Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Live Human
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

My husband and I have been talking about getting a golden retriever to complete our family, but we're in a bit of a bind. We a child on the autism spectrum and a 7 month-old kitten to which he has responded very well. We've been thinking of getting a puppy within 3-10 months.

Our son is 3 right now but could have turned 4 by the time we adopt. He is currently receiving all kinds of therapies, have been told he's high functioning but he still isn't talking much.

I thought I'd join this forum since Google keeps sending me to your posts. So maybe someone here can help us.

Any input on what kind of puppy to choose, how to introduce the puppy to the kid and the cat, what to do to best accommodate all three kiddos since they would all live indoors, etc.? Or even if you think a golden would not be right for us at this moment. We're looking at 10-20 years of commitment here so any and all thoughts are appreciated as we make this decision.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,486 Posts
I have a couple of puppies in assistance situations, and both families have cats. If I were you I would look for a breeder who introduces puppies to cats - though the cat at the home does have to react appropriately so that puppy doesn't behave inappropriately- if a small animal runs, the puppy will chase. If cat will hold it's ground, and smack puppy when too bothered, puppy will learn that the cat isn't a toy.
And I think you want a puppy who at 7 weeks appears to be a tolerant and forgiving one- there is a forgiveness test in the temperament testing- also one who is aiming to please-
make your crate area one off limits to your son, and let puppy learn that's where to go when overstimulated. The crate area should be a safe haven for puppy.
If puppy gnaws on your son, which will almost certainly happen during teething, it will be a fine line to walk to teaching puppy no mouthing while teaching your son that puppy didn't do it to hurt him. That was the difficult area for the families I know. It may be easier on your family to get an older dog who's past that place in development- but the 12-18 puppy tends to cost as much as a new puppy plus the cost of training and housing and vetting- so in the SE you are probably looking in the 2500 range for a well bred older puppy who was kept and trained, in hopes of a show career... at least the ones I know of are in that ballpark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,937 Posts
I sold a pup to a person two years ago who has a child with ASD. Having an adult son with the same issue, I could tell there was something up with their child. The child was not diagnosed yet... The cool thing is that she told me that when her child can't talk to anyone else, the child talks to the dog. It warmed my heart...
 

·
Mom to 9 :)
Joined
·
2,383 Posts
If you are on FB, check out "Xena the Warrior Puppy". The family who adopted her has an autistic son that this little dog has done wonders for him and has brought a lot of attention to autistic children as well as to shelter dogs--she actually was voted the 2013 ASPCA dog of the year. Here is a link to their story in a nutshell: The Wonderful, Tear-Jerking Story Of Xena The Warrior Puppy

Zena has thousands of followers on her FB page from around the world and Jonny continues to improve daily. I remember reading one post from Johnny's mom about how they had spent thousands on therapy and treatment and Zena has done more for Johnny than anything else.
 
  • Like
Reactions: notagoat

·
Live Human
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you everyone for your replies. So helpful! :)

I've never bought a puppy from a breeder before. Would it be possible/a good idea to ask to bring the cat in her carrier to see how she reacts to the pups and how the individual puppies react to her? I know it's hard to predict a puppy's future but we'd like to have as few surprises as possible.

I can't wait to get this dog! We've started showing pictures and videos of goldens to our son and so far he's shown a lot of interest. Thank you again for your replies!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,346 Posts
Thank you everyone for your replies. So helpful! :)

I've never bought a puppy from a breeder before. Would it be possible/a good idea to ask to bring the cat in her carrier to see how she reacts to the pups and how the individual puppies react to her? I know it's hard to predict a puppy's future but we'd like to have as few surprises as possible.

I can't wait to get this dog! We've started showing pictures and videos of goldens to our son and so far he's shown a lot of interest. Thank you again for your replies!
Speaking for my own very cantankerous cat, this would probably not be the best idea. My cat gets really stressed when she's outside of her house. Meeting a litter of puppies would have been overwhelming for her. When we brought our puppy home, I was concerned about our cat. It took awhile (as in two years), but they are buddies now. You can use baby gates to make sure the cat can get away from the puppy if needed. A golden from a good breeder with a true golden temperament should definitely be able to make friends with a kitty :)
 

·
Live Human
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Speaking for my own very cantankerous cat, this would probably not be the best idea. My cat gets really stressed when she's outside of her house. Meeting a litter of puppies would have been overwhelming for her. When we brought our puppy home, I was concerned about our cat. It took awhile (as in two years), but they are buddies now. You can use baby gates to make sure the cat can get away from the puppy if needed. A golden from a good breeder with a true golden temperament should definitely be able to make friends with a kitty :)
Yes, you're right, our cat is a 100% indoor cat. She's never been outside unless she's with us in our (fenced) yard, and even then she's nervous.

So puppies who have been socialized with cats it is. :) Thank you.
 

·
Tracer, Rumor & Cady
Joined
·
10,683 Posts
I fear this may not come across well....but here goes..
Ive come across two families in the past 6 months that are having issues with thier dogs. Both families have more than one child in the family that are on the spectrum.

One family the dog has no interest in the children at all...the parents assumed that the dog would 'know' that the kids need its company and would act as a social bridge between their kids and the world. They romanticized the relationship and it has not played out the way they had hoped. While they like the dog very much, it is not what they thought it would be like.

The second family has a typical retriever...he picks up toys sometimes chews them and the toy stealing is causing a great disruption in the family. One adult has been growled at and the other bitten when they rushed the dog to retrieve a toy that, had it been damaged, would have caused great distress to their child.

In this family, one of their children has a fantastic relationship with the dog, the other is ambivalent toward the dog - the child can not tolerate the dogs wet nose and is dramatically disgusted with licking.
They are rehoming their dog with a childless family member that is aware of the dogs bite history. The parents are heartbroken, they fully recognize that their kiddos dont have the impulse control to stop themselves from grabbing a toy from the dog. They see the dog more and more stressed. It is a bite waiting to happen.

My point is....get the dog if YOU want the dog...
This is the time for soul-searching and asking if you are romanticizing the possible relationship. It may happen and that will be great, but it may not. The household might be too stressful for the dog. You may need to invest several years of training to get past some typical retriever issues. If it doesnt work out, what happens to the dog?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,296 Posts
May I suggest you look into getting a trained service dog for your son? Many reputable training organizations provide these dogs, free of charge, to families that qualify medically. These dogs are usually labs or goldens, and have undergone extensively training to interact successfully with these children. The waiting lists are long, a few years, but definitely worth the wait.

I am not familiar with the organizations near you, but here is the link to one in Ontario Canada, to give you an idea of what to look for.

Welcome to Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,937 Posts
I had many misgivings about selling a dog to the family I mentioned earlier. But, I had seen their previous dog numerous times and it was clearly well loved and socialized. Their child, I have to say freaked me out when the forehead hit the wooden planks making shelter over my pups at least four times causing bruises, the child did not cry once. However, they worked with my trainer friend who gave me updates. He was also a mellow pup, not like his sister that I have, Gabby. Then the mom came in and told me that he had ASD and said to me, "I knew you knew there was something wrong." And then she told me that the dog gives her child great comfort. Phew... My husband and I have always treated our special son exactly the same way we treated his brother... We had the same expectations for,behavior with both.... They were never allowed to carry pups around or hug (read choke) them around the neck, etc. Georgie from my very first litter fell in love with my special son and vice versa... To,this day, with Georgie almost 12, if his boy is upset, he is just beside himself... He adores Drew... I agree with LibertyMe, that the parents need to be on board...and on top of things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,937 Posts
Of course, both of my guys love dogs...it is definitely genetic with two vet parents and seven Goldens....
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top