Puppies and toddler

I'm considering buying a puppy for my son at some point this year. My son is about to be 2 and I've been researching the pros and cons of having a dog at such a young age. We do have cats but they're not really keen to play with him, he's a little too rough for their liking but he really wants to interact with them. I thought a dog might be better for him to play with and match his energy. Any advice on this?
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Get a breed that fits into your lifestyle not because it’s cute or whatever but buy a dog breed based on what you can offer the dog and what the breed actually needs

I breed dogs and although I have sold some to people with small children I would always say this… a dog is it’s own sentient being with feelings and emotions. They aren’t a new toy and letting a small child “play” with them can be really dangerous as it can agitate the dog or even encourage behaviour that you don’t want later on in adult life. If you do get a puppy, make sure they have space away from your toddler where they are safe and can be left alone and that your child understands this. I know of too many people who’s kids have had face bites from a new puppy that was treated like a toy and the poor dog ends up snapping after putting up with poking and prodding. If he is too rough for the cats I would say he is too much for a puppy, wait a couple of years until he understands having gentle hands with the cats :) I have 6 dogs at home and they have always had their own space away from my kids :) so it is possible but it will be hard work :)

We have a 3 month old little girl and a 1yo puppy - prepare yourself that it is HARD work having both, and puppies need so much attention too. Edited to add context; We found out we were expecting quite literally as we were getting the dog. I wouldn’t do it again and wouldn’t recommend getting a dog or puppy until your son is old enough to understand boundaries - also as said by others, a puppy teething is HELL, they will bite and chew everything and anything - including little hands x

@Toni 100% never let a child pull push climb or get rough with a dog !! Too many parents don’t teach their kids how to interact with dogs and then blame the dog for trying to set a boundary and claim they bit out of nowhere after ignoring warning signs! I would recommend researching dog body language and behaviours to understand when they may be displaying and trying to communicate their feelings to you! As an owner it’s your duty to advocate for your dog and ensure they’re safe so they don’t have to defend themselves

I got a 6 month old pup at Xmas (rescue) and my daughter is 2.5. It's a brutal stage. You literally need eyes in the back of your head. She will be walking one way out for the room, next thing she's trying to climb on the dog (Labrador). They are at a defiant age where they think they know best x

I had thought about getting a puppy when my daughter was younger, then my in laws got a puppy and I was soooo glad I didn’t. They were two retired people with not much else going on and they still found having a puppy really hard work. Even now he’s older they have to do at least one long walk and one shorter walk per day, committing to that with a toddler as well is so hard.

Growing up ive had Irish wolf hounds, collies and German shepherds. All fab dogs, as a child they looked after us and played but were good at removing themselves when they were fed up of our child like antics ! Cons to these breeds is they need ALOT of exercise. I currently have a lab x collie, shes 6 and requires alot of attention and 3 walks a day (1 long and 2 shorter and by shorter its still 30/40mins) but shes absolutely phenomenal with my 6 week old baby, my friends 2 year old and all 3 of my cats ! But as said above you need to allow the dog a safe, separate space. Somewhere they know they can go for a break. Its a lot of training aswell and with a child its gonna be hard work. The dog needs trained to pee outside, walk on a lead, to sit, wait, come to there name etc. The pros are my dog loves playing with our friends kids, running after them and chasing them and is so paitent and loving towards my LO already 🥰

I would also consider going to a rescue and adopting a dog. Or ensuring you research properly where you are getting your dog from to avoid buying from backyard breeders who breed genetically unstable dogs !! So always go to a registered breeder if you aren’t willing to adopt. Also if you’ve never owned a dog before and have no clue about dog training maybe attend a few dog training classes prior to getting a dog so you know what to expect and how to do the basics.

I'd wait until your son is older. We got our puppy and a week later found out we were pregnant so the bond they have is brilliant but I could not have done the puppy stage with a toddler around. He was very bitey and mischievous and it was like having a newborn baby because he was very needy. He had me up in the night the first few weeks constantly. He settled quickly but that can go on for months with some puppies so I think we were lucky. Our dog is the most laid back animal ever but he even sometimes gets to a point where he's had enough toddler time 😅 and you never know how tolerant they will be until you're well into your commitment as an owner. Also the financial commitment is a lot. Pet insurance, food, yearly vaccinations/health check. We also send our dog to doggy daycare whilst we work as I don't believe it's fair to leave them alone all day so a choice, but another cost.

Please do not buy a puppy for a toddler. If that’s the reason for getting a puppy I can guarantee that it won’t end well. The best way for children and animals to grow and have a great relationship is by learning respect. If you have kids then that would be using long toys with feathers etc on the end so that your child can play with the cats but be physically removed to keep everyone comfortable. The same will be with a dog - throwing toys is fine because there is space between them but toddlers do not have the ability to understand about being nice or striking gently or know that when a puppy bites that it is just the puppy learning in the same way the toddler did when they put everything in their mouth. Children need to learn respect and they can’t whilst a toddler so it’s our job to manage them so they can grow and bond with their pet. Get a puppy because you want one and have the time to put in to all the training not for your child - please!

My little girl was 1.5 years old when we got a puppy and they love each other and always play together. By age 2 my girl have learnt how to throw a ball to her pup and dog always brings back and all the cuddles on the sofa melts my heart its lovely when kids grow up with pets, but you as a parent need to understanding the commitment, as you will be the one feeding,cleaning and walking that dog no metter the weather) if you happy to do it and understanding that it's another baby added to the family I would say go for it as most dogs are perfect addition to the family

I’m sorry but if your child is rough with the cats I think you need to wait a while before getting a dog, at least until your baby understands boundaries and how to play / treat animals. My dog would not like a child playing and pulling at him, he’s a cocker spaniel and can be nervous around children as it is. I don’t think getting a dog would be a good move until your baby is much older xx

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