Not really a pet person getting a dog ???

(82 Posts)
inchoccyheaven Sun 21-Oct-18 20:48:51

Dsd14 gave my dw a 6 A4 page letter at the weekend begging for a puppy for Christmas. She has given a lot of thought to what that means and how she will do all the training and clearing up, walking etc etc. She included timetable of each day of when she is at school and weekends. To be fair it was a very persuasive letter and has left me torn.

She has always wanted a dog and was very upset when her older brother who lives with his dad just bought himself one.

I am not a dog person at all. I had cats before but when i went into rented before we bought our house now didn't get any more cats or pets. My SD does have a hamster and I like it but don't really have anything to do with it.

My Dw would be happy to get a dog but knows I'm not keen and if I say no then we won't get one. I don't want to be the one that has that final decision and even though I have concerns over how hard it will be to have a puppy and the cost and commitment I know that Dsd would love it so much and it would be a great companion for her.

So would I and my 2 ds ( one 16 the other at uni) get used to having a dog in our lives and not regret it ??

If we did get her a puppy we would wait until beginning of summer hols so she would be here all the time to train and settle it in.

Advice please smile

OP’s posts: |
JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 21-Oct-18 20:52:40

Does it have to be a puppy - regardless of breed, it would be a baptism of fire to get a puppy if you have no experience of dogs and aren't sure if you want one. Does she have a particular breed in mind?

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 21-Oct-18 20:53:47

By that I mean - what about rehoming an older dog?

Wolfiefan Sun 21-Oct-18 20:56:04

A 14 year old won’t be walking, training, poo picking etc for the next 15 years. Or grooming or taking it to the vet or getting up at night to toilet train. Or cleaning up accidents.
You can’t pick a week to bring home a pup unless you find a rescue or are happy to pay a puppy farmer. It doesn’t work like that.
Do you work? Who will be with the pup during the day? They can’t be left at all to start with.

cushionfiend Sun 21-Oct-18 20:56:56

There are no guarantees, of course, but my family had a similar situation where myself and DD really wanted a dog and DH wasn’t at all keen but eventually said yes for our sakes - within a few weeks he was quite ridiculously besotted with our dog and has been for 2 years now. He says it’s the biggest surprise of his life!

inchoccyheaven Sun 21-Oct-18 21:08:06

She wants a boy german shepherd puppy which is a definite no. Dw had dog as a child and one as an adult so knows a bit about them. Dsd loves animals and is doing an animal course along side her gcses and when she left home she would take the dog with her as it would be hers.

She is prepared to train and clear up etc after it although I am concerned it might be too much for her so would want dw and I to also be involved in training too.

Dw was thinking a king charles spaniel.
Dw works 3 days and me 4 and Dsd would be able to come home every day at lunch time to check on dog so it wouldn't be on its own for more than 4 hours at a time on a day we are all out.

Definitely want to make sure its from a reputable person.

OP’s posts: |
adaline Sun 21-Oct-18 21:10:19

No matter how well intentioned, do not get a dog unless all the adults in the house are on board.

She's 14 years old. What happens to her dog when she's at school all day? Puppies need round the clock care when they're small and they can't be left all day. Is she going to come home straight from school everyday to walk the dog? And get up early every morning, no matter how cold the weather, how wet it is or how tired she is?

What about when she goes to university and can't take the dog? Or moves out into a flatshare that doesn't allow dogs? No way does a 14yo have the maturity to look after a dog. Who's going to pay the vets bills, the insurance, the jabs, the food, the flea and worm treatment? Who's going to pay for puppy classes, leads, collars, harnesses, chews, toys, beds?

Dogs are not cheap. Ours costs a fair bit - he's a puppy and chewed through two leads in a day a fortnight ago! He needs food, chews, interactive feeders, slow feeders, toys, collars and harnesses (plural - they don't last forever). Puppy classes cost £70 per 7 week "block" and they really need to go regularly for the first 12-18 months.

When she's at school or out with friends, what happens to the dog? Who's going to toilet train it and take it out in the middle of the night? Is someone going to watch it during the day or do you need to pay for a dog walker or daycare?

Please, please don't do it unless you're 100% on board. Dogs, especially puppies, are very hard work. They pee and poo everywhere, bite, jump and nip. They pull on the lead, dig in the garden, chew the furniture and rip up the carpets if left to their own devices.

Mine is nine months now and while he's incredibly rewarding he's bloody hard work and I couldn't do it if my husband wasn't completely on board with the whole thing.

Advertisement

NarcolepticOuchMouse Sun 21-Oct-18 21:11:05

I would expect to have to do some of the leg work as at 14 she is still a child. In my opinion definitely wait until summer hols if she wants a puppy. I hope she knows she'll have to be up every few hours in the night, to let it out in order to house train it, for atleast the first 2 weeks. That will be a sleepless summer hols and I would be very clear with how tieing a dog is. She won't be able to leave it more than 4 hours as an adult dog, as a puppy it starts with only minutes. If you believe she can handle to reality and responsibility I would say absolutely get one. They're fantastic companions and great for getting out the house. Don't worry about not gelling with it, my dp hated dogs until we got a puppy and then he was the reason we now have two dogs.

adaline Sun 21-Oct-18 21:13:12

And you can't leave a puppy alone that long, no way. Mine needed toilet breaks every 1-2 hours until he was about six months old! The recommendation is four hours per day for an adult dog. Not four hours, a walk, and another four hours alone afterwards!

That routine might be okay for a toilet-trained adult dog who is happy with a long morning walk and then is content to self-settle all day. But bored dogs (especially puppies) can be incredibly destructive. I've known dogs chew through their own crates, doors and walls because they're bored and left alone. They've ripped down curtains, destroyed carpets and wallpaper - you need to train them to be happy alone and even then not all dogs are happy.

King Charles' are bred as lapdogs and companion dogs - they generally don't do well alone for long periods at all.

Clearthinking Sun 21-Oct-18 21:26:27

German shepherd dogs are one of the best you can have. Intelligent, loyal and lovely. Excellent choice. Mines 3 months. Gets up once in the night for a wee. Likes a little play now and then, honestly not that bad. Trust me, you will want one that will protect her on walks! Why do you think the police have them, they are great. We had an old boy we had to put down last year so we've had them years. Picking up poo twice a day isn't hard either. Food cheap enough. And when he's a bit older he can be left alone for a while, they usually just wait for you to come home instead of some yapper that destroys everything in site

SavoyCabbage Sun 21-Oct-18 21:33:58

Get her to do all of the walking now for at least a month. Every morning before school and every evening in between homework and after school activities.

Applepudding2018 Sun 21-Oct-18 22:42:11

If you are getting a dog for a 14 year old you need to accept that ultimately it will be the adults in the family who will have responsibility for the dog, and this means responsibility for the next 15 years.

Similarly to you we got our dog for DS two years ago when he was 15. And yes, he's been true to his word, for the last two years has been walking the dog at least twice a day, with myself or DH doing the third walk. But this has been whilst he's been at school and college, so back home in the middle of the afternoon he's been able to do this without too much difficulty.

However a month ago he started full time work and is now out of the house a lot longer. I've had to take over the morning walks and unless DH steps up a bit more (he's around a bit during the day due to working shifts), we're going to have to find a walker or day care.

In a couple of years DS will probably leave home, and although he thinks he's going to take the dog with him, in reality a rented room with a young man working full time, going to the gym and socialising is no place for a dog.

Applepudding2018 Sun 21-Oct-18 22:52:41

Additionally you need to read through all the puppy threads on here to see how difficult it is with a young puppy! People will tell you it's harder than a new born and you won't believe them, but it's true! We were lucky and managed to time our puppy's arrival in the school holiday, so DS and I alternated who got up with him, who did the early mornings, the late nights, but DH who was working found the disruption and the destruction very difficult.

There is a bright side - this does only last for a few months - but you do need to be fully prepared.

Lucisky Sun 21-Oct-18 22:57:20

Your sd will probably leave home within the next 5 years -uni, college whatever. You will be left with a young dog to care for. It is highly unlikely that she will be able to take a large dog with her. What will happen to it then?

inchoccyheaven Sun 21-Oct-18 23:06:10

I have been reading the puppy survival threads and all the points raised on here are all i have got concerns about.
My main concerns are it being left on its own while we are at work and DSd is at school and the mess and whether she will cope being woken several times a night.

Dsd doesn't do activities etc so would be home straight from school every day as well as a short time at lunch but I still worry the puppy wont like being on its own rest of the time.
It would be 3 days like this as rest of the time my dw would be at home and all of us at weekends.

Realistically how long does the mess and night wakings last and she is planning on having it sleep in her room so would this be a good idea or not ?

OP’s posts: |
PinkPupZ Sun 21-Oct-18 23:07:10

I would be cautious. We waited years to get a dog and very much 'dog people' even then have found it extremely hard. On par with having twin babies or toddlers. It's a 24/7 job for months. My pup is 4 months and never been left alone yet. We need to start working up to it. We work but me part time and goes to loving family member she both work (few times a month at most). There is no way we could leave yet.

My teenager swore he would help out but within 2 days found it too much and barely helps at all. This seems a very common theme. Luckily we all we well on board and love having a dog. However it is hard beyond belief with a puppy.. some are easier than others I guess though?

PinkPupZ Sun 21-Oct-18 23:08:52

Nightwakings still happen here at 4 months although maybe only 1 x now. Ours sleeps in our room in a crate. It's a good idea having pup in her room.

Studyinghell Sun 21-Oct-18 23:14:50

My male german shep pooed in the house once, in his whole life. Seriously. Was fully toilet trained at 11 weeks. Didn’t bother us in the night. House trained was 8/9 months. But he was left 4/6 hours a most days. He was a chewer. My 12year old ds picks his poo up, but doesn’t walk him alone.
With any dog I wouldn’t let them sleep upstairs all the time, can cause separation issues and protectiveness

inchoccyheaven Sun 21-Oct-18 23:20:53

Lucisky - I don't want the long term commitment of a dog and agree with you that it will be much harder for Dsd to move out with a dog in which case she will just stay at home until she could i guess.
I might fall in love with the dog and it will all be fine and I am trying to convince myself of that as feel bad if its ultimately because of me she doesn't get one.

I like the idea of her getting in practice first but don't know how we would go about finding someone that would let her walk their dog all the time.

OP’s posts: |
ilovepixie Sun 21-Oct-18 23:28:19

My Oh and step daughter wanted a dog. I was always scared of dogs and not a doggy person at all. I said we could get a small one. We have now had pixie for 3 years and she is the best thing I ever did. I love her so much and wouldn't be without her.

FixItUpChappie Sun 21-Oct-18 23:38:51

Perhaps she could compromise on breed and age?

I wouldn't have classified myself as a dog person at all but we recently got an adult greyhound who is already crate trained, content to sleep much of the day and handles a weekday routine of 8 hr work days with morning, lunch, evening walk just fine. Im quite smitten with her, she's a sweetheart. I don't think I would ever get a puppy - I'm relieved she is already largely trained and calm. Even then it's a big change in terms of walking (which has been good for us) and going away will take a lot more fore thought and planning (unless you have a lot of family keen to pet sit).

Wolfiefan Sun 21-Oct-18 23:57:30

Could you volunteer with her? Local rescue or Cinnamon Trust.
You can’t leave a puppy. You certainly can’t leave one for 4 hours.
She can’t be expected to toilet train a pup and be woken overnight. She will be GCSE age.
She says now she will take the dog. But what if she gets a job abroad or wants to be full time at uni?
This is a bad idea.
Get a dog if the adults want a dog. If not? Don’t.

anonymousbird Mon 22-Oct-18 00:08:32

It's simple. Everyone has to want the dog.

Your DD has constructed a compelling case but she has exams in the next few years and then may leave home. Her priorities will change even if she doesn't see it that way now.

Sadly, it sounds brutal, but it's pie in the sky.

Don't do it. I am talking from bitter experience.

inchoccyheaven Mon 22-Oct-18 00:14:37

Will look up local rescue and cinnamon trust thanks Wolfiefan.

She wants to be a police dog handler or work with animals. She isn't very academic so would be unlikely to go to uni but full time work in a few years is hopefully the goal.

Fixitupchappie it could be a possibility that we get an older dog but i think she definitely sees this dog as her life long buddy and is willing to work hard looking after it of that I have no doubt but it does concern me that it will be too much.

What are the positives of having a dog ?

OP’s posts: |
MonicaGellerHyphenBing Mon 22-Oct-18 00:18:02

I agree with other posters, never get a dog for a child unless YOU want a dog and YOU are prepared to look after it because the cost of the dog's upkeep and most of the care (particularly when your DC grows up/leaves home) will fall to YOU. Though I cannot agree that puppies are harder than newborns, compared to my DD my pups were a breeze!

Also, I own Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and they are absolutely brilliant little dogs, couldn't recommend them enough for young families, however you are being unrealistic in expecting to choose a specific week to take one home. This breed comes with some serious health issues so it's imperative that you choose your breeder carefully and unfortunately there are very few truly reputable Cavalier breeders in the UK. As a result you may have to be flexible regarding timeframes, and waiting lists are often long so should you decide to go ahead with a puppy, get researching and get on a list pronto.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in