Best Time to Raise Puppy

Updated on April 09, 2008
S.K. asks from Madison, WI
6 answers

Hello! I have a new puppy question. My husband and I live on a 3 acre farm and have two boys ages 6 and 4 and an 8 month old daughter. I was raised having a large farm dog and about 10 years ago, helped raised a German Shorthair puppy for 2 years. However, never while also raising three young children! So, I have two questions for those of you with puppy wisdom and experience. Is there a best age or time to introduce a puppy to the family and what type of dog would be best for children while primarily being an outside dog. We prefer larger breeds. Thanks in advance! S. K.

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So What Happened?

Happy Spring Everyone!

I just wanted to send out a sincere THANK YOU to everyone who responded. I could tell that all of you are animal lovers, looking out for the best interest of all. We have decided to hold off on adding on a puppy-mostly because of the expert advice about mouthing and needing to feel like I could be raising another infant at the moment. We may re-evaluate next year and may also consider adding an adolescent dog trained by a breeder. Thanks again so much for the time and interest and your love of animals! S. K.

More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

We got our 9 mo old boxer a month before our daughter was born and I wouldn't have done it any other way! It was a bit hard at first as both needed attention however now they are inseperable!!! As long as you are prepaired for two "babies" in the house you should be fine. I wouldn't worry about your 6 and 4 year old. Puppies love kids!! You need to make sure that your puppy quickly learns his place in the "pack" and that he/she is one of the low ones on the totem pole. As long as that's established, life should be good. You will need to "train" your children how to be nice to the puppy as you train your puppy to be nice to the kids. Boxers are great with kids but they aren't really outside dogs so I wouldn't recommend one for your family. I'd go with a Lab or a Retriever. Both are great with kids and are outdoor dogs. Another great upside to getting your puppy now is that the kids and the puppy grow up together.



answers from Iowa City on

Dear S., looking back on the puppies and kids raised on my farm, I hate to say it, but the only well-behaved dogs were when the kids were teenagers. Puppies need one-on-one training, firmness and discipline. I suggest you wait until your oldest child can participate in 4-H, which offers low cost dog obedience training for child and dog. (Look in the phone book under government listings, county level for Extension Service.) Alternately, would you consider rescuing an adult dog from the pound?
Because I raised Welsh Pembrooke Corgis, I have to mention them. They are very good with people and a mature Corgi is great with children. However, they are very clever and a bit willful. I don't recomend trying to raise a Corgi puppy and very young children.
Good Luck.



answers from Minneapolis on

Golden Retrievers and Labs are GREAT with children. They are both known to have a great family friendly demeanor. Weimeraners are great too, especially with children. The only drawback they really have is that they tend to me more susceptible to loneliness and go through separation anxiety quicker than most dogs so they are not good dogs for being left for long periods of time on a regular basis.

I think that anytime is a great time to get a pet. The 6 yr old will probably be the most helpful in feedings, walks, etc. (probably not so much help with the poop-pickup)

I'd try and bring a new puppy in the home at a calmer season, and not during a season in which all the kids/parents have lots of activities going on. This way, you'll all have more time designated to potty train and monitor more carefully without having to run here and there.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi S.
My advice is to wait until you think you can handle another baby. because thats what a puppy is. My husband got me a puppy as a gift when my children were 3 and 6months and we had to send him back he chewed on the baby went in the house and just plain stressed me out. Good luck in your puppy decision. :) T.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi S.,
I am a dog trainer in the Minneapolis Metro Area. I would not recommend introducing a puppy to a family with young children, especially babies and/or toddlers. Puppies need just as much attention and time as a newborn baby does, and when there is both the puppy usually suffers. That can have huge negative effects that are long lasting. Puppies are mouthy, jumpy, and rambunctious. These things need to be handled appropriately and corrected in a positive way in order to help create a fabulous family pet. When a puppy is playing with children, the pup can easily get the idea that he/she is in charge, and may then bully the children. Mouthing may even lead to biting, if not handled appropriately. A large breed puppy will very quickly outweigh a toddler, and again may think that it is the one in charge. I highly recommend waiting until your children are older. If you absolutely cannot resist, then it is extremely important for your puppy to get formal training from day one. For more information, you may contact me through my website,



answers from Minneapolis on

I personally would wait a few years, esp. since you are interested in larger breeds. Puppies like to nip and chew and I wouldn't want my 8 month old to get nipped. Even a 6 and 4 year old are small enough to be hurt if a bigger dog jumped on them. Also, you are going to dealing with housetraining the dog AND diapering your baby--how much poop and pee are you willing to clean up in a day? LOL.

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