Post # 1
- Wedding: April 2012 - Chateau Briand
DH and I are in the process of moving and are also expecting our first so this is a distant thought, but I would like to get some input.
DH and I currently have no pets. I have always been a cat person but DH is dying for a dog. If we move to a pet-friendly apartment, I’m considering relenting and agreeing to get a Labrador. DH would be fully responsible for caring for the dog (and I know I could trust him to follow through, he’s good like that). I would ideally like to wait until after the baby is born because I figure that way, the dog won’t be territorial as it will see the baby as being there first, but I admit I know nothing about dogs and would like to know if this is logical thinking. In addition, I know DH and I will probably be too exhausted the first few months with a new baby, so I’m curious when is reasonable to plan for getting a dog after baby?
Thanks in advanced for any advice bees!! 🙂
Post # 3
My sister just recently got a French Bulldog puppy when my neice turned 1. I told her it was a terrible idea to have a puppy and baby at the same time, but it has worked out pretty well for them. Baby and puppy are best friends and are so adorable together. I definitely think it helps that she’s a small puppy, so although she has lots of energy, she isn’t so big that she’ll knock my niece over.
I wouldn’t get a dog while you have a newborn, but maybe once you’ve adjusted and developed a routine as parents.
Post # 4
We’ve talked about getting a dog when our LO is about 4 or 5 (he is due in September). We figured a baby would be enough of a life change, and a dog is a lot of work on top of that. Plus, pet fees for apartments are exorbitant where we live, and big dogs need to be walked and play outside. We have two cats, and they are easy.
Post # 5
Lab’s are really good dogs and, if trained correctly, are really fast learners. Would you be getting a puppy? If so, I don’t recommend getting one with a new baby in the house. Puppies require a lot of attention and are a lot of work…to have a baby and a puppy at the same time would be really hard.
Post # 6
Go for it! There is actually quite a bit of evidence that suggests pets (particularly dogs) make babies healthier- see this article in Time.
Labs are wonderful dogs and unlikely to be territorial. My family has always had them and it seems to me that they naturally love babies (Gracie, our current dog, gets excited when she sees kids in strollers and has been known to walk right up and give a big kiss!).
But, puppies are a lot of work! If you are going the puppy route, I would suggest getting one a few months before the baby is born, or waiting until you feel like you have a handle on baby care.
Post # 7
I would adopt an adult dog. Labs are usually friendly and good with kids, but they are also usually high-energy when they are younger. And puppies are a LOT of work…it would basically be like having another baby. By adopting a dog that’s at least a couple years old from a rescue, you can get one that is potty-trained, past the chew-everything-I-can-get-my-teeth-into stage, (which often includes people), is a little more laid back, and has experience with kids.
Also, regardless of the age of the dog you bring home, do a little bit of research on dog body language. I had a friend on Facebook post a picture of her young daughter sitting on their puppy, and the puppy had some major “whale eye” going on…she (and everyone else), thought the picture was sooooooo adorable, but the dog was giving clear signals that it was uncomfortable, and ingoring those signals can lead to biting, (and a dog that bites a kid probably isn’t going to live very long, even if the kid is at fault for the bite). You don’t have to be an expert, but at least familiarize yourself with the “Hey, I am not comfortable” signals. Here’s a good video to start with: Baby Jumps on Rottweiler (Note: it was NOT posted by these people, they took a YouTube video and edited it to show the many signals the dog was giving them that it didn’t like what was happening).
Post # 8
A Labrador puppy in an apartment with an infant when only one person is a self-proclaimed dog person is taking on a lot. Not a recipe for success, even though it could be done.
Post # 9
@shaka: I agree! I wouldn’t recommend getting a dog at all if only one of you is on board. Dogs are a big commitment, and if you take it on, the whole family should.
Post # 10
@shaka: I agree. I have two dogs who were here before my BF, who is a self proclaimed “cat person” (a very strange breed of person IMO). They are most certainly my dogs and they were adults (2 and 7) when my BF and I met, so they are entirely my responsiblity (and not nearly as big of one as a puppy) BUT there are days when I have to work insanely early or when I need to be out of town for a night or I won’t be home for 15 hours and someone needs to care for them in the intern. In cases like this my BF has been very VERY good at stepping in and he has even learned to love them (apparently he told his coworker, who has been looking for a new dog, you HAVE to get a boxer they’re the best! and I’ve heard him say “our” dogs several times now). But if you’re not on board it’s not a good idea. There WILL be a time (probably multiple times) when doggie duty falls on you despite your husband’s best efforts.
But hey, for us “dog people” it’s sooooooo worth it!
Post # 11
I suggest getting a dog when your child is a bit older. Dogs operate with a pack mentality. You want your dog to understand from puppyhood that he is at the bottom of the pack. When you have a baby and get a puppy at the same time it blurs those lines.
Also, when it comes to bite statistics, Labradors actually rank fairly high. If you Google it you will come across a few articles. Don’t get me wrong. Labs are my absolute favorite dog, but it is something to consider.
My grandparents had a black lab while I was growing up. They got him just before I was born. That dog thought it was his purpose in life to keep our family safe and was especially protective of us grandkids. We could pull his ears and crawl all over him, but he would regularly chase the mail man down the street. Ultimately you never know what temperament you’ll get. Labs are phenomenal, but all dogs have quirks.
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2012 - W Hotel Silicon Valley
I agree with posters above, puppies are a lot of work! I would suggest getting a dog several months before the baby is due or after the baby has grown up a bit.
Post # 13
@shaka: A Labrador puppy in an apartment with an infant when only one person is a self-proclaimed dog person is taking on a lot. Not a recipe for success, even though it could be done.
Whoa! I missed the line where the OP said the dog would be fully her husband’s responsibility. Being involved in animal rescue, I believe that BOTH adults need to be fully on board and involved in the care/training before bringing a furry family member int the home.
OP, if you aren’t on board and willing to be part of the dog’s care and training, then I think you need to rethink getting a dog.
Post # 14
I would wait. My husband got a dog about a month before we started dating, so unfortunately I didn’t have much of a choice and currently have a dog and a newborn – and I’m talking an adult dog, not a puppy. I know some PPs think getting an adult dog would be a good solution, but I disagree. Having a dog and a newborn is REALLY hard, and I don’t recommend it if you have the option. The baby wakes up 3 or 4 times at night. His crying wakes the dog up, then when I finally get the baby back to sleep, the dog is whiny and scratching at his crate because he hears us up and wants out, and that wakes the baby up again. He’s constantly wanting to mark is territory on all of the new baby stuff, and taking care of a dog and a baby while my husband is at work and I’m recovering from surgery (needed an emergency C-section) is a huge PITA – the dog is not going to be fully your husband’s responsibility despite what the two of you may think, it’s just not going to be logistically possible – especially with a baby. I know that for some people it works out just fine, but personally it’s not a risk I’d take if I had the option to wait until after the baby to get a dog.
Post # 15
- Wedding: April 2012 - Chateau Briand
Thank you everyone for all the great advice! I hadn’t even contemplated the difference between getting a puppy versus an older dog so that’s definitely something to consider.
I do understand I will have to step in to help and I’m sure his mom would also help as she will be helping with the baby and she also loves dogs. I just mean the majority of the responsibility will be on DH when it comes to the dog.
I was thinking depending on how quickly we can get acclimated to the new baby, would say 9 months after baby to a year be feasible?
Post # 16
@Wonderstruck: You bring up some valid points to consider, however, it sounds like your dog has some other issues that an average dog might not have. For example, my dog is often awoken in the middle of the night…he just goes back to sleep until it’s time to get up in the morning. A normal dog should also not be marking in the house.