Post # 1
DH has been bugging me for the last year to get a dog.
His family always had golden retrievers growing up, and not that he has to have a retriever (although it is his favorite breed) he really wants us to get a dog. I grew up with dogs too (my parents are both veterinarians so we always had a zoo at our house!) but I was the one holding out because we were looking at houses and wedding planning.
Now that the wedding is over and we close on our house next week (yeah!) I really don’t have any excuses. Except, we want to start TTC this summer (although I keep pushing that back too!) and I keep thinking we should get used to a baby first before introducing a dog to the mix.
My mom (the vet) said “ideally” she would like us to have a baby first then get a dog because sometimes there can be jealousy on the dog’s part when a baby comes home. However, she said most people have the dog first then bring home the baby (and that’s how it was with me too) and it usually works out fine.
The breeds we are looking at are all very kid-friendly breeds like goldens, labs, spaniels, etc.
Anyone with experience in this area?
Post # 2
I had a dog for 4 years before my DD was born. He doesn’t particularly like children. He seems annoyed by them. He’s not aggressive he just isn’t interested. He was very protective of me during my pregnancy and after my DD was born he became obsessed w her. He sleeps outside her closed bedroom door every night and when she wakes up he stands up and wags his tail waiting for someone to open the door. Its adorable and so surprising due to his history of being aloof w kids! He still doesn’t like other children and when other babies or kids come over he just stays in his crate or on the couch out of the way. If a child approaches he just walks away. When my daughter comes near him he wags his tail, licks her hand and is all over her.
That being said; babies and dogs are both a lot of work and stressful. Once you have a baby you probably won’t want a dog bc you’re so busy and consumed w the baby. I would probably get the dog first and then have the baby since you aren’t planning to TTC for a few weeks/months yet anyway. In my opinion you’d rather have your dog house broken and used to you and your H before adding a baby. If not then you could wait until your kids are a bit bigger (4/5ish) and get a dog then.
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2014 - Smithfield Center
Since you’re considering getting a dog that is kid-friendly, I don’t see any reason why you need to postpone it until after you have a baby. A dog requires attention, of course, but the mandatory things that need to be done with a dog are not so taxing that when the baby comes, they can’t be done. I would get a dog first, that way your dog is used to your environment and you two, and then when the baby is born, you can introduce them. If you stick with kid-friendly breeds, there should be no issues.
Post # 4
Completly from my experience alone, but I have a hard time thinking about getting any future pets now that I have kids.
Before baby, I had LOTS of time to train our dog into the wonderful pup he is today. He adjusted just fine to our daughter. He has been very affectionate to me during both of my pregnancies. He mostly avoids my DD now (She’s 2.5), and does his own thing.
I just cannot fathom being able to properly train a dog with a small child in the mix. We talk about getting another dog in a few years, but I won’t even consider it until the kids are older. I just cannot see how I would have the time to be a mom and responsibly train a new dog.
Also, the breed of dog we perfer (English Setter) tend to have a puppy stage that lasts about 2 years. I don’t think I could handle that rambunctious, mischeviousness with a baby in tow. lol
Post # 5
i vote to get the dog before.
Post # 6
Thanks so far for the insight!
DH says the same thing as what you’re saying – once we have a baby, we won’t (OK, let’s be honest, I) won’t have as much time to properly train a dog because I’ll be consumed with the baby.
I’m a teacher and only have a month of school left so that’s why he’s really pushing for it now. I’ll be home during the day for the summer so he thinks now would be the best time to get a dog.
DH kepts sending me pictures of dogs to my phone. He really knows how to work me.
Post # 7
I say get the dog first. I have no experience with introducing a child to the dog because I don’t have kids yet but I know several people who did and it was totally fine. I say to get the dog first because I really believe it helps prepare you for kids. Obviously kids are a lot harder but it teaches you how to be responsible for another life. Dogs teach you patience, which is crucial for kids. My dog has also helped me adjust to not sleeping in since she wakes up at 7:00/7:30am like clockwork to go outside. She’s also taught me that I can’t just pick up and go anymore. If I plan to be gone for the night or even more than a couple hours I have to make arrangements for her, just like I would if I had a child. She has honestly helped me get one step closer to realizing how much time and effort (and love) goes into having to take care of another life.
Post # 8
SnowInApril: We got the dog first, still waiting til we get married for the baby
Getting the dog too might make you realize you might want to wait for kids- One couple I know got a dog and pushed back their TTC timeline for years lol 🙂
Also second the PP about the puppy stage..I couldnt imagine getting a puppy and having a baby at the same time…I’ve never had a baby but a puppy is a nightmare alone haha
Post # 9
SnowInApril: Sounds like you decided what you want to do!
The only downer I could see with getting a dog and TTC right away is that dogs can be high maintenance the first couple of years. You train them and some mature pretty fast but usually the first one/three years are puppy years. Research breeds and try your best to pick one that is low maintenance, low energy, and anything else you want.
I agree a dog should come before baby but getting a dog and getting baby so close together isn’t always the best plan. Just thought I would throw in my two cents!
Post # 10
My best friend got a Golden first with the intention of getting him really well trained before they had a kid. He had separatinon anxiety so they ended up getting another Golden for company. They put tons and tons of money and time into training these dogs. When they were home by themselves they were very well behaved but no matter what they did they still barked and ran around and sometimes jumped when new people came over. They were definitely much improved after several different types of training both at classes and with a trainer that came to their home, but they still had to be put in another room if children came over because they would get excited and knock the kids down.
Then they had a baby. And the dogs weren’t bad or anything they just were always in the way and wanting to be pet while the baby was nursing or smelling at the baby while she was on the floor or whatever. Especially once the baby started crawling, the dogs were just too much to have in the same room as the baby. So the dogs were banished from the living/dining room with the thought that they could come back when she was old enough to withstand their excitement. Then they got pregnant again. And they realized it would be years before the dogs and kids could really live together. So they had to rehome the dogs. She felt awful about it. But it was absolutely the best deicsion. She really wishes they hadn’t got the dogs in the fist place. They plan on getting a dog when their youngest is about 5 or so and I think that will work much better.
And it’s not just Golden’s or big dogs. Our other friends have the sweetest, best behaved little mutt that’s about 18 lbs. Then they hadf a baby. He did fine with the baby until she started getting more active. Then when she was about a year, she was sitting on the couch and he put his face up beside the couch and she grabbed his ear and he bit her in the face. It just took a few seconds. Parents were right there and she was fine – no scar even. But she’s a baby – she didn’t know any better. And he’s a dog – he was responding to being hurt. So now parents are keeping them apart until she gets a little older.
Personally, after watching these two families, I’m definitely not getting a dog until after hypothetical future child is a little older. Just too much headache!
Post # 11
I say get the dog first! We are getting married in September and our black lab will be turning 2 in August. I don’t have children (yet) but we will likely be TTC within the next year or so. Having never grown up with a puppy or dog, I wasn’t totally prepared for the amount of work training a puppy is! Our pup had the sharpest teeth and nipped our hands and ankle constantly, peed on the floor frequently (they can’t wear diapers!) and got into EVERYTHING. There were a few times I questioned why we did this to ourselves.<br /><br />Thankfully, labs are easy to train so we broke him of those bad habits and he listens really well now. He has spent a lot of time with our niece (who is now 3) and they get along SO well. He is so gentle with her. I have no doubt he will be fine around our future children. I couldn’t imagine going through the puppy training process with a baby or toddler, so I am very happy we got the puppy first!
Post # 12
IzzyBear: I totally agree. I feel like having a dog has made me much more responsible, and given me a little taste of having kids. It’s not the same, obviously, but she needs constant attention and care and is so much more dependent than my cats. it feels like I’ve got a little window into what kids will be like and it’s allowed me to train and test myself to prepare.
Post # 13
I really don’t think it matters. Golden Retrievers are such fantastic easily trained dogs. And you aren’t pregnant yet, so you can really do whatever you want. If you had like 2 months left and wanted a puppy I’d say you definitely need to wait.
Post # 14
A friend of mine had a dog before a baby and to get him used to the idea of a baby she downloaded an app that had a baby crying so that the dog would get used to the different sound and also trained him what rooms not to go into (the baby room) very early on so that it wasn’t an all of a sudden “why can’t I go in there?” when they brought their new baby home it was love at first sniff for the dog, they are best friends!
I have no experience in that area but I would say go a dog first… I really feel like having our dog has prepared us a little better for the responsibility that comes with a child.. plus he gives the best cuddles in the world and is always happy to see me!