Would a dog be a good social lubricant...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    for a difficult child who has problems making friends?

    I'm just thinking about difficult child 1 and what a loner he is. He has no social life outside our home, despite my encouraging him to call the one guy he calls a friend. He had a really good friend for three years who he'd spend the night with, go for bike rides with, hang out at the pool with, etc. Pretty much just this one kid. He'd actually call and talk to him. But the kid moved to Australia last year and difficult child 1 hasn't done much to replace him with anyone at the same level of interest.

    I was wondering if I should get him a dog. A puppy. Something he could train and call his own. I could sign him up for puppy class and later obedience class as a way to get him OUT of the house and meeting other people, even if they're mostly adults. Who knows, he may meet other kids that way. It would certainly foster a sense of responsibility and of course the warm fuzzy connection with a pet that loves you unconditionally.

    He loves our cats and his favorite he tries to have sleep on his bed -- which it does sometimes. But it's just not the same as a dog. And I know a dog's not the same as a friend, but it might help his self esteem enough to get him to take the next step in reaching out to other people.

  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    *snort* GCV, when I first saw your subject line, my literal mind imagined something you could put on difficult child's arms so he wouldn't stick to other people in a crowd.

    Anyway, to the serious stuff...er-herm.

    Yes, I think a dog would be a great idea. Not only would a puppy be a companion to difficult child, but the puppy training classes might be a good opportunity for him to meet others with whom he has something in common. And, from what I've seen in our local dog park, puppies are a great conversation starter.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im sorry...I had to read the title of this post twice!!! I read "are dogs a good lubricant?" I thought...Oh no...what is hubby up to now? LMAO.

    I think a doggy would be a great idea. A big old lovable mutt would adore difficult child. We had a rottie mix that ended up weighing about 105 pounds and she adored my middle son. He was her boy. She would go through the fires of hell for him. They were inseperable until he left for the Marines. I think she died of a broken heart when he left.
  4. Janna

    Janna New Member

    *snort* *giggle* we all have clouded minds! tsk, tsk!

    Ha - anyway -

    we have a yellow lab - labs are my favorite, favorite breed. They are a larger dog, but they are SO EASY to house train, so very smart, and so incredibly great with kids.

    Dunno if you were here a couple of years ago when D decided to take a black permanent marker to her? Hmm, I think that didn't go over well here.

    But, anyway - he LOVES her. When he gets angry, he can lay on the floor with her and pet her and it's like therapy. She never gets angry. She's so relaxed (of course, now she's 5 and spayed).

    The puppy stage is tough. I'll be honest, probably would have been hard for D, because with accidents and they're hyper, etc. But yea I think it's a great idea.
  5. Jungleland

    Jungleland Welcome to my jungle!

    Glad my mind wasn't the only one in the gutter!! snort snort

    In my opinion, animals, dogs especially are amazing therapy for kids, well adults too! Could never imagine my or my kids lives without our furry family members.

    Right now I am not big on puppies though, our 6 month old GSD is making me nutso! He is HUGE but thinks he is about 10 lbs and is constantly knocking the kids over. we are working on this, but oy vey!!

    What about a slightly older than puppy rescue dog? There are amazing Boxer rescues as well as GSD's and just about all breeds that have already been fixed, current on shots and usually have been in a foster home for a while so they know them pretty well. I tend to like rescues better than humane shelters cause the rescue dogs get more one on one attention.

    Anyways, YES to a dog being good for social issues with kids!!

    Be sure to post a picture when you get your furry family member.

    Hugs, Vickie
  6. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    If you want him to meet kids, what about dog 4-H? My dtr is in it and some of the members are high school age. Then you get puppy classes for the annual fee (here only 22$) and difficult child gets to be with kids.

    I would go with a mellow large breed, maybe go to the humane society.
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi GCV--

    I guess that I will chime in here as "Devil's Advocate"....

    I think that getting a puppy to help your child make friends is the same as getting a pool, or a treehouse, or a dune buggy.... Any of these things will attract the attention of the neighborhood kids and will bring them to your house to play.

    Unfortunately, they will not solve any social issues (especially if your cild is one to let others take advantage of them). You may find that suddenly you have all these kids interested in the dog--and not much caring whether your child is around or not.

    This used to happen at my house....we had a dog, a basketball net and a big assortment of outdoor toys and plenty of room to play. We used to find that neighborhood kids would come over to use our stuff, ride their bikes around, play with the dog....but they really were not interested in difficult child. When I would tell the little girls "O, I'm sorry, but difficult child is not here..."--they would respond with "That's OK, I just wanted to take your dog for a walk. Where's the leash?"

    Dogs are great....but I would not expect owning one to solve any social issues.

  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think having a dog is a wonderful idea. Even if it doesn't help with the social issues and, it might, the dog can be helpful in so many ways. When either of our kids are upset, they often turn to the dog. For us, I think it's helped easy child even more than difficult child because of her love of animals but difficult child has benefited as well. Our only problem is easy child trying to "take over" the dog at times. She needs reminders it is the family dog.