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Want to address my concerns about getting a dog to get experienced owners perspective

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by sheneversaidit, Aug 15, 2009.


  1. sheneversaidit

    sheneversaidit PetForums Junior

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    Right I am thinking of getting a dog at some point when I know it is right. My situation is I have a 3 year old child and 2 10 year old cats, husband who works full time and I work part time in the evenings (when husband is home) Would be home with a dog a lot but certainly would want to be able to leave it for several hours as well. Am happy to do puppy classes, grooming etc.

    Here are my major concerns:

    I am worried I will be unable to train the dog as it should be. I had a dog as a teenager that I was totally unable to train and I dont want to repeat that it isnt fair on the dog or me.

    I dont mind occasional barking but I really dont like incessant barking. I also have neighbours who would not appreciate it! Live in a semi.

    How will I go on holiday, if I go somewhere the dog can not come along to?

    How will I do a weekly day out shopping etc?

    What if the dog bites my son?

    What if I cant crack toilet training?

    Basically those are my major worries. If I think of any more I will add to this thread. I would love a dog so much, and I am happy to work for it. I just worry I will be unable to do what needs to be done, mainly with training I guess. I dont want to add hours extra work on to my day every day but am happy to do walks, grooming, play, training etc.

    So... what do you think? How can I know if I can do it well without trying first?
     
  2. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    Well fisrt off, I had a dog as a teenager and I was useless then too!

    Secondly, I would go out and buy some books, and study up on toilet training and basic obedience waaay before getting a dog, from a very young age I was obsessed with dogs and always got books on dogs out the library and when I started getting book tokens I bought dog books. The best ones I would say are Gwen Bailey's The Perfect Puppy, and a book called Everything you need to know about dog training.

    Why don't you go along to local dog classes and see how other people are around their dogs? Do you have any friends with dogs you can help out with, like walking, or anything?

    If socialised properly around children from an early age, a dog will grow up with your con and they will be firm friends, provided you set boundaries- like never letting your son poke or pull the puppy, or ever going in its bed, and always give the puppy a clear way to his bed incase he's had enough.

    Look into dog sitters or kennels, there are many various places and prices, and they will care for your dog when you go on holliday :)

    As long as you get the puppy used to being in a different room to you sometimes, you should have no problem leaving it at home on occasion.

    Also, take advice from people who know about dogs which breeds would be best for a ''first time'' owner with a young child. I am thinking along the lines of golden retreiver, labrador, cavalier king charles spaniel.
    Greyhounds are also great if you were to consider a rescue, most of them are good with children, and you can get ones that are cat safe. An older dog might already be toilet trained/partly trained in other areas too.

    x
     
    #2 PoisonGirl, Aug 15, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
    1 person likes this.
  3. shazalhasa

    shazalhasa PetForums VIP

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    With the concerns that you have I would make sure that you research the breeds that you are interested in. Find out some of the issues that could cause a problem. Consider your child, how would you make sure he behaves well around the dog, so many people buy a dog just because they want one, some even work hard at training the dog, but then forget to train their children too and then incidents happen :eek:hmy:

    For your holidays, some breeders will take the dog in for you depending on circumstances and small fee, other than that, there are plenty of boarding kennels around, just make sure the dog has been vaccinated against kennel cough as well as being upto date on usual jabs.

    I have 4 dogs that are left at home when I do the shopping, I don't do a weekly shop as such, but actually go shopping about 3 times per week with no problems at all. The dogs are all left in the kitchen with a baby gate on the door so they can't get into the main room.

    As long as you teach your son to respect the dog, not to pull at it, not to torment it, not to treat it as a toy and don't leave them unsupervised for any length of time then it really shouldn't be a worry.

    Toilet training can be done in just a couple of weeks if you are constant with it from the start. It's really easy, as long as you stick with it and don't expect the dog to just know what to do.

    I can understand how daunting it can be for someone who's not had a dog of their own before but with the support of a good breeder you should be ok.


    When I had my first dog of my own I had him on a Sunday and on the Monday I had to go out for the day 10am-4pm... not ideal I know but it had to be done. I made sure he was safe in the kitchen, had his bed, his food, water and lots of toys, left the tv on for some company and off I went. There was no mess at all when I got back, he'd peed on his paper but that was it. He was 10 weeks old at the time... such a good boy :)
     
    #3 shazalhasa, Aug 15, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  4. Johnderondon

    Johnderondon PetForums VIP

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    Foster. :)
     
  5. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    With those many concerns I do wonder if you really want a dog. Nothing you are saying is a major concern. I have never heard of anyone failing to house train a puppy yet. Very few dogs bite children and certainly not if the child is under control. Is your child well behaved or does he run riot. If you can train a child you can train a dog, if your child runs circles round you so will your dog. Of course your dog can be left while you go shopping. My dogs have always been left from day 1 for as long (within reason) as I need to. No one wants a barking dog so make sure that doesnt happen by keeping the dog happy and well balanced and building up the time you leave it for.
    It does sound like you might be happier with a rescue dog that is already house trained, used to children and cats and fairly obedient. I am sure they are out there. It might be an idea to choose the breed you want and contact the breed rescue.
    From what you say about your life style there is no reason at all why you shouldnt have a dog, and if you do things right the dog will fit into your family and your life and enhance it.
    But if you are going to worry about it changing things or being a problem then maybe a dog isnt the right pet for you.
     
  6. rona

    rona Guest

    I think, in the long run, you will make an excellent owner but you do need to do some research before you embark on dog ownership.
    For first time owners with children I would always suggest a Golden Retriever or Cavalier.
    One thing to beare in mind is that all puppies will go through a nipping stage that can last several weeks
     
  7. ad_1980

    ad_1980 PetForums VIP

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    yes do your research. The only one thing i can say regarding the children is make sure you teach your child or children how to treat dogs and how to respect them and give them space.

    You read about kids pulling dogs tails and taking their bones when their eating which causes an attack from the dog towards the child.

    If you teach your child how to be around dogs and teach your child that sometimes the dog needs space you shouldn't have a problem.

    Also if you get a puppy its very important to introduce the pup to asmany children as you can to ensure good socialisation
     
  8. Johnderondon

    Johnderondon PetForums VIP

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    Which is just one reason why I would strongly suggest an assesed adult from a reputable recue so the OP can be sure that it will be cat friendly, child friendly, house-trained and matched to her situation and experience.
     
  9. sallyanne

    sallyanne Guest

    This link might be of some use The Kennel Club Safe and Sound Portal
    http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/396


    Children and dogs

    17-Jul-06

    Your children need to be taught that the puppy is not a toy or doll, and should not be disturbed when resting or sleeping, picked up, cuddled, hugged, kissed, carried around, or dressed up, all of which can make it grumpy and snappy.

    Puppy and babyToddlers and young children often unwittingly encourage puppies to chase and play bite them, so you should only let them interact under your supervision. Keep them apart (use a child-gate or playpen) if one or the other is having an exuberant moment, and never leave them alone together.

    However, even older children (and some adults!) can be excitable and inconsistent or over-stimulating the puppy one minute, and then telling it off (and often hitting it) the next. Children (and puppies) are not known for their patience, so both need to be taught how to be gentle with each other. You and your children should not play rough and aggressive games with your puppy as this can encourage aggressive behaviour later on. Do not play fight with each other or taunt the puppy to make it protective or jealous, because this tends to backfire badly later if the dog ever misjudges the situation. Most puppies dislike close face-to-face contact, unless they have instigated it themselves, so keep faces away from the puppy’s, or risk being bitten on the face!

    Never let children ambush or force themselves on the puppy. If they want to play, the puppy should be invited over, but do not let the children force the issue if the puppy does not want to go to them. The children must be made to understand the importance of having ‘quiet time’ with the puppy, and give it space and peace and quiet when it wants it.

    Puppies will often steal, chew and swallow children’s toys and clothes for attention, so teach your children tidy habits, or your puppy will spend its youth at the veterinary practice having things surgically removed from it (or worse, it could die).

    Children have to be 10 years old or over to be legally responsible for a dog outside their homes.

    Teach your children the Doggy Dos and Don’ts

    Dog bite injuries are a problem in all societies, but a high majority of these injuries are preventable with the correct education. Most dog biting incidents happen in the home and many people are simply unaware of the simple measures that can be taken to avoid problems. The language used by dogs is subtle and children are prone to misinterpreting it, which can lead to biting incidents.

    The vocal noises and body postures need to be translated so that children can become conversant in canine behaviour and happily ‘speak dog’. Living with dogs enriches children’s lives. Taking care of a dog is an excellent way of teaching a child to take responsibility, express empathy, get some exercise and to have fun. Dogs can also significantly help to raise their self-esteem.

    It is the responsibility of adults; especially parents and teachers, to make sure that these valuable child/dog relationships are nurtured so that one understands the other.

    Children must learn to ask a dog’s owner permission before petting their dog.

    Remember to check
     
  10. shazalhasa

    shazalhasa PetForums VIP

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    I have taught all of my dogs to allow us to take anything off them, even out of their mouth... whether it be a toy, a peice of stolen laundry or a bone. None of them will bite, in fact when we put our hands near them when they have something in their mouth, most of the time they will just drop it. I feel totally confident putting my hand into their mouths and also let my 11 year old daughter take stuff off them as part of their ongoing training.
    Not to much as a nibble ;)


    -------------------------

    Excellent post Sallyanne :)
     
    #10 shazalhasa, Aug 15, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  11. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    I don't really agree with the above. I think you're doing very well to articulate what concerns you have about the committment in taking on a dog. It can be a bit daunting launching yourself into the world of dog ownership, there is so much to learn, and it really does change your life. Before I got mine, I had the same worries (apart from it biting kids; I don't have any), and there was the anxiety about messing it up and finding myself out of my depth. The practical things like holidays are easy to sort out, dogs can be trained not to bark much particularly if you choose the right breed or type. Cavalier King Charles spaniels are generally reckoned to be the easiest first dog, are too small to knock your son over, don't tend to like the sound of their own voices too much (avoid shelties, spitz breeds, pomeranians - noisy). With a 3-year old you may not be able to get a rescue easily as many won't rehome to families with kids under 5. Choose your dog by its temperament rather than looks.
    I got a nice-natured young rescue collie-cross after 5 months of looking for an easy first dog. I joined a training club so I could learn from others, and found it easy to train my dog despite the worries I'd had.
     
  12. sheneversaidit

    sheneversaidit PetForums Junior

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    thank you everyone for your helpful replies!

    Blitz - of course I want a dog that is why I am here! But I dont get everything I want and I want to make sure it is right for my family and importantly, the dog before I commit! Seems a bit damned if you do damned if you dont, I mean if I got a dog without talking to experienced owners and learning then I could be criticised for that surely but not asking questions about how it all works before I do it. I fully agree on doing all the research possible that is why I asked!

    I have really taken on board everything you have all said. I am by no means decided on anything but I do get the dogsblog emails every day and I have seen two different dogs who both sound VERY suitable - gentle giants. :) One is 2 years another is 4 they are both great with other animals and children. So I think I will enquire about them (not both - one or the other!) and also there is a local dogshow coming up at the end of the month I will go to to meet different breeders & trainers.
     
  13. ad_1980

    ad_1980 PetForums VIP

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    Exactly. If a pup is taught how to behave around children and vice versa then the OP won't have any problems.
     
  14. shazalhasa

    shazalhasa PetForums VIP

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    If you're after a gentle giant, I would thorough recommend a pyrenean mountain dog. I had one at the end of January which I have to admit was really daunting especially with my 3 lhasa's and my daughter (she may be 11 but will always be my baby). At first he was tiny but he was the smallest of the litter and it was only when we got him home that we realized he was a week younger than we originally thought. Like all puppies, he was a bit snap happy... like a bleedin crocodile.... snap snap snap :rolleyes: but I sorted that out in a matter of weeks... too late for my little fluffles though, he wrecked her coat so no more shows for her for a while lol but she loved him like the rest of us, you'd think he was her pup the way she mothered him. Time goes quickly in this house though, he's now 8 months old and 29 inches to the shoulder and weighs 90 lbs :D and such a gentle giant... he goes to dog class down the road and lies down on the floor when little pups come up to him... just so he's the same size as them ;) and as you can see in the photo, despite being 3 times the size of Coco now, he still likes to snuggle up with her.

    Forgot to say, these dogs are known for being excellent with children, they are very gentle and loving with them and would defend them if they needed it.
     

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    #14 shazalhasa, Aug 15, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  15. sheneversaidit

    sheneversaidit PetForums Junior

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    shaza he is beautiful!!! What a gorgeous, lovely dog. :)
     
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