E.T. asks from Euless, TX on June 16, 2008
Getting a Dog for the First Time
We're planning on getting a dog for our kids soon. They've never had a pet (they're 6 and 3) so I think it's time because they've been really interested lately in dogs. There are sites upon sites with dog info but in your opinion, what is a good breed of dog for kids that are a little timid around them? We would prefer a small-medium sized dog that doesn't shed (much). And, where is the best place to go and get one, and supplies?
So What Happened?™
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. We went to about 15-20 shelters and didn't find "the one." It turned out that a friend of a friend of a friend (you know how that goes) knew of an elderly lady that was wanting to adopt out her puppy because he was too much work for her. It was the perfect situation because we were looking for a shih tzu and's that what she had! He's been a handful since he's a puppy but he's as cute as can be and fits perfectly with our family!
H.D. answers from Dallas on June 16, 2008
We are proud owners of our 3rd Boston Terrier. They are wonderful. You may not think they are very cute but they have such sweet laid back personalities. They don't shed, they potty train fairly easily, they aren't hyper and my son pulls her ears tail etc and has never showed any aggresstion whatsoever.
I agree with the others on Chihuahuas. They are cute but they are prone to illness and are fragile. I am going to go against the group on one thing though...Cocker Spaniels. My sister got bit by one when she was about 5. The pediatrician told my mom that they are notorious for biting. Families often love them but they have a tendency to be unpredictable. I could be wrong that is what our Dr. told us 20yr ago too. Pugs are also prone to illnesses such as skin and eye problems.
Hope this helps. Good luck :)
J.J. answers from Dallas on June 16, 2008
The other two responses are right on the money. Cocker Spaniels are great for kids. Chihuahua's are to be avoided, despite their cuteness. Beagles are also good. Honestly I think your best bet is to check out local rescue groups or www.petfinder.com and get a rescue dog. Don't worry so much about the breed. They'll help you with that. Many rescue animals are living in foster homes so their foster "parents" can tell you if they are kid tested. They'll be honest too - no one will want to adopt a dog out to someone who might send it back because it is a bad fit in their home.
S.F. answers from Dallas on June 16, 2008
We have a cocker spaniel who is WONDERFUL with the kids too. I would recommend not getting a puppy. Go with a dog about a year old or older. Our cocker was about 3 when we got him from the pound and it's was much easier to have some of the playfulness gone so that he didn't overwhelm the kids. We also have a chihuahua which I would not recommend for young children. Our chihuahua does not do well with our 3 year old.
But then again I don't blame him when I look over and she is dragging him by one leg across the floor or she's dancing with him. Poor dog spends more time on his 2 hind legs then he does on 4. :o)
J.T. answers from Dallas on June 17, 2008
I have to say, hands down the golden retriever is the best breed I have ever come across. I've never met one that wasn't an angel. You can keep them shaved, too. They like it, especially during the summer, and you won't have to deal with the shedding! Check out the golden retriever rescue shelter. Regardless of the breed you choose, I agree that you should adopt one rather than purchasing from a pet store or "puppy mill" breeder. Good luck!!
R.E. answers from Dallas on June 16, 2008
I am by no means a dog expert, but we have a cocker spaniel. She's so sweet and gentle and patient with our kids. I don't know if this makes a difference, but we had her as a puppy before we had kids, so she was about a year old when our son was born. They've grown up together and are quite attached. They've been rough with her from time to time as kids are apt to do, and she has never done anything other than get up and move somewhere else to hide from them. They are 6 and 3 as well, so she's getting old now, but when they were younger, they would play together a lot and are very bonded now. Have fun!!!!
A.M. answers from Dallas on June 16, 2008
I've owned my share of dogs(and pets) and have volunteered at local animal shelters since I was 16. I also worked in a pet shop when I was in college and have family who breed German Shepherds.
In my opinion, I would stay away from terriers,small dogs,and aggressive dogs when you have children to consider. Yes, it is all about how you raise your dog, but sometimes, there are accidents and I know of too many children who have been hurt.
The pit bulls are a definite no no.
The best dog for children are golden retrievers and labrador retrievers. As a matter of fact, we are getting one for my children. If you buy from a breeder, be sure to visit the home so you can see that the puppies are well socialized from birth in the home and not in a cage.
The best type of dog that does not shed is the standard sized(not toy size!) poodle. They are the most intelligent dog breed. You may be interested in a labradoodle. They are a mix between a labrador and a poodle. They have the happy personality of a labrador with the intelligence and non shedding coat of a poodle. They come in medium to large sizes.
Supplies you can get at Petsmart.
Here are some reputable breeders in Dallas:
Adopting is great and I am a big supporter but when you have children,you should get a puppy. The reason being, you will mold and raise your puppy to be kind and patient with your children. If you get an older dog, you have no idea how it may react to your children. Spending only 10 m inutes at a shelter with an older dog tells you nothing. My best friend has a scar on her chin from a dog who bit her. She adopted the dog from a shelter when she was 5 and it was as sweet as could be but a week later it bit her when she put her hand in its food bowl.
When you adopt a puppy, sometimes you have no idea what it is or how small or large it will grow to be. Since you state you want medium size and low shedding, your best bet is to go with a breeder. STAY AWAY from puppy mills and pet shops.
My son's(he is 2) best friend is our neighbors English Labrador Retriever. I have never seen a dog more patient. My son pokes him,rides him,pulls his ears and tail, and the dog is more than happy to let him do whatever. He adores my son. :) We just bought an English Golden Retriever puppy for him that will be ready to come home in about 5 more weeks. You should never get a puppy younger than 8 weeks old.
Retrievers do shed but we have hard wood floor downstairs and the dog will only be allowed in the downstairs areas with doggy door access to the backyard.
C.J. answers from Dallas on June 17, 2008
We are currently looking for puppy for our two children 16 months and almost 3 year old. My husband is a Veternarian and there are lots of small dogs who bark and can be very aggressive. Buy from a good breeder it makes all the difference in the world. We are looking at getting a Brussels Griffon they are great dogs and wonderful with children. We also looked at Cavalier King Charles Spaniels they are very low keyed dogs great for kids. He has a breeder that I can get you her number if you would like, but the run about $1400.00. We found a good breeder of Brussels Griffon in Oklahoma K-9 you can find them on the web. We thought about going to the shelters to get a puppy, but we wanted a dog that can stay inside and you can only guess how big that puppy might get. Be careful with getting an older dog you just never know how well they will be with your children and that can be risky.
T.O. answers from Dallas on June 16, 2008
First, I'd check out Pet Finder like another poster said, and Operation Kindness in Carrolton. I would look for a mutt and not a purebred. Unless you're going to breed dogs, or need a certain dog for a specific task... like hunting... then there's really no reason to get a purebred when there are tons of wonderful dogs that need to be saved.
Operation Kindness is a great place to start. There are even purebreds there. But you can walk around and look at the different kinds of dogs and get a better feel for the type you're looking for.
It's so funny to me that everyone is recommending Cocker Spaniels... they are high-maintenace dogs. You've got to take care of their fur by brushing them daily. They can be cranky, and they seem to be prone to skin issues.
Please look at Operation Kindness, look for medium to small dogs, and like the other poster said, don't get a puppy.... they take ALOT of time. A dog that is 1 to 2 years old would be great for you. And if you get him from Operation Kindness they'll have done a temperment test on it already, so you'll know what kind of dog you're getting.