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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I have wanted a labrador (bitch) for years (they were always his family dog and he has good experience of the breed).

There's never been an opportune moment for us to get a puppy and I just wanted to ask how difficult the following situation would be.

I am 6 months pregant and am due to stop work early March – baby due at the end of May 2005. We wondered about getting a pup in March when I am off work and able to spend a while accustoming the pup to our home / environement.

We would want to train the pup immediately for obvious reasons but is it an impossible thought to bring a pup into the house just before a baby is born? We have a lovely home with garden and next door to a lovely park. Because I've not had a dog in my family, although get on with my husband's mother's labrador very well. I've heard caution and have caution myself, but want to hear it from people I respect, who have a proper opinion / experience of the breed. I don’t want to listen to ill-experienced people who wrap situations up in cotton wool, and infer that the baby or the dog will suffer at our hands because the of this situation.

I appreciate we might sound hasty but we have the best intentions but I personally think WHEN WOULD be a good time then? Do we have to wait another couple of years? it's just annoying putting off something we've so wanted, for so long. Perhaps it's best leaving it until the baby's 1 but I can't help but think so many of the arguments there are against it now, will be present then.

Thanking you in anticipation and best wishes

Kate
London
 

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Kate

We have 3 children aged 9, 6 and 3 years and our lab is now 6 months old. Both kids and puppies need a great deal of attention and are time consuming in a whole host of different ways. My wife does at times find it a handful!!!

My opinion would be to definiately wait for a couple of years, as I think you will find a new born baby will be more than sufficient to keep you fully tied up, let alone having to take care of a puppy!!!.

Anyway, best of luck with your baby and let us know what you decide re the puppy./

Rgds

Mark
 

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Hi, I so know how you feel, yearning to have a dog, but I'd really advise not to let your heart rule your head. A baby and a puppy are both full time jobs on their own and 'puppyhood' lasts for a year to 18 months, so two months to 'work' on the puppy is not enough. You can't change your mind about the baby, but please think long and hard about getting a pup too. Wait until the baby arrives at least and see how much spare time you have. I think you'll be grateful not to have to cope with a puppy as well and be only too pleased to put it off for a bit. I am not minimising your desire to have a dog, I do know what it is like, but to have a well behaved family dog needs a lot of time and effort, especially in the first year or so, and I really don't think you could do your puppy justice with a new baby to look after as well.

Rosie
 
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Hi Kate,

Sorry to not be able the disagree with the other two replies, but I too think that you should put off thinking about getting a puppy until you have your baby and can really see how much time and energy you would have to bring it up.

I know exactly how you feel, as I was desperate to have a puppy for a long time before we finally got Oscar, but I could never have imagined just how much work owning a puppy can be!

Training a puppy takes so much time and energy, that it really does take over your life for at least the first 6 months of their life.

Oscar is now 11 months and it is only over the last couple of months that we have felt we are getting back to 'normal' again, although our 'normal' with a dog is very different to how it used to be. And he is still managing to find new ways to surprise us with new 'tricks' that we never taught him :? and is still very much a puppy!

Bringing up and training a puppy is such a wonderful experience and can bring you so much happiness and enrich your life completely, but you really need to have a lot of time and patience to be able to really enjoy it and as Rosie said, be able to do your puppy justice.

You only have a short while until you have your life will be transformed completely anyway with the arrival of your baby. It would be such a shame to not be able to enjoy that time of your life because you have the added reponsibility of a puppy to train.

Best of luck with your baby - and your puppy when you get it. I promise you that he/she will definately be worth the wait! :)

Sarah x
 

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When our first child was born our dog was in her twilight years. Despite our every effort not to let the baby impact on her life the demands that a baby makes are all consuming. She was never the same dog after the baby arrived, became more withdrawn, a sadness seemed to come over her. Up until then she was our only baby, now she had to share us

The situation is different with a puppy but there are parallels. We only have so much time to give and. frankly, it is just to much to cope with both a puppy and a new born baby. One or the other is not going to get the attention it requires and, as its unlikely to be the baby, it will be the pup that loses out

Personally I wouldnt even contemplate it. Wait until you can give that pup the full attention it needs and deserves, you will then also have more time to enjoy the experience of raising it

A few weeks after you get your baby home you will imagine also having a puppy to contend with and understand why we are advising you to wait a while :wink:

Cheers
Nigel
 

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i have to agree with what is being advised. some years back a friend of mine had just had a baby when her well meaning hubby brought a 10 week old pup home. his thinking was that the baby and pup would grow up together. after 4 weeks my friend was completely and constantly knackered. the pup had to go. my friend was really upset as she felt a failure not being able to cope. as every one has said coping with a baby is hard work but a pup as well! my friend did get another dog when her son was 3 and the two became best buddies.
 

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Another agreeing I'm afraid. Having had to endure a period of my life without a lab due to my personal circumstances I fully understand your longing, but having a puppy is like having another baby - except they're mobile. It's not just the first few months either. Just when you think your lovely puppy is settling down, along comes the adolescent hooligan stage!
To be honest, I'm a volunteer in rescue and it's pretty common to have to rehome a dog because the owner has a new baby and does not having enough time to look after the dog - and that's with adult dogs, not puppies.
I would certainly wait until you can give a puppy the attention it deserves.
In the meantime, I know it's not the same, but have you thought about helping out with a rescue. There are many in London and they are often looking for helpers to walk the dogs etc. Perhaps, this would help ease the longing until the time is right for you to have your own pup.
HTH :)
 

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hi kate
first congrats on your soon to be new baby :)

as a mother of 4 kids ages 10 8 6 and nearly 2yr old..i have 2 dogs brandy is a lab and charlie a king charles ...
they are both 6yrs of age but let me tell you if you want to get a puppy thats fine :p but please be aware ..
1. you definatly need a long time to train your puppy (will you have the time?)
2. do you want your baby to be crawling in lil accidents made by your puppy?)
3. do you want your new puppy to swallow dummys dropped by your new baby?

i say this because brandy had a little 0f 9 puppys when my 6yr old was nearly 2 and coping with her and the puppys was absalutely a nightmare we kept one of the puppys but guess what she kept doing ??? yes eating my daughters dummys which ended up with her having a op to remove the offending teat so it was a very hard decision but to give her up and luckily the vet that deleivered the puppys took her on so i am afraid i agree with the others please wait a while for your puppy :):):)
 

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Hi
IMHO Getting a pup or even a re-homed adult Lab right now would not be fair to you or the Labrador. Labs require time and so to babies and you have a finite amount of time and energy to commit so have the baby and enjoy it and get a Lab later.

Best wishes
 

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Hi Kate,

Our lab, Jessie, is 7 months old and an absolute joy and the fifth member of our family. My son is 8 and my daughter turned 3, 2 months after we got Jess. I would agree with everyone else that I would postpone getting a lab until your baby is over 1, as a baby is a big disruption to your life and as well organised as you will try to be, a puppy will be an extra stress and responsibility on you at a difficult time.

However, I would say that you could use that time to start researching breeders, to make sure that when the time is right for your family, you know as much as you can about raising/training a labrador and have researched good breeders in your area (I am also in London and went out to Canterbury in Kent to get Jessie as most breeders aren't based in London for obvious resons :) ).

A lot of breeders won't let their puppies go to families with young children, the breeder I got Jessie from wanted to see my children, talk to them and see them interacting with her dogs and puppies before she would even think about letting us have one of her pups.

Also the fun parts of having Jess, the kids are old enough to join in on, going ramling in the woods, playing fetch in the park, wading through streams with her in their wellies. They are also old enough to understand why they must not do certain things with her (ie leave her alone when she is in her crate, encourage her to jump up) and my 8 year old loves to take part in training her (he went along to her training clas last night and saw her get her Kennel Club Good Citizen puppy assessment award and he was so proud :D ).

Once your baby is a year old you will be well settled in to the new routines of your family life and able to decide if you have the time (and energy :D ) to include a dog into that. If it is something that you definately want to do I'm sure you will, and if you use this year to read up on looking after labs, decide which training methods you prefer, what type of food you would prefer to feed, what holidays you can take your dog on, and particularly reputable breeders, then when the time is right you will have a wonderful healthy happy pet and will feel confident in your abilities to train her and integrate her into your family.

Good luck with your baby, let us know how you get on
Salena
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you

ThThank you all for your empathic responses, experience and thoughts.

It's helped me a lot to decide we'll wait.

Dreams are good to have and the Labrador pup will just have to continue being one until a more opportune time in our lives.

Thanks again everyone and best wishes.

Kate
 

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hi kate,
i think i speak for every one when i say that while you wait for your precious pup, share our labs with us. use the site to ask those questions no matter how silly. we will all guide and help as much as we can. you will be getting some good practice soon as caring for a lab pup is very much like caring for a baby.
best wishes to you and hubby.
jane and max.
 
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