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Hi, we just lost our sweet Coop after 13 years. One amazing thing he did for us was introduce our toddler to the world dogs. She is now obsessed with dogs just like we are. However, she's only 16 months old so while we can't live too much longer with another GR in our lives, we're worried about what it might be like having both a puppy and a young child.

Does anyone have some thoughts on this?

Thanks!
 

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It's a little chaotic but doable if you're committed and have the time. I recently puppy sat for an 8 week old golden. We also have 3 adult dogs, our 1 year old son and a 6 month old I babysit 4 times a week. Luckily, I'm home full time and could play with puppy while they napped and take her out often. The puppy wanted to play with the littles but she treated them more like littermates than humans. I basically had to keep them separated unless I was sitting on the floor with everyone. The pup also didn't understand that my toddler doesn't have the best balance and was constantly underfoot, knocking him over. I would do it again in a heartbeat and will hopefully add a new pup sometime next year.

If you're not on a waitlist yet, you could have 6 months or more before a breeder has a puppy for you. So your daughter might be closer to 2 when you bring a pup home. The hardest part then will be making sure pup doesn't steal food out of her hands and that your daughter is gentle with puppy. She might be sweet, but my little hellion occasionally feels the need to try and "pet" by smacking the dogs on the head :rolleyes: thankfully the dogs are always wonderful and sweet.
 

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My youngest is 2 1/2. It's been challenging, having a puppy and a two year old, but not impossible. Many here strongly suggested using both an x-pen and crate to give our puppy a defined, small space where I could keep him separate from our toddler unless closely supervised. We ended using baby gates and a crate to keep the puppy in the kitchen, initially, as he's gotten older, he's been given more space. He now gets both kitchen and dining room. My toddler isn't allowed in those rooms without an adult supervising. Our puppy, at 17 weeks, is consistently more gentle to our toddler than our toddler is to the puppy. I have to stay right on top of them all.the.time.

It's not impossible, but at times, it very much feels like I have twins who either run in opposite directions or are tag teaming me. Stinkers!

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Kristy
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It's all about management. I think it depends a lot on you all being committed to a plan to make it work. Both spouses being on board. My oldest daughter was two years old when our first Golden puppy came home. With crate training and the occasional use of baby gates to manage them, it was no problem at all. Now I will say that i was a stay at home mom. I was very committed to making it work. I took my puppy to obedience classes while she was at a church mother's morning out preschool program.

The other part of the dynamic was that my daughter was an 'easy' child, she listened and played nicely with the puppy, I supervised them, the 3 of us did everything together, but I didn't have to worry about her hurting the dog, she understood early about not hurting other living creatures. If your child is a 'handful' and doesn't have good self control or impulse control for her age, you might consider holding off longer.

We had rules about keeping toys in the toy room, I also did not let her walk around with food, you sit in a chair at the table to eat. If you have some structure it makes it easier to manage having two toddlers at the same time :) Since Coop was older you all may have forgotten how energetic a Golden can be for the first couple of years. Make sure that you and your spouse discuss before bringing a puppy home who is going to be the parent taking the dog to class and who will be responsible for daily obedience training practice and who will be responsible for making sure the puppy is getting the exercise he needs to be a good puppy, because this also needs to be every day and a walk around the block after work won't cut it, it needs to be retrieving, swimming, aerobic exercise.

I have some of my favorite photos of my daughter and our first Golden boy playing in the sandbox together or playing in her wading pool together, we were very happy. I agree with previous posts above, get on a wait list with a reputable breeder, start researching now, lots of good information here or at GRCA.org on health clearances etc. and breeder code of ethics, by the time you have it in motion you will have had time to get your management plan in place (baby gates and an expen are your friend). Hope you'll stick around and share your story here. Best of luck :)
 

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I totally agree with the others. My niece was s little older when we got Chloe. She was 3.5. We watched my niece about 3 days a week. It's really not bad if you manage it. Chloe was behind a gate quite a bit when my niece was over. I remember one day they were all outside. My niece was riding her four wheeler power wheels out back. Chloe would chase her around in circles getting a ton of exercise my mom told her I have to go in for a minute don't get off your four wheeler. Well my niece didn't listen and got off and of course a 4 month old puppy jumped on her and licked her but she still had those sharp puppy teeth. My mom goes why did you get off. She goes I don't know lol. So yes if you are committed and understand the management it will work out fine.
 

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Thanks for that feedback. That's helpful. Yes, my wife works from home with some really good flexibility so we're going to get a game plan put together. Our goal is spring/summer 2018 so that gives us some time to find the right breeder and for our daughter to grow up a bit. I will definitely post pics! We are one GR obsessed family so you don't have to ask us twice! :)
 

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There are pros and cons, for sure.

The plus side is, your dog will grow up with a child... and done properly, will mean that the dog is extremely safe around children.

The con, I think, is that it's like having another toddler. I think you kind of miss out on giving your best to one or the other. The puppy may require a lot of attention and supervision. Some people luck out with dogs who are naturally gentle with kids as puppies. Mine got very excited with young kids because they were so in love with them, but needed extreme vigilance as a result. And human toddlers typically like to eat aaaaaaaaaaaaaall day, so if you have a super-food motivated dog, this can be tricky to manage. Ultimately, it can hard to enjoy either human or canine toddler when you have them both together.

We got our puppy when my youngest had just turned 3, and that's the youngest I think I would personally go. But I have 5 kids (oldest was 13), cats, work PT from home, husband works long hours, no outside help, etc. Your situation is different!
 

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we have an 11 week old puppy with a 1 year old (16 months) and a 5 year old. it has been a challenge because the puppy is much mouthier than I thought - I thought there would be some times when he would cuddle with the 5 year old or something but no. Reading on here, the "land shark" phase is temporary and does pass. until then, a lot of separation and direct supervision!
 
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