The good and the bad

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I finally gave in and let the boys get a dog. She is an almost 2 years old, spayed, springer spaniel mix. She really is a great dog. She is THEIR dog and are 100% responsible for her care.

    The good:
    No complaints about having to take her out on a regular basis, even in the rain.

    difficult child 1 comes home when he's playing for his "turn" without any problems.

    When difficult child 1 got into trouble the other day, he layed by dog and calmly petted her while whispering "shhh, it's okay" (the dog was only laying there to begin with).

    difficult child 2 has a reason to get off his tush and go for a walk. He's trying to lose his "beer belly" and doing a great job with the eating healthier part and now he's getting more exercise too.

    The bad:
    Rule is the first one up in the morning takes her out RIGHT AWAY. difficult child 1 is usually up first but is in such a routine of getting something to eat then laying on the couch watching TV until I get up that he OFTEN doesn't take her out until I get up and remind him. Result, two poop piles and 3 urine spots so far.

    They are both VERY rigid in their "fairness" and heaven forbid they take her out twice in a row if the other one has a legitimit excuse.

    difficult child 2 is the only one that thinks to brush her and gets mad that difficult child 1 doesn't do it, not to mention I wouldn't trust difficult child 1 to do even a decent job at this chore.

    They compete for her attention. One will call for her when the other one is already playing with her. Heaven forbid they play with her TOGETHER.

    All in all, she's been a good addition to our house. Now, to get difficult child 1's "morning routine" changed.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    WELL then, maybe you need TWO dogs..... LOL (of course I am only kidding so do not throw something at me thru the computer ok??? and if anything happens to me everyone knows you are the one who lives closest to me!)

    Did you name her or did she keep the name she had?

    My dog growing up was my confidant. I spent many hours in the bathroom (the only room with a lock) talking to my dog. I hope they continue to bond and show their responsible sides. That is a lucky dog.
  3. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    That is so cute about comforting the dog. We can't have pets and I know as soon as we ever get a house of our own the first thing the kids will want is a pet. I am also wondering if the good will out weight the bad.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Buddy, don't think I haven't thought of that!! LOL No cowpies being flung your direction. LOL

    Not happening because 1) I can't afford to feed 2 dogs and 2) we'd have each of them refusing to EVER do anything for the other one's dog. The boys will just have to "learn" the hard life lesson that NOTHING in life is EVER 100% fair and definitely NEVER equal (what they call fair).

    Liahona, as long as the good outweighs the bad, the bad can be fixed eventually to become good. If you ever get a chance, absolutely get a pet but make sure you look into temperaments when choosing a dog. Ours basically calm and one of its breed's good qualities is that they are easily trained. We looked for a long time for just the right breed and dog (it took us 2 months and checking out 3 different dogs before this one came along).
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    TeDo... I'd have suggested the 2-dog thing, too... because WE did (are doing).
    It's taken a year, but now either one will take both dogs... depending on the situation. E.g. if one of them has an after-school event, the other takes both.

    But... with kids of ANY age, it is difficult to have them responsible for 100% of everything. SO... husband (mr. extreme morning person) takes them out at 5 a.m. and DM (i.e. me) (ms. extreme night hawk) takes them out at 11 PM. Which means... the only "accidents" we've had have been when the kids "thought" they took them out after supper and "forgot". Once or twice.

    You may find that a schedule works better than strictly taking turns... e.g. difficult child 2 does it first thing, difficult child 1 does after school, etc. Dogs are like most difficult children... they thrive on routine and predictability. So... set the schedule up so the DOG knows what to expect (easier to get the kids to buy in that way), and if that means there's an odd number of trips out required, then a parent picks up ONE. NOT more than that...

    Dogs have been proven as one of the best stress-busters out there. And it's NOT from bustin' butt walking them. I can't imagine how we'd have survived the last year without OUR two. (oversized, but mega-loving probably-mostly-Canadian mutts - ever meet a 65 lb lap dog? No, he doesn't fit... but he tries!)
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    No matter how good the dog is, or how well behaved, the boys NEED to take her to obedience classes. Those classes are sort of to train the dog, but MOSTLY to train the owners.

    I know because the dog I grew up with learned most everything very early. After puppyhood, the irish setter in her took over and she had a super hard time learning anything or forgetting the puppy lessons. New things simply didn't get into her head easily. About the only thing she did learn was when my bro trained her that anyone sitting on the floor was to be rough-housed with - super rough. I had health problems back tehn and she got so rough that I had to threaten her to even get close to her. Bro did this on purpose because he didn't think I was 'worthy' of being around 'his dog' . Until he went to college and forgot seh existed. So I had to go through 3 rounds of obedience classes to get her to stop that. My mom had trained her when she was little, and she did great until bro 'took her over' and only rewarded her for being nice to him and rough with others except little kids. He tried that one and she just would NOT do it. No matter how rough she was, if there was a person under about 3 ft tall she was the most gentle thing on earth. It was confusing to watch, I must admit.

    Obedience took so long because she truly had a hard time learning. I could work with other owner's dogs and get them to mind as I was very consistent with signals, rewards, etc... But our dog just couldn't 'get it'. When we had her examined at the vet school to see if she was sick or there was a reason for this, we were told it is VERY common in Irish Setters - they are about the stupidest dogs in existence. Eventually she settled down for me and my bro was SOOOOOOOO furious to learn she wasn't attacking me. He was grateful that summer though because he took her with him to a summer job clearing trails in a forest and if it hadn't been for MY hard work she would have problem been shot by the people he was working for because she attacked someone for sitting on the ground.

    Anyway, obedience classes will do a LOT for your kids, as well as for the dog. I highly recommend that they EACH do at least a basic course with her.

    She sounds like a love bug and I hope she is a great addition to the family.
  7. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I think that the valuable life lessons kids learn from having pets, outweighs all of the bad things like puppy "accidents", etc... I agree with InsaneCdn that dogs need to be on schedules and with susie that it's a good idea to take yours to obedience classes.

    The bond that develops between kids and pets is amazing, nothing quite like it. I wish I had more pictures from the days when my kids were young, outside playing catch with my favorite sanity saver, cuddling up next to her, talking to her. easy child/difficult child 2 used to style her "hair" all different ways and have everyone laughing when we finally got to see the end result. All priceless memories...

    Of course, the not so great memories are there too, the times the kids refused to help care for her, the times I was afraid she would get hurt when one of them was raging, etc..., but still, I believe the unique bond they shared with her, the unconditional love she gave them, far outweighs the bad stuff.

    Congratulations on the new addition to your family!! SFR
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Look for a trainer who specializes in Junior Handler classes. They have a different approach in teaching the kids to handle the dog, than is used with adults.