Thinking about getting a dog?
Children and dogs go together like peanut butter and jelly. And for mom and dad it’s a big gooey mess. We recently got a new dog, a chocolate lab and boy is she precious, but I wasn’t sure I was going to survive those first few weeks.
Having an untrained puppy is like having a newborn all over again. You have to get up in the middle of the night and let them out so they don’t have an accident, unless you are crate training them and then well, be prepared to be giving the dog a bath and wash the crate. The accidents drove me crazy, the kids yelling, “she bite me mommy” drove me crazy, the kids stepping in the P drove me crazy, having to walk her when the kids hate walking drove me crazy. I felt like I was herding a bunch of cats because every one of my three children (the third being the dog) was going in a different direction and we weren’t making any progress on the walk. Every activity involving all of them felt like this, come to think about it.
Now that I’ve convinced you to not get a dog with toddlers, let me tell you how to handle getting a dog with toddlers.
One, pick out a smart dog, certain breeds are smarter than others and learn faster. Do your research.
Two, pick out a family breed, certain breeds are more family friendly than others. Know what your dog’s purpose is going to be. We wanted an active family dog, so we got a chocolate lab, they are gentle, large smart dogs that learn quickly and protect their family.
Three, train the dog and not the kids. This was my vet’s advice. He said it would be much quicker to train the dog, that she is a dog and that the kids are not her playmates instead of teaching the kids. I still have to keep them from pulling her body parts, dragging her across the room, and playing tug of war. One way to teach the dog that the kids are more important is to keep her off of the couch when the kids are on it. She learns that she is at the bottom of the pecking order and this is an important lesson for her to learn.
Four, don’t give up on your dog in the first three weeks. I wanted to, but I survived and so can you. Once you get past the first six months (depending on the breed it can be soooner) it's peanut butter and jelly!
By Guest Blogger Louise Bishop from MomStart.com