Which is harder, dogs or kids? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A childless couple that I know, and like very much, just got two dogs and they were talking to me about how hard it is to take care of them, housetraining, etc. They said that it was good preperation for having kids (I totally agree). They then told me that they had heard from lots of people that babies and kids are much easier then dogs and wanted to know if it was true, I resisted the urge to laugh and told them no that was definitely not my experience at all, kids are way harder(I have 2 dogs also). They seemd very surprised and said, "really, everyone else tells us dogs are way harder".
So what do you think, which is harder, dogs or babies?
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#2 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 07:13 PM
 
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How funny -- I was just discussing this on a dog board! We got our dog (Molly) first, and I'm so glad we did because it really is good training for having kids -- you have to consider someone else's needs every single time you make plans, etc.

Also, because we got Molly first, I think that getting her changed our lifestyle more than having our DS did. I know that sounds totally weird, and I'm sure that if we had had DS first and then gotten Molly I'd feel differently, but it's true! Babies aren't mobile for a good 8 months, but dogs start getting into stuff right away. I remember being a total wreck for a couple of weeks after we got Molly -- feeling like I'd become a parent overnight to this reckless, messy, destructive creature with no acclimation period. :

Now that Molly is almost 4, she's very mellow, and now of course I'd say that my DS is "harder" (not that he's difficult, just that he requires more of my time and attention), but the dog was harder to adjust to initially.

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#3 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 07:14 PM
 
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i don't know. They each have their own special challenges and rewards.
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#4 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 07:15 PM
 
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OMG. I hear this a lot from childless people. "Oh but I have pets, it's sort of like kids."

Um, no it's not. Not remotely like having kids. I find that whole line of thinking offensive and a bit disturbing.
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#5 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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First off, I have to say, I haven't posted since my daughter was born (8 months ago!), but I have been lurking around!
But I nearly laughed out loud when I read your post and felt the need to respond.
We have a vizsla, who is almost 6 years old, though people ask me all the time about my "puppy". He is VERY high energy, high spirited, and overly friendly and sometimes protective (of me and the baby) to the point he scares some folks. I do love him, but he does drive me nuts sometimes.
Like I mentioned, my daughter is 8 months old. She is generally a very happy baby. She naps mostly in my arms/in the sling, and I do wait to shower until my husband is home from work.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I am somewhat tired at the end of the day, but our dog definitely causes more stress for me than our daughter. He is harder for me to handle.

wife to T and mama to H & E
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#6 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 07:24 PM
 
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Had to . Seriously there is no comparison. Kids are much, much harder! But rewards are 10x better too.
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#7 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 07:41 PM
 
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Well, I have three dogs (I had two of them long before having kids, and another one who was killed a few years ago; we got a puppy a year and a half ago), and while it was definitely good "training" to have the dogs, and I don't find it offensive when childless people compare having dogs to children, dogs are WAY easier than children overall.

Wrangling dogs and keeping them out of things CAN be harder at times, but really, when you think about the fact that most dogs, most of the time, can be left alone (or crated or kenneled) for at least short periods of time (small children obviously cannot), they are generally only fed once or twice a day, and trained to go out on a fairly regular and predictable schedule, there isn't really a lot of basis for comparison. All dogs have different personalities with varying reactions to stress and loneliness and food issues, but for the most part, as a group, they are far easier than children. And while I wouldn't do it except in the most extreme of cases, if you just can't handle what's going on with a dog, you do have the option of finding it a new home.

So, that's my two cents.

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#8 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 07:41 PM
 
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I don't especially love dogs, so our dogs have been very hard for me simply to *tolerate.* I love my kids though, and find having them around is rewarding enough to balance the stress they create. Usually. So I guess I'm not a good person to ask. But purely in terms of work-load -- kids are harder. Dogs are mobile sooner, but they are also faster to grow up and a lot less trouble after the first year or so. Kids have more pressing needs all they way through. Also, you can put the dog in a crate when you want a break. You can't do that with a child! Or you shouldn't, anyway.
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#9 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 07:47 PM
 
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kids are "harder" but dogs are more of a "inconvienece". I love both my dogs and kids. but there are so many restrictions for dogs, hotels, air travel, parks, city streets, rental cars, stores, etc. they can cost as much as kids, but you can't claim them as a dependant.
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#10 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 07:51 PM
 
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they are the same. I think once the kids get older tehy will be easier...dogs are like toddlers I think (with puppies of course being like babies)

Jami (25) Roland (27) & Caleb (5), Jacob (3.5) , Kaitlyn (2)
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#11 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 07:56 PM
 
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OMG my dog is a huge PITA, dogs are way harder.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#12 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 08:37 PM
 
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OMG ! Never heard that before.

I love dogs and kids (and dogs and kids playing together). But dogs harder than kids : : ?

Let's see, kids need to be nurtured in so many ways--from academic to spiritual. They need years of help to learn patience, responsibility, morality, inner-peace, perseverance and on and on. They need roots plus wings plus tons of life skills: drivers ed., home ec., managing money/the dangers of credit cards, social skills, swimming, biking, recycling etc. Then, there's the whole area of health education--preparing a person to be responsible for their own health, from nutrition to teeth-cleaning to sunscreen to safe sex and omg it's overwhelming . . .

This stuff is way harder, way more consequential, but also way more fulfilling than keeping dogs from chewing stuff up.
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#13 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 08:38 PM
 
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We got our high-energy Siberian Husky, "Nikita", before we had our baby. She was very good training (especially for dh) for having a baby. She maintained her young, playful attitude well into old age. She would still get comments about "the puppy" when she was 15 years old! She died at 16.5,

While she WAS a lot of work, I'd have to say that having a child is more. You can't crate train a child (or, at least, that would be totally against our parenting style). We couldn't put the baby in a "kennel" for the duration of a vacation, or just leave her at home if we were going to be gone for a few hours. The dog had less frequent feeding and NO nursing. She house trained a lot faster than our dd potty trained. She couldn't get into cabinets, couldn't open bottles of cleaner and drink them, showed no interest in putting her "fingers" into electrical sockets, so household safety was less of an issue with the dog.

However, I feel that dogs mature to approximate a 2 to 3 year old child, in emotional terms at least. And that means that, as our dd matures, she has become less trouble than the dog. But it took her many years to get to that point.

So, I guess I'd say that the dog was less trouble than a baby or toddler, or even a young child. But that the dog was more trouble than an older child (in most ways).

(Gee, I miss Nikita! She was such a blessing in our lives.)

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#14 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 08:44 PM
 
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For me, dogs would be harder because I don't care that much for dogs. I wouldn't have the patience required to take care of them. I HATE dogs that continually sniff you in the crotch...it takes every ounce of self-control I have not to kick them away. :

My kids, on the other hand, aren't a cakewalk...but they come from my husband and I. They are our beuatiful children. I can relate to them. They are PEOPLE -- I love and adore them.

So for me -- dogs are harder. But I'm not at all a dog person.
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#15 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 09:35 PM
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Considering that I can kick a dog outside if it's getting on my nerves but I actually have to take care of a baby/toddler....I'm going to go with kids are harder.
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#16 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 09:54 PM
 
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I'm going with dogs being harder and more annoying. I can take my kids anywhere I want to go, on a moment's notice. I don't have to drag them outside in the freezing cold/rain/wind/heat just so they can pee. After a few years, they're even able to get themselves food and water. And IME, they're easier to teach.

I'm not kidding. I think dogs are much more difficult and I know having one would be a much bigger inconvenience than my two kids.

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#17 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 10:21 PM
 
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Oh my gosh this thread cannot be for real. I seriously CANNOT FATHOM that a dog could be harder than a child. You're joking, right? This is blowing my mind. I just can't even wrap my brain around it.

The birth, the nursing, the CONSTANT NONSTOP wakeups, the tantrums, the worries, the fears, the interruptions (mom?mom?mom? hey, um, mom?), the chauffering, the bedtime routines, the bathing, the diapers, the activities, the teaching, the sticky relationship issues, the cost, the cooking, the cleanup, the pre-planning, the plane-rides, the car-trips -- seriously, SERIOUSLY: Easier than a dog? THAN A DOG???? Have you people LOST YOUR MINDS????

OK, maybe I'm just having a hard day with the kids!?!
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#18 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 10:31 PM
 
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Kids are way harder... I don't really get how anyone could think otherwise. Maybe I'm just being obtuse.

After a year or so, a dog knows the house rules and most everything... you don't really have to worry about that too much anymore, other than some behavior problems sometimes.

With a child, it's just constant, ongoing and ever changing. I mean, dogs don't change their entire personality from 1 year to the next... dogs don't require you to constantly change the way you parent... dogs don't require you to have to reinvent all of your rules all of the time.

That said, I had dogs before I had kids and I do feel it's good preparation, AND I do feel it's kind of like having kids.

I think people who find it "offensive" that someone would say that probably consider humans to be superior beings to the other creatures on our wonderful earth.
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#19 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 11:22 PM
 
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I think people who find it "offensive" that someone would say that probably consider humans to be superior beings to the other creatures on our wonderful earth.
Oh -- no, I don't think so. I think its just that the parent:child bond is a much more intense and significant kind of thing than a owner: pet sort of bond. I'm sure that a mother dog and her puppy have something as unique and powerful as a human mama and baby... but a companionship between a dog and a person is not in the same realm as the mother:child relationship.
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#20 of 107 Old 03-23-2007, 11:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sal42 View Post
First off, I have to say, I haven't posted since my daughter was born (8 months ago!), but I have been lurking around!
But I nearly laughed out loud when I read your post and felt the need to respond.
We have a vizsla, who is almost 6 years old, though people ask me all the time about my "puppy". He is VERY high energy, high spirited, and overly friendly and sometimes protective (of me and the baby) to the point he scares some folks. I do love him, but he does drive me nuts sometimes.
Like I mentioned, my daughter is 8 months old. She is generally a very happy baby. She naps mostly in my arms/in the sling, and I do wait to shower until my husband is home from work.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I am somewhat tired at the end of the day, but our dog definitely causes more stress for me than our daughter. He is harder for me to handle.

You mean it doesn't get better? We have an almost 3yo Vizsla and are hoping to soon add a munchkin to the mix. Everyone told us they calm down after about four years! We've been waiting for him to calm down!
Seriously though, as a long-time nanny I can say that adjusting to a puppy was much harder than adjusting to someone else's baby. We'll see how it plays out when it's our baby and a Vizsla!!!

K, H, and baby E (who is now three!!!)
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#21 of 107 Old 03-24-2007, 12:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 2Sweeties1Angel View Post
Considering that I can kick a dog outside if it's getting on my nerves but I actually have to take care of a baby/toddler....I'm going to go with kids are harder.
:

This thread makes me laugh- dogs easier than kids :
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#22 of 107 Old 03-24-2007, 12:14 AM
 
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Honestly - what?!?!?!

I don't have to tend to my dog's emotional maturity; I don't have to worry that my dog is or isn't getting enough sleep; I don't have to manage my dog's social development, I don't have to help her maneuver through her educational experience....

And I have an Australian Kelpie so I know about high maintenance dogs...

Honestly, this thread has to be some kind of a JOKE...

Or maybe it's just a joke for those of us with older kids...

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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#23 of 107 Old 03-24-2007, 12:32 AM
 
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If dogs are so easy, and kids are soooo much harder, why do people get rid of their dogs and not their kids?? lol I think overall...........they are both hard!
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#24 of 107 Old 03-24-2007, 01:07 AM
 
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OMG. I hear this a lot from childless people. "Oh but I have pets, it's sort of like kids."

Um, no it's not. Not remotely like having kids. I find that whole line of thinking offensive and a bit disturbing.
Thank you. I agree entirely. I find it incredibly insulting. I've had dogs and I love dogs. There is no comparison.
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#25 of 107 Old 03-24-2007, 02:25 AM
 
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Had to . Seriously there is no comparison. Kids are much, much harder! But rewards are 10x better too.
I agree entirely.
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#26 of 107 Old 03-24-2007, 10:49 AM
 
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Depends on the dog and kid.

My greyhound is definitely easier. She is content to run around the yard a few times a day, have her food, and then lay on the dog bed most of the day. Of course, she is always up for a walk too. She is awesome with my kids and tolerates more than she should. We adopted her as an adult (at 3 years old) after she had finished racing, so most of the training her (housebreaking, walking on a leash, being around humans, etc.) was already done.

Jill stillheart.gif Chris (7/96), mommy to 3 sweet redheads: jumpers.gif Matthew autismribbon.gif (12/02), Michelle (8/05) and Marissa (1/10). Nursing since 2002.
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#27 of 107 Old 03-24-2007, 03:56 PM
 
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Depends on the dog and kid.
Exactly.


We adopted jojo (lab/collie) when ds was 18months. jojo was a year and we figured it would be an easy transition.

ummm.....:

She (jojo) is a nervous wreck. She needs a doggie shrink. We don't have the $$ . Seriously, people come over (or walking in the street, if she can see them from the window, driving in the car) and she barks like she's going to kill them. We can't leave her with ppl ~ after barking she runs upstairs and hides. Then, when she's really scared she pees and her legs shake.

My son sleeps through the night, but the dog (who MUST be in our bed) will start scratching her collar and wake me up, or the clicky-click of her nails on our hardwood wakes me up.

My son can be left alone to watch TV or play with his toys...my dog must be attached to my freakin hip (shes under the computer desk right now).

If we want to get away for the weekend we can go to a hotel with ds, not our dog ~ and we can't leave her with ppl because of her fears... (example ~ dh is going to a confrence next month for a weekend, my first thought was "great I'll take ds and go visit my mom" ~ but I can't b/c who's going to look after jojo? )

Im not a dog person, dh is so this has been a huge challenge for us. I think it would have been better if we had gotten her before ds came along, it would have made the transistion to parenthood easier, IMO.

As for ppl saying that being a dog owner is similar to parenting... I think the comparison is about the "loss of freedom" that comes with both. Obviously ppl who have pets do not have the SAME responsibilities as parents, but the 'lifestyle change' is similar.
-loss of mobility
-having to put someone/somethings needs ahead of your own
-learning to have patience
-unconditional love

So, every situation is different ~ our dog is nuts and Im sure not the ruler with which to measure most in this situation, but she is a lot more work than ds...seriously.
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#28 of 107 Old 03-24-2007, 04:22 PM
 
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Our jack russell was like a toddler, even when full grown. Very needy, energetic, and mischevious. Of course, human babies grow out of that stage so maybe they are easier
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#29 of 107 Old 03-24-2007, 04:25 PM
 
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osker: You mean it doesn't get better? We have an almost 3yo Vizsla and are hoping to soon add a munchkin to the mix. Everyone told us they calm down after about four years! We've been waiting for him to calm down!


osker, while our vizsla has obviously chilled out over the years, it's only noticable to those of us who have known him since his $50 bill-eating, knocking-down-Christmas-tree- puppy days. after growing up with cocker spaniels i was quite astonished by our dog's energy level. i kept thinking after a year he'll chill out, i started thinking okay, maybe after 2 years. 3 years? i've now come to to accept him for who he is: a dog who knows what he wants and isn't afraid to go out and get it, whether that be a stick of butter on the counter, a good run in the rain, a spot on the bed, or a seat in your lap. if it helps- they are great with babies and kids!

wife to T and mama to H & E
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#30 of 107 Old 03-24-2007, 04:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by saraann View Post
They seemd very surprised and said, "really, everyone else tells us dogs are way harder".

: : : : : :

That is the funniest thing I have heard in a long time.

"There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death." -Isaac Asimov read.gif

 
 
 
 

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