New Addition to Family?

Updated on May 05, 2008
S.S. asks from Hollywood, FL
8 answers

My husband is in the military, and is being deployed in about a month. I am a working mother to a 2 year old boy, and will be lonely... even with my son beside me. Nathanael, our son, has taken interest in all the puppies and dogs tha walk by our patio during the evening, and expresses the desire to have one. Sure, he doens't really express it, but loves dogs. My husband would like to get him one, especially now since he is leaving, and feels that it would bring both our son and I some companionship. It would also entertain our son and give both of us a "distraction" while he is gone for one year. We live in a decent sized apartment with a low fenced in patio by the water. The fence is about as tall as my son, 2 feet. I work 40 hours a week, but manage to squeeze a walk in the evenings before dinner most nights.

My problem is... I am unsure about getting a puppy. Housebreaking isn't something I know first hand, I dont want my house to smell like a dog or anything that comes out of a dog, I dont want to deal with shedding, and I feel bad just thinking about leaving a dog in a cage all day. I dont know how to train a dog where I can leave him all day and trust that nothing will be marked, pooped, or chewed. I dont even know what kind of dog to start searching for. Does anyone have any advice? I would love a dog, because I feel that it would complete our family... but I am scared that now isn't the time. I would wait for a house or townhome with a yard, but the more we talk about it and see them, the more I want one. Someone have any comforting and supportive advice?

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answers from Miami on

Hi S.,
In my honest opinion I would not get a puppy at this time. A puppy requires much time and attention. Puppies are full of energy and need a lot of guidance/training. Crate training is easy and a puppy/dog does well in a crate. It keeps them safe and out of trouble. However, I don't think that having a puppy/dog in a crate over long extended periods is good for it in any way.

If your family really is ready for a new addition, I would recommend an older dog. One that has gone through the puppy stages and is housebroken. You should read up on dogs that shed the less and choose a breed that you find suitable. There are several of those breeds available at your local animal shelter or you can look up your dog rescue group. The dogs coming from the rescue groups tend to either be housebroken and have some basic training and have been evaluated.

Small non-shedding dogs:
Shih tzu, maltese, miniture poodle, scottish terrier, welsh terrier, yorkshire terrier, west highland white terrier, bichon frise, cairn terrier, chinese crested

Smaller dogs are good for an apartment. They take up little to no room & still make enough barking noise to scare anyone that comes to the front door.

Medium to large non-shedding dogs:
Wirehaired Fox Terrier, Basenji, Standard Poodle, Greyhound

The medium to large breeds are beautiful, but I would really not recommend them for your family at this time.

Wishing you the best of luck my dear friend.



answers from Miami on

I would highly recommend checking out They have a list of dogs available at various rescue organizations as well as Humane Society. We have three non shedding dogs all from rescues. Our border terrier-Humane Society, our cairn terrier- Animal Control, and our chinese crested powderpuff is from Abandoned Pet Rescue. We also have a 20 month old and a 4 yr old.



answers from Miami on

You don't have to get a puppy. The Humane Society of one of the dog rescues is a good place to get a dog which is probably already house-trained. We got an Old English Sheep dog from the Old English Sheep Dog in Cooper City. It is a very nice dog & trained. My husband found a dog in the middle of the street during a rain storm & brought it home. It looked like it had been abused by the marks around the neck where it had been tied up. It too is a sweet dog. She did have some accidents for a short time, but now if fine. Our other dogs that we had for 12 & 14 yrs. were both from the Humane Society. Try giving a dog in need a home. They usually make fine pets & because they are older, they are probably already trained.



answers from Miami on

#1 your house will smell like dog
#2 will be alone an one else to care for a dog and a 2 year old.
#3 a puppy will keep you up most of the night...just like a baby
#4 a puppy will chew up all kinds of things (shoes, furniture, etc.)
#5 it is not really fair to cage an animal all day

If you have a full time nanny who doesn't mind caring for the puppy as well as your son than that is one plus. If you have a cleaning girl to clean your home 2 to 3 times a week that would be good as well...dogs leave smell and hair. If you are ready for another baby, because that would be what you're signing up for, than get one. An animal is a huge responsibility and very time consuming.
Good Luck with your decision.



answers from Miami on

Dear S.,

I would NOT get a puppy for all the reasons stated by everyone else. The Humane Society is a super good option for an "older" dog that is already trained. Having a pet and a 2 year old is like having two children. We have an 8 year old cat and a 2 year old, believe me, you have to constantly supervise the 2 year old (my cat is super well behaved!).

Whether you get a dog or not, you really need a good adult support network. Are you involved in a church/temple? My support group came from the Mommy and Me group at my church. The ladies couldn't be better support and my son loves his friends there.

Best wishes to you and your family. Christy



answers from Miami on

My dog has a cage. It's like his home. He loves it. He sleeps in it all day with the door open! They like small enclosed areas, its comforting. I think its the only way to keep your home clean (they wont go to the bathroom where they sleep, in a small space). And they cant eat your shoes or toys or furniture if its not in the cage. If the cage is too big they will go potty in it. House braking is tough even w a cage. You have to take the dog out as soon as you roll out of bed. No coffee, no going to the bathroom. I hope you get one. If you get a cage get a metal cage. They can eat a plastic cage. Good luck!!!



answers from Miami on

Getting a puppy will be a lot of work! Do you HAVE to get a puppy? Can it be an "older" dog- maybe one that is just a couple years old? I got my dog from the pound and would never get one anywhere else! She is the best! (I got her as a puppy 10 years ago) There are a lot of shelters and organizations out there that screen dogs before placing them, and there are dogs out there that have minimal shedding. Depending on what you need/want out of the dog, these places can help you pick the right one for your family. My husband is gone quite a bit, and having our dog gives me a little sense of security as well. You just have to research what is best for your family, so you don't end up giving the dog back.
Hope I was helpful!



answers from Miami on

I had a co-worker/colleague who loved bearded collies.
She even 'rescued' them and took them in.

They are not an allergic type of dog- they have 'hair'
I'm not sure about the shedding...
They are very loyal, very sweet. She had them trained as
therapy dogs- safe enough to take to Nursing homes, schools, hospitals, etc.
She even had one she put in television commercials- very well tempered!

here're links I found:

If you find you're really interested, I could put you in touch with her.

Good luck!

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