Children age for puppy

(18 Posts)
stripes416 Fri 14-Aug-20 11:47:19

Hi we're thinking about getting a puppy (not just yet) we have two young children and just wondered what age is best for the children to be for us to get one ? The oldest is 3 and she loves dogs but we wouldn't get one for at least another year anyway. Just thinking about it all at the moment and wanted to know other peoples experiences really

OP’s posts: |
MissShapesMissStakes Fri 14-Aug-20 17:03:02

We got ours when my kids were 7 and 10. The hardest thing was keeping the floor clear of things (toys) that couldn't be eaten. My pup wasn't a chewer at all. But I did worry that he would think everything was edible.

I got a playpen so that if I needed to do bedtime etc (pup wasn't allowed upstairs until toilet trained) then I could put him somewhere safe without having to make sure all things were picked up.

Also my kids were so looking forward to walking the dog. But the reality was that for the first 6 months walking him wasn't as much fun because he needed to learn how to walk on the lead, not eat all the leaves, recall etc. At times at the start the kids found that he 'spoilt' our usual relaxing walks.

Toilet training means going outside every 20-30 mins or so and then waiting for pup to wee. Which meant I had to leave the kids inside at times while I was in the garden. Not a problem with ages 7 and 10 but with younger kids that could become tricky.

Not to mention the puppy razor teeth, cleaning up accidents on the carpet, not being able to go out much at all ever for the first few months. My pup was actually easy considering how they can be. He wasn't a destroyer and wasn't a big biter either. I can't imagine how we would have managed if he had been!

Saying all that my kids adore him. He's now very much a part of the family and fits in brilliantly. My youngest in particular adores him (more than she does me I think!).

Suzi888 Fri 14-Aug-20 17:09:17

Hi op, there’s a post on here “really struggling with puppy” Id suggest you have a read!😂I have a Labrador and I can’t imagine having had him when my daughter was 3. He got me up for weeks in the middle of the night, needed lots of training and attention and bit/ mouthed/ scratched loads!!!!!! On delicate skin it can leave a nasty mark or even scar. Have you had a dog before? I’d forgotten how much work it is and I was childless at the time. I’d probably wait a bit longer unless you are desperate for a pup and really happy to basically have another child, even if it’s furry!

AlwaysLatte Fri 14-Aug-20 17:18:04

We had a dog when our two were born, but when she died and we actually had a puppy they were 3 and 5.

Alexandernevermind Fri 14-Aug-20 17:19:46

School age is good. Youngest was 4 and just started school when we got our puppy.

wetotter Fri 14-Aug-20 20:39:55

I think minimum is school age, and ideally 7+ for a new puppy

Of course DC are fine with older dogs (happens all the time when you already have the dog when you fall pregnant), but a bitey unpredictable puppy is quite a different prospect, and it's just not fair in the dog

GingerandTilly Fri 14-Aug-20 21:40:30

We’ve just got a puppy and my kids are 6 and 8. I really couldn’t imagine getting a puppy with kids any younger.


stripes416 Fri 14-Aug-20 21:58:42

Thanks everybody, good to hear everybody's experiences

OP’s posts: |
anon444877 Sat 15-Aug-20 13:05:01

I’d say when youngest is school age, pups can be hard to keep safe, need training. If you adopted an older, calmer dog you could do before but even we’ll behaved little ones can get into a dog’s face, pull their tail etc.

My dog was 5 when I had my first dc and a very gentle soul but it was hard at times as often the kids did not want to walk him and I’d have 3 beings trying to go in different directions at the same time!

As much as anything over 5 children can walk further with an active dog, will remember his/her puppy days all their lives. At 4 and 2? They likely won’t remember the dog as a puppy.

vanillandhoney Sat 15-Aug-20 19:30:46

I would say school age, ideally 7 or older.

I don't have children but our niece was seven when we got our pup and that was probably just right. She was old enough to listen and learn how to behave when the puppy was going through his manic teething and chasing phase!

She's 10 now and the puppy is nearly three and they're fine together smile

Paranoidmarvin Sat 15-Aug-20 19:57:53

My son was about nine or ten. It will always stick with me when he said that I loved the puppy more than I loved him as I was spending more time with the puppy.
Broke my heart.

StarSpangled372 Sat 15-Aug-20 20:11:30

My DS was 10 when we got our pup last year. Even at that age it was quite hard on him in the early days. Pup also went through some fear aggression directed at him, a behaviourist sorted it out but if DS hadn’t been old enough to follow her advice then we wouldn’t have been able to resolve it and we would have had to rehome the pup.

I’m also relieved that I don’t have to drag DS out on every walk. He’s fine home alone while I take the dog around the block. He’s also great at coming on the big walks. We’ve done 2 hours every morning this week, out at 7am to avoid the heat and he’s loved it. He wouldn’t have manage it a few years ago.

OwlInAnOakTree Sat 15-Aug-20 21:34:37

My DS is 7 and we've got an 18 week old puppy. I thought 7 would be ok, but I think it would've been better to wait a few more years. I feel like DS is being massively neglected, and he's missing out on a lot this summer, not getting out and about and seeing friends as much as normal, spending a lot of time on his own in the other room to avoid jumpy bitey pup, not getting enough attention or exercise himself... I've found it stressful balancing the needs of both pup and DS and imagine it's even harder the younger DC are.

anon444877 Sun 16-Aug-20 07:33:01

On the other hand, it’s a smallish window for puppy nightmare behaviour with most dogs, so an investment of 6 months to do the potty training, lead and recall training, get through the teething and then they have a friend that is always there for them with devotion for a good chunk of their childhood.

Puppies are a short term menace (as long as you pick the dog well and get the training and exercise right) and presumably everyone wants the dog before you get it so they understand they will get less attention for a while.

StarSpangled372 Sun 16-Aug-20 07:44:57

Don’t forget the adolescent stage though. Just as hard as puppyhood but in different ways.

pupstersdream Sun 16-Aug-20 08:07:26

My dc are teens. It’s been great as they can properly help with puppy care and training. But I wish we’d done it before. It’s been so lovely to have a family interest, they’ve spent loads of time off their phones playing with him. He’s definitely been hard work but fantastic for our family. Not sure what will happen when dc go back to school though!

vanillandhoney Sun 16-Aug-20 08:10:54

Puppies are a short term menace (as long as you pick the dog well and get the training and exercise right) and presumably everyone wants the dog before you get it so they understand they will get less attention for a while.

Hmm I don't think it's always that short term! The first eighteen months to two years with ours had quite a few challenges!

Even if it's only six months - that's a big chunk of a child's life and puppies do require pretty much constant supervision.

anon444877 Sun 16-Aug-20 10:27:38

I must’ve been lucky with my boy, I only remember him being difficult for the first 6 months, after that he just needed near constant company and lots of exercise!

Constant supervision? We crate trained ours on the breeder’s advice and that helped when he was a young dog.

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