This is basically a theoretical, planning-ahead sort of question. I don’t have a spouse, a house and can’t get another dog at the moment.
But many people on here and elsewhere say that having a dog when you have an infant isn’t a good idea. I agree, but I also see so many stories about babies growing up with wonderful, protective dogs.
If I ever have a kid, I definitely want a dog that is so devoted and so protective of him. The kind you read stories about… shielding the kid from the fall-off of the balcony, protecting the baby from rattlesnakes, that babies learn to walk holding on to…
So… if you wanted a dog like this and didn’t have a kid yet, what would be your strategy?
I realize having a baby and puppy at the same time isn’t a good idea. But if you get a dog a year or two before the baby… What breeds would you think are the best choices for infants? What kind of training would you do before the baby came (like, before the baby was even created)?


  1. anon

    Hi… I understand your rationale. My husband and I decided to get a puppy first. She is now 10-months old. We are hoping to get pregnant before the end of the year… so the dog would be about 2 when baby arrives. I agree with you about not having a puppy and baby at the same time. Some people say that puppies are actually more work than babies! The benefits of doing it this way are…
    1) At age of 2 the dog is starting to settle down and mature
    2) Dog has been through some training classes and is fairly obedient
    3) Dog has the opportunity to meet and be exposed to other young children and babies.
    A few weeks ago we introduced our pup to our friends’ 8-month old and it went well. If we come across people with infants and other small children, I never bring the puppy up to them I always let THEM initiate contact. If they ask to pet her I put her in a down position and make sure I am right over her in case she gets too rambunctious.
    We got a Golden Retriever puppy b/c of their reputation as good, gentle family dogs. Obviously it is not a rare breed… but we are very happy with her and think she will do very well with a baby when the time comes. Of course it is absolutely imperative that ANY dog around ANY young child be monitored EXTREMELY closely!
    Newfoundlands are also supposed to be extremely good with children and are a bit more rare than Goldens.

  2. A Fire Inside

    I’m calling bull **** on having an infant and a dog being a bad idea. My Pit bull was the best with my daughter. And my new puppy loves babies. The American Pit Bull terrier was bred in England as the “nanny dog” because of how great they are with children. My friend has 7 dogs and a 5 month old and they are fine. She has 4 pit bulls that love her baby. When she cries they run into her room.

  3. r k

    Personally, I like mutts! They always seem to live the longest, don’t they? And I think they tend to be smarter as well…All that inbreeding to make a breed ‘pure’ is like marrying your brother and then your kids marring your kids, and so on…gross, huh? As far as breeds go, I really think yellow labs are one of the most gentle…I own a yellow lab spaniel mix. She couldn’t be cuter or smarter! A great dog.
    As far as getting a dog before the baby, I would want to make sure the dog was at least two years old before baby comes…That way the puppy mischief is mostly out of them. The ‘nibbling’, chewing, non-potty-trained unsanitary issues, etc…that can be really scary or even dangerously unhealthy for a baby.
    The single biggest piece of advice I can give you is to SOCIALIZE THAT DOG! Take it everywhere with you. Get it used to old folks, kids, babies, other adults…This gets a dog used to all kinds of situations, and it is far less likely to develop neuroses that can cause it to become at all antisocial or aggressive.
    Good luck in your ventures.

  4. davidb19

    I would get a boxer or great dane, I know it sounds like a bad combo with babies but I’ve had both breeds of dogs and when my sister in law brought her baby over for Thanksgiving dinner one time both dogs were great with the kid.

  5. Jeff- <3 God <3 people

    Warning! I love dogs & tried getting one after our second child was born. This was a terrible and frustrating move for our family. After two months we had to give either the infant or the dog away…we chose to give the dog away (even though it was a VERY intelligent female lab pup). It was very difficult to give both our infant, young son, & puppy the proper attention. My wife & I became very stressed and felt bad about giving up this great dog.
    Now our youngest is 2 & we seem to be ready to get a pup.
    Hope my experience will serve as good counsel to you.
    * Possibly having a dog established before the baby comes would be a good idea.

  6. anne b

    I know it is very hard to resist the idea of having a dog with a child so they can grow up together. It was in all the movies years ago. Unfortunately, in this country one of the top reasons for dogs being abandoned in shelters is because of the addition of a baby to the family.
    Some of the parents bought the dog as a puppy when their child was young, and had bad experiences with trying to train a puppy while handling a baby. Sometimes it was a matter of the puppy playing too rough and scratching the child. Others had the dog first and the dog accidentally hurt the baby, or got jealous.
    The real truth is that kids and dogs need to be supervised all the time. This is the only way to ensure that nothing happens. You can’t expect an infant to know how to handle a dog, and you can’t expect a dog to know how to handle an infant. It just isn’t fair.
    In my rescue group, we don’t usually adopt out to homes with small children. We have been burned so many times by people coming back two years later and saying the dog scratched or nipped at their child.
    The saddest reason we have gotten recently is an excuse that the dog woke up the baby, therefore, the dog has to go. This family had “loved” their dog for more than two years, but couldn’t wait to get rid of it. How pathetic!
    I understand that children are the number one priority. Dogs, however, are not a disposable commodity. They are living creatures who can love and be hurt. I caution all people with children to really be honest with themselves about what they will do if the dog and child doesn’t work out, and if they say they will get rid of the dog, they probably shouldn’t have gotten one in the first place.
    Please be very careful when it comes time to make your decision, because dogs are dying every day because people choose to change their lifestyles and the dogs are no longer welcome. What a sad and unfair end for a loyal friend.

  7. Solar Power Home Reviews

    I want to start by saying that not every dog in a certain breed is going to be good with kids just because one is. Golden Retrievers are supposedly good with kids, but are not exempt from attacking children. I personally have an American Bulldog, and a 1 year old son. The dog is now 4.5 years old, and we have had her since she was 8 weeks old. We were concerned about her in the beginning , and worried we would have to get rid of her because she is a very hyper dog, but she turned out to be great with the baby. I believe this is because we introduced them right away, and would let her smell him and be near him frequently as long as we were present. She is only calm around him. He pulls her ears, pets her (which is usually him smacking her on the back or head), and she just lays there and looks at me. She has never gotten angry at him, or acted the least bit aggressive toward him. I believe if you introduce them properly, and don’t try to keep the dog away them will become fast friends.

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