Pro- We have puppy experience, we know what we are getting into! We have a fenced in yard, all hardwood floors for speedy clean up as we house train. We have family (again dog experienced) with our baby who will take a puppy at all times when we are at work. So there is no need to leave a puppy for long period of time. Our older children are 7 and 4 and old enough to at least let the dog in/out, etc. They did with our older dog, and were good about it. My sister and her BF live in an apartment attached to our house, and both work part-time, they are around a lot and available to help (and interested they want a puppy but don't have room in the apt).
Con- A puppy and an 8 month old? Yeah... crawling baby and teething, chewy puppy... That's like 10 cons- chewing on each others toys, crawling through puddles of pee, not being able to put the baby down and walk out of the room. Finances- I might be loosing my job and will find out in June if I'm pink-slipped. This won't be the end of the world for us, but will make things tight. DH traveling- my DH travels some for work, typically a couple weeks every couple months, but there is a potential looming trip that would be 6+ months, only home on the weekends, starting in August. We have a relatively small house, that is often cluttered with things that will become chew toys (Barbies, etc.)
DH feels that now is better than later when the baby is a toddler. Really, I don't think I will get him to wait longer than next summer. That will be two years without a dog in the house, and DH is already desperate for a dog and we're only a year into the wait! I know that the burden of this dog will fall on me, realistically. I work part-time, I don't travel for work other than an odd training here and there. He thinks now, with a pre-crawling baby (but remember, she's 7 months and 3 weeks, crawling is coming soon!) would be better than next spring at 18-20 months, when she is a running, rough and tumble toddler.
He has eyes on a pup from an accidentally bred litter of a purebred Golden (mom) and a lab mix. The pups have been raised inside, as a part of the family, with children. The Golden is reportedly exceptionally calm, and the puppies are very laid back (for pups) as well. Even if we don't get one from this litter, a Golden or Lab, either from a reputable, responsible breeder or a shelter/rescue with mostly known parentage, are the top of our list. One of our rescues was a "lab mix" who grew into his looks and really was a pit/chow with aggression issues, so we are a little hesitant on the "lab mixes". Our local Golden rescue won't place in homes with kids under 10, period. So we're out there.
OK, so, talk me down! I'm teetering on the brink of giving in. My DH is just SO desperate for a dog, he's like a little kid! I just want to say yes. Is it really, totally impossible to make this work? Anyone successfully added a puppy with a baby?
C.- WOHM, CPST Instructor, and all around busy Mama to A.- 02/04, I. 01/07,E. 09/10 and
expecting the surprise of our lives Fall 2012!
I think if you are willing and able to do the work (and you already know what it entails, so not some romantic view of what having a puppy with be like) its fine. I got my puppy when my son was 15 months and my daughter was just over three. My only issue was I had planned on waiting til my son was night weaned as I didnt want to have double duty at night, but the pup that fit us became available earlier than I had planned, so I went with it. My DH (who was not into getting another dog) was wonderful and took night duty for the pup so it all worked out:)
Nicole - )0( unschooling mama to Lilah (12/21/05) and Cian (9/21/07) as well as 3 2 , 4 rats, and ducks
you sound pretty realistic of the issues that can come up..you have puppy experience which is huge..
If it were me I would do it!!
Can you establish some rules for the household that would make having a puppy easier? Like for 3 weeks before you get the puppy: all toys are put away if not being played with (protect them from being chewed up), older kids help with dishes (something that will free you up for some puppy task), etc?
I just sooo would not do it, but that's me. I would be way more inclined to do it once the baby was walking. I found that my dogs understood the kids as people in a different way once they were on two feet instead of all fours.
I also have a lab-coated dog and man it is sooo hairy. Make your DH sign some sort of brushing contract and write it on the calendar for certain days each week for eternity or something.
I'm in the same situation as you! We were all set to get our first puppy, I have been around dogs all my life and have a special interest in dog training, and we were both so so excited to get our very first dog to raise. And then I found out I was pregnant, and had to call up the breeder we had a pup on hold for and say no sorry we can't take him anymore.
Anyway for the past two months I've had puppies on my mind again, and we're now thinking about getting a puppy in January, when our baby would be 6 months old. I wouldn't want to get a dog with a younger baby in the house solely for the reason that the baby's going to eat up all my time and I wouldn't have enough to raise and train a puppy. This is our first child however, so I'm a little hesitant to jump the gun on getting a dog. Neither of us really know what we're in for with this whole baby raising thing, and I'm hoping that I don't find out come winter that I have my hands fuller than I thought I would when it's time to bring a 2 month old pup into the house. I wonder if 6 months is the right time to bring a dog in, my concern mainly is having the ability to give enough training time to my puppy.
I agree with you that it would probably be better to get a dog now than during the toddler years, that was our thinking too. We figured that by the time our baby is a toddler, the dog will be grown up and trained, and will be far more tolerant of a toddler who is running around and being a little rougher than they should with the dog! With an older dog I think it would make it ten times easier for us to teach the toddler how to properly interact with the dog. And I'm like you, I just can't wait on getting a puppy for years!
So I think that if you think you will have the time needed to devote to puppyhood and baby, that you can definitely go for it. Have you both had labs/goldens before? Just remember that they are a pretty high energy breed, so if you do get a pup you're going to need to have a lot of time on your hands to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. I really wanted to get a Doberman as our first dog, but we decided that with baby it would be better to get a lower energy dog for our first so that we don't get in over our heads.
just from personal experience with dobies of all ages, they are really high strung, there is a lot of "bad" breeding out there and I am dealing with my own issues with my mother's dobie and my DD...
They tend not to be a breed for someone who doesn't have extensive time to put in with them. They are great dogs, they just need so much...training, exercise, experience etc...
Everyone has different experiences with breeds though so please take it as just a personal anecdote!
Goodluck to both of you though.
I would want to get a puppy too but I would fight that urge as long as I can just remembering how little time I had when DD was small!