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♫Hope♫ asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

When starting a family.... Is it better to have a child or get a dog first?

If a dog, how long should you wait until trying for a family? And if a child, how old should the child be before getting a dog?

This question is from the perspective of the two getting along and there being enough respect between them (behavior on both their parts).

17 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A kid first.

    Having a baby is such a totall upheaval. Getting only 2 hours of sleep at a time is no fun.

    If you have the baby and it gets to be a few years old and you want a dog, fine.

    People who get a dog first to "practice" having a baby often dump the dog after the baby arrives. Many of these folks lavish all their affection and attention on the dog and it doesn't work well to suddenly say to a 3 year old dog---you can't sleep on my bed anymore, you can't do this, you can't do that....hard for the dog and everyone else.

    Plus, when you have a little kid you'll want to go to the tiny tot amusement parks---where will the dog be?

    It is tricky balancing it all---and I have done it both ways. I had a dog when I lived alone and got married and had a baby and it worked---but it was hellish when the baby was 6 months-18 months because I had to keep them apart so the dog wouldn't bounce the baby over.

    My dog was a rescue and used to kids which made much of it easier---he had been raised with them and was very sweet. many dogs who have not been raised with kids have a hard time dealing with babies. They don't understand what they are.

    I have also had kids and gotten a puppy. Still probablematic at times---but much better. The puppy had to learn not to chew on the kids and the kids had to learn not to encourage bad behavior, but it was much better than having the dog first.

    I think much of it will depend on you and how you treat the dog. Folks who get a dog first to try it out and "baby the dog" set themselves up for a total nightmare when the baby comes and all of a sudden their lives are consumed by the baby and the dog is out in the cold with no clue what is going on.

    So, as someone who has done both: baby first, dog when baby is 4 years old and can deal with the reality that puppies bite at first.

    Good luck.

  • Always get the kid first then you wont have jealousy problems and they can grow up together.

    The young are always more adaptable than the old. Having a dog already before you have a child can work out just fine but it may take more work. Having a child first allows for the dog to grow up in an environment with children and become better adapted to living with a child.

  • 1 decade ago

    Regardless of which comes first, your primary concern will be making sure that the dog understands that the child is the pack leader, and is to be respected by the dog. Before they are friends, the dog must respect the child they way he respects you, the adults.

    If you get a dog, you must be certain the dog understands his role in the pack, that he is submissive to everyone, including a child.

    If the child comes first and you are bringing a dog into the home, be very sure of the dog's temperament, and very closely supervise interactions. Teach your child as best you can by example that animals must be cared for and respected; never tolerate rough-housing or run-and-chase activities, as it's easy for a child to think that chasing the family dog applies to all dogs.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think it's better to wait until the child is old enough to be taught how to respect animals. Of course, if you happen to have a dog first, there's not much choice in the matter.

    I've never thought of it as an "either- or" situation, since we raised 3 boys and a continuous procession of dogs at the same time.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I would have the child first, and then when he or she is 3 or 4 get a dog. By then he could help take care of the dog and know how to act around one.

  • 1 decade ago

    My sister already had her dog (lab/sharpei/rottie mix) when she had her youngest daughter.

    Although I think it obviously depends heavily on the dog's temperament, I think dogs take their cues from their owners.

    That dog will let my niece stand on her, ride her, pull her ears and tail, and anything else, and she just accepts it happily. She knows that this little girl is someone she should look out for and protect. When she's sick, the dog will lay next to her and keep an eye on her. When she's crying, the dog will lick her face and actually wrap her paws around her neck as if to hug her. When strangers approach the little girl, the dog makes sure they know their being watched.

    It's really amazing, the bond they have. I know that my niece feels extra loved and protected to have the dog looking out for her. Also, it's given my niece a confidence about dogs. She is not afraid of dogs and therefore, they respond very well to her.

  • 1 decade ago

    it really depends on what kind of dog you have. but to answer your question generally i would say wait until your child can walk and then get a dog that is 8 weeks old (the youngest you can legally sell a dog) and have the dog grow up with your child.

    Source(s): i breed dogs
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    it depends entirely on the dog. most dogs get along great with children and puppies and anything small. smaller dogs usually object to the occasional ear biting and tail pulling by a child more than a large dog.

    in general lapdog species are probably some of the worst to have with small children -- little cute bundles of fur often come with nasty dispositions if all eyes aren't on them. while larger dogs or hunting dogs (which even includes jack russels, rat terriers -- some pretty small dogs) usually have a pack mentality and a child will be a welcome addition.

  • 1 decade ago

    are you trying to make a baby or are you getting a child. if you are trying to make a baby you can get a puppy not a dog, if you get a dog this is fine but i wounld get a puppy, because that get the puppy use to haveing a baby around the house, and if you are getting a child then you will need to get a dog and at the age of 8 month of age well that is still a puppy.

    Source(s): trying to be a dog specialist
  • 1 decade ago

    I have found that pets are a replacement for children. It's a great warmup for having kids, but then when you do have kids, especially if it is more than one, you find you have very little time for them and they can actually become quite a burden when you have children. I had 3 cats, 3 dogs and a big fish tank. I had 2 kids and I was forced to find homes for 2 of my cats, one of my dogs and get rid of my fish. I love animals, but I love my kids more, and it's hard to handle them all! Of course, I am one who did not have any family or friends to help me out. Also, you can't have pets if you like to travel and go places. You can always take your children, but not so with pets! For the pets I still have, we cannot go anyplace until we have made arrangements for the pets first, and it inevitably costs money, which I feel is better spent on our human babies ;)

    Source(s): Life
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