There is quite a lot to think about when buying your family’s first dog isn’t there? It obviously has to be a breed that’s good with children plus you need to consider how big the puppy will grow. The latter will directly impact on Mummy’s time for two reasons. firstly – big dog means long walks & secondly – big dog means big poo… lots of it, yuk!
Mark & I always wanted our children to have a dog because we both grew up with them & know how rewarding it is to have that special family pet. Have you seen the movie or read the book Marley & Me? Well it’s exactly like that – without Jennifer Aniston, although I’d have liked her wardrobe from that movie…sorry I digress.
Anyway, we waited until our eldest, Kiki turned 10 before giving in to the children’s pleas, we need them to be responsible for the dogs care as well as enjoying the fun stuff. That time came this summer however we hadn’t decided what breed would suit all of us.
So what’s the best dog for children?
Mark wanted a big dog like a Rottweiler hahahahaha – NUP. I kyboshed that for the above reasons. Lulu wanted a Chihuahua because she loved the idea of carrying it around in a handbag (has a deep love for bags that child, no idea where it comes from) also she loves the movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Hmmm not good enough reasons to get a yappy dog sorry kid. Kiki wanted a…wait for it…Dingo. Yes a bloody Dingo mate, can you believe that? There must be some Aussie in her after all. Jas wasn’t bothered as he actually wanted a tortoise. Ahem nuff said there.
I suggested we research all the medium sized breeds of DOMESTIC dogs until we found one we all agreed was cute, but more importantly, had the fewest health issues.
It was incredibly easy to do this by watching the fantastic series Dogs 101, on YouTube. We gave Kiki the responsibility of narrowing it down to just a few breeds before we all made the final decision together. She had an absolute ball learning all about the specific characteristics of various breeds & it was a good way for her to understand how much is actually involved in owning a dog.
Before we agreed to let her have a pet snake for Christmas last year I asked her to research which type of snake makes the best pet. She came back to me with an A4 sheet of information about Corn snakes of which she’s now a mini expert. We’ve recently bought our Corn snake, Snowy, a large vivarium as she’d outgrown the small one I’d bought with her last Christmas. Snowy has a lovely character & the sweetest little face, you can check her out on my Instagram.
The Boston Terrier is an intelligent dog easily trained
With a gentle & loving nature & no particular health issues that could possibly bleed us dry. We all agreed they are super cute taboot!
I scoured the internet & quickly discovered Bostons are quite few & far between, this is because they’re tricky to breed making them unpopular with breeders. Fortunately I did eventually find a lovely lady about an hour away who had kept one puppy from a litter she’d recently sold. Having a full house of pets of all descriptions she’d decided she couldn’t manage to keep him after all. So the following Saturday we drove to meet her & the little red puppy now known as Blue.
Naturally we came home with him, I mean how could we not he’s adorable! He was a little shy that first day but he quickly fell in love with us as we had instantly with him. Michael our 18 year old 3 legged cat has been slightly harder to convince, it’s safe to say he tolerates the young fella. Blue occasionally bounces excitedly around Mike trying to entice him to play but Mike just gives him a bored look & turns away with an almost audible sigh. It’s hilarious to watch. If Blue happens to be in Mikes seat, Mike will hiss once & Blue jumps straight out apologetically. Michael is still the boss of the house make no mistake.
We were advised by friends with dogs to take Blue to puppy school & I did look into it but by using treats to teach him ourselves we had him trained in a couple of weeks so we didn’t bother in the end. He is very clever & very affectionate consequently he likes to snuggle up in bed with us at night & we let him. I’m wondering how this will work when we go abroad on holidays, we’ll just have to find a snuggly dog sitter for him! He basically has us eating out of his paw!
It’s like he’s always been part of our family & we can’t remember what life was like without him. So if you were to ask me “What’s the best dog for children?” my answer is resoundingly the Boston Terrier but that’s not to say another breed isn’t the ideal dog for your family. My childhood dog was a beautiful Bassett called Tiny, she was clever & loving, we grew up together – I completely adored her. There are lots of dog breeds that are perfect for children you only need to suit the rest of your criteria & choose a puppy.
Lastly, remember there will be wees & poos to clean up in the house while the puppy is learning to hold on & go to the toilet outside. Just make sure you’re ready for that because if you’re still cleaning up “little accidents” from your kids you won’t want to add puppy accidents to the frustration. Wait a bit longer & the kids will be old enough to enjoy the dog whilst it’s still a playful puppy & help with the mishaps too.
Pups love to chew stuff, Blue is also a consummate thief, he steals pooh bear then chews him to death! It’s cool though, the kids are out-growing their soft toys anyway & it keeps him from chewing anything valuable such as the sofa. Be warned it really is a lot like having a toddler in the house again. However puppies aren’t babies for long – Blue is only 7 months old but almost fully grown, although some dogs do exhibit that puppy behaviour well into adulthood don’t they?
It’s true I do treat Blue like the fourth baby I couldn’t have. Oh dear…Cliché?
Here I’m wearing the organic MOTHER t-shirt by Selfish Mother. All profits from sales of MOTHER designs go to Women for Women UK – an amazing charity that helps women in 8 war-torn regions rebuild their lives through training programmes. Have a look at the Blogzine Selfish Mother for inspirational articles about motherhood by brilliant women.
Now tell me, how many of you got a puppy when you finished having your babies? Or are you still contemplating both?
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Mondays post – My first jewellery review, please pop by to give me your feedback. All your comments are hugely appreciated! Or better still why not subscribe to RetroChicMama in my sidebar? That way you’ll never miss a post.