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Would you get a dog if all the family members weren't on board with the idea? Updated at end with picture!


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My middle daughter is a big time animal lover.  She has been begging for a pet for years.  My sister has several dogs and she has spent so many days playing with them, feeding them, walking them etc.  In other words, she has a pretty good idea of what she is getting into.  DH grew up with big dogs and has always been open to the idea but when we had lots of little kids it wasn't an option.  Personally I'm a cat person but I grew up with rat terriers and I don't mind small dogs but this would definitely be a pet for the youngest 3 who would all be involved in it's care.  Now to the objectors.  DD17 is very vocally against it but she is very vocal about anything she doesn't like from when I set up the Christmas tree to what I'm making for supper to how I plant my garden.  In other words, I'm use to ignoring her objections because she feels the needs to express her opinions even when something doesn't really concern her.  However, she was bitten by a dog when she was 3 years old and so I can also sympathize that she has some fear of dogs *see edit below .  My DS20 and DS23 are also objecting.  But since they both work full time they aren't here all that much.  Also their only exposure to dogs is my sister's dogs and one of hers was a rescue dog that was abused and kicked by a man with large feet.  And while her dog is as sweet as can be to the rest of us, she has tried to attack both of them for simply walking in the room.  So they've decided all dogs are horrible.  I expect both DS will continue to be in the house for another 2-4 years (each is saving up for a down payment on a house before they move out) so I hate to alienate them but I also don't want to let them control the house.  My preference is to get a puppy or young dog so it had less chance of a negative history that may impact how it interact with my oldest kids.

So under these conditions would you consider a dog or am I crazy to even think about it?

Edited to add more description: When DD was 3, she walked into the room where dog was eating.  She had previous hand fed dog and like doing that so she reached into the dogs dish while it was trying to eat to get some food so she could hand feed it.  Dog gave one warning snap.  However since dog and DD were the same size, it caught her cheek.  Single puncture, that unfortunately got infected.  DD needed antibiotics but no stitches. She's apprehensive about dogs.  She has sat on the same piece of furniture but doesn't want them on her lap.

Both DS experiences were as an adult with a rescue dog that had been abused by a man with large feet. DS's were carrying a piece of furniture through the room not knowing she had been let into the house and she came tearing after them and repeatedly tried to attack their shoes.  No injuries but they were mad/annoyed that the dog would act like that are are convinced that all dogs behave that way.

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I would take your 17 year old's complaints seriously. If she was bitten by a dog, and she's strongly against it, then I'd consider a different sort of pet or wait until she moves out... but that latter assumes you both plan on her moving out within the next two or three years, and it doesn't sound like it since the oldest two are still there.

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I'd get a puppy, so the ones uncomfortable with dogs can get used to it before it gets big. I can't imagine a 17 yr old being gumpy enough to not end up adoring a cuddly puppy! 

As for your adult children, being able to live at home at those ages is a nice thing, but not a right that they have, and they CERTAINLY do not get to dictate to you what pets you can have, or anything else you do with your own home. They can move out if they don't like it, or suck it up. And I say that as someone who has an adult child at home, and who has lived as an adult with my own parents for several years after I got divorced. No way would I have said what my parents could or could not bring into their own home!

And if anyone in the family has a phobia of dogs rather than just not particularly liking them, they should get some counseling to work on that. It's no fun to be scared, and even if you don't get a pet now, their future spouse may want one, they may go to a party and realize there is a big dog there, one may end up in an elevator with them, who knows. Better to get over it. Again, I'm thinking puppy. 

 

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Do you have any pets at all?  How about a cat?  Or better yet, a pair of kittens.

I'd be most concerned about the 17 year old if she is twitchy about dogs in general.  If you were going to do it, I'd insist on getting a dog somewhere that would allow a trial, be very careful about temperament/breed traits, require training, and allow the non-dog people to have no dog spaces in the home.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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Having gotten a dog when not everyone was on board, I am not sure that I would do it again.  It is a point of contention in the family right now.  We all love the dog, but tensions run high when dog is being doggish.  Our dog is very good natured and sweet, but he also requires a lot of attention.  It also creates some hard feelings when he is barking a lot or otherwise being bothersome.  Sometimes taking care of him will fall on the family members who were not pro-dog, although we do what we can to avoid this.

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The only one who would give me pause is the 17yr old.  I would probably still get a dog I would just get the littlest unscary puppy ever and not force them to interact.   We had an exchange student who was afraid of dogs but she was able to deal.  I think it was good for her given the prevalence of dogs to get a more comfortable with them.

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I once sent my oldest a picture of the puppy I had just bought and she was so not on board that she refused to even answer me. I think she was afraid that I would pick one with a bad temperament. I ended up letting her pick the puppy, then I paid to have the puppy stay with her parents for 12 weeks so that she had the best foundation. She turned out to be a great dog. 
 

I got my 14 year old a Maltese when she turned 12. She wanted one mixed with poodle, but my husband was against what he imagines is a poodle personality, so we compromised. 
 

In your position, I would have your middle child do a ton of research about what breed she is interested in and decide if that breed would be a good fit in your family. I would absolutely not deny her a dog because her sister is scared. I’m not patient about things like that at all. I would consider this an opportunity for her to learn not to be afraid of dogs. 
 

For me, it depends on the maturity of the child. My 14 year old takes total care of her dog. My 22 year old is not as good at caring for her pets. My almost 11 year old wants a soft-coated wheaten terrier for her 12th birthday. We will need to work closely with the breeder to make sure it is compatible with the Maltese. 
 

I would absolutely get a dog, but I’d spend some time making sure that the one you get is just right for your family. 

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47 minutes ago, cjzimmer1 said:

My middle daughter is a big time animal lover.  She has been begging for a pet for years.  My sister has several dogs and she has spent so many days playing with them, feeding them, walking them etc.  In other words, she has a pretty good idea of what she is getting into.  DH grew up with big dogs and has always been open to the idea but when we had lots of little kids it wasn't an option.  Personally I'm a cat person but I grew up with rat terriers and I don't mind small dogs but this would definitely be a pet for the youngest 3 who would all be involved in it's care.  Now to the objectors.  DD17 is very vocally against it but she is very vocal about anything she doesn't like from when I set up the Christmas tree to what I'm making for supper to how I plant my garden.  In other words, I'm use to ignoring her objections because she feels the needs to express her opinions even when something doesn't really concern her.  However, she was bitten by a dog when she was 3 years old and so I can also sympathize that she has some fear of dogs.  My DS20 and DS23 are also objecting.  But since they both work full time they aren't here all that much.  Also their only exposure to dogs is my sister's dogs and one of hers was a rescue dog that was abused and kicked by a man with large feet.  And while her dog is as sweet as can be to the rest of us, she has tried to attack both of them for simply walking in the room.  So they've decided all dogs are horrible.  I expect both DS will continue to be in the house for another 2-4 years (each is saving up for a down payment on a house before they move out) so I hate to alienate them but I also don't want to let them control the house.  My preference is to get a puppy or young dog so it had less chance of a negative history that may impact how it interact with my oldest kids.

So under these conditions would you consider a dog or am I crazy to even think about it?

I think this is a mom and dad decision.  If mom feels like caring for a dog, (or whichever parent is home the most) then you should get one.  Caring for a relative's dog and believing you know what you're getting into is like thinking you know what parenting is because you babysit sporadically.  The newness WILL wear off and mom will either care for the dog OR have to enforce caring for the dog.  It will very likely become mom's dog because the dog will know who responds most reliably.  Try to imagine how old the kids will be 10-15 years from now when you and DH are still a dog parent.  It's a long-term commitment that will effect your lives and travel plans.  I wouldn't even be consulting the adult and near-adult kids unless they're helping pay the mortgage.  They won't be around for much of the dog's life.

I think it's worth it.  I loved and miss my dog.  He wasn't supposed to BE my dog, but he was.  My kids were 6 and 10 when we got him.  I think if you're fine with rat terriers then there are probably lots of breeds you could enjoy.

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As I am currently in this situation, I have to say no. I want a dog and ds wants a dog. Dh does not. So it is tabled for now. 

I just know that if I get a dog with dh resistant, then whatever issues I have with the dog, or whatever I need dh to do on the dog’s behalf, it will be a tenuous situation. I can hear it now...”Honey, please drop Jewel off at the groomers since you’re going right past there this morning...”

”Well you know *I* didn’t want a dog because I don’t want dog hair in my truck...” 

Don’t wanna go there. 

Your situation is even a bigger issue than mine. Nobody here is afraid of being bitten. 

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I would make it clear that dog owner has a serious responsibility to control the dog (not just safety only, but no jumping on people and so on). Other than that, I think 17 and up is old enough to deal with a dog in the house even when you dislike or fear dogs. 

This is assuming the other dd had a fairly typical 'bitten as a child' experience and not an encounter that send her to the hospital for reconstructive surgery. 

 

 

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DH’s family grew up afraid of dogs. DH was bit by one. They were cat people. Now 2/3 siblings married dog people and both that did now prefer dogs. A sight fear/discomfort isn’t the same thing as a phobia. If it’s a true phobia I’d insist on therapy but wait. If it’s just discomfort I’d get the puppy. 
 

Maybe check in with them and see what their level of dog hatred is. 

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54 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

 I'd consider a different sort of pet or wait until she moves out... but that latter assumes you both plan on her moving out within the next two or three years, and it doesn't sound like it since the oldest two are still there.

I would guess she will be here for at least another 5 years.

47 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

I'd get a puppy, so the ones uncomfortable with dogs can get used to it before it gets big. I can't imagine a 17 yr old being gumpy enough to not end up adoring a cuddly puppy! 

As for your adult children, being able to live at home at those ages is a nice thing, but not a right that they have, and they CERTAINLY do not get to dictate to you what pets you can have, or anything else you do with your own home. They can move out if they don't like it, or suck it up. And I say that as someone who has an adult child at home, and who has lived as an adult with my own parents for several years after I got divorced. No way would I have said what my parents could or could not bring into their own home!

And if anyone in the family has a phobia of dogs rather than just not particularly liking them, they should get some counseling to work on that. It's no fun to be scared, and even if you don't get a pet now, their future spouse may want one, they may go to a party and realize there is a big dog there, one may end up in an elevator with them, who knows. Better to get over it. Again, I'm thinking puppy. 

 

Of the 3 objectors I suspect she will come around the easiest.  We did look at some puppy pictures today and of a set of 3 she did express an opinion of which of the 3 she thought was the cutest.  Before she wouldn't even look and just bellyached about the idea of one.  I wouldn't say it's full blown phobia more of an apprehension/uneasiness and given the history I understand but I do think she will get over it.

46 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Oh, and with the fears of the family members, this is a situation where I'd advise either a very good breeder, or Golden Retriever Rescue Group, and I'd stick with easy breeds. NO guarding breeds, no herding breeds. 

We are planning on going through one of the local rescue groups so it will be a mixed/unknown breed for sure.  But since I want a smaller dog (max of 20-25 pounds), I think that will eliminate some of those options.

45 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

Do you have any pets at all?  How about a cat?  Or better yet, a pair of kittens.

I'd be most concerned about the 17 year old if she is twitchy about dogs in general.  If you were going to do it, I'd insist on getting a dog somewhere that would allow a trial, be very careful about temperament/breed traits, require training, and allow the non-dog people to have no dog spaces in the home.  

We currently have no pets.  I would LOVE LOVE LOVE cats.  I grew up with barn cats and tamed them all no matter how much the hissed at me.  I rescued kittens who lost their mom on the road and bottle fed them and rubbed their little bellies to make them go to the bathroom, I slept with them as pillows,etc.  Also over half of the family (myself included but I'd be willing to suffer for a cat) is allergic.  When DH and I got engaged the deal was no cats since he broke out in a rash just from touching my furniture that the cats had touched.  And youngest DD, starts sneezing anywhere in the vicinity of a cat even outdoors.   

We have a split level house.  2 of the no's have bedroom downstairs and the other only uses his upstairs room for sleeping.  My plan is to gate the stairs and confine the dog upstairs and let the downstairs be dog free.

35 minutes ago, Loowit said:

Having gotten a dog when not everyone was on board, I am not sure that I would do it again.  It is a point of contention in the family right now.  We all love the dog, but tensions run high when dog is being doggish.  Our dog is very good natured and sweet, but he also requires a lot of attention.  It also creates some hard feelings when he is barking a lot or otherwise being bothersome.  Sometimes taking care of him will fall on the family members who were not pro-dog, although we do what we can to avoid this.

The non dog people will not be participating in dog care.  There are 5 of us who are willing and able.  I don't feel the need to burden those who are already not happy with the idea.

30 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

We had a situation where we had a dog and a child who was afraid.  Frankly it’s not great to be afraid in your own home.  

Valid point and I will feel her out a bit more on it.  I think it's more of a wariness/apprehension that full on fear.  Also I expect if she is dealing with a puppy and she is bigger than said dog (at 3 she wasn't), she will fill more confidant since she will have more control of the situation.

15 minutes ago, rebcoola said:

The only one who would give me pause is the 17yr old.  I would probably still get a dog I would just get the littlest unscary puppy ever and not force them to interact.   We had an exchange student who was afraid of dogs but she was able to deal.  I think it was good for her given the prevalence of dogs to get a more comfortable with them.

I'm glad to hear so many think a puppy was better in our situation.  My sister wasn't sure since it's personality wasn't developed yet she thought it might be harder to judge if it was a good fit.

9 minutes ago, Amy Gen said:

 

In your position, I would have your middle child do a ton of research about what breed she is interested in and decide if that breed would be a good fit in your family. I would absolutely not deny her a dog because her sister is scared. I’m not patient about things like that at all. I would consider this an opportunity for her to learn not to be afraid of dogs. 
 

I would absolutely get a dog, but I’d spend some time making sure that the one you get is just right for your family. 

The plan is to get a rescue dog/puppy.  Yes we can kinda select a breed that way but obviously it will still have unknown traits.  I have no desire to go the breeder dog route when there are so many others needing homes.

5 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

I think this is a mom and dad decision.  If mom feels like caring for a dog, (or whichever parent is home the most) then you should get one.  Caring for a relative's dog and believing you know what you're getting into is like thinking you know what parenting is because you babysit sporadically.  The newness WILL wear off and mom will either care for the dog OR have to enforce caring for the dog.  It will very likely become mom's dog because the dog will know who responds most reliably.  Try to imagine how old the kids will be 10-15 years from now when you and DH are still a dog parent.  It's a long-term commitment that will effect your lives and travel plans.  I wouldn't even be consulting the adult and near-adult kids unless they're helping pay the mortgage.  They won't be around for much of the dog's life.

I think it's worth it.  I loved and miss my dog.  He wasn't supposed to BE my dog, but he was.  My kids were 6 and 10 when we got him.  I think if you're fine with rat terriers then there are probably lots of breeds you could enjoy.

I didn't consult my adult children as much as they know we are discussing it and they felt the need to voice their opinion.  I've told them they don't get a say but I don't want them to feel driven from their home either YKWIM? Yes I'm aware it may become my dog and I'm ok with that but I do expect DD13 will probably become the most attached and it will ultimately be her dog no matter how much we "say" it's a family dog. 

3 minutes ago, Quill said:

As I am currently in this situation, I have to say no. I want a dog and ds wants a dog. Dh does not. So it is tabled for now. 

I just know that if I get a dog with dh resistant, then whatever issues I have with the dog, or whatever I need dh to do on the dog’s behalf, it will be a tenuous situation. I can hear it now...”Honey, please drop Jewel off at the groomers since you’re going right past there this morning...”

”Well you know *I* didn’t want a dog because I don’t want dog hair in my truck...” 

Don’t wanna go there. 

Your situation is even a bigger issue than mine. Nobody here is afraid of being bitten. 

If DH was against it, I would drop it immediately.  That would actually be easier to me than adult children, who kinda get a say in most things in their life but yet not because it's not their house.  

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35 minutes ago, katilac said:

 

This is assuming the other dd had a fairly typical 'bitten as a child' experience and not an encounter that send her to the hospital for reconstructive surgery. 

Bite was on her cheek, it got infected and she had to get antibiotics but no stitches/surgery necessary.

24 minutes ago, Katy said:

DH’s family grew up afraid of dogs. DH was bit by one. They were cat people. Now 2/3 siblings married dog people and both that did now prefer dogs. A sight fear/discomfort isn’t the same thing as a phobia. If it’s a true phobia I’d insist on therapy but wait. If it’s just discomfort I’d get the puppy. 
 

Maybe check in with them and see what their level of dog hatred is. 

DD is definitely a wariness type of thing.  She regularly plays with sisters cats but just moves cautiously around the dogs.  She has sat on the same piece of furniture with sis's dogs but she won't let them on her lap.  For both DS's well they don't like any animal at least not according to their loudly expressed opinions.  Their going to grumble a lot but I'm thinking if I provide the lower half of the house as a dog free zone, I will just tell them to go there if it's such a problem.  We'll definitely have to work on barking though as I know that will annoy eldest DS the most.

23 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

No. 

I would not get a dog, especially as 3 of your children have has bad experiences with dogs. 

I would think it extremely selfish for other family members to force a dog on people who are terrified of them. 

 

I don't think any of them are terrified more annoyed would be a better description. And both DS's negative experiences happened in their adult years.  It actually made them angry more than scared because they didn't do anything to cause the issue but the dog just reacted on it's past history with big old tennis shoes walking by.

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26 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

No. 

I would not get a dog, especially as 3 of your children have has bad experiences with dogs. 

I would think it extremely selfish for other family members to force a dog on people who are terrified of them. 

 

This is interesting to me, because my first thought was that I would never allow one of my children to be so selfish as to put their fear above their sibling’s getting a dog. 
 

Now I can see that selfishness is in the eye of the beholder, and it can just as easily be seen the way that you see it. 

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I wouldn't get a dog if I weren't willing to care for it myself, even if it was supposed to belong to a child; or if dh didn't want us to have it. But young adults who are capable of moving out would not dissuade me from something I thought was a valuable experience for younger kids.

Dogs are ubiquitous in our society, to the point that being fearful of them is a problem. My concern would be helping the older three kids overcome their fear and learn how to safely interact with dogs. This is on my list of important things for kids to know before leaving home. @ktgrok's idea of starting with a well-chosen puppy seems ideal to me.

I'm hesitant to mention my last concern, but I would also want to be sure that the young men would be kind and patient with the dog or puppy. No yelling, no kicking, no swatting, even if it chews inappropriately or whatnot. An environment where people resent a dog and act out toward it is not fair to the dog.

I would absolutely research puppy classes and general obedience classes in your area, and make a commitment to attend with (at least) the dd who wants the puppy. If the older three could go as well, it might help them learn how to interact comfortably and appropriately with dogs.

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We got one 2 years ago even though we always said we wouldn't.   I like dogs fine but was busy with babies (repeatedly 😜) and my husband doesn't like dogs. We have an animal lover and no more babies and it just seemed like a good time. My husband agreed to it fully. In fact I just left it alone until he brought it up due to the daughter asking.  

I love her but my husband's negativity rubs off and makes it less fun than it could be.  Constantly complains about her smelling. He's hyper sensitive to smell and she just smells like a dog. Not even gross.  He's complained within 24 hrs of her being bathed or groomed.   So it is really just his problem but it gets super annoying to deal with from this side.  Our 18 year old doesn't like her either(grossed out by germs) and we have to hear about it.   My husband is super freaked out about stuff like that too like if the kids touch the dog they have to go wash immediately and FREAKS out if they touch anything like a snack without washing etc. They won't let the dog sit near them because she's germy and it's gross etc.   It's exhausting honestly and I hate it.  

While I agree that the parents make the decisions and adults who live at home don't have input like that, I would consider how much grief you would have to put up with and if it's worth it.  I wouldn't do it again honestly but we are just making it work.  Mostly.   

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If it was you or your husband who were against getting a dog, I would say no dog.  But IMO the other kids--especially at those ages--don't get a say here.  If you get a small, non-intimidating dog, it could end up being a very good thing for your daughter in the long run.  As for the boys, well, they are in their 20s and quite frankly would not have a say in my house.  

The only thing I would be concerned about in this situation is that puppies can be very destructive and a LOT of work that first year.  (Yes, the whole first year.)  It can be easier for someone to get over their fear of dogs with a puppy but I would be concerned about the potential destruction of the objectors' belongings and the general stress level in the home that can go up during puppy training and accidents. 

I think I would be looking for a VERY easy, small, and adorable dog in this situation.  I'm not sure a rescue is the right choice because you don't always know what you will end up with.  

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In your situation, yes, I would get one.  (I would absolutely not get one if dh wasn't on board like someone else mentioned.). I agree with others about needing to get over apprehension, especially as a teen or adult is not at a big risk of very mauled in the face by a small to medium dog.

I'm a little concerned about a rescue dog with unknown background going into a family lacking someone with lots of dog experience.  I'm unclear about how close your sister is though.  If she's over every day maybe that would be fine.  Another thing you might want to look at is that smaller breeds tend to be more likely to snarl or nip than the bigger dogs.

I've got seven stitches in my face from a cocker spaniel bite when I was 7.  I crawled into the dog's kennel to cuddle with it while it was chewing a bone.  So I'm not unsympathetic to apprehension from someone who's been bitten, but you just can't live your whole life like that in America.  You can definitely learn not to back an unfamiliar dog into a corner though.

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We have a puppy and it turns out my daughter’s stuff is very high risk of being chewed.  It turns out she doesn’t want the puppy in her room.

This was a surprise.

I don’t know the room situation — but can that daughter have an easy way to avoid the dog or not have her stuff messed up?  I would feel better about it then.

I don’t think it’s required though.  Sometimes toddlers mess things up too or make a lot of noise, and we still have children!  

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26 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

 

I'm hesitant to mention my last concern, but I would also want to be sure that the young men would be kind and patient with the dog or puppy. No yelling, no kicking, no swatting, even if it chews inappropriately or whatnot. An environment where people resent a dog and act out toward it is not fair to the dog.

 

This is a very valid concern and one that I think I may have been feeling but hadn't fully verbalized.  When rescue dog attacked eldest DS's shoes, he kicked it.  Which is the last thing the dog needed and just reaffirmed it's ingrained feelings towards men.  However, DS feels his reaction was fully justified and doesn't feel the least bit of remorse for what I thought was an overreaction (it's a very small dog and no way was going to hurt him biting through his tennis shoes) so I do worry a bit about his reactions.

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I would also make a plan to keep everyone’s belongings safe. When we got our Maltese, she had a playpen in the kitchen with enough room for her food, water, pee pad, and bed. If she wasn’t being held or on a leash, she had to be in the playpen. 
Next, we put baby gates up in the kitchen and she could be loose in there. 
 

She didn’t get free house roaming privileges for her entire first year, but she is beautifully behaved and completely house broken now. 
 

Several friends got puppies the same month we did. They thought we were going to way too much trouble. The dogs are now 2 years old, and theirs are still having issues. 
 

 

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58 minutes ago, Amy Gen said:

This is interesting to me, because my first thought was that I would never allow one of my children to be so selfish as to put their fear above their sibling’s getting a dog. 
 

Now I can see that selfishness is in the eye of the beholder, and it can just as easily be seen the way that you see it. 

We could change the animal and it may be easier to see. I want to get a pet spider, one of my children was bitten by one when small and is terrified, 2 others were attacked by one

I want to get a snake. One of my children was  bitten by one and is terrified, 2 others were attacked by one

I want to get a rat....... 

People sometimes see it from another perspective if the animal is changed

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38 minutes ago, Amy Gen said:

I would also make a plan to keep everyone’s belongings safe. When we got our Maltese, she had a playpen in the kitchen with enough room for her food, water, pee pad, and bed. If she wasn’t being held or on a leash, she had to be in the playpen. 
Next, we put baby gates up in the kitchen and she could be loose in there. 
 

She didn’t get free house roaming privileges for her entire first year, but she is beautifully behaved and completely house broken now. 
 

Several friends got puppies the same month we did. They thought we were going to way too much trouble. The dogs are now 2 years old, and theirs are still having issues. 
 

 

This is similar to what I had been thinking.  Our kitchen/dining room has vinyl linoleum type flooring, super easy cleanup.  The rest of the house has carpet that is all been replaced in the last year.  I want to make sure the dog is well trained before it gets to roam the house.  

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1 hour ago, cjzimmer1 said:

This is a very valid concern and one that I think I may have been feeling but hadn't fully verbalized.  When rescue dog attacked eldest DS's shoes, he kicked it.  Which is the last thing the dog needed and just reaffirmed it's ingrained feelings towards men.  However, DS feels his reaction was fully justified and doesn't feel the least bit of remorse for what I thought was an overreaction (it's a very small dog and no way was going to hurt him biting through his tennis shoes) so I do worry a bit about his reactions.

I would not bring a puppy into a household with this adult son unless you have clearly stated agreement from him not to kick, hit, or pick up and throw the puppy no matter what and trust him to honor that agreement.

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1 hour ago, cjzimmer1 said:

This is a very valid concern and one that I think I may have been feeling but hadn't fully verbalized.  When rescue dog attacked eldest DS's shoes, he kicked it.  Which is the last thing the dog needed and just reaffirmed it's ingrained feelings towards men.  However, DS feels his reaction was fully justified and doesn't feel the least bit of remorse for what I thought was an overreaction (it's a very small dog and no way was going to hurt him biting through his tennis shoes) so I do worry a bit about his reactions.

Did he kick out to get it away, or kick it to retaliate or out of anger? The first can be a reflex - just from being startled and once he knows what to expect won't happen again. But if it was out of anger that would be different. 

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37 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Did he kick out to get it away, or kick it to retaliate or out of anger? The first can be a reflex - just from being startled and once he knows what to expect won't happen again. But if it was out of anger that would be different. 

I suspect it was some of get it out of the way, some startle reaction.  They were carrying a large piece of furniture, dog runs in and starts biting his shoes.  He starts kicking,  he couldn't see the dog who was under the furniture but could certain hear the barking and growling and feel the dog trying to get at him through his shoes. No way for him to really assess what the dog was doing because he couldn't see around the furniture.  Furniture was large and awkward to hold so short of dropping (and his brother was kind of under the other end) it there was no way to set it down quickly.  Thus his feet were his only defense.  He did get angry but that wasn't when he was kicking that came later and  I think it's because it was so unprovoked.

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43 minutes ago, Danae said:

I would not bring a puppy into a household with this adult son unless you have clearly stated agreement from him not to kick, hit, or pick up and throw the puppy no matter what and trust him to honor that agreement.

I get that concern and it's something I definitely want to make sure I handle correctly.  I appreciate all the "hey what about" issues being brought up here because it helps me to think through all the issues I may have missed other wise.  I'm thinking to keep a gate at the top of the stairs (split level house) and keep the downstairs dog free.  The gate isn't really a hinderance for us because we used it for years for babies and only the youngest can't step over it so we wouldn't even have to worry much about it getting accidently left open.  But since DS only comes up stairs to eat for supper (and not every night) and maybe grab a drink of water, it means he can limit even being on the same floor as the dog to less than 15 minutes a day.  We could easily crate the dog when DS comes up to eat. 

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We got a dog when I was the one in the family against it.  I had a negative experience as a child with a dog and never like dogs.  The only way I could manage at all was to get a puppy and try to train it (or me). Come to find out--I am highly allergic to dogs.  I didn't realize how allergic because I just was never around them because I didn't like them.  My fear of dogs has indeed decreased but my sinuses have paid a high price for that.  And the rest of the family is realizing I am much more pleasant when the dog stays outside and I feel better.  

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2 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

We could change the animal and it may be easier to see. I want to get a pet spider, one of my children was bitten by one when small and is terrified, 2 others were attacked by one

I want to get a snake. One of my children was  bitten by one and is terrified, 2 others were attacked by one

I want to get a rat....... 

People sometimes see it from another perspective if the animal is changed

Again, the strongest wording the OP used was the 17-yr-old had 'some fear' of dogs. When you first used the word 'terrified,' she clarified that she didn't think any of them were terrified, and that 'annoyed' would actually be a better word. It's also not the OP who wants the dog, but one of her other children, the 13-yr-old. She has to balance the wants and needs of the various kids, and the three who are opposed are 17, 19, and 22.  It think that's old enough to deal. 

The dog has to be trained and controlled, sure. I don't want dogs jumping on me whether I'm afraid of them or not. If OP doesn't let the dog run wild all over the house, young adults can easily avoid the dog almost all of the time. 

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My 22 year old was bitten by a copperhead as a young child and had to be hospitalized. I would still get a snake as a pet for my 14 year old if she wanted one. 
 

I personally can’t see the appeal of a rat as a pet, even though my 2 best friends love them.

I’m wondering if this comes down to what we see as the default situation. I think of families as including pets so I would need a very strong reason for not allowing a child to have their preferred pet.

Someone else may see pets as superfluous to family life so there needs to be a pretty strong reason to include one. 

 

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If you get a dog--your business--I'd implore you to search the forum for Sheryl's puppy thread.

In that thread (and in some others on this forum) I have outlined a method for "bite inhibition" training that I truly believe is the most important single training necessity one faces with a new puppy and is the best method of making sure you end up with a safe dog who will not bite.

It is always vital. In this case, exponentially so.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Best,

Bill

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, katilac said:

 

Again, the strongest wording the OP used was the 17-yr-old had 'some fear' of dogs. When you first used the word 'terrified,' she clarified that she didn't think any of them were terrified, and that 'annoyed' would actually be a better word. It's also not the OP who wants the dog, but one of her other children, the 13-yr-old. She has to balance the wants and needs of the various kids, and the three who are opposed are 17, 19, and 22.  It think that's old enough to deal. 

The dog has to be trained and controlled, sure. I don't want dogs jumping on me whether I'm afraid of them or not. If OP doesn't let the dog run wild all over the house, young adults can easily avoid the dog almost all of the time. 

I don't care if she gets a dog or not. She was asking for what others would do. I responded

3 family members don't want the dog, 1 does. As others have hinted,  the older children can leave home if they don't like the dog. 

 

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48 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

I don't care if she gets a dog or not. She was asking for what others would do. I responded

3 family members don't want the dog, 1 does. As others have hinted,  the older children can leave home if they don't like the dog. 

 

I do appreciate all viewpoints, those that support and those that don't it gives me more points to consider.  I just want to say it's not 1 that does, it's 3.  So it's an even split among the kids and both parents are on board with the idea.  So it's really a 5/3 split in favor of the dog but even then I'm not sure if that should be enough to ignore the desires of the other 3.  More than anything I think it will depend on whether or not we can find a dog that will be a good fit.  

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Our experience getting a dog when one person was afraid (though not because of a bad experience, just general fear of dogs): my husband and son very  much wanted a dog; I was meh about it; my daughter did not want one.  

We got one, a lively rescued dog. My girl was afraid of him at first (and he was a bit afraid of us) but it didn't take too long before he was sleeping on her bed and she was cuddling him.  He was gentle with her like he was with no one else. If dad or son were playing with the dog, it was all rough and tumble. She could put scarves on the dog and he was as docile as could be. He really seemed to learn our personalities and knew how to be with each of us.

She loves dogs now, has been a short-term dogsitter, and is begging us to get another dog (ours died a few years ago). She was 8 when we got our dog; she is 21 now and a college student (though studying at home due to covid). 

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Good that both you and DH want a dog.  A dog just about always falls 100% under the responsibility of the adults in the household - children, no matter how old, how willing and how well intentioned are not responsible enough or in the stage of life to take total charge.  So, I tell everyone to only get a dog if you and DH are willing for the dog and its care to be totally yours.  Children helping is a bonus.  

Aside from that, I would be concerned with DD17, but probably ‘I’ would get a puppy.  Small, and all the criteria that @ktgrokmentioned.  I hear ‘rescue’ and think ‘problems’, but I am not well-versed on that, just my limited experience.  Also, although puppies are often universally enjoyed in their rolly-polly-ness, their immature/not-necessarily problematic nipping and jumping may be a trigger for DD.  It annoys us, and we have no fear of dogs.  

Also, if you get a dog, take @Spy Carup on his offer to explain how to teach a dog to have a soft mouth.   It is so important.

Finally, I would be sure that older DSs were totally on board with never, ever kicking or hitting your dog.  That can really ruin any good training you are working on.  Even puppies could push their buttons.

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11 hours ago, cjzimmer1 said:

I suspect it was some of get it out of the way, some startle reaction.  They were carrying a large piece of furniture, dog runs in and starts biting his shoes.  He starts kicking,  he couldn't see the dog who was under the furniture but could certain hear the barking and growling and feel the dog trying to get at him through his shoes. No way for him to really assess what the dog was doing because he couldn't see around the furniture.  Furniture was large and awkward to hold so short of dropping (and his brother was kind of under the other end) it there was no way to set it down quickly.  Thus his feet were his only defense.  He did get angry but that wasn't when he was kicking that came later and  I think it's because it was so unprovoked.

I thought it might be something like that. That wouldn't concern me in the least - I'd perhaps have done the same. 

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If my spouse were not onboard, no way.

That kids who are 20 something were not for it would be irrelevant for me. 

17 yo might give me some pause, but would likely just affect choice of breed, puppy vs rescue etc. Even if this child lives at home for 5 more years, the dog is goung to belong to mom and younger sibling, really. Late teen or 20 something will be more invested outside than inside the home.

 

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Living at home as an adult is a privilege, so I would not let the 20-somethings determine whether their younger siblings are allowed to have a pet. And it sounds like the 17 yr old would likely get over her apprehension with the right dog, so that's a win-win — younger kids get the pet they want and 17 yr old overcomes her fears.

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disposition of the dog is a big deal.   dudeling was petrified of dogs (no bad experiences, just ASD kid and unpredictable animal that licks.).  My mother got an extremely mellow Papillion.  Because she didn't live with us, his exposure wasn't constant.   He had exposure to a dog, generally when she was on my mom's lap. He would sit next to them and learned to pet.

Now, 1dd has two dogs and they come here somewhat regularly.  He's not afraid of them, but I'd call it more tolerates dogs.   

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18 hours ago, Amy Gen said:

 She wanted one mixed with poodle, but my husband was against what he imagines is a poodle personality, 

What is a poodle personality?  I've known a few standard poodles, and they had very good personalities.  rarely barked too.

Including one the pediatric optometrist would bring in regularly to help high strung children calm down.

backyard doodles are unpredictable.

18 hours ago, katilac said:

I would make it clear that dog owner has a serious responsibility to control the dog (not just safety only, but no jumping on people and so on). Other than that, I think 17 and up is old enough to deal with a dog in the house even when you dislike or fear dogs. 

This is assuming the other dd had a fairly typical 'bitten as a child' experience and not an encounter that send her to the hospital for reconstructive surgery. 

 

 

Yes - absolutely, the "owner" needs to do obedience training, preferably all the way through AKA good citizen.  It doesn't just train the dog - the owner will learn a lot too.

I've met so many people who think fluffy doesn't need obedience training because fluffy is so small.   Or fido is such a sweet dog - but stares at people and whines while they're eating.  (and will sniff their plate if they can.)  Or dashes out the door because they're so excited to see who is there.  (happened to dudeling one Halloween.  control your dogs moron!)

17 hours ago, perky said:

A bite to the face?  I'm not sure that's something you just get over.  I would not get a dog.  Maybe a bunny or a hamster or something like that?

I was bitten on the face when I was about five. It was our own dog, it was learning experience for me to pay attention to dog body language.  Young children (especially) should always be actively taught dog body language.  Even adults who aren't familiar with dogs, should receive that instruction.

 

I consider myself a dog person (my favorite breed is GSD, and I've had two.  dh is not a pet person, and we don't have a yard conducive to fencing, or I'd push for a third GSD.).  The cat comes to me when he's hungry or wants to play.  We have to work on the attacking  feet when he wants something thing . . . . . I'm not a cat person, can't fathom the idea of me having a cat. I have cat allergies. . . but, here we are.

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I would do it only if you get a puppy (could be older puppy not baby, but a dog young and small enough that 17 yo can get to know it before it is age/size to be dangerous) of a breed known for usually being sweet (Golden Retriever etc) probably a female,  from a breeder where you can meet adult dogs especially likely  dams to upcoming litters, where the breeder is knowledgeable and can help pick suitable puppy for your family as a whole as well as the child who will have main dog duties.  And then socialize it extremely well, including bite inhibition training. And have the child whose dog it will mainly be do training classes etc with the dog.   

And the child who wants it has to be the one to care for it primarily with help from you and others who aren’t objecting to dog .  Though 17yo should interact enough for dog to know her — a behaviorist or professional trainer might help even before a dog arrives in family with how 17 yo and new puppy can be introduced so they would get off to good start. 

 

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  • cjzimmer1 changed the title to Would you get a dog if all the family members weren't on board with the idea? Updated at end with picture!

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