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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thinking of getting a puppy

Hi Everyone!

Its been 5 years this month since my Golden Retriever "Sierra" passed away at the age of 12 from a twisted stomach. We are thinking of getting a puppy again but I am wondering if my 4 year old son is to young to handle the puppy stage? Any advice?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 09:46 AM
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Have you thought about rescuing one from a golden retriever rescue in your area? Puppies are alot of work and go through some stages that just might exhaust you and all the fun you'd been hoping for. I would seriously look into a rescue. All ages are available out there, all waiting for a furever home. I hope you consider it.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 10:18 AM
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I have three daughters, the youngest is 4.
I won't sugar coat it and say that it was a walk in the park from day one with a puppy and a four year old.

BUT, you know your child. If you think your son can understand some basic rules regarding interactions with the puppy, then it is absolutely doable.

I talked to my girls a lot before we got the puppy about how we act (no wrestling, no rough play, no tug, no taking toys or food from puppy, no picking puppy up, etc.) before we brought the puppy home. I printed a list of 10 Puppy Rules on a cute sign and put it up on the fridge.

The biggest issue is that golden puppies nip, bite and chew. On humans as well as things. And little kids have a tendancy to react to that in ways that just excite the puppy more....running away, climbing on furniture to get away from the nipping, screaming, trying to push the puppy away, etc. All of those things get the puppy more wound up. It's a vicious cycle. LOL!

I tought my kids to stick a toy in the dog's mouth and if that didn't work, to turn into a "tree" and not move. And as a last resort call a grown-up for help. Never push the puppy's face away, never run, jump or scream, etc. I still have to remind them. But it gets better all the time.

Also, we used baby gates and sliding doors to keep the puppy confined to the kitchen unless I could actively supervise. Puppies and kids both need their own space.

At this point, 6 months later, it's still a work in progress, but getting better every day as the puppy matures and my daughter continues to learn how to deal with him. This is them now (Katie will be 5 in March and Rocket is 8 months):



So, long story short.....you know your son, you know your own patience levels and how much time you have available. If you can put in the time to supervise and train both your son and the puppy, then go for it. He will have a friend for life!

ETA: Oh, and if you go with a puppy from a breeder, be up front with your breeders and tell them you are looking for a lower-energy pup that will be good with children. (Unless of course you want to do fieldwork or agility). When you go to visit breeders, take note of how the sire/dam behave....are they hyper and spastic, or calm and well-behaved? I wanted to take Rocket's mom home because she just kept planting her butt on my feet and resting her chin on my knee looking up at me for pets. Rocket does the same thing now. He's a total snuggler.

Tina

Last edited by CStrong73; 01-16-2013 at 10:28 AM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 01:00 PM
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I'm sorry for the loss of your first golden, it is very hard. I hope your new search helps with your healing process...

This is terrific advice and good perspective from someone who has recently lived it... I've raised two goldens with young children and it is like adding another child to the mix who you often have to protect the others from. Their exuberance alone can be difficult much less the landshark phase.

I agree, a lot depends on your temperament and your child's personality, I also have 3 daughters who can be very "delicate" and it was challenging - but worth it to me. If you have any doubts, use the search feature at the top of the page and enter the term "puppy won't stop biting my children" or "landshark" and read through some of the threads. It will give you some idea.

However, after saying all that, the puppy phase was worth it to me and I would do it all again in a heartbeat, and in fact, I plan to

Best of luck! It's a fun search


Quote:
Originally Posted by CStrong73 View Post
I have three daughters, the youngest is 4.
I won't sugar coat it and say that it was a walk in the park from day one with a puppy and a four year old.

BUT, you know your child. If you think your son can understand some basic rules regarding interactions with the puppy, then it is absolutely doable.

I talked to my girls a lot before we got the puppy about how we act (no wrestling, no rough play, no tug, no taking toys or food from puppy, no picking puppy up, etc.) before we brought the puppy home. I printed a list of 10 Puppy Rules on a cute sign and put it up on the fridge.

The biggest issue is that golden puppies nip, bite and chew. On humans as well as things. And little kids have a tendancy to react to that in ways that just excite the puppy more....running away, climbing on furniture to get away from the nipping, screaming, trying to push the puppy away, etc. All of those things get the puppy more wound up. It's a vicious cycle. LOL!

I tought my kids to stick a toy in the dog's mouth and if that didn't work, to turn into a "tree" and not move. And as a last resort call a grown-up for help. Never push the puppy's face away, never run, jump or scream, etc. I still have to remind them. But it gets better all the time.

Also, we used baby gates and sliding doors to keep the puppy confined to the kitchen unless I could actively supervise. Puppies and kids both need their own space.

At this point, 6 months later, it's still a work in progress, but getting better every day as the puppy matures and my daughter continues to learn how to deal with him. This is them now (Katie will be 5 in March and Rocket is 8 months):



So, long story short.....you know your son, you know your own patience levels and how much time you have available. If you can put in the time to supervise and train both your son and the puppy, then go for it. He will have a friend for life!

ETA: Oh, and if you go with a puppy from a breeder, be up front with your breeders and tell them you are looking for a lower-energy pup that will be good with children. (Unless of course you want to do fieldwork or agility). When you go to visit breeders, take note of how the sire/dam behave....are they hyper and spastic, or calm and well-behaved? I wanted to take Rocket's mom home because she just kept planting her butt on my feet and resting her chin on my knee looking up at me for pets. Rocket does the same thing now. He's a total snuggler.


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Mack the collie boy


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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We also rescued a lab. He was about 2 at the time and we had him from 1998 until 2009. We had to put him to sleep due to sever arthritis that was no longer manageable with pain medications.His name was bailey.I have done both but am leaning towards getting a puppy.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 01:49 PM
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As much as I love the idea of rescue, and support it wholeheartedly, I chose not to go that route this time, specifically because I had a younger child.

Because my daughter was so young, I wanted a puppy from a breeder where I could see the parents, how they were bred and raised, and have a full knowledge of the background of the puppy we were bringing home.

I didn't want any unknowns when it came to my kids' safety. I know that's no guarantee that the puppy will have the right temperament, but in my mind, it seemed a safer bet than rescue at this point in our life. If it were just my husband and me, I'd be all over the rescue idea.

Tina
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CStrong73 View Post
I didn't want any unknowns when it came to my kids' safety. I know that's no guarantee that the puppy will have the right temperament, but in my mind, it seemed a safer bet than rescue at this point in our life. If it were just my husband and me, I'd be all over the rescue idea.
I always felt this way. But the more I learn, the more I think that if you go through a very good rescue group who has experienced, knowledgeable people spending a lot of time evaluating their dogs and making sure they are placed in the correct home, you probably have no more (and probably less risk) of ending up with the wrong dog for kids than if you go with even a good breeder. Don't get me wrong, I love puppies and think raising one is a lot of fun, but I don't think a good rescue is a risk.


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Mack the collie boy


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 03:46 PM
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Also I would advise to check your child for any allergies before you make the commitment to bring a pup home. Just last week a member had to return a puppy because after just a couple days it turned out her son was severely allergic, even though he could be around older dogs.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CStrong73 View Post
As much as I love the idea of rescue, and support it wholeheartedly, I chose not to go that route this time, specifically because I had a younger child.

Because my daughter was so young, I wanted a puppy from a breeder where I could see the parents, how they were bred and raised, and have a full knowledge of the background of the puppy we were bringing home.

I didn't want any unknowns when it came to my kids' safety. I know that's no guarantee that the puppy will have the right temperament, but in my mind, it seemed a safer bet than rescue at this point in our life. If it were just my husband and me, I'd be all over the rescue idea.
I understand what you're saying Tina but just in case someone finds this thread while wanting to rescue I have to chime in.
Rescue groups go to great lengths to match a rescue dog with the right family. They don't want you to take a dog that could be trouble for your family anymore than you do.

I hear how picky puppy breeders are about the homes the pups go to, it's like that with rescues too. They want to make a match that will work for all involved. I have never, ever regretted a single dog that I've rescued.

It's a personal choice whether to rescue or get a puppy and I support both. I just wanted to be clear on this one point.

Back to our regularly scheduled program
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 08:09 AM
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Welcome, I'm so sorry for your loss of Sierra and Bailey.

I'm in NC also, over on the Coast by E.I.

Best of luck in your puppy search.
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