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Looking for someone to tell me if I'm crazy or not :) I have 4 kids aged 8, 6, 4, and 1yo. They all really want a dog, and having grown up with goldens and labs ourselves my husband and I really want one too. Ideally I would wait another 6months to a year for my youngest to be a bit older, but I have a span of 3 months coming up where I will be working minimally. After that, I will be working long hours Monday-Sunday one out of every three weeks. So if we got a puppy soon I would be home almost exclusively for when the puppy is 3-6 months old. After that there would be a nanny home with my two youngest while I am working, so there would always be someone home with the dog, but for those one out of three weeks it would not necessarily be someone invested in training him/her on a daily basis. I also feel like right now we are already up multiple times a night with my youngest, the house is baby-proofed, the baby gates are up on the stairs, we are always at the park, and we have to be home for naptimes throughout the day anyway, so a lot of the puppy care would fit nicely into our routine. But I know puppies are a lot of work.


So....am I crazy? Or does it make sense that this would this be more do-able now than when I am working more?
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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LOL! Yes, you are definitely crazy. :D

That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Doesn't mean you should, either. But I'm wondering where you're going to get a decent Golden puppy "soon."
 

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Kate
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I think you might want to wait until your oldest is 10+ and able to help out a little more with the dog....

Or maybe look into other breeds which would be a little easier and lazier around the house? Even there, would say tread carefully. Not necessarily because of the full house, but the sounds of the schedule you have... and presumably the schedule your kids have.

My sister and her husband adopted a 12 week old St. Bernard from another family who had initially purchased the puppy because their kids wanted a dog and he was very cute. But he was getting really neglected - sat in the crate all the time, was constantly squeaking and barking, had giardia problems... kids were too small to help and parents were too busy working and busing kids around to different sports and other activities. They'd get home and were too tired and irritated having to deal with a puppy who didn't want to be alone and kept having poop accidents all over his crate where he spent most of his life during those 4-5 weeks that he was with them.

This puppy has a very good life right now with my sister's family. He is no longer a puppy - he's a big full grown St. Bernard who wants to lay around the house and be with his people all the time. My sister is a SAHM and my niece especially loves her dog. They are thicker than thieves during the day, every day. They came to visit for a week over Easter and had to leave him behind at a friend's house (because he's too big to fit in the truck) and it was very sweet to see how much a dog person the little girl is - first thing in the morning every morning, she was looking for the dogs and asking for Max (her dog). <= Am saying it's wonderful when you have kids growing up with a dog, but there's so much involved in giving a dog a good life and that needs to be part of the consideration before bringing a dog home.
 

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Kristy
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You would be going back to your busy schedule of work just when the puppy would be getting into the more difficult (typically) phase of life. It would be asking an awful lot of a nanny to somehow be managing a toddler and a puppy. Goldens make fabulous family dogs when someone goes to the effort to invest a lot of time and training into them. Their exercise needs won't easily be met on leash at a park. I think you truly do not realize what kind of crazy you could be by adding a golden puppy to the mix at this point.
 

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A lot of golden puppies are extremely bitey from about 8 weeks-16 weeks when they have needle sharp baby teeth. Combine that with small children and it's going to be tough. Please search the puppy forum for "biting" and read through some of those threads.

Also, golden puppies tend to put everything in their mouth. Everything. They're like tiny furry Hoovers that run around looking for novel ways to kill themselves or need expensive obstruction surgery. The areas where the puppy will be playing need to be puppy proofed and they need to be crated when you're not able to constantly supervise. It usually takes awhile for a puppy to learn to be in the crate during the daytime and settle down without crying. I think mine finally learned to settle in her crate during the day around 4 or 5 months old.
 

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I took an 18 year break without a golden, while raising my 2 daughters (single parent adoption). Some people are born to do what you are doing (my dearest friend has made it work throughout all sorts of time pulls with kids, work, house, elderly parents). She also got up at 3 am to have time for the morning walks and prep. Usually had 2 dogs at different ages.

My girls had several activities, including gymnastics, and out of town meets.
We had no family to help out and I am the sole adult, working full time (nearby with some flexibility).
Even with carpool help, someone else mowing, cleaning house, I felt the kid schedules and their needs would not let me do right by a dog.

I would ask you, do you feel in control now of the household, kids schedules and needs , time for partner relationship? A little time for you?

Bringing in an active puppy that will have to be gated a lot of time with kids that age, is not generally a win win. It is not the same intrusion to a family dynamic as a new baby. As others say, puppy teeth etc, a puppy needs you in a way that does not mesh as well. Fear of unintentional puppy jumping, biting, or kids pulling ears, tails, or giving dangerous toys, foods to puppy - you end up gating, and crating during longer chunks of day.

Walking the pup, you need to bring 4 kids with or someone is home with them.
Pup to vet, no vet wants the 4 little ones with you around other pets.
Nannies and spouses are not always handy.
All the training classes that you and the pup need - big time commitment for class and ongoing training. Much of it without the kids nearby.
Cost - maybe you do not have to watch this, but after the $ for a healthy, good temperament pup, the cost of shots, spay, food, treats, beds (multiple beds if she eats one!), chewed up kid stuff, your stuff, woodwork, phone, cords, (yes she shatter a phone and chewed through several cords), you think it’s babyproofed? A golden can be even sneakier!!!

A nanny should not be asked to take care of a young dog that may not be settled/trustworthy until after age 1 yr.) your kids need her undivided attention.

I brought a pup into my home 1 year ago, my daughters were 17 & 20, and actually able to help so we could minimize crate time. However, they struggled with learning how to get Tessa not to chew on their arms, pull their shirts. It HURT! Tessa saw them as siblings, not as she saw me (I still got some chewing, but stopped it much quicker).
I would not want younger ones to go through that stage. I had a trainer come in and show the girls how to use force free techniques to take control and stop the behaviors. Not magic but they worked through it and even got the boyfriends to reduce the grabbing interactions.

A dog is awesome with a family, but I would wait until youngest is at least 5. Also I would look at all the activities everyone is involved in then - is it even worse? Are you ever home for a 4-5 hour time period? Or coming and going - home 40 minutes and gone again?
That was my schedule that said - get 2 kitties to bring some spontaneous fun and laughter into our home, but wait on the dog.

For me, that was the better decision for all. But for you, only you & partner know. Just be honest when you “picture” the family dynamics over the next 1.5 years of puppy. Maybe that dream needs a short pause.

FYI, my oldest daughter came home at 7 months, to a golden, 13, a min. Schnauzer, 10, 2 aby kitties (5 & 8).
That was fine - as they were all older and I knew personalities. We had a fenced yard if we couldn’t take a walk together.
In fact, Hannah played dollies with my golden, and loved dropping food from the high chair for patiently waiting dogs!

Take care and enjoy your wonderful family. Time flies, and you want to cherish every moment together.
Heather
(My Tessa died at age 1, this past June4th; it was devastating, yet I was so lucky to have this short time with her).
 

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Kristy
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... I felt the kid schedules and their needs would not let me do right by a dog.....

Entire post is excellent explanation, but this is what jumped out at me. Raising a puppy the right way is a major project for the first two years and it's not easy when you have so many conflicting priorities.
 

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I am crazy like you. I have 4 kids and got my first Golden when the youngest was 5. A bit better. The kids all loved her. Brought a Beagle puppy home when I was caring full time for my grandkids who were 2 and 5 months. My current Golden that I have was a pup when my grandkids were 5 & 6. It can be done. I had to teach my grandkids how to interact and deal with a puppy. They need to know proper dog care and what to do if the puppy decides to bite at them as well as training techniques.

It will depend on the dog. My current Golden was a really easy puppy but there were problems and I'm home most of the day to deal with them.

Something to consider you are asking a lot of your nanny. Taking care of 2 young ones and another baby, which would be the puppy. It really depends on how committed you all are. Maybe you could hire a dog walker for once per day and bring your pup a couple days per week to doggy day care.

I'm all for crazy but think hard about what you are going to be committing to.
 

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Hi There,
I have to say that I agree with the responses from the forum, in that the commitment required to raise a puppy is huuuuge! We waited almost 20 years to get a golden puppy as we felt our lives and that of our two daughters were so full with work, travel for work and their after school activities that we would not be able to meet the needs of a pup. Instead, we got two ragdoll kitties while the girls were growing up...they were fun and lovely to have around, but did not need the attention a dog would need..however, they provided the love we so desire from our animals.

Our girls, now are 23 and 18....so we thought this would be the best time to get a golden pup...I have to say, we were so overwhelmed the first 2 months as it was like having a new born and toddler rolled into one...being almost empty nesters, we questioned our decision. Now he is 4.5 months old...funny, loving, obedient (most of the time) and just loves to hang around while my husband and I both work (we both work from home).

I'd recommend to wait until your 1 y/o is a lot more independent and your older ones are old enough to help...walk, feed and train your new family member. Good luck!
 

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In my opinion, you are not ready for a puppy but a new baby. I sense the 5th is coming since your biological clock is ticking:))))
 

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Megora mentioned that you might want to look into another breed of dog since you have such young children and plenty of them...LOL!

When our family, consisting of 3 sons were young, ages newborn, 3 and 9, we brought home a Beagle pup we called Barney. From our experience, we found that Beagles are fabulous with younger children. First of all, they are smaller than a GR thus less likely to cause injuries due to size, especially while still in the late puppy stage where they are so clumsy and excitable. Beagles are tough smaller dogs and plenty of fun for the kids to play with. I have such fond memories of Barney chasing the kids in our fenced in backyard. The boys would run with Barney chasing after them and eventually pulling them down to grass as he grabbed at their britches or knocked them down, only for the boys to get up and start running over and over again. :smile2:

As mentioned by many replies to your inquiry, a Golden Retriever can be very challenging during the first two years, especially during the land shark teeth period in the first couple of months. By nature, GR's are mouthy. Everything does go into the month, including small toys and even more concerning, small pieces of toys that can cause expensive digestive issues.

If it were me, I would defiantly wait on getting another Golden for now. One reply suggested waiting until your older child is at least 10 years old so he/she can be more helpful with the dog and siblings. I think kids and the right kind of dog are such a wonderful part in their development and growth as a person. We enjoyed Barney so much that after he left us at age 16, we got another Beagle we named Bessie. Bessie, like Barney, was a great family dog, too. Bessie lived until she was 12.

It wasn't until our kids were in college and we had entered into the empty nester years that we got our first Golden. We waited 3 years after the boys left home before we got River, our first Golden. I wasn't handling the empty nester years very well. My wife definitely adjusted to those years better than me. I found the best remedy for what I was experiencing was to get a puppy. From the day we brought River home, I had a new child to take care and love... We enjoyed River so much that we called him our 4th son. LOL! River stayed with us for 11 beautiful years as we began entering our retirement years. Sadly, we lost River to cancer this past December 15, 2018. Ouch! That was a tough time, especially for me. River was my dog from day one. He hung on every word I said, or he at least made me think he did. LOL.

After a couple of months, we decided to get another puppy, so we brought home, Brody, an 8 week old GR puppy. We had forgotten how much work having a new puppy in the house can be. It had been 11 years since we last had a puppy in the house. Having a 1 year old in your own home will better help you understand what to expect if you add a puppy to the brood, regardless of the breed. If you get a smaller dog, such as a Beagle, there is still much work involved in housebreaking, training, etc. The primary difference is the size of the dog and temperament in general. Beagles, from our experience with them, do seem to be more laid back, especially during the puppy months.

Sorry for the long response, but your post and family setting brought back many beautiful memories. Keep us posted on what you decide to do. Enjoy every moment because before you know it, these wonder years will pass so quickly. :smile2:
 
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