N.K. asks from Leander, TX on March 19, 2009
Advice About a Dog for the Family
We just recently had to give away our 5 year old boston terrier because of her aggressive behavior toward people, animals and our 16 month old daughter. We are considering a pug but I'm nervous about having another dog that has behavioral "issues". Are pugs a good choice for a family with young children? Would I be better off adopting an adult rescued pug or a young puppy? Should I even be considering a dog if I am raising young children? Thank you for any advice you might have!
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Wow! Thank you for all the advice. I will say that I am a little overwhelmed now. I know this will be a big decision for my family and I will make sure to keep researching. Thanks again for everyone's opinion:)
V.B. answers from Houston on March 19, 2009
I don't think I would get another dog until your kids are a little older. Almost all dogs are leery of kids that age unless they have been around them since they were babies (and even the dog you had wasn't comfortable with that). I think I would wait until the kids are at least 3 or 4 before considering getting another dog. Just my 2 cents. Good luck with your decision.
1 mom found this helpful
S.L. answers from Houston on March 19, 2009
Any type of retriever, young or adult, are great around all ages of children. We have an 8 year old lab and I can sit our 7 week old in the car seat in the lawn and know he will sit next to him to "guard" him against "enemies".
If I am getting out of the truck, he will sit by the doors the kids get out of until I get them all out.
He also sits by the road (we live in the country on a dead-end, low population road, so, he is not fenced in), while the girls ride their bikes.
He never leaves our yard, and, is very loyal to every family member.
I have never met an aggressive retriever, unless they are trained that way or mixed with an aggressive breed.
J.W. answers from Houston on March 19, 2009
We have a golden retriever who is just great with my 10 month old daughter and 6 year old cat. Retrievers of any type are usually a good bet. Stay away from hounds and dogs from guarding herritages (they aren't bad - just the odds on non kid friendly behavior is higher as their instincts are different) There are decent breed selector quizes you can take on the Internet that will help you pick a dog that fits your needs. Good luck!
M.K. answers from Houston on March 19, 2009
we got three puppies at the same time (not recommended lol_), they are all now 10 months old and are settling down.
2 of them are mini dachsunds, they weigh about 12 pounds, and one is a great pyrenees weighing 120!, we didnt mean to have the dachsunds, but my sister in law couldnt get rid of them, so we took them also.
if you are looking for a small dog, this breed is so much fun, and great with kids, they have never snapped or bitten my 2 children (6 and 1), and they pull them about all over the place, they are lively and cute, i never liked small dogs b4 i had these.
the only thing with puppies is the chewing, these 3 have wrecked everything in their path and chewed everything from shoes to christmas tree baubles.
with a puppy though you can train it to your own families ways - we also have an older mongrel rescue dog, who is a collie bassett mix - she is also a great dog, and has never had any behavioural issues.
if you want a big dog, the great pyr is a fab watch dog - he never takes his eyes of my kids, but he is so big i worry sometimes about him knocking them down, he is also a little more aggresive towards the other dogs.
personally i dont like pugs or anything with a squashed up face, because i believe they develop breathing and snoring issues, i like my dogs to look like a dog. i know pugs have great temperments though. :-)
A.J. answers from Killeen on March 19, 2009
This link has some good info on choosing a breed of dogs that gets along with kids.
I think having a dog with young children is a great thing! I think one of the best dogs for small kids is a Labrador because they are extremely tolerant of kids jumping all over them and poking them everywhere and grabbing their fur/skin and all those things that go along with young kids =)
I would say the best way to ensure a good-natured dog is to raise them from the time they are a young puppy (12 wks is generally when they can leave their mom). This way, you can train them the way you want, and make sure that they learn from the start that the kids are in charge just as much as you are! Make sure you get the used to being touched while eating, and often take their food away while they are eating so that they understand it is YOUR food that you are SHARING with them, so that they will not become food-aggressive. Make sure you pet them all the way down their back, onto their hind quarters, including their back legs and tail. A lot of older dogs don't like to be touched on the rear end, and a little kid doesn't know any better. You have to get the dog used to being touched all over while they are young. Also, a great exercise I do with my kids (they are 4 and 2, but they've been doing this since they could walk!) is to put the leash on the dog in the house and let the child lead them around. This teaches the dog that the child is also in charge and can tell them what to do!
Here is a link for Cesar Millan's tips on puppies and kids (the Dog Whisperer):
If you don't already, I would suggest watching some of his episodes on the Discovery Channel...maybe even buying one of his books! ANY dog can be a loving member of your family =)
Hope this helps!
W.C. answers from San Antonio on March 19, 2009
Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, small dogs+ small children= trouble. These dogs often feel threatened but the child's size and lack of concern for the dog's safety, which sounds like the situation that you just got out of. Larger dogs seem to understand that this little person is not going to hurt them. I would defiantly get an adult, since you don't want to house break and potty train at the same time. LOL. Most importantly, you want a dog with a proven temperament and experience with very young children.
Labs, German shepherds, and golden retrievers are all great dogs for young children, but again, it needs to have a proven tolerance for young children. If you misjudge the large dog, you will have a much bigger problem.
I personally wouldn't risk an unknown dog of any size or breed with a very young child, not until the children are all old enough to respect the power that even a small dog has behind those chompers, at least 3-4 years old.
It is one thing to bring a child into a home with a dog that you know, which allows the dog to adjust slowly, but it is another thing to bring in a strange dog to a home where the little one is already curious and pulling on the dog.
S.W. answers from Austin on March 19, 2009
I would definately recommend another dog! But then again I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't have one. Research breeds. I agree that labs, shephards and retrievers are usually a great choice with kids. Dogs with a high chase drive or herding drive are less ideal with kids. Herding dogs tend to nip at ankles to get the kids to go or do what they want. I think the most important thing is that you take the time to train and lead the dog. My German Shephard died when me boys were 4 and 6 mo.s old. We rescued a collie mix from the pound, but had to turn her back after almost a year of trying to deal with her issues. She was great with the kids, but extremely dog aggressive. We felt the risk was too great. Also, we were unable to take her camping, to the park, in the front yard, to the pet store...the list went on and on. We then got a 6 wk old rescue off Craig'slist. She seems to be lab and chow. She will be two in May. It has been beyond wonderful. Excellant dog. I think the most important thing is to start with a puppy. I understand why someone might be tempted to get a dog that is older and housebroken, but you are risking getting a dog that already has issues. If you "start from scratch" you have a better chance of raising the perfect dog for your family. Housebreaking a dog, if done right, can be done in less than a week with very little trouble. I can't imagine how it wouldn't be worth the time to make sure you are not getting a damaged dog. My Shephard took 2 days to train and never had an accident in the house, and our current dog had less than 5 accidents and was trained by the end of the 3rd day. Research the type of dog that fits your lifestyle. I definately recommend bigger rather than smaller. They feel less threatened by children and are therefore more tolerant. Hope everything works out great!
M.T. answers from Houston on March 19, 2009
We rescued a beagle from www.houstonbeaglerescue.org just before Christmas. It has been a WONDERFUL experience. We got a dog that was potty trained (one of my requirements) and we knew all of his personality traits from his foster mom (good and bad!). I highly recommend adopting a dog from a rescue group. You get the best of both worlds... knowing what that particular dog's good and bad "habits" are, and helping a dog in need at the same time. Our youngest child is a 5 year old boy that has pulled and prodded that dog all over the place (not in a bad way, but for sure, it get's old for the dog!). Our beagle is so easy going, sometimes I wish he'd growl or snap at him to stop! We've had great experiences with Labs and now Beagles with kids. Good luck and if you do some homework, you will find a perfect match for your family.