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Hi,

I'm wanting to get a dog (Border Terrier) to join our family. However I have a 3 year old son. I'm getting mixed reviews on whether it's too soon for a puppy. I work only 2 days a week so would be home most of the time (i've looked into doggie daycare when i'm not home) and of course i would never leave the two of them alone. What do you think? and i would love to hear back from those who have young children and then added a dog to their family and how it went.

Thanks!
Mary
 

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My mom did something similar, but she had dogs all her life and knew what she was getting into.

I find that lots of people who do this end up finding that a puppy and a toddler are too much to handle at the same time.

Puppies need just as much work as children to grow up into manageable adults. If you want the dog to behave nicely, you have to teach it to sit at the door, not bark at strangers, not guard its food, etc. That's not easy when you have a toddler around that needs just as much socialization if not more.

A puppy doesn't house train itself. :)

Quite frankly, I'm surprised the breeder would let the dog go to a house with a young child, as young children and fragile puppies aren't a good combination. Most breeders say no kids under 5 or so.

I would say that if you're ready for alot of stress and hard work, then go for it. However, if you don't want a puppy waking you up at 5 a.m. every day to take it outside to potty along with whatever needs your child has, I'd say to wait a few years.
 

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Sammgirl has made some valid points.

Here are some dog related things to expect.

Housebreaking: You need to watch the dog all the time when he is not created. Need to take him out at least every hour and praise and reward with food every time he goes potty. Then you get to clean up the poo.... When the dog goes in the house. you cannot yell.. just interrupt and take the dog out.

A young puppy cannot hold it for very long. An 8 week old puppy requires you to get up a couple of times at night to get him out.

Crate Training: Need to do this. It may be a noisey process and will help with Potty Training. You should learn how to crate train the dog.

Exercise: Lots. I mean LOTS. Are you prepared to walk this dog 1-2 hours a day when he is 8 months old PLUS spend 1/2 hour a day training and do it for years?

Dog School: Essential. It will help your dog be sociable and friendly with strangers and strange dogs. It will help you learn how to train him. Can you go to dog school for an hour 1X a week and then do the Homework they give you between classes (usually 20 minutes a day)?

That is the minimum on dog chores.. Only you can answer the questions. A child is a huge amount of work.. so is a dog... and for awhile when the dog is young the dog can require as much or more time than a young child.

So, think about it and do what you think is best. BTW I have heard that Border Terriers are good dogs.
 

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My dog helped my daughter take her 1st steps (used her back to balance on) and they formed a close bond ever since.

To me it depends all on the dogs personality,my dog was and has,always been calm and chilled out,if she were hyper i would have expected the kid/dog relationship to be a little different.
To me there is nothing better than watching kid and dog grow together but as others have stated,let them grow together under your watchful eye ;)...even mistakes such as the pup nipping can happen in a flash so just be there at all times.

Hope you get your pup and enjoy adding a new addition to your family.
 

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All my dogs grew up around children. They were puppies while they were babies. They all kinda grew up together, only the dogs grew up in such a rapid pace. Now my boys are grown dogs (and even Xena our little pup is bigger than the kids who used to be able to pick her up!) and the kids have all grown but is now alot smaller than Cain & Abel.

Under watchful eye, kids and dogs can co-exist quite harmoniously. There is nothing more beautiful than the sight of kids playing nicely with the dogs. Mine are used to playing tags with the kids, very gently they tag them with their snouts and let the kids chase them around.

With alot of socialization, proper training and 100% attention, it is possible to make it work. But it takes dedication and patience on our side as the supervising adults. I trust my dogs 100%, but I will not trust the kids to be left alone with them unsupervised. I also grew up around dogs and taught how to respect their space and how to interact with them, I applied the same knowledge to the kids in my care. I have yet to have a child hit any of my dogs.

Good luck to whatever you may decide to do! :D
 

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In your situation I would consider looking for a young adult dog. A dog that's a year or two would still be young enough to grow up with your kid but also is possibly house broken and accustomed to being with kids and properly socialized. You can save yourself a lot of hassle that way. The dog is still going to be a lot of work, but not nearly as much as a puppy and probably less than a three year old.
 

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A puppy is far less work than a second child, and no one would object to that.
 

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I think it depends on too many factors to have a hard and fast rule. It depends on the owner (have you had a dog before? Have you had a PUPPY before?), the dog (and having a puppy from a reputable breeder who can really match you up with JUST the right dog, if you're buying a puppy vs adopting an adult), and to be honest, it depends on your kiddo too.
 

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My son is 3 years old and i got my puppy at 8 weeks , she is now 11 weeks and so far its been good. They enjoy each other's company and they play together alot..i do have to keep an eye while they play but other than that it hasnt been as stressful as some say it is...(i guess i got lucky). My son likes helping out with the puppy so its being nice way to show him responsibility. Right now we are teaching her to walk on the leash and he's been helping with that...
 

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We got Toby as a puppy when our son was 8 mos. old and we worked out fine. Our son is now almost three and we recently added our second dog (Ferguson - 6 mos. old). After the first week or so that seems to be going really well also.

I'm not saying it's for everyone or that it's not a lot of work, but in the right situations I think it's a great thing.
 

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See, and while I know folks for whom it worked out well...

The summer I turned 4, my parents brought home a lab puppy. She was 10 weeks when we got her, a rescue found on the side of the road. My little brother was 9 months old at the time, and despite dad's best intentions, he got knocked on his butt a LOT by an exuberant puppy, and she didn't get trained at ALL. She ended up going ot live at my grandparents' farm (and lived to be 17!) after eating all the siding off our garage the next spring.

In our case, we HAD a 'good home in the country' available. A lot of folks don't, and it wasn't like she had a breeder or rescue group to take her back. Stuart is still scared of big dogs who jump, and my parents weren't irresponsible- just unprepared for how much work a puppy actually IS.
 

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When I was a kid, my parents got a puppy. I was 3 at the time and they basically kept the dog in the backyard 24/7. He got little or no training, was fed regularly and was always in the middle of things when we kids were out playing in the backyard (which we did frequently as this was the 80s and video games for the home were not prevalent). Shockingly, we survived playing outside all the time and even more shockingly, the dog survived the unruly punk kids running around his territory all the time. We chased that dog, tried to ride that dog and did every other horrible thing that kids are known to do to dogs. He was a very, very good dog and lived to a ripe old age before passing away one day when I was a freshman in college.

Fast forward to my sophomore year in college. My brother was 2-3 at the time and my parents thought it would be a great idea to get him a dog two. They brought home a lab puppy from a BYB and he was both cute and intelligent. Unfortunately, he was also full of energy, untrained and destructive. He destroyed tons of stuff in the backyard and eventually they resorted to chaining him up. Needless to say he tangled his chain up in ridiculous ways and I got the job of untangling him. I had to let him off the tie out to untie him and he would run like crazy around the backyard. Knew nothing about dogs at the time and hated the stupid thing. Eventually we gave him to a friend of ours who turned him into a house dog and thought he was the coolest thing that came down the pipes.
 
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