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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am a new member. I need help to make a difficult decision.
i am currently 5 months pregnant and have a 10 month old golden retriever names Brixley. He is fully house trained. He is a good pup. However, he can get overly excited when we have people over or when we go to my in laws house. He knows different commands such as, sit, lay down, stay, and paw.
He enjoyed going to daycare when we could afford it. However now, we really do not have a financial stability and with a baby coming we absolutely do not.
But now, I’m struggling with allowing myself to give him too much attention since we are expecting. I want to keep my focus and priority on my baby.
I’ve been trying to be consistent on getting Brixley (dog) ready for a baby. (Im due in March) however my husband and I are unable to see eye to eye on training brixley.
I am more stern and my husband is more lenient.
Brixley can also be very mouthy and tries to bite playfully (this is how puppies play with each other) which I am not comfortable with, knowing that we are going to have a newborn in the house soon. I’ve been working on him to stop being so mouthy. He does well with me and behaves with me.
But it’s a different story when it comes to my husband and his parents. His parents allowing him to mouthy, their excuse is that he is still a puppy.Another thing about Brixley is that when he is around people he loses interests on obeying our commands.
We also do not have a fenced backyard. I thought maybe we could make him into a outside dog however I worry that he might escape or get lonely. I feel bad because he is no longer the center of attention and honestly will continue to not be. We have found a home for him and I’m still in between. I don’t know what to do because I picked him out from his litter, I have raised him the best I can. But like I said my husband and I are unable to figure out the best way or agree on how to prepare him for a baby.
He is very hyperactive and needy, which I know we will not have time for when we do have baby.
Any advice?Is rehoming the best idea?
 

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Yes - you have other priorities now and you seem to know this is not fair to Brixley. You could train and prepare Brixley but it will be a lot of work on your part starting yesterday truthfully. You and your husband should both be on the same page and fully invested.
I think your honesty is quite remarkable and I wish you the best making this difficult decision.
 

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If you’ve even considered making him an outside dog, then yes, rehoming is best IMHO.

It’s a sad life for a dog to be relegated outdoors because his owners don’t have time or enthusiasm for him. Most outdoor dogs develop bad habits like barking and digging. In your dog’s case, he’s likely to become even more excitable and hyperactive with people if he’s forced to live outside, and it will be harder to rehome him when it inevitably becomes necessary later. Much better to let him live with a family who actually wants him, now, while he’s still adoptable.
 

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Some things you say make me suspect he was not under contract- and that his breeder would likely not be interested in his being returned to her, but I do think you owe that to her, the option of his returning to the home he started in. And if you did sign a contract that is likely to be a condition you agreed to. You don't have a fenced yard, so making him an 'outdoor dog' isn't an option. If this person you've found is a friend, I doubt this will improve your relationship with them, there will always be a feel he is your dog... so again the breeder would be a better choice.
Golden puppies (and your inlaws are right- he IS a puppy) are puppies for two years. Your scenario is why I do not like to sell puppies to young marrieds... you'd have to be on same page w husband and family NOW (or yesterday, as was said earlier) to get him ready for your baby's appearance. Since that's not likely, rehoming him is HIS best solution. Though I have to say, I wonder- if he were a human baby and another were expected, would you 5 months ahead start taking attention from him in anticipation of his losing it in March? If anything, should you keep him, MORE attention now is needed. Lots of training, lots of praise and bonding, lots of partnership with him so he can more easily give that up when there is a new baby in the house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No, there was no contract involved. We hardly ever got to meet the breeder until it was time to pick him up. I also do not appreciate you comparing a dog to a child.
And let me clarify, I didn’t make it clear in my forum that he would not be a full time outdoor dog. He would be still be a indoor dog as well. He would be put outside for moments for us to be alone and bond with baby.
 

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" I also do not appreciate you comparing a dog to a child."

So? I don't appreciate people not thinking thru scenarios but we don't have to split hairs here. Clearly he is better off in a home where he can be a family member. edit:
I'm just pointing out that we do not have to agree on human vs canine. I CAN appreciate your considering end result (no fence = no escape, just wandering off to possibly be stolen, hit by car, etc) and while you were not the best home for him it's clear also that breeder didn't really care just wanted to sell her puppies.
 

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No, there was no contract involved. We hardly ever got to meet the breeder until it was time to pick him up. I also do not appreciate you comparing a dog to a child.
And let me clarify, I didn’t make it clear in my forum that he would not be a full time outdoor dog. He would be still be a indoor dog as well. He would be put outside for moments for us to be alone and bond with baby.
My thoughts, it is your pup and has been since the breeder sold it to you. I will never buy a pup under a "contract" if that means the breeder can dictate what I do with the pup. If a breeder doesn't trust me that's fine, I will get a pup from someone else.
Apparently attitudes are a little different among breeders in the field trial world. They want pups to go to good homes. "Good homes" for well bred field retrievers means people that compete or hunt, ideally both.

Leaving a pup in an outdoor kennel during the day of even at night is fine as long as there is adequate training, exercise and play. People appalled at the thought of a dog in an outdoor kennel are often the same people that keep a dog in an apartment, stuff it with treats pretending they are training and never let it off leash outdoors.

If you have a 3 or 4 hours a week of quality time to spend with your pup, could be 15 or 30 minutes at a time, and a few more hours for him to just hang out with the family he will be fine and better of than most dogs.
If you think you can't do that and have found a better home for him, that is fine too.
 
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I do not think people that are planning on starting a family should buy a puppy without making a 2 year (minimum) commitment to not becoming pregnant during that time. A Golden is a commitment that you already made. That being said, you could rehome him. You could also double down on training and have yourself, and your husband both attend separate training classes several times a week with your dog. You could by March have a well mannered 14 month old. He should not be still mouthing people, that is a training issue. He will be playful and high energy for at least the next 4 years. Is he crate trained? For bonding time with the baby he could be crated. You can also put the baby in a stroller and take him out for walks. I know that becoming a first time parent seems overwhelming, but many families manage a young dog and a new baby. It's a question of level of commitment to the dog. If you don't want to make that commitment rehome him now. Contact a good, reputable Golden Retriever Rescue and surrender him to them with all of his records. I don't recommend giving him to a friend. He needs some training and a rescue would help with that and the transition, not to mention vetting the new owner.

On the flip side I brought my second son home from the hospital to find out my parents had bought my 4 year old son an Irish Setter puppy while I was in the hospital. It was tough! I wanted to kill them. I had a newborn, a 4 year old, an older Golden Retriever and a brand new puppy. My parents had no idea what they had done. It took commitment from my husband and I to make it work. It wasn't easy, but we did it. My son loved that dog. It was his best friend growing up, by his side for every adventure he dreamt up from daylight until dark. That dog was the first one to ride in his truck with him on his 16th Birthday. The dog lived to be 16 years old and many of our family stories revolve around his poor behavior and the trouble he got in. He is woven into the fabric that is our family.

I've never tried to take attention away from anything but myself in preparation for a new life event. I'm one of those people that makes themselves come last. If you don't want to do this surrender him now, but do it responsibly. I agree with @SRW that dogs can live outdoors, but they still require daily exercise, training, and care. To me it takes more effort on your behalf to raise a well mannered outdoor or kennel dog. I can't keep my dogs in a kennel, and that is just my personality.
 

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Has he been to any formal classes?

It sounds like you need to responsibly re-home him with someone who understands a Golden Retriever bought as a pet should never be an outside dog (why get one in the first place?) and who understands a dog is a family member. If you're going to work your dog -- i.e., hunt with it regularly -- have a farm -- or what have you (doesn't sound like your situation), I can see more outdoor on its own time.

A Golden Retriever can have and often does have puppy/adolescent like traits until they are two -- some even beyond. You can train him not to mouth you. You don't have to be mean, but not all corrections are "mean" -- some people are more sensitive than others as to what constitutes mean. Mine don't mouth me because I teach them early on they aren't going to mouth me. As small puppies, I redirect, and tell them no.

I have three grandchildren (4, 6, and 8) and I taught my Golden (and the children) from the beginning how to act around children/dogs. He's great with them. He's almost two now.

You sound like you see your dog as a problem. I think there's a thread here -- or was -- titled something like "It's not a problem, it's a puppy." I don't mean to sound critical, but you should do what is best for your dog. If you don't want him now, you're not going to want him more once you have a baby.

Also, I consider my dogs family members. They literally are part of my family if I take responsibility to raise them -- just like my children. They are vulnerable if we do not take care of them -- i.e., feed them, give them water, train them (lots of time and effort required!), and show them love. They deserve to live the best lives we can offer them. It's a huge responsibility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thank you. That is what I have been thinking. I still give him quality time to be outside. We go for hour walks everyday. I got him so he can run with me. I run lots of race and thought he could be my companion on those runs
I didn’t expect to get pregnant this soon. We weren’t planning until next year.
 

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. I got him so he can run with me. I run lots of race and thought he could be my companion on those runs
But really, that's not going to happen for the next year or two, right? You will be very pregnant soon and then taking care of a new born and then a baby. And a Golden as a running companion is not a great idea - he at the very least should not be doing forced running until he is at least two years old and fully grown and developed, but running on pavement with a human is not really great for a Golden's joints. Plus, they need to be able to stop when they need to, not just when you do.

I feel for you. I cannot imagine having a young dog and a newborn. People do it. I don't think I could because I know the human baby would always take priority and I would hate to not be able to give 110% to my puppy/dog, too. I would not want to see him being relegated to a tie-out in the yard (I know you didn't say that, but with no yard, it could happen). I do think finding someone who could take good care of him and train him as he needs right now would be the best option. But make sure it is someone who will treat him well and give him the life he deserves. Is there a Golden Retriever rescue near you? They could probably help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
@Sweet Girl
Thank you for your replying and understanding. This has been a very tough mentally to figure what is best for Brixley. So my older sister offered us a fenced pin for him to be able to go outside when needed. I have been trying my best to be solution focused. All I want is the best for Brixley and give him the opportunity to be the best dog he can me for us or for his new owners.
The person we are considering is not a friend. This person is looking for a golden who is under a year old to be trained to become a service dog for one of their children. Even if the dog is unable to become a service dog they would still keep him and have him apart of their family. They also have two additional dogs, that Brixley will have to play with. I believe what he needs would be a playmate and we also can’t afford to get another dog.
 

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People appalled at the thought of a dog in an outdoor kennel are often the same people that keep a dog in an apartment, stuff it with treats pretending they are training and never let it off leash outdoors.
This seems to be directed at me, since I'm the only one, before your post, who reacted negatively to the OP's idea of making the dog into an outside dog. So let's address it again.

First: To be clear, I specifically said it was sad for a dog to be relegated outdoors because his owners don't have the time or enthusiasm for him. And I stand by that. There is a big difference between the OP's situation and the situation of a working dog that is kept outside. I know plenty of people who keep working dogs in outdoor kennels, including my brother, who has working border collies for his sheep. Those dogs have rich lives, doing the jobs for which they were bred, several hours each day, and they get plenty of exercise, training and attention. Unlike (for example) the Labrador owned by our neighbours, which is tied up outside their house and spends the day barking and lunging at passers-by because its owners haven't trained it to be a pleasant family companion and can't cope with its behaviour indoors any more. The OP's post suggested that her situation is much closer to the latter scenario than to the former one. Hence my comment. She's clearly in a difficult position that is about to get much more difficult with the arrival of a baby, and putting the dog outside, whether for all or part of the time, is unlikely to make things easier. The tough choice to rehome the dog might just be the best one in these circumstances - best for the dog, and best for the humans. I sympathize greatly with the OP. It's a hard place to be.

Second, let's dispel the myth in SRW's post that I and people like me, who don't think dogs purchased as family pets should be kept outside, are poorly-informed idiots who don't know what they're doing. My current golden retriever is an intact male, 5 years old, 23 inches tall, 58 lbs. He was purchased from an excellent breeder and is from an outstanding working pedigree. He's as fit as they come. He gets several kilometres of off-leash walks most days, along with training sessions several times a week, fitness work at home, and competitions at least once a month. He's well-trained, lives in the house, sleeps in my room and comes with us on family outings. He's also the reigning Canadian national and Quebec provincial agility champion in his class. Agility championships are competitive affairs with six different events over two days. To win, a dog has to run faster and cleaner than the other dogs in its class, in all six events, and must also be able to execute those skills at a distance from the handler. Training an agility dog to win a championship requires hundreds if not thousands of hours of work and dedication. It's a lifestyle choice. And this is the second dog I've trained to this level. Yes, I use treats. Because that is the system that works best for my dog. I don't expect my method to work for everyone, nor do I think it's best for everyone. But I'm secure enough in my training choices not to have to make snide remarks about what other people do in order to feel vindicated.

And last, to be clear again: I have tremendous respect for what you (SRW) have achieved with your dog and appreciate the incredible amount of work it takes not only to train the dog but also to become the handler you need to be in order to get to that level. But I don't appreciate comments that are designed to make me look like an idiot.
 

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Unfortunately, a dog that spends a lot of time outdoors in a kennel or run is going to get dirty and be a pain to clean up sufficiently to come indoors and join the family, will not be getting the time needed to learn to be calm in the house. (I have raised 3 kids and several large sporting breeds including Goldens and while I LOVE big dogs, the truth is, the dirt can be hard to stay on top of. ) I agree with rehoming. A human infant will always take priority over a puppy and it's just hard for the dog to get a good outcome when that is the case.
 

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You may want to consider handing him over to a "Golden retriever rescue " organization, they would be in a good position to find him an appropriate "forever home" and you would be spared the emotional involvement of trying to find something sort of better then your situation.
Dogs that get caught in hand over to somebody... somebody else thinks may be looking for a dog, end up in a very unsettled situations, that lead to behaviors issues.
Hope you are able to make the right decision for the dog and for your family.
 

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I agree, rehoming sounds like the best option.

If you truly wanted to keep him, I think it would require a lot of work now and getting everyone in this dog’s life on the same page as far as 1) training techniques 2) which behaviors you want him to learn and 3) how the behaviors look. You could spend all the time and money in the world getting Brixley into training classes and working with him, but it’d all go out the window if everyone else in his life won’t enforce the same rules.

I also think that if you keep him, he deserves to get some of your time even after you have the baby. He will still need interaction and exercise and stimulation, even if he is trained. It’s not at all fair to him to just disregard his needs because you have a baby. I am not saying dogs are more important than children, I’m saying that dogs are living, breathing creatures that become YOUR responsibility once you bring them home. If you can no longer meet his needs because you have something else going on, that is your prerogative but your dog deserves to have a fulfilling life regardless.

I think if you’re already considering rehoming, a part of you knows that is the right decision to make.
 
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