Family pets

Lauren - posted on 11/23/2008 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Hi all.

I have three kids aged 13, 9, and 18 mo. We're thinking about getting a dog. We haven't had a dog in years. I know it's a big commitment and responsibility and that scares me a bit. I feel like I'm up to my ears with responsibility right now but then again, as a child I always had a dog and have such great memories. I want that for my kids. It's been 7 years since I've had a dog.



My husband is pretty stuck on a golden retriever or a lab. Any thoughts? Anything to help me to narrow my choices? What do I need to be prepared?



Thanks in advance!

Lauren

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30 Comments

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Di - posted on 12/18/2011

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Personally I love having a dog and it's great for the kids but here are some things to consider:
How much room do you have? Big dogs need lots of room, lots of walks and someone to clean up after them.
Can you afford it? Vet bills, food bills. dog sitters or kennels can all add up.
Do you have time? The kids will be keen to help- at first- and training takes time- lots of time.
Are you committed to seeing this through? Your dog will (hopefully) be with you for at least 10 years.
Hope this helps! Best wishes.

Karen - posted on 11/30/2008

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So you dont get stuck being the only one responsible for the dog, have your 2 older children make a list of all the things that dogs nees to be taken care of. Then have them choose the things from that list that they will be responsible for like making sure it has food and water, being brushed, and going for walks. You'll be suprised at how they will want to take care of something they love so much.

Sondra - posted on 11/30/2008

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This is great; I think every family needs a dog!

I would recommend that you do a thorough investigation into the breeds you are look at; a dog is a lifetime commitment and understanding your dogs breed might make training and bonding easier for you and your family.

You might be surprised to hear that Pit bulls have an average good citizenship score that beats the Golden Retriever and both score higher than the lab. I am a big advocate of the Staffordshire terrier nicknamed "The Nanny Dog" in England because they are excellent with children. I have one (that I rescued years ago before my daughter was born), and she is amazing with kids and has a desire to please the family that I have never experienced with any other breed.

Here is a great Article about Selecting the Right Pet for Your Family and Making the Introduction: http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/select...

There is a ton of great articles there to help you make a good decision for your family. Good Luck!!

Nicole - posted on 11/30/2008

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Ever think of an older dog? You know what you are getting and you skip the puppy stage which seems to be very involved.

April - posted on 11/30/2008

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Labs or retrievers are supposed to be the best with kids but they are big dogs too. We had a jack russel/rat terrier mix and a beagle before we had kids. We had to find a new home for the jack/rat because she would snap at the kids for just looking at her. The beagle we still have he is great with the kids. My husband and I both want another but with both of us working and going to school we don't have the time to house train a dog. Good luck!

Lauren - posted on 11/29/2008

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Well, we got Trooper yesterday. He's the choc. lab mix. Super cutie. All is going well. I'm pooped but it's going well. Thanks for all your help everyone!

Wendy - posted on 11/24/2008

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They both have very stable tempermants but they are both VERY active, rough and tumble puppies...and they have long "puppyhoods"...some don't start to calm down until 2 or 3 years old. Both breeds have to go to puppy classes...they are way too smart to be left bored and understimulated. Teething puppies chew on everything, toys, kids, your furniture, your walls. You should look into dogs that have "flunked" out of Seeing Eye Dog school...they'll be older and already trained...all dogs will bond with you...it's just instant with puppies because they depend on you for survival.

Carrie - posted on 11/24/2008

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that puppy is adorable! i hope you find just the right dog for your family :)

Laura - posted on 11/24/2008

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awsome, he looks just like our baby did when we got him. I know you love him, good luck.

Lauren - posted on 11/24/2008

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I'm really for getting a puppy even though I know how much work they are. Because of my 18 mo. old, I'd worry about getting a bigger, older dog that I don't know much about. Of course, they wouldn't be unsupervised in play but as well meaning as the the rescue places are, they don't ALWAYS get information about the animal's history.

We've already been looking at Petfinder.com and have put out a couple of applications. We have to wait to do anything until after Thanksgiving because we'll be out of town. But I will update on what we get, when we get it. :)

Thanks again.

Stacy - posted on 11/23/2008

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I agree with the kennel, or crate, training whatever kind of dog you get. We bought our Jack Russell (I know not exactly known for family-friendliness) when I was 6 months prego with my first. We crate trained him and he actually prefers the crate when we are gone or sleeping . . . a safe place, I suppose. He actually has turned out to be one of the best dogs I've ever had (minus my Mastiff that I lost a few years ago) but I wouldn't recommend the breed necessarily.

I also agree to check out local rescues . . . petfinder.com is a great resource for that! Most rescues and shelters are very upfront about what a dog needs and can/can't handle . . . their interest is in placing the dog with the right family as well. I worked at a Humane Society for a year (about 4 years ago) and we listed our dogs on petfinder.com.

Good luck finding the right one! Let us know what dog you end up getting!

Lauren - posted on 11/23/2008

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i have to agree with your husband... i for once have a golden retriever. i have home daycare out of my home and all the children loves her and the dog loves them.

Amy - posted on 11/23/2008

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I have a yellow lab and she's great! Incredible with my 3 month old son! We also have 5 cats and 2 rats. All love my son so much!

To get prepared:
When I adopted Astra (My yellow lab) as a puppy, I had a crate for her to sleep and nap in. Bowls with a holder to keep them off the ground (which aids in digestion for the dog). A Kong (a hard rubber toy that is definitely not easily destroyed), which you can put peanut butter or other treats in. A bed of soft blankets for the crate. (I wouldn't advise a stuffed dog bed as puppies chew) A thick collar as labs are very strong and a strong leash as well.

Pooper scoopers are always handy as well.

Rhonda - posted on 11/23/2008

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Labs are very loyal & protective, especially of children & they have excellent temperments when being loved on by toddlers. Golden retrievers are said to be better with older children & have been reported of biting small children at certain stages of developement.

Trish - posted on 11/23/2008

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his idea is great.. they are excellent with kids.. get it as a puppy though.. and make sure where you get it from it has been around kids already... we had a lab.. and my little guy could lay on him all he wanted to.. not to mention the other kids... it was nice to go up and just hug the dog.. and the dog just lay there...

Whitney - posted on 11/23/2008

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Both are EXTREMELY hyper and require lots of exercise. I am a dog person and have had dogs my entire life, but labs are too much for me to handle. Australian shepherds and border collies are very family friendly and while they require exercise they are smarter and more laid back than the other breeds. I have heard standard poodles are awesome with kids too.

Teena - posted on 11/23/2008

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I have to agree with your husband.. We have a choc lab and she is amazing.. I have a 2 year old and a 5 month old and she is just so loving and gentle with them.. The 2 year is constantly sitting on her back, pulling her tail and ears on times and just all the time i say bugging her but the dog never ever does anything mean to her.. She just lays there and when she has had enough she just gets up and walks away.. The dog loves the baby also, she is always going over to the baby and we call it kissing her.... So so gentle... And protective as well.. I just love her....

Miriam - posted on 11/23/2008

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The tip about kennelling your dog when away is a good idea. We began kennel training our puppy from day one. Whatever breed you choose, I would get a good book on training and kennel training and find an obedience class that you can do with your kids!

Jennifer - posted on 11/23/2008

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I'm partial to golden retriever's - they are the most loyal and loving dogs! We have 3 golden retrievers - all female. They are so good with children! Also, all they want to do is please! But, the hair is something you have to be ready to deal with...we have hardwood floors and vacuum almost everyday! But, I am willing to deal with it for the wonderful loving and loyal dog I get in return! It is really a small price to pay!

Ginger - posted on 11/23/2008

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I ahve two kis 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 and we have a yellow lab who is now 5.. we got hem at 9 months so we didnt have to go through the baby stage with him.. labs love to swim and chew.. one thing that I would recomend is getting a kennel(for a lab) for when you are out of the house.. my dog gets lonely when we are gone, he has chewed trim right off the wall(before we started kenneling him when we left the house).. my kids can do anything to him pull his ears, tail, sit on him and he never does anything.. they are exelent with kids!!!!!

Stacey - posted on 11/23/2008

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When my daughter was born, our Lab was only a year old, but he has been the best dog ever! She can do whatever she wants to him and he takes it. He is very gentle with her and just loves to be near her. Just from experience, I would recommend a bigger dog because smaller dogs seem to have jealousy issues. We also have a bichon shitzu who is very jealous of our baby.

Laura - posted on 11/23/2008

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I'm with the mom who recommends a mixed breed. I can't see paying hundreds for a dog when animal shelters are full of wonderful pets who need homes. My two mixed breed dogs are the gentlest and sweetest dogs. Maybe your husband would accept a lab mix?

Miriam - posted on 11/23/2008

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We have two goldens, one is twelve and the other almost two. We got the puppy just before we found out I was pregnant with our son who just turned one. You will never find a dog more loyal than a golden. The older dog we got when she was already two years old which was great because she was already well trained. She came from a breeder who had used her as a show dog, so her manners were second to none. I would suggest an older dog so you can skip all the puppy stress...believe me...I am never getting another puppy again...it was altogether too much work (I was also tired and pregnant at the time but still will never do it again). If you go to a shelter you can spend some time with the dog there before you bring it home and usually they have a policy that you can bring the animal back within a few days if it really doesn't work out. My suggestion...older dog if you can see how they have been trained first...the saying is true...you can't teach an old dog new tricks!

Carrie - posted on 11/23/2008

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I highly recommend a mixed breed dog. You get such a deal financially, and they don't have the genetic medical problems that a lot of "pure" breed dogs do. We got our dog (lab/golden mix) on petfinder.com and it was a great experience. You just type in your zip code, and what type of dog you're looking for, and it will give you all the pics and details of adoptable dogs in your area. So, not only do you get a great pet, but you're rescuing an animal in need. :)



http://petfinder.com/

Joie - posted on 11/23/2008

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Here's what I know....I have an 8, 4 and 2 year old. We got a dog about 5 mos ago. I am with you as far as wanting the great memories for the kids and all of that but it is a HUGE responsibility. If you get a puppy you have to get up every few hours to let them outside to go potty. You also have to teach them everything....don't chew on the woodwork, or the furniture or the toys, etc. And of course if anything like that happens, Mom will probably be the one in trouble (&of course the dog). You know what I mean. Your 2 older kids should be able to help out but it is a BIG time commitment also. I don't want to sound so negative on it, but I feel like I had another baby! And we were actually going to plan on getting pregnant this winter, but now, there is no way. I think if I could have done things differently, I would have went to a shelter and picked out a little bit older dog, I mean maybe a couple of years old, that has already been potty trained and knows some commands. Hope that helps! :)

Laura - posted on 11/23/2008

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One other thing, labs are also very smart, it was easier to potty train him than it was my son. They are a big resonsiblity especally when you are going on vacation, but in my opinion they are very worth it. A great memory and lesson in responsiblilty for you children.

Laura - posted on 11/23/2008

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Labs are the best dogs!! we got our chocolate lab 6 mo before my son was born and they've grown up together. He has been so gentle with my son no matter what he does to him. I suggest getting a puppy so it can grow up knowing only your family. We love duke so much he is like part of our family, and my 2 1/2 year old love to fill his dog dish and play with him out side.

Jennifer - posted on 11/23/2008

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puppies are the most work to get potty trainned, go through the teething, and treach boundries. puppy class maybe with your older kids so they can help as much as possible.

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