puppy and my youngest
4. Things aren't always easy with my husband and his relationship with our kids. I worry that he might threaten to rehome the dog (but not actually do it) as a way of punishing the kids. He also can shout quite a bit, will this scare the puppy and negatively affect it's behaviour/development

Having written all that down I suppose it looks as though now isn't really the time to think about getting a dog but would love advise from others.


OP’s posts: |
MuddyWellyNelly Wed 05-Sep-18 13:01:40

We're about to get a puppy with a toddler, but my DS is 3. He's much more able to understand what this entails than he would have been at 18 months. Key for us though will be crate training - the dog AND the child. That way DS will learn in black and white terms that the crate is the dog's quiet space.

I don't think we'd have got one 18 months ago, but the breeder our pup is coming from has a one year old. It's perfectly possible.

Wolfiefan Wed 05-Sep-18 13:04:30

I wouldn't want to be dealing with a toddler and toilet training a puppy. And then there's dog training. It's hard. Puppy may not want to be left at night. It could be weeks until you could leave the pup.
How much do you know about beagles? They are generally not a first time owner dog. Research the breed. Consider their exercise requirements and any health issues.
I wouldn't.

3dogsnorth Wed 05-Sep-18 13:07:22

As much as it seems a lovely idea I would strongly advise against it. Your toddler will not leave your dog alone and even if it's the nicest natured pup, they will reach breaking point and accidents can happen. It's not fair on the child or the dog. Cute as beagles are they are not the easiest breed to deal with. Nice natured, yes, off lead, a nightmare, disappear into the distance with no hope of a swift return. I know some MNers will disagree but I've walked a few in the past. If you can wait until your youngest is at school and you'll have more child free time to devote to rearing a well balanced dog.

Ihopeyourcakeisshit Wed 05-Sep-18 13:09:16

Having a new puppy is, for White some time, nothing short of horrendous.
You have a shouty, allergy prone husband and a toddler.
I mean this kindly, don't even think about it.

Ihopeyourcakeisshit Wed 05-Sep-18 13:10:29


tenbob Wed 05-Sep-18 13:18:47

Beagles are absolutely not ever first-time dogs so you're mad considering one regardless of the childrens' ages

NeedSleepNow Wed 05-Sep-18 13:18:51

Thank you all for your replies. It's reinforced what I knew deep down that now is not the right time and certainly not something to be rushed into. Thank you

OP’s posts: |
NeedSleepNow Wed 05-Sep-18 13:20:17

For the future, what breed of dogs would you suggest are good around children and as first-time dogs?

OP’s posts: |
villainousbroodmare Wed 05-Sep-18 13:20:41

Nope. It really would make your life very hard for quite a while and I reckon anyway that a beagle is not ideal for you. Maybe some training classes for your husband though, don't know if he deserves you.

villainousbroodmare Wed 05-Sep-18 13:23:43

A healthy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel if you can get one - they often have serious health issues - is a gorgeous gentle family dog. Border Terrier would also be a good bet

PuppyMonkey Wed 05-Sep-18 13:31:08

I've had a new puppy for roughly a week (he's ten weeks now) and I concur, he's lovely, but he is quite full on, I'd compare it to having a toddler you have to watch all the time. Albeit, one that goes in his crate for a break for quite long stretches of the day (that'll soon change though as he gets older and he needs less sleep).

Mine is a pretty good boy at night so far, sleeps through and doesn't whine. But even so, when he's awake he is taking all our attention, I can't get anything done. For example, we're taking him out for wees/poos roughly every hour. And then he wants to play all the time, run around, chew everything.

I'm lucky as mine are older (11 and 12) and I also have my eldest DD at home on a placement year from uni, and she's been brilliant doing proper training, sorting out toys to entertain him etc. Without her, I'd be having a nightmare.

Wolfiefan Wed 05-Sep-18 13:43:11

All puppies mouthe.
Consider the exercise needs and grooming requirements. Do you want a large or small dog? Research health issues. I wouldn't have a cavalier due to serious health issues in the breed.
Perhaps visit Discover Dogs to find about about different breeds.
And then consider a rescue or go through the breed club. Never buy online.

Aprilshowersnowastorm Wed 05-Sep-18 13:48:40

Regardless on dc ages, a puppy and a twat dh do not mix.
After divorce I was left with an at times unmanageable rottweiler. .
She still has anxiety issues around men.

And I reported my friend when her dh was abusing her ddog and she was too afraid to stop him.
Dogs Trust called round unannounced and took it back.

bakingdemon Wed 05-Sep-18 13:52:35

You need to see how bad your husband's allergies are. If he's allergic to dog hair, use that as the starting point for the breeds you consider. Off the top of my head, I think you could consider:
- schnauzer: my allergy ridden husband grew up with one. I think they do best with a friend and they can be a bit yappy, but he adored his dog
- poodle: very clever dogs who need a lot of play and stimuli
- anything crossed with a poodle: eg cockerpoo (though note cockerpoos are v energetic and need A LOT of exercise)
- Portuguese Water Dog: the Obamas had two of these. They're big dogs so probably not ideal around toddlers and if you've not had a dog before
- westie: sweet dogs but v strong personalities
- assorted lovely terriers: I don't know much about Airedales or wheaten terriers but they seem lovely and are meant to be good with kids
Sure others will have useful advice too.

Wolfiefan Wed 05-Sep-18 14:20:57

If you decide on a certain breed then try and get to some shows and meet as many as you can. I'm supposedly allergic to cats and dogs. I spent a couple of years going to wolfhound shows and getting up close with as many as I could (ask owners first!) and never reacted. I am however allergic to one of my two cats. Pretty much identical sisters. confused

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Wed 05-Sep-18 16:38:28

I agree that beagles are not a first time owner sort of dog. They also require a great deal of exercise; most of the pet beagles I see in the park are rather overweight.

Your DH sounds like a twat (sorry). Shouty, negative experiences will not make for a well balanced puppy - especially in the crucial first 16 weeks of development. It can be very difficult to unpick the errors of those first 16 weeks later on. It's not great for kids either, but I know more about dogs than kids.

If you happen to LTB in the future, could you go to Discover Dogs at the ExCeL in London? It's a good chance to see lots of different breeds and talk to owners of them.

PuppyMonkey Wed 05-Sep-18 16:50:52

Re allergies, I’ve had a bit of a reaction to our new puppy (golden retriever) so took antihistamine for the first few days - wheezing and sneezing. Last three days I’ve stopped as I’ve acclimatised to him. I get the same thing with cats.

Hoppinggreen Wed 05-Sep-18 17:00:00

Don’t do it, especially a Beagle
Puppies are HARD work and with small dc involved it would be even harder. I know people do it but I waited until mine were 11 and 7 so they could cope with a bitey land shark and now they are even older they can help with walks etc - or I can walk the dog and not drag them out with me if necessary

ThanksHunkyJesus Wed 05-Sep-18 17:04:44

It's not just the dog. What do you do with the toddler while you're supervising puppy in the garden? Or while you're training/playing with the dog? How do you stop a toddler from hassling a dog? As already said a beagle is a terrible choice for a first time dog owner. You need something small and biddable that doesn't need constant attention and playing with.

HomeOfMyOwn Wed 05-Sep-18 22:29:50

Things aren't always easy with my husband and his relationship with our kids. I worry that he might threaten to rehome the dog (but not actually do it) as a way of punishing the kids. He also can shout quite a bit, will this scare the puppy and negatively affect it's behaviour/development

You could end up with a fear aggressive dog. I think you know a puppy is not right for now.

However I want to raise the very serious issue point 4. raises not only for a dog but most importantly your children and yourself. That behaviour will be having more of an effect on your children than you will realise whilst you are still living with him - it is not a good environment and is teaching your children the core beliefs/ subconscious thinking that will see them highly likely to either become adults like their father or expect to be treated that way (and probably worse) in a relationship. It can lower their self esteem and cause all sorts of issues, for them. Please speak to women's aid for some perspective and/or go on the freedom programme - it will help you get perspective and see the effects it has on your children and yourself. You can self refer onto the freedom programme - women's aid or your councils domestic abuse team should know who you need to ring in your area to get booked on.

Sorry I know it's not relationship board but I couldn't not put it out there for you to think about. You are stronger than you likely think. flowers

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