How many have opted to adopt a project dog with young children?

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More Bored- Collies
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 11:48am PST 
In a situation where both parents are present and doing parts in raising the child(ren), a project dog may not be an impossibility or even a bad idea. (This also permitting that the parents have previous dog experience).

While one parent works on a current issue with this dog, the other parent could be spending some quality one-on-one time with the child.
This could even work for family time as well. Desensitize a bicycle issue with the dog whilst teaching the child to ride one (keeping the dog under control of course).

With a partnership, I can see this definitely working out. And it can be done without exposing the child to a potential danger if done cautiously. A single parent may have more difficulty with such, but I'm sure it's still possible.

I myself do not currently have children, however each dog that I have brought into my home is subjected to an array of situations that may occur with a child. - taking possessions, touching uncomfortable areas, being present at feeding time etc. So when the time comes, my dogs will be stable enough for a child.
Not that I would hope to leave my child in such a situation, however I'm sure accidents happen every so often.

Now, I do have to agree with Lucille in that some parenting techniques nowadays are quite lazy (I apologize for being OT here). I've witnessed children running around a store unsupervised because the parent is more engrossed in their cell phone. Parents who believe turning on the television is a substitute for reading the child a bedtime story. Parents that refuse to say "no" to the child.
Although this DOES translate to the dog owning world as well, it's not just kids.

And I hate to say that I don't buy the "he might be disabled" excuse often.
My younger brother is autistic and never once was extremely poor behaviour accepted. He learned to behave, maybe not in the same way other "normal" children did, but he did just the same. Because of him, I was inspired to work with many special needs children in my lifetime. In my experience 9 times out of 10 bad behaviour is a result of negligent parenting in these kids. They can all learn, and many of them are quite willing to given the chance. Just my 2 cents there.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 3:39am PST 
I have to agree somewhat with Lucille as well. There IS parenting out there these days that DOES lack. Just like there's negligent dog owners too.

My aunt is a PRIME example of a negligent parent. Her youngest is seven. He gets away with EVERYTHING. He ABUSES my aunt and she takes it because it's easier than 'fighting' with him. If he screams at her, she'll just ignore it, if he hits, she reciprocates with a hit. If he's been bad and asks for a treat, she gives it because it's easier than dealing with the tantrum. He's seven and NOWHERE at learning levels that he should be because she doesn't take the time at home. Since he could hold a video game controller, he has been and he's so ADDICTED to the games that he has actual withdrawals from them if separated from them for too long. This is, however, the same woman who chose her drug-addict bf over her own boys by keeping him living with her which could at this point, have CPS take her sons away and she knows this risk is high. Would she be able to handle a dog on top of her children? HA.. No. Not even a well behaved one. She'd be a terrible owner. I've seen her try to handle my dog and he's fairly easy.

I have, however, fostered and worked with serious project dogs, WHILE living with young children, and when I wasn't living with them, having them visit regularly and on almost a daily basis. Maya was fear aggressive of strangers and would lunge and bark and try to intimidate them. She didn't like kids running around her or horsing around because it scared her and she would bark or growl at them, so it took a lot of management, but not only did the kids LEARN to respect Maya's space and how to handle being around her, Maya learned that the children meant good things and that she got rewarded for calm behavior around them too. I still have memories of her curling up in the lap of my seven year old(at the time) brother.

My foster dog, Beau, had some serious resource guarding issues. At this time, I lived alone, but I did have the kids visit regularly. I managed him by keeping him tethered, and having treats stored all over the house so that as the kids went by, they could toss him a treat or two after asking for a sit(from a short distance and out of his reach of course). I kept him tethered to me and when he wasn't or couldn't be tethered to me, he was tethered to my desk(one of the heaviest furniture objects in my house) in a corner of the living room that the kids could avoid. They were older children - seven and up, but from the beginning, I made it VERY clear how to be around Beau and how to keep themselves safe. Beau was never on furniture in my house, never got bones or chews unless he was in his crate, and was fed by my hand(or my older brothers hand) alone. Beau was a dog who I knew would NEVER be fully trustworthy around kids with his previous bite history, which was part of why I didn't adopt him(I wanted kids in my future), but he did get adopted by an amazing couple who can continue working with him to make him a better dog, and MANY of his resource guarding issues - which had previously lead to serious bites prior to me working with him - were pretty much gone by the time they adopted him. It took LOTS of work, LOTS of training using positive reinforcement, LOTS of exercise and PLENTY of patience to work through his issues, but I managed it, and kept the kids safe while doing so.

Would I rescue a really aggressive dog while I had a BABY? Probably not. I've been rescuing, fostering and helping rehabilitate fearful and aggressive dogs for several years, but if I thought there was any way I couldn't manage a particular situation, I wouldn't do it. If I had any doubts about the safety of my baby, I likely wouldn't do it.

However, I WOULD NOT rehome the dogs I already own. Charlie is leash reactive - does that mean he'll miss out on walks when I have the baby(I'm pregnant right now)? No. When my fiance isn't working, he can walk the dogs, or he can stay home with baby while I get a break and walk the dogs myself. But this is also why I intend to get my stroller early, is to work on his issues in order to better prepare my dogs to be walked with a stroller. Ria will be older, and hopefully we can get her well trained enough that she's less excitable and has better impulse control. But if I can manage five dogs(a Mastiff, three Rottweilers and a Beagle) that didn't get along(just the Mastiff vs the two female Rotties), around young children and a new baby, then I can manage my own current dogs with a baby too.

I have very little respect for the person that dumps their dog JUST because. "I don't have enough time anymore" - number one excuse I see, btw. Or "I just had a baby, so I'm rehoming my ten year old dog, even though he's good with kids!" What? And better yet! "I'm dumping this puppy that I got a month ago because they're more work than I thought." No duh, right?

So... yeah.. Negligence can happen with BOTH dog owners AND with parents, Guest and I don't think Lucille was necessarily intending to offend anyone.
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