Author Topic: Puppy and a baby?  (Read 6809 times)

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2879
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Puppy and a baby?
« on: April 07, 2015, 01:05:01 PM »
Hey all,

So I just got word today that one of my mutual friend's neighbors rescued a 4mo old mini schnauzer/terrier pup and I'm very interested. Still trying to get more info on the temperament and what not (don't want too hyper or inclined to loud barking in general). We're also expecting our first in August so I'm wondering if this would be a good idea.

We've never owned a dog before but have dog-sat for up to a couple months at a time and I have had smaller pets growing up (rats, hamsters, amphibians, etc). Always wanted a dog but was never allowed while growing up. Even now my wife says she wouldn't *prefer* it but I think it's more like one of those things where she's "ok without one" and would end up falling in love with it (of course she says "you have to take care of it" so that's understandable). This is sort of how it was with dog-sitting for her cousin - I think she would have been OK with not watching his dog but we just said sure and the both of us loved it. She also got a couple of dogs that her parents have been caring for since she moved out. Part of the reason she says she isn't as inclined to get a new dog is because she feels guilty "abandoning" her other dogs. And she never really took care of them the way she wanted to - her parents forced them outside and tended to overfeed them for the longest time, without really training them well. In either case, after discussing the topic with her many times, she would be OK with it as long as I bear the responsibility of caring for it (walking it, feeding, etc).

According to my friend, the dog (female) is supposedly housebroken; at least, there have been no accidents thus far, and just needs to go to a new home. If that's the case, that would certainly make things a little easier. But my real concern is the potential interaction between the young dog and our newborn once he/she arrives in August. For those of you who have experience, is this something to be greatly concerned about? Would it be better to *not* get the dog? I am being somewhat selfish about this but I've always wanted one and am committed to caring for it. But I know once a child comes, a lot of things change too.

Just trying to get some perspectives as a potential new dog owner and soon-to-be new father.

pagoconcheques

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 190
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2015, 01:28:23 PM »
IMO, I think it makes sense to get a dog AFTER the baby is born and getting around by itself (crawling at least).  Dogs can be territorial, even in subtle ways, and a baby will interrupt the dog's life.  If you get the dog later, the baby will already be part of the scenery.  Since over the long run you will prioritize the baby over the dog, wait on the dog. 

Catbert

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1696
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2015, 01:31:45 PM »
Yeah, I'm with pagpconcheques don't get a dog at this point.  I'd wait until your baby is a toddler at least.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2879
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2015, 01:35:51 PM »
Thanks all, makes sense. I'll probably lean towards no as well based on what my head tells me :)

From what my friend can tell, she seems like a pretty calm puppy. Do females tend to be just as territorial (or territorial at all) compared to males? When we dog-sat for my wife's cousin, his dog (female) didn't seem that way at all. She was quite timid.

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5012
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2015, 01:37:43 PM »
Please do not do this to the dog or the child.  When I volunteered at the local shelter, I spent hours talking to people about dog behavior and very young children.  Even a patient, low key dog will tire of being poked, prodded, and pulled on by a toddler.  The dog's response will be to warn the child to stop in dog body language.  The child likely will not pick up on this and could trigger a warning nip or full scale bite.  That's the way dogs set boundaries with each other.

Even if a toddler is supervised, the problems can still occur.  Toddlers do not have fully developed motor skills and are not fully in control of their bodies.  The wiring is not complete.  They may hear you say "no" and not respond immediately.  Unless you can physically remove the child immediately every time this happens, the risk is there.

A terrier-schnauzer mix is not a dog I would recommend for a young child even if I were to recommend a dog in that situation.  You generally find more nippiness in those breeds and small dogs in general are more self-protective. 

I have seen many perfectly good dogs euthanized for nipping a child.  In most cases, it's the parent's fault, not the dog's.  In your shoes, I would wait until the child was at least 5 or 6 and capable of understanding and responding to the word "no" before I considered adding a dog to the family.

Gin1984

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4730
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2015, 01:41:52 PM »
I'm going to be an outlier.  I grew up with dogs, my mom had a dog when I was born and we got another when I was 4 with no issue.  However, my concern is your lack of experience with dogs plus the large change you will have with a child. 
There are always accidents, especially with a new owner who may not recognize cues from the dog.  If you do this, you and the dog need to go to puppy school.  Also, that kind of dog is more likely to nip than a larger dog. 

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2879
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2015, 01:42:06 PM »
Please do not do this to the dog or the child.  When I volunteered at the local shelter, I spent hours talking to people about dog behavior and very young children.  Even a patient, low key dog will tire of being poked, prodded, and pulled on by a toddler.  The dog's response will be to warn the child to stop in dog body language.  The child likely will not pick up on this and could trigger a warning nip or full scale bite.  That's the way dogs set boundaries with each other.

Even if a toddler is supervised, the problems can still occur.  Toddlers do not have fully developed motor skills and are not fully in control of their bodies.  The wiring is not complete.  They may hear you say "no" and not respond immediately.  Unless you can physically remove the child immediately every time this happens, the risk is there.

A terrier-schnauzer mix is not a dog I would recommend for a young child even if I were to recommend a dog in that situation.  You generally find more nippiness in those breeds and small dogs in general are more self-protective. 

I have seen many perfectly good dogs euthanized for nipping a child.  In most cases, it's the parent's fault, not the dog's.  In your shoes, I would wait until the child was at least 5 or 6 and capable of understanding and responding to the word "no" before I considered adding a dog to the family.

Thanks! I was curious about the temperament of schnauzers/terriers and read that while they generally *can* be good with young children, it may not be best with toddlers, but never saw the nitty-gritty details on why. So that's very enlightening. Based on general consensus, I agree its best to avoid. Especially as a first-time dog-owner. I actually signed up to volunteer with the local shelter down the street, so I guess I'll get my "fix" that way hahaha.

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5012
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2015, 01:45:38 PM »
Volunteering at your local shelter or with a rescue group is a great way to get educated about the various dog species and dog behavior in general.  Just don't bring all of the dogs home with you!

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3518
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2015, 01:49:10 PM »
First, if you're wiling to care for the dog so your wife doesn't (feeding, walking, vet trips, grooming, training, etc), you'll be ok with her.

Second, the dog will need to be well trained to be gentle with the baby.

Third, the baby will need to be well trained to be gentle with the dog.

Fourth, after you've trained the baby, keep the baby separated from the dog except when supervised because the baby will misbehave with the dog. The dog will eventually get fed up, and it's not fair to punish an animal for defending themselves. It is possible to teach very young children how to behave with animals, but it's not perfect.

Of course, I'm a cat person and have no interest in having a dog. You can combine animals and children, even babies, but you need to do things right to prevent problems. Also, if you take that dog, you're committing to it for life. You want to get rid of the dog, then you'll need to get rid of the kid too.

krishnamba

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2015, 01:55:29 PM »
Don't do it. Too much work. You will be exhausted.

Walking dog, change diapers, feed child and burb child every 2 hours.

You will spend more money on both regardless of what your budget is... this is the truth

puppy temperment changes as they hit 6 months and go through their "puberty". Could be angel could be terror.

Since you are already expecting, put all your time and money toward child.

RunHappy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 561
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2015, 02:24:21 PM »
Having a puppy is like having an infant.  When the human infant comes along, they are going to consume all the time and energy.

I was raised around dogs and think they are great for kids.  however I would recommend (even for experienced dog owners), they not get a puppy until their child is about 2 years old.

okits

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8722
  • Location: Canada
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2015, 02:47:15 PM »
From the dog's POV, a four month old puppy is extremely cute and will have lots of options for a suitable home.  Seeing as the dog would be quickly displaced as the "baby" of your family, the fairest thing to the animal would be to let a more ideal home adopt her. 

Bicycle_B

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1825
  • Mustachian-ish in Live Music Capital of the World
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2015, 03:01:09 PM »
Before you get a dog, read more about training them.  There are tons of books on the subject that clue you in to things that most dog owners don't even know.  Being a dog owner and being a good dog owner are totally different. Just because you enjoyed the novelty of someone's trained dog doesn't mean you will have a good experience with your own new dog.

Also, terriers are very energetic.  "Care" doesn't just mean feeding and cleaning; it means providing activity and training so they do not go crazy.  Meanwhile, my friend's mini schnauzer somehow became afraid of small children.  I'd think twice for now.

rocksinmyhead

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Location: Oklahoma
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2015, 03:04:12 PM »
From the dog's POV, a four month old puppy is extremely cute and will have lots of options for a suitable home.  Seeing as the dog would be quickly displaced as the "baby" of your family, the fairest thing to the animal would be to let a more ideal home adopt her.

Great point.

I personally don't have kid/baby experience, but I did get a puppy last year and it is a FUCK TON of work (and both my boyfriend and I are reasonably experienced dog people, and we already had an older dog). You could get lucky and get an easygoing dog with a great personality, but a) I don't think most small dogs are that way, and b) if you get one that's a bit more challenging (um, like mine, LOL) you're gonna have a bad time. She is a year old now and finally chilling out but good god I have spent a lot of time and money training this dog... definitely not something I would have wanted to deal with with a new baby around.

I love your plan to volunteer at a shelter. I would totally wait a couple years and then just do your research about what kind of breed/temperament you want (not saying you have to get a specific breed, ours are both awesome shelter mutts, but you can usually get at least some idea of whether or not a dog will work for your family).

James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2015, 03:08:47 PM »
The correct time to get any pet is when you have come to the decision to get a pet on your own. If you didn't intend to get a dog before this option came up, don't get this dog.


Some people have already decided they would like a certain pet, but just don't get around to it or they wait for something like this to come up. That works out great. But if you weren't intending to get a pet and then the option comes up, it is too easy to talk yourself into the idea. And often that is a bad idea. Not for sure, but how much are you willing to risk? The added stress of having a dog you don't really want along with a new baby could be huge.

But congrats on the coming arrival of the baby!

Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6742
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2015, 03:11:45 PM »
Your wife doesn't want a dog. Skip it until she does. Looking after a new baby will give you lots to do for the next while.

Dog sit as much as you can/want to get your dog fix without committing your family to an animal.

-- Vik

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2879
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2015, 03:13:14 PM »
Before you get a dog, read more about training them.  There are tons of books on the subject that clue you in to things that most dog owners don't even know.  Being a dog owner and being a good dog owner are totally different. Just because you enjoyed the novelty of someone's trained dog doesn't mean you will have a good experience with your own new dog.

Also, terriers are very energetic.  "Care" doesn't just mean feeding and cleaning; it means providing activity and training so they do not go crazy.  Meanwhile, my friend's mini schnauzer somehow became afraid of small children.  I'd think twice for now.


This is very true - Stella (the dog we dog-sat) was a very good and obedient dog. Well-trained. My wife's cousin decided to get her on a whim in college, which we still question since he didn't seem to have much money. But he spent the time to train her well and she turned out to be a very good dog. She did have a minor accident upon arrival but she was just nervous because it was a new place. Fortunately it was dry so it wasn't a big deal. She's a yorkie chihuahua mix, which I would think sounds like a super-high maintenance mix but she ended up being the most low-key dog ever (again, probably had more to do with being very well trained). She would get a little bit whiny when we had her "go home" to our second bathroom and her crate/bed like especially at night time but she was pretty good. We were able to leave her the bathroom all day while at work too; there was just one episode where she got a hold of some loose tissue paper and chewed it up but it was a small mess. Other than that, she was a really good dog and pretty low maintenance. At one point her cousin even asked if we would be willing to take her in permanently and while I was willing, my wife wasn't for it because at the time she was going through some personal issues with her cousin and didn't want to do him any "favors" - it's too bad it didn't work out, I think she would have made an excellent dog.

GizmoTX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1367
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2015, 03:16:25 PM »
Please do not do this to the dog or the child.  When I volunteered at the local shelter, I spent hours talking to people about dog behavior and very young children.  Even a patient, low key dog will tire of being poked, prodded, and pulled on by a toddler.  The dog's response will be to warn the child to stop in dog body language.  The child likely will not pick up on this and could trigger a warning nip or full scale bite.  That's the way dogs set boundaries with each other.

Even if a toddler is supervised, the problems can still occur.  Toddlers do not have fully developed motor skills and are not fully in control of their bodies.  The wiring is not complete.  They may hear you say "no" and not respond immediately.  Unless you can physically remove the child immediately every time this happens, the risk is there.

A terrier-schnauzer mix is not a dog I would recommend for a young child even if I were to recommend a dog in that situation.  You generally find more nippiness in those breeds and small dogs in general are more self-protective. 

I have seen many perfectly good dogs euthanized for nipping a child.  In most cases, it's the parent's fault, not the dog's.  In your shoes, I would wait until the child was at least 5 or 6 and capable of understanding and responding to the word "no" before I considered adding a dog to the family.

1000+

Do yourself a big favor & do not consider any dog until the child is age 6. Even then a parent needs to be the primary caretaker & trainer of the dog. A Shetland Sheepdog is a great breed for families.

Quinny

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2015, 03:43:17 PM »
Sorry, but I'm another don't get a dog (yet).

I work in a vet hospital, love animals and have always had them, and yet we found ourselves without a dog from the time my first born was 1.5 until he was six, second wasn't born and then almost four. Previous dog was and old wonderful 15 year old lab when we had to say goodbye, and we still watched her like a hawk with the first.

About a year ago we got a shelter dog (for ME specifically, no one else, but the kids and hubby love her and the feeling is completely mutual). We started training with her the week after we brought her home, and we still work with that trainer (not twice weekly, as initially, but still a couple of weekends a month). The costs of training were completely unmustachian but a necessity in my mind, in spite of knowing what to do I needed to be held accountable to someone else, and my hubby grew up with outdoor dogs. Someone gets up at 5:20 every morning to run her, we take her out to chase a ball as soon as we get home. We have to arrange dog care if we're going to be gone overnight and I usually have someone check in if hubby is traveling and I have a long day at work.

I think dogs are an important part of a kid's life, and studies have shown that kids who grow up with pets have less allergic disease. But they will do just fine without them until you all are on the same page about whether you should have one, and are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel that is a new baby. It's hard enough, don't make it harder. And then, when you're ready, evaluate your kid, the time you can spend with the dog and decide on a breed, or better yet, pick out a three year old whose personality is debeloped and more testable.

Lookilu

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 110
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2015, 04:36:22 PM »
From the dog's POV, a four month old puppy is extremely cute and will have lots of options for a suitable home.  Seeing as the dog would be quickly displaced as the "baby" of your family, the fairest thing to the animal would be to let a more ideal home adopt her.
+1

Janie

  • Guest
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2015, 04:50:04 PM »
There's a lot of talk about the potential dog's temperament and needs, but less about the baby's! Babies come with all sorts of temperaments too. In addition, parents need to adapt to their new lives, as individuals and as a couple. Things don't always go as you predict. Some people have an easier time than others, but I think it's fair to say that it's not easy even if you luck out with a calm, non-colicky baby. Sleep deprivation is the norm. It can be really demanding for quite a while. I'd advise against.

livetogive

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 235
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2015, 04:53:37 PM »
We have two dogs and if he had fully calculated how much they extended FIRE for us I doubt we would've gotten them. They are insanely expensive.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2879
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2015, 05:15:05 PM »
We have two dogs and if he had fully calculated how much they extended FIRE for us I doubt we would've gotten them. They are insanely expensive.

Sheesh, that's pretty crazy considering they *extended* for you! What is it that you've found that you spent the most on? The vet?

mtnbikes

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 28
Re: Puppy and a baby?
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2015, 07:16:04 AM »
For those of you who have experience, is this something to be greatly concerned about? Would it be better to *not* get the dog? I am being somewhat selfish about this but I've always wanted one and am committed to caring for it. But I know once a child comes, a lot of things change too.

If have been in your shoes...PLEASE WAIT!!! We were expecting our first child too and I wanted a "puppy". After bringing it home it was a nightmare and put a lot of stress on my pregnant wife. We ended up returning it to the breeder a month later, which was difficult emotionally since you get attached. We now have three children and NO pets since we want our focus to be on them and not a pet. Dogs are a lot of work!! Wait until your done having children and they are old enough to help take care of it. TRUST ME IT'S NOT WORTH THE STRESSSSSS!!!!!