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Should I get a puppy with a toddler??(21 Posts)
Hi All I"m hoping for some good advice from you experienced dog people. Myself and my partner are mad about dogs and dying to get one but apart from us both having them as children are inexperienced dog owners. We are talking about getting a dog or puppy next summer. Both of us work full time although I do 2 days a week from home and my partner is self employed in a role where he could bring a well trained dog with him to work a lot of the time. Other days we could use the services of family or paid dog walkers to ensure they are not left alone all day.
I have an 8 year old with ASD and I think a dog could be a wonderful companion for him but know he wouldn't react well to an overly hyperactive dog who barks a lot.
We also have a baby who will be nearly 2 next summer. Oh and we also have a cat!
From researching various breeds I love the sound of golden retrievers in terms of their temperament with children and other pets.
I would love a rescue dog ideally but lots of centers seem to stipulate most dogs to go to adult only homes or those with children over 6.
I will be taking a long summer break next year and will have at least 3 weeks at home to help bed in a new pet, go to puppy training etc
So my questions are - Am I mad to get a dog with a toddler? If not am I mad to get a puppy rather than an older dog? Does it sound like our home and family set up would work for dog ownership and if so any particular breeds you think would be happiest with us??
Thanks in advance for any experienced advice you can share with me!
Personally I wouldn't advise getting a puppy with a toddler. Wait until your child is a bit older then consider a rescue dog. The charity I work for will rehome with children aged 5 and over.
We just got a puppy.
It will be like a third baby in terms of need and like a poorly potty trained toddler with sharp teeth in terms of Naughty bitey things you can’t take your eyes off.
I imagine it’ll be a year or two before it would be a good companion for your son if you get a pup
Are there any breed specific rescues that may match you up?
Failed service dogs may be a good idea to look into as well?
It sounds like your set up is great for a dog, but not a puppy.
We have had her several weeks now, and frankly she can’t be alone for more than 10 minutes without crying or trying to destroy the place, and she is not house trained reliably enough to go to work, and her vaccination schedule means she can’t go to daycare or walkers - even if she could she can only walk 20mins or so, so no walker would take her! And she certainly can’t go to any puppy training yet.
Easy answer is no, wait until your youngest is at least 5-6.
There is good reason most rescues won't rehome to young children, dogs are a handful, especially as you've admitted you're inexperienced. If you got a puppy you'd basically have two toddlers to manage, one with much sharper teeth and claws than the other. Puppies can be known as "land sharks" for a reason.
One of the big reasons I see for young dogs being sold on freelistings and being handed into rescue is because of the young child factor, either the dog is too boisterous (and even little ones can bowl over a toddler), the child has developed allergies, is just plain terrified of this barky thing with teeth or the parents simply underestimated the amount of work it can be bringing a pup into the home.
It's great you have three weeks next year, but it can take months for some dogs to settle and a year or two for dogs to be trained. That's bad case scenario as you might also hit jackpot with a dream dog BUT it can go either way!
Dogs are going nowhere, there's no reason to rush into it. Waiting until the kids are older will be fine.
We got a dpuppy when ds was a year old. They are 10 +11 now. No issues at all.
Had 2 dpuppies a year old when another ds was born.
Think difference being I was at home ft when we got first dpuppy - she never chewed and ds had total supervised time with her - harder to do that after work /dc hasn't seen ddog and is all over it - not good imo! And ddogs after her just fit into our crazed routine!
I have a puppy and am shocked at the hard work and commitment.
For example I have flu currently and have still had to take her out half hourly for wees in the cold and rain. In between she's needy and wants constant attention and playing with.
I only work 2 full.days but have already had to pay out for a puppy visit as she cannot be left all day if we are all out.
I did and spent the next decade regretting it. You don't have the time necessary to do a good job on the dog with a toddler. Really you don't. Wait a good while.
Three weeks is nowhere nearly long enough to settle a puppy in.
Some puppies can take months just to house train, that's apart from all the other necessary training, and most of them, are very hard work, as any baby can be.
Where are you thinking of getting this puppy from? Most reputable breeders will not sell you a puppy with such young children in the house, for a very good reason.
So unless you're looking to buy from a puppy farm, a puppy is probably out of the question.
An older dog would be better for your purposes but again, most decent rescues will not rehome to families with small children.
Wait until your children are older.
Whilst a lot of people think about what a having dog will do for them, you also have to consider what you can do for the dog, and at the moment, it doesn't sound like your situation is right for a dog and certainly not for a puppy.
Thanks all, I appreciate the advice and the reality check! I'll have to stop googling puppy pictures and put the canine broodiness on hold for a few years by the sounds of things!
Have a look on the the puppy survival thread, I have a 13 week old pup and I absolutely could not cope if I had a toddler too. DS is a very sensible 10 year old and even he’s struggling with the biting/excitement from the puppy. 3 weeks is also not enough time to settle a puppy in so unless your family is 100% committed to being there when you’re in work then that’s another reason not to.
Sorry to be such a downer but I don’t think I’d do this again if I’d known how hard it was going to be.
Our puppy was so easy compared to how puppies can be. He didn’t chew anything and hardly bit/nipped. Also we live with my parents and so we had plenty of people to help out.
But I still found it very hard work. And still would say absolutely not to getting a puppy with a toddler. My kids were 10 and 7 when we got him.
The 7 year old is on the spectrum. She found it very hard with pup around until he was about 6 months old. We had to change routines to be home for pup if he had been left alone, toys had to stay off the floor (he was an eater, not a chewer), he had to be taken out very regularly for toileting which often disrupted dds games/time with me, she wasn’t happy with the occasional toileting accident inside the house either.
And this is with an ‘easy’ pup. He slept through without noise or mess from the start. How would you cope with weeks of disturbed nights?
My friend recently got a pup and has a 9 year old. The pup is chewing everything, can’t be left without crying, isn’t getting anywhere with toileting, isn’t sleeping all night, is biting loads etc. He is finding it to be incredibly hard.
I honestly would wait. As a pp said - dogs aren’t going anywhere.
We are a work full time family here with some working at home.
It has been bloody hard managing a puppy alongside work and everything else. I think I be broken if I had a toddler as well.
No way. I have a ‘grown up’ dog (now 7, had him from a puppy) and a 2.5 year old DD. He is a wonderful companion and lovely with DD, however it’s hard to give him the decent walk every day that he deserves, especially in this weather. DD hates the pram and only walks for a few minutes before whinging, so our lovely daily 3+ mile walks (and 10+ miles at the weekend!) are now much shorter. He doesn’t mind too much as we are together all the time and he has lots of attention, but this would not have been enough for him as a younger dog.
Plus the puppy phase was seriously hard work. Everything revolved around him for months (toilet training, socialising, walks etc) - it paid off as he is wonderful, but I could not contemplate it with a toddler in tow!
No, no, no and no
As pp have pointed out, rescues don’t re home to families with young children for good reason, not for shits and giggles
Puppies are incredibly hard work, and will have you in tears and the depths of despair at the relentless nipping, chewing, toilet training - all totally normal puppy behaviour but oh so trying. Add in a toddler and a child with ASD and it would be a nightmare
Youngest child should be school age before you think of getting a puppy - and 3 weeks is nothing in settling a pup in, you could multiply that by 4 or 5, or more, depending on the pup and the breed
My son was born when my Springer spaniel was 10. They got on great for the next 30 months before my Springer crossed the rainbow bridge. Then when my son was 5 and my daughter was 2, we had a whippet lab cross. A year later a staffie alsation cross joined us. All 3 dogs were rescue dogs. The staffie X became my son's partner in crime until he went to university. The whippet X was joined to my wife at the hip. If you have the room consider 2 as they will keep each other company. I think a toddler and slightly older rescue dog work well.But the toddler must be trained that they do not harass or pester the dog, and the dog must be trained that it does not nip or growl at the toddler. Then it will work fine. Choose trainable dogs like lab or retriever X s, spaniel X s, alsation X s. Avoid terriers and JRs, shitzu and bishop frizzee or X s are good. Just my advice. I now have 4 dogs
Personally I think your youngest is still on the young side, and I think an older dog is better than a puppy in your situation.
Also, I think you should go to rescues and talk to people and fill out the forms so that if a dog comes in that would suit your home they are aware of you.
Not just for your toddler but also your older ASD child.
Golden retrievers are big bouncy dogs and geverally speaking, incredibly bitey as puppies.
Young healthy retrievers are not the placid doddery things people perceive them to be..
Pretty all puppies are super lively and bouncy and bitey
We have a retriever. Weeks 8 (when we brought her home) to about 18 were like having a toddler. She was always wrecking things, had to go to the toilet every half an hour (with about ten minutes outside usually, so hardly ever in! Definitely get one in about May time). She also barked when separated from me. I work from home and found I got hardly anything done. She's five months now and still could not go to an office, she gets hyped up just passing a person in the street tbh.
Retrievers are good with cats. Totally non aggressive. The cat gets chased occasionally but mostly stands up to the dog and they just sort of get on with it.
They're a wonderful breed.
wait until your child is older. Trust me you would regret it!
We have a Goldie, I waited until my youngest child was 7 and I was very glad I did
Any younger would have been too much for all concerned and while Goldies are generally good family dogs they are big and clumsy and are prone to resource guarding