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Hello everyone!!

I am new to Labs andhave just become the mother of a gorgeous Golden lab - a girl called Poppy who is 8 weeks old.
I also have a toddler, almost 2.
Please can anyone give any advice on how to raise a safe and happy family with our new lab?
She is gorgeous and very calm. She was the runt of the litter. She is currently nipping which is to be expected and my son can be a little rough. They are both learning and I amteaching them to respect each other.
In the back of my mind I am a little worried as animals can be unpredictable.
are labs generally kind to children?
I am taking poppy to traning classes shortly. She is booked in.
any advice is so so so appreciated as this is all new!! I hope I have done the right thing by getting poppy when i already have a toddler and wantmore kids.

jen x
 

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Labs are generally docile.
We've had five over the years.
We also have a son.
When he was toddling around we NEVER, EVER left them together without supervision.
It paid off because he banged into the Lab we had at the time and it snarled at him.
The dog had to go.
Better safe than sorry !!
Fortunately he went (for free) to a friend who had much older children and he became a fine, and happy family pet.
 
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In the back of my mind I am a little worried as animals can be unpredictable.
are labs generally kind to children?
Labs are generally quite tolerant, but on the whole aren't that much different to many other medium/large breed dogs towards children. So don't just think because you've got a Lab, it'll automatically be better with children than other breeds. I had a Collie cross and a large Lurcher who were much better with children than any of my Labs have been.

Be sensible. Don't EVER leave the child alone with the dog. Both child and dog need supervising at ALL times. If you can't supervise them, then separate them, to keep them both safe. Don't let the child pull the dog around, sit/lay on the dog, torment/tease the dog, go near the dog when it's eating. Teach the child to respect the dog. I know this sounds hard with such a young child, but it's essential and it can be done (I manage to instill this in both my children from the moment they could move towards the dogs). Remember the dog only has body language (which is often missed or misinterpreted), a growl/snap, or a bite to put across that it is uncomfortable/scared/hurting /etc, it can't say "I'd really rather you didn't do that, thank you", so protect the dog from having to feel anything you wouldn't want to feel yourself, and you won't go far wrong.
 

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I agree with Jules.
I had my first lab before children so when they came along we didn't let them climb all over him, pester/ tease him and definitely never ever let them go in his bed, bother him when he was eating or chewing his bone. We had a playpen for the girls so Giddy could have a break from them wandering around him. Also when I took them out walking and if we met people who wanted to look at the baby, I always insisted they fussed Giddy first(whether they liked dogs or not!) before cooing over the baby. That way the dog wasn't never jealous of the baby and in fact he became quite protective of them!
I think if you follow all this advice, I'm sure your child and dog will have a wonderful relationship like my girls had!
 

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Don't EVER leave the child alone with the dog. Both child and dog need supervising at ALL times. If you can't supervise them, then separate them, to keep them both safe. ......................
 

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I have some friends that have a toddler that's rather close to 2 years old and they asked me to come and visit with Dante, which was about 6 months old back then. My boy is very friendly and very playful, but also weighted a bit over 20 kg back then, which is way more than a toddler should have and when they ran after a ball, the toddler ended up on the floor, crying.

I'm pretty sure that most Labs won't snarl at children or be aggressive in any way, but I'm also pretty sure that if you play too rough with them they might try to play rough with your toddler, which is not something that you'd like. So one advice is to try to be calm and relaxed when you're near the child and don't stimulate the dog too much (throwing the ball, playing tug, making her jump and so on) and always be ready to jump in.

Other than that, enjoy your Lab and hopefully you'll share wonderful stories and amazing pictures with us :)
 
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Apart from the toddler playing rough with the puppy, I think more so for us, its the puppy playing rough with the toddler! Flynn is always very excited to see my 3 year old granddaughter who comes to me 3 days a week and I have to watch him like a hawk while he is still learning she isnt a toy to be jumped all over and her hair is a particular joy of his! I have found a very useful trick, is to give Flynn a toy to carry. Even Phoebe knows whilst Flynn has a toy in his mouth he can't nibble her!!!

Marley was already passed the bitey stage when Phoebe arrived in the world and was her very best friend. We lost him so young in May and Phoebe still can't understand why he cant come back from the angels now they have made him better. Because of this I was very unsure about having a puppy, but we are getting through it and Im hoping once again Phoebe will have a 'best friend' in her life, who can grow up with her :)
 

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I was in a similar situation with my pup and young grandson who I have 5 days a week while mum and dad are at work. Staying calm around the pup not encouraging rough play. Using a playpen, crate, and safety gates and never leaving them together unsupervised is all I can suggest. It's hard work, especially finding time to dedicate to training the pup. My grandson has just gone 3 and pup is 20 months, life is easier now they both know the rules. I was lucky that my pup was fairly quiet and quick to train and my grandson was used to our older dog.
 

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I think you can make it work if you want it to and are prepared. The first year may have it's ups and downs. A large crate for the puppy and a playpen for your toddler will help. Over time they will both learn respect for each other ensure that they both get special time with you. There will be knocks and nips and tears and toys with no stuffing left inside them, but there can be a lot of joy too.

You may want the help of a dog walker from time to time as the pup gets older and needs a good run around to tire him out.
 

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I definitely agree with the above opinions. I have kept my dogs and children together peacefully over the years, simply by being extremely vigilant and aware of who is where at all times, training the pups from day one what is expected and accepted, and teaching the children before the dog even comes home how I expect it to be treated/managed. I've got a fair few animals, and have taught my kids respect for them all, which has worked out very well for us. Even at two, my middle child knew what I meant when I told her to 'play nice' and 'be kind' with our dogs. There will always be times when they forget or just play too rough, but that is where it is our jobs as parents and responsible dog owners to be right there to put a stop to it before it can potentially escalate. I never, EVER leave the younger kids with the animals if I am not right there, and use gates around the house where necessary to ensure safety to the best of my ability.

Enjoy your new dog!
 
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