Getting a dog with a toddler

(9 Posts)
LillyC Tue 28-Jul-20 16:00:24

Dear all,

Now that I'm finally in the process of buying a house (with a little garden) - hope it's 3rd time lucky - I am considering getting a dog. The main reason is I always had dogs in the house while growing up (but I admit I never had to take care of them).
I feel bad at the thought of buying a dog when there are so many dogs that need a home, however, from all the research I've done it will be next to impossible to find a dog which can cope with a 4 year old (as the shelters can't know for sure the dog past history or any triggers). Does anyone have experience with shelter dogs at this age? (We had a cat before my daughter was born but I'm a dog person)

I might have to consider getting a puppy or close to 1 year old without any dramatic experiences. I live in south London, so where can I look for?

P.S I have a small garden, but ok for an emergency wee and the area I'm moving into has tons of parks around. But would prefer small to medium size dog

Thanks a million for your time

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Tue 28-Jul-20 16:10:04

IME (and from comments on MN) getting a rescue dog when you have a young child is really hard. We were rejected outright by several rescues when we had young DC so ended up with a puppy. I can see why with some dogs, who are not used to children, but some rescues won't even rehome puppies to families. Breed-specific rescues may be a better bet - they often foster dogs in supporters' homes so have a better idea of what a dog is like.

Now is a very strange time for puppy buying: prices of many breeds and types have gone through the roof (3k a puppy locally, I heard from a very reliable source this today). With that in mind you might want to wait or spend some time tracking down the sort of breeder who doesn't profiteer (they do exist).

Obviously you need to think what you can provide for a dog - walks, love, training, time. If you work all day every day (I'm assuming you don't!) it's not fair to try and fit a dog in without really careful thought about daycare/walkers etc.

LillyC Tue 28-Jul-20 16:14:42

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman

IME (and from comments on MN) getting a rescue dog when you have a young child is really hard. We were rejected outright by several rescues when we had young DC so ended up with a puppy. I can see why with some dogs, who are not used to children, but some rescues won't even rehome puppies to families. Breed-specific rescues may be a better bet - they often foster dogs in supporters' homes so have a better idea of what a dog is like.

Now is a very strange time for puppy buying: prices of many breeds and types have gone through the roof (3k a puppy locally, I heard from a very reliable source this today). With that in mind you might want to wait or spend some time tracking down the sort of breeder who doesn't profiteer (they do exist).

Obviously you need to think what you can provide for a dog - walks, love, training, time. If you work all day every day (I'm assuming you don't!) it's not fair to try and fit a dog in without really careful thought about daycare/walkers etc.

This is so helpful, thanks! Yes was checking a few rescue breeders as well.

Yeah my husband works from home (even prior to covid) and I'm working at home as well. When I'm back in the office, I will only be back 2 to 3 days per week so we'll need walks as well ourselves. Otherwise I would not consider a dog, they need way more company than for instance a cat.

OP’s posts: |
nicky7654 Tue 28-Jul-20 16:21:36

I rescued a Staffie aged 9 months 3 years ago but apart from the separation anxiety (chewing the house up) she is the model dog and fabulous with children and other dogs. A dumped or abused dog won't necessarily bite. They need time to settle and find their feet and to know they are loved and won't be abused ever again.

Elieza Tue 28-Jul-20 16:30:10

It’s a lot of hassle having a dog and toddler.

You can’t leave a dog and a child alone together for half a minute when you nip out of the room. You need to take one if them with you.

You have to protect the dog from grabbing hands and protect the child from being nipped if it’s too rough.

It’s like having two toddlers apparently grin

DogInATent Tue 28-Jul-20 17:04:40

The rescues tend to reject/discourage people with young families because:
- there's a very long waiting list for dogs proven to be child friendly
- there's a very long waiting list for young dogs and puppies
- there's a perceived liability issue if things go bad
- toddlers need a very forbearing dog (mature, not adolescent)
- mixing a dog with a toddler is not for novice parents or dog owners
- they don't want to be getting dogs back after failed adoptions

I'd give it a couple of years yet until your daughter is a bit older and can understand how to behave around a dog.

I've also got a rescue staffie, she's great with children of all ages. Can be a bit of a grump on the lead with other dogs but we've recently discovered that she's very good with puppies and they bring out her playful side.

RDMummy Tue 28-Jul-20 17:08:09

We rehomed two rescue dogs when DD was nearly five. It took a while as the rehoming centre had to be absolutely sure they were the right match for us. They had come from a home where they had been looked after, so we knew their history, but due to the owner's circumstances they couldn't keep them. It took a few months of waiting but it is possible. I did speak to dogs trust at the time who told me that dogs they get who can live with kids are gone the same day. They have families who visit their centres every day to see new arrivals so those dogs never make it onto their website. We really wanted to re-home a dog if we could (ended up with two as they had to stay together) and I'm so glad we did. They are perfect for us and took no time to settle in. After two years we've had no issues whatsoever with how they behave with DD. We have friends who got a puppy because they didn't think you got dogs like ours in rehoming places. They do exist but you may need to wait to find them.

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Cait73 Tue 28-Jul-20 17:11:42

Give it a couple of weeks you'll be able to "rescue" a bigger puppy impulse bought during lockdown and no longer required 🙈

LillyC Tue 28-Jul-20 17:56:52

@RDMummy that's what me and my husband were just chatting about. Given that we can't just visit centers anymore we'll have to wait.

@Cait73 unfortunately yes I think you are absolutely spot on. Most likely though that will be next year post the xmas madness. Maybe something like March next year could be a better point in time. But I'll keep on doing my research in the hope that the right dog will pop up. Given our house isn't that big I don't think we can manage 2 dogs. But will definitely will want one in our family smile

OP’s posts: |

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