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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, help me out a little.

My sister wants to get her baby a puppy because we are dog lovers and she hopes her daughter will be too. I'll go down a list of points I'd lick to stick to, just give me breed suggestions if you can.

-No/minimal shedding.
-Small
-Not overly noisy.
-Moderate energy. (a few minutes outside, a couple of times per day)
-A breed that is too rare. (hard to find, or expensive)

I know no breed will be perfect and every dog is different, but she does want to get some opinions. Since most of my experience is with rescue's and not actual "full breeds" I'd like to hear from you guys.
 

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I would never try to raise a puppy with a 2-year-old, but maybe I'm just a big sissy :p. That would be soooo much work! Puppies are nippy and you would have to constantly worry about them hurting each other, plus you have to run outside with the puppy all the time (and if you leave the 2-year-old alone for even 2 minutes you KNOW she'll get into something!). I'm really not sure how someone could make it work. In my experience, most people who get a puppy when they have tiny kids end up getting rid of it because it grew up without manners since they didn't have enough time for training.

If she wants a non-shedder, she's pretty much stuck with the curly-haired or wirehaired dogs. Most terriers aren't terribly tolerant of kids, so most wirehairs are out. Poodle? Bichon?
 

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I agree with Willowy- puppies are hard work and need a lot of attention. It would be like having an infant child around the house, but an infant child that can chew up furniture, nip at the 2 yr old, poop and pee all over etc.

Looking at your requirements...
-No/minimal shedding.
-Small
This is a broad statement to some degree, but larger dogs tend to be calmer and more tolerant of kids. Obviously there are plenty of small dogs that are fine with kids, but it just seems like the big guys are more comfortable with the rough and tumble of a toddler
-Not overly noisy.
Of the minimal shedders, most terriers will NOT fit this description. Sure, training helps a lot but it also takes time
-Moderate energy. (a few minutes outside, a couple of times per day)
A few minutes outside a few times a day is not enough for even the laziest of puppies. Possibly enough for a calm senior dog
-A breed that is too rare. (hard to find, or expensive)
I assume you mean "not too rare" - that is fine, but a well bred puppy might not be considered cheap, depending on your/her budget

Would she consider adopting? If you've been involved in rescue, you know that there are plenty of dogs that come into rescue through no fault of their own and many from families who are already used to kids. One friend of mine got a Jack Russell aged about 4 years who came trained, good with kids (his are 5 and 7 yrs though) and just old enough to start slowing down but with a lot of healthy years left most likely.
Around military bases, there are way too many good family dogs being given up when families get transferred or posted overseas.
Sometimes I see dogs being owner-surrendered due to finances and many are very well behaved family pets.
A 2-3 year old dog with a known background OR having been fostered for awhile could solve a lot of the problems of trying to raise a puppy with a small child.
 

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I got my first dog when my youngest was two, he was an older puppy: 7mos. He was very easy so it made the whole thing easy. Now, I'm a grandma to three, I babysit all of them and one is a 7 week old. My dogs are housebroken but holy crap, just to let them in the yard requires so much thought (older girls are almost 4, have to make sure they're ok, have to hold the baby or put him in porta crib), couldn't do this with a puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Willowy: I get that, but what I neglected to mention was "me". I'm the built-in trainer as I live on the same street. I would house-train the dog and everything, it wouldn't be a problem for me as I work form home a lot. For the most part, I'm sure it would even sleep at my house until I was sure it was ready for her full-time.

Shell: As for shelters and adopting dogs, that's the way I would go because as you've said, too many need homes. I was asking about breeds because, well, since its for her and this is her first baby, and she would love the dog no matter the breed my sister figures that she may as well start looking on the sehlter websites for our surrounding area. They usually know pretty much what breeds are in it, and I can generally tell if they'll get too big by looking at them.


So, yes, I'm asking about breeds, but it's more of a broad stroke what to expect kinda thing, and I'm sure it'll come from a rescue.
 

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A toy poodle rescue dog.
Theyre small, and hypoallergenic , they can do tricks and they can tolerate being dressed up like a ballerina!!!

If I was a 2 year old girl..instead of a 40 year old construction worker..Thats the dog I would get.
 

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I'm the built-in trainer as I live on the same street. I would house-train the dog and everything, it wouldn't be a problem for me as I work form home a lot. For the most part, I'm sure it would even sleep at my house until I was sure it was ready for her full-time.
But often times when a dog is trained in one place, and the place changes, the dog has to be re-trained.
That could possibly have this dog come to look at you as more of its family than your sister.


In my honest opinion this isn't really a breed issue so much as an individual dog issue.
A few minutes outside isn't going to work.
Most small dogs are not quiet and are not tolerant of children. But then again, larger dogs who are more likely to be tolerant of a child's antics often require more exercise, and present an even larger danger to children. I'm not calling your sister irresponsible, I don't know her, but as we read very often a split second can make the difference between a semi-safe situation and a tragedy.
Then there's the huge responsibility of a puppy.

I would suggest your sister either hold off on getting a puppy or get an older puppy and meet individual dogs to find which would best suit her life right now, maybe take them home for a while to see if it will work out. A dog isn't a toy for a child and it isn't a baby sitter, it's extra responsibility.
 

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Ditto what others have said. If she's not up to walking a dog, and doesn't want anything big or that sheds, it's going to be tough to find something.

I would suggest a 20ish pound dog because they're not as fragile as a toy breed, and that size would be happy with a half hour walk, something she could do with the kid in tow that would be good for all of them.
 

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A few minutes a few times a day is not medium energy. My old dog needed an hour a day right up until he died of liver cancer, and he had arthritis.

I think your sister isn't ready for a dog. If she insists, she needs to get an adult from rescue whose temperament is already set and who's already housetrained. Puppies are actually pretty bad with kids- biting, knocking them over, etc- and there's no telling what their temperament is until they reach maturity, 2-3 years of age.

Kabota, see my sig, is a rescue, 3 years old, some kind of beagle mix, 45 lbs. he is fantastic with kids. Seriously amazing. But, he needs an hour a day of walks minimum and was housetrained and nothing else.

Dogs take work. There's no way around it.
 

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getting a puppy for a baby so that the baby will like dogs isn't a good enough reason to get a dog. The baby can learn to love dogs through stories about dogs, stuffed animals and hanging out with child proof dogs. I'll assume that the sister wants a dog for herself as well.

I got a pup when my dd was 2.5yo. I was was full time stay at home mom and the hubby was prety much a stay at home dad working part time from home. So 2 full time adults at home. And it was still ALOT of work. Potty training the kid and the pup at the same time was very difficult to say the least. Human child wants to sit on potty for 30min at a time reading books but puppy has to go NOW and squats on the rug. An ex-pen and crate are mandatory in that situation. Puppy Zoomies co-orespond with toddler zoomies and the end result is a kid getting bumped into by the puppy and knocked down. it happens.

Now as to minimal shedding... that means work and time to maintain the non/low shedding coat. So poodles and etc need to be clipped and the wire coats need to be stripped. But no/low shedding are the poodles/bichon/havanses/wire coated terrier breeds.

Small... too small and too delicate is bad. You want something that has a high pain threshold and will tolerate the kid, not taht your sis's child is abusive but little children like to experiment and the do the damdest stuff. So not a sensitive thin skinned dog that feels like it has to defend itself against the kid. Think older, mellowed out lab. Or a tough little terrier. Most small dog breeders will not let a puppy go to a home with children under the age of 10.. or maybe 6.

Not a big barker.... well an under exercised terrier tends to be a barker. definitely don't get a schnauzer. Again I vote for older rescue dog from a foster.

moderate energy... moderate energy to me means 3 different 30 min walks a day with a couple runs in the back yard. What you need is a "one foot in the grave" type of a dog if your sister can only do a few minutes a day for exercise. And I am serious about that. I have never heard of a dog that can get by with a few minutes here and there.

Not rare, again my vote is for an older shelter dog or a rescue.

My dog is a standard schnauzer, tons and tons of work, has issues but 33 lbs, low to non shedding (gets stripped at the groomers) and perfect around my dd. Very vocal, barks, howl, yodels and screams. High pain threshold and tolerates all sorts of total nonsense from my dd. Never allow children unattended around dogs. ever. and even then sh%$ happens. I was in the kitchen with then 3.5yo dd and the dog when my dd picked up a fork and stabbed the dog in the paw with it. In front of me! Dog yelped. Kid got in trouble.

In general getting a puppy when you have a 2yo child is just on big bad idea. Usually the dog looses out. But it can be done. I had dog crates everywhere and baby gates to give the dog a safe place to go when she wanted to get away. I supervised all child/dog interaction and the child still got bumped into or hurt.

good luck.
 

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In my experience, most people who get a puppy when they have tiny kids end up getting rid of it because it grew up without manners since they didn't have enough time for training.
Yeah. I would get rid of the kid too.
 

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A few minutes a day in a yard is not enough exercise for a dog. Wait until the kid is older and the parents have more time to spend properly training and exercising the dog.
 

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When my son was 8 months old I bought a pit bull puppy. He was very gentle with my son once he got a good grasp on bite inhibition and my son learned that pulling tails and poking eyes was not allowed whatsoever. Having kids and puppies is not impossible, it just takes a lot of work and responsibility on the adult's part. Things like keeping the kid's toys picked up so the puppy doesn't get an obstruction or NEVER leaving the kid and dog alone unsupervised. Dogs are not babysitters and shouldn't be expected to act as such.

There are ways to exercise your dog while having a young child. I leash trained my dog while pushing a stroller. It hot him used to hearing the noise of the strolled and not to pull ahead of the stroller. A puppy is going to need to go out more than a few times a day and for more than it takes to do his business. I was a stay at home mom at the time and if I hadn't been, it would have been close to impossible to train the puppy, take care of the baby and keep up the house. I think your best bet is to find a rescue and tell them what you're looking for and about your family so they can match a dog up to your family.

Most rescues don't like to adopt dogs out to families with kids younger than six and it certainly won't be a puppy. Kids aren't mindful of their actions and can even accidentally seriously injure a dog. You really have to train a kid on how to behave around a dog moreso than the opposite. As far as breeds go, I find a lot of hounds to be fantastic with kids. They are very forgiving and have a definite off switch once they get their walks and romps in. They have short fur and are pretty wash and wear. They do have loud bays but won't bark all day long unless some wildlife has found its way to your yard of you've been ignoring them and they get bored. I know your sister is looking for small breeds but I just don't find them to be appropriate with small kids. I now have a three year old son that lives with a two year old Doberman and a 4-5year Rottweiler/Pit Bull mix. Most people wouldn't dare to have breeds like those around small kids but with supervision and training you can make it work.
 

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As far as breeds go, I find a lot of hounds to be fantastic with kids. They are very forgiving and have a definite off switch once they get their walks and romps in. They have short fur and are pretty wash and wear. They do have loud bays but won't bark all day long unless some wildlife has found its way to your yard of you've been ignoring them and they get bored. I know your sister is looking for small breeds but I just don't find them to be appropriate with small kids.
I highly agree with this. Many hounds will sit and tolerate being crawled over, having their ears and tail pulled, will be gentle. -but this is not to say it would be safe to just allow this sort of interaction.
The only hounds on the smaller side I can think of right now are Bassets and Beagles -but I don't think Beagles are on the quiet side.
 

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I agree that hounds tend to have very good temperaments to be around children and are generally forgiving of physical bumps and tumbles being sturdy hunting types, I think everyone is too focused on the small child aspect of things and overlooking this:

-Moderate energy. (a few minutes outside, a couple of times per day)
I honestly cannot think of ANY puppy, young adult or healthy adult dog that would be happy (and healthy) with this level of exercise (which is in no way shape or form "moderate energy").

Sure, many dogs can deal with the occasional lazy days when its rainy or icy but on a regular basis, day after day, its likely to lead to a stir-crazy dog destroying the house or an overweight, unhealthy dog (or both).
 

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A shih tzu? I have an 8 year old. They don't shed, and a 30 min walk and some out side time is fine for them. Even if they skip that walk 1 or 2 days they are perfectly happy.
They need to be trained to be tolerant for all the expected ear and fur pulling from the start, or if you rescue one ask about their personlity
 

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Small Dog - Bichon mix
Large Dog - Lab mix

In both cases, get a 5 - 7 yo adult that doesn't have arthritis and has been around kids... they're tolerant and still fairly tough with respect to normal kid abuse...
 

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A 2 yr old doesn't need a puppy. Stuffed ones are appropriate, and interactions with well trained kid friendly dogs are fine.
OP- Why don't YOU get a dog, that is yours, and kid can pat it when it visits.
 

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OP- Why don't YOU get a dog, that is yours, and kid can pat it when it visits.
Not a bad idea, since it sounds like you'd end up being the dog's primary care giver anyhow.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Alright you guys. Thanks.

I let her read this thread, after trying to explain what most of you said for myself. She has decided to just let her daughter spend a few hours with my dog each day. As some of you might know, he's a four year old terrier mix rescue and he's great with kids.
 
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