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Would it be a bad idea to get a puppy?(35 Posts)
My family (and me!) really want a dog. There are 4 of us, 2 adults, 2 children and 2 cats (who would probably hate a dog!). There is someone home 5 out of 7 days a week so we would need a pet walker 2 days a week.
I would love to rescue a dog but with two nervous cats already I think we need a puppy that the cats could get used to gradually before it becomes bigger than them.
Please talk me out of it (or into it)!
how old are your children? What kind of dog are you thinking of? How much space do you have?
Kids are 4 and 6. 4 bed house, medium sized garden.
I have 2 cats and then got a dog. One of the cats love him and they sleep together often. The other cat on the other hand hates him but just stays out of his way so i wouldn't worry about the cats what you do need to think about however is the breed of dog and I suggest you do a whole lot of research. Some dogs will need to be groomed often, some breed of dogs will take a lot longer then others to toilet train, is your garden big enough for larger breed of dogs, will everyone commit to help walk/feed/play with the dog, can you afford to insure your dog/pay emergency vet bills, depending on breed will you be able to commit to grooming your dog (my dog has to be groomed every 6 weeks) but more than anything make sure the breed you choose is suitable for your family. Dogs are lovely companions and are a wonderful addition to any family but they can be a lot of work at times.
We are looking at low shed poodle crosses so small to medium sized. Insurance and grooming not a problem.
The puppy days are a nightmare. I’m in the midst of them at the moment. He’s cute but a pain in the arse. He bites. He messes in the house and I’m trapped in as he hasn’t had all of his jabs yet, so can’t walk outside beyond the garden (and is too heavy to carry). My cat is pretty laid back and is finding him hard going, so I’d be very wary of introducing a dog of any age to nervous cats.
Puppies are very bitey for weeks/months and can be worse with children (it’s a play thing but it really hurts and can be upsetting). I wouldn’t want to be refereeing that with young children.
What kid of puppy do you have?
I remember the nipping from my mum's dog's puppy days. It bit me right between the nostrils with its needle teeth
Me? A lab. A mouthy breed anyway but all puppies are mouthy.
I had the same dilemma before we got our dog (now 10). We did consider a rescue dog but the rescues we spoke to said they wouldn't place a dog with young children (mine were 8 and 6) and he dog would be alone for sometimes up to 4 hours a day.
So we got a spaniel puppy. The benefits were he felt truly 'ours' from day 1 and he learned to 'fit in' with us and our routines. I took 2 weeks off work when we first got him to settle him in (pupternity leave!). The toilet training wasn't too bad. We crate trained him and he quickly learned not to mess his bed. A bit of chewing, but nothing awful as we took him with is if we went out or kept him crated for short periods of time.
The biggest issues I had were with pulling on the lead and with recall once he got to adolescence, but these are issue you'd be likely to have with a rescue as well.
Puppies are total dickheads (we have a 17-month-old Newfoundland, so we're nearly through the worst), but they turn into lovely animals.
I don't know what poodles are like personality wise, but I think your children are old enough to handle it (unless they're like my 5 year old who never listens and has to be pulled away from the dog regularly).
My advice would be to do lots of breed research.
They really are total dickheads, @GrouchyKiwi.
OP, I suggest you have a read of the puppy support threads on here to get a realistic idea of life with a puppy. If after that you are still on board then crack on!
If you want a guarantee of low-shedding then don't go for a cross - you have no idea what kind of coat a cross will have.
As to whether you should get a puppy - how much time do you have to dedicate to toilet training, classes, walking? What are you going to do if you go on holiday or want to go to the zoo or somewhere else that doesn't allow dogs?
Once fully grown, how much time can you dedicate to walks everyday? Poodle crosses need lots of exercise - at least an hour a day, ideally more as they're originally working dogs. Can you do that everyday, even if you and the DC are ill? Can you get home everyday to feed/walk the dog? What about evenings when DC have parents evenings etc?
I think the biggest mistake people make is not realising how much of your time a young dog takes up. Mine is coming upto two years old and I can still only leave him home alone for a couple of hours. Luckily I have family who will take him if I need to be out all day but it's still not easy and you really have to plan ahead!
A cross breed can’t be guaranteed to be low shed. And poodle crosses will likely come from a puppy farmer.
You can’t leave a puppy all day with just a dog walker popping in. Awful idea.
Some rescues will have dogs that are fine with cats (and kids) look at breed specific rescues as they are more reasonable. Puppies can be hard work (but bloody cute!!)
Puppies are hard work, don’t get one if you’re house or garden proud. Twice I’ve said I’d never get a puppy again and I did! Third time around was not nearly so bad and he has bought so much to mine and dcs lives. We love him to pieces and would never want to be without him!
Why the cross? Poodles are fantastic dogs if you don’t want shedding. We have a mini poodle and he doesn’t shed. A cross means 50% chance it will (depending on what it’s crossed with).
Puppies are hard work and I know ours is very easy going but at around one and a half I’m not happy leaving him for more than 2-3 hours. It’s just not fair on him as he adores us all and loves to be in our company.
Also rescues are often checked tk are how they are with cats. A puppy is crazy and may be more scary to cats than a calmer older dog. I think it really depends on the dog mire than anything.
Look at breed specific rescues maybe?
I'd put your existing pets first. This isn't fair to your cats to get a puppy. Yes people make it work and you might too but you end up with cats who are fearful and scared in their home and they were there and settled first
My advice is to think again
Yes this is how I’m feeling this morning. I’ve read a few pages of the puppy thread too and I’m not sure I can be doing with some of the issues! I’ve only just come out of the very young children years and am starting to get my life back again. I think a full grown dog would suit us much more in a few years time.
You would probably struggle to rescue a dog because you have a four year old. I believe children have to be 8 or 9?
Yes that’s why we started looking at puppies. In some ways now feels like the perfect time as one of us is here most days and we can easily afford doggy day care the other two days. But then I think about having a puppy jumping around and chewing my furniture and it doesn’t feel quite so enticing.
I think we had been caught up in the practicalities of holiday care, doggy day care, fitting in walks, introducing to our cats etc and we had overlooked some of the other things. Our children can’t be relied upon to not leave small toys lying around for example.
We got a puppy when our kids were young. I adore him, but the kids were a bit too young and not great with him.
It’s better now though! But he does chew the toys the kids leave lying around. And my kids were really very young when we got him, which, in hindsight, was stupid of us.
He hasn’t destroyed any furniture, but if I need to be out much I get someone else to look after him. Longest he’s ever alone is about 3 hours and that’s in the kitchen, where his bed is (he can’t roam the house if he’s alone).
I don’t leave the kids alone with him for a second though!
I got a pup when my youngest was 6. It was still bloody hard work. Toilet training, chewing and separation anxiety.
Be aware though that any dog can have issues. Be honest about what you can take on? No animal is perfect. If you do decide an adult rescue is best then a smaller rescue that places dogs in foster will be better. They can tell you just what you could be taking on. Black retriever x and EGLR are two.
We privately rehomed a slightly older puppy who was already toilet trained and past the nippy stage. Still not without problems (nervous wee-er and a bit jumpy), but we love him and he has been a wonderful addition to the family. One thing I did underestimate was what dicks my kids could be (aged 2, 4, and 6) and I totally get why rescues don't rehome to families with young kids. I had also been quite naive in that I thought we could handle any dog as long as it was child friendly, but I see now we would never have coped with a reactive dog pr one that suffers from separation anxiety. Oh and our cat hates him and has moved upstairs permanently. And the garden is a toilet. So, you know, pros and cons.
I hear ya, veruccaSalted. When did your kids stop?!? I lose my s!*t with my kids about the dog more than anything else!
Yep our garden used to be lovely. It’s now a toilet.
i think if you have nervous cats, then a puppy will be a nightmare. You want an older more sedate dogs thats been proven to not chase cats.
That was my main criteria when adopting a rescue dog.
I managed to find a really calm 7 year old dog who has just slotted in perfectly. House trained, great with cats and kids.
My cats would NOT have tolerated a puppy