Post # 17
@Miss Apricot: That’s true, unfortunately I wasn’t around when the dog was a puppy and would’ve been easiest to train, and frankly my Darling Husband has very different expectations than I do as far as what is normal goes for a dog’s behavior. The dog is a doxie, which is all they had growing up and his parents always comment on how territory marking, jumping, etc., is just normal behavior for the breed. Major eye roll on that from me, I know it’s not true but despite some different classes and trainers I’m having a tough time breaking habits that are already ingrained in him. And since OP has said the dog is going to be her husband’s responsibility and not hers (which I’m really not sure is a realistic POV) she may wind up in the same situation depending on how well he trains the dog.
Post # 18
I am going to go against the grain here. I have been a shelter adoptions counselor for about a decade now. I have seen A LOT.
I would advise on NOT getting a dog.
1) You said he would be responsible for the caretaking. REALITY – in my experience, dogs that get returned come from households where not all the adults wanted the dog or wanted to care for the dog equally. This is especially true when the MOM doesn’t want to be the main caretaker of the dog. Caretaking usually falls on MOM especially if MOM is a Stay-At-Home Mom. I can predict with great accuracy those families that will get rid of the dog.
2) Babies and new dogs are not an ideal mix. Sure we see all the commercials and think it’s a match made in heaven, but so many things can go wrong. Fingers in the eye, tail pulling, not enough time/love to make it to the dog that gets neglected.
3) If you do get a puppy, I would not get a puppy unless your child is like 6 years old or older. You’ll be training your child along with the dog so your child needs to be old enough to learn the rules. Children need to be supervised at all times when with a dog.
4) Get a dog who is an adult when your child is six or older, you already know its energy level, exercise requirements, size, temperament and hopefully it came from a foster home where it already lived with children. That is the best way to go.
Post # 19
@shaka: @Miss Apricot: Ditto! I really don’t think this is wise!
Post # 20
You both need to be on board with having a dog. You can’t assume that he will be the majority care giver and you Mother-In-Law will help out. Depending on the dog, you are making a 10-18 year commitment.
I would prefer to have a dog from a puppy, so I knew the training it had and what behaviours it knows are expected. If you’re going to get a puppy, you child should be old enough to understand they can’t pull ears/tail, poke the dog, take away food or toys. And if your husband really wants a labrador, please wait until you move to a house with a yard. If you are going to be apartment living for some years to come, you should rethink your breed choice.
Post # 21
We currently have two big dogs (a German Shepherd and a lab), and we’ve raised them both from puppies. It’s a LOT of work. We don’t have children yet, but I can only imagine (especially in talking to my friends who’ve had babies) that it would be overwhelming to take on both around the same time. Our dogs are 3 and 4 years old, and it’s taken a lot of time and training and attention to get them to the point where they’re good, dependable, well-trained dogs. They both have naturally good temperaments, but any dog requires a lot of energy, time, love, and training — so much more than I ever imagined prior to owning dogs! I agree with what some PP’s have said about waiting until your child is old enough to learn about and help care for the dog. When you do get a dog, there are a lot of great rescues that have both puppies and sweet adult dogs who need love and a good home, so you will have a lot of wonderful dogs to choose from. Best of luck to you, and congrats on the little one on the way!
Post # 22
@pixiecat: I would prefer to have a dog from a puppy, so I knew the training it had and what behaviours it knows are expected.
Getting an adult dog doesn’t automatically mean you don’t know these things. I have been a foster mom to many adult dogs, and although I couldn’t always tell you what the dog had been through prior to entering rescue, I could tell a potential adoptive family about his/her personality and training level. My mom does in-home daycare, so the dogs had been around children and I could tell an adopter if they were comfortable with kids or not, (most were, but one, while not aggressive, was timid around children and was placed in a home without kids because of that).
There are also dogs who are in rescue merely because their owner had allergies, or lost their home. They were much-loved family dogs, their history and training, etc. was known, their family just could not keep them.
If you want a puppy, that’s okay, too. It can be harder to adopt a puppy from a rescue or buy one from a responsible breeder if you have a baby, but it’s not impossible. Puppies are a LOT of work, and I personally wouldn’t want to deal with a puppy AND a baby, but if someone wanted to, (and was committed to it, so puppy didn’t get dumped at a shelter when it was “too hard” to deal with), there is certainly nothing wrong with it. But please don’t spread the myth that adopting adult dogs is a crapshoot.
Post # 23
@Miss Apricot: I’m not spreading anything. I stated my opinion, which for me is that raising a dog from puppyhood and being responsible for it’s training is an important part of the dog ownership process. Sorry if it came off differently.
Post # 24
My H and I currently have a 12 week old black lab. We got him at 7 weeks. While I am head over heels for this pup, these past 5 weeks have been pretty rough. You have to keep a constant eye on him. Labs are notorious for being chewers so with their sharp puppy teeth it can be painful. at 8 weeks a puppy’s bladder can hold up for a max of 4 hours, so during the first few weeks (and sometimes now) we were waking up every 2 hours to let him out so he wouldn’t go in his kennel. thankfully my sister comes over the days we work to let him out because he can’t be left alone all day.
I couldn’t imagine having an infant on top of this dog. We are planning on TTC later this year and it will be nice to have one potty trained baby, instead of dealing with both at the same time!
Post # 25
Oh, also! The dog is supposed to be my H’s dog – and yeah, it doesn’t work out that way lol. I take care of him equally if not more due to our work schedules!
Post # 26
Well if you are already preparing for a baby, it might be a good idea to wait. I admit I do not have any kids, but that would a lot of changes at once.
I do have a dog, and I’m actually excited about having dog and baby meet. There are a lot of resources online to help you prepare. I think the key point is to make it clear to your dog that life with baby is better than life without, in order to minimize jealousy (from what i’ve read).
Post # 27
- Wedding: April 2012 - Chateau Briand
Thank you again ladies for the great advice! Seems we’re better off waiting at least a good two years or so… from the feeback i’ve gotten, i definitely think we would consider an older dog. Darling Husband says he can train a dog, but again as I’ve never had one, i don’t think I would want to take the risk. Maybe little by little I’ll open up to the idea of being equal caretakers 🙂
thanks again hive, you’re the best!