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Hard Choice To Make

October 28th, 2004, 09:44 PM
I should state that I am not a dog owner yet...but will be.
I have 3 children under 8 and am still researching what is the perfect breed for our family.
My 2 choices are a boxer and a labrador.
I have found 2 amazing breeders but am still 50/50.
I should say that initially i never considered a boxer ....until i began my search.
From what i have read thay really adore children and think of them as equal.
Labs are great too.I have read about both of their health issues and feel really torn in which one to choose.
Both are pretty active dogs....
I should mention that i want to train this dog to be a hearing guide dog...and i know labs have done this for years. ...and boxers are being used for it too.
I am hoping some of you ...might help me out here

October 28th, 2004, 10:44 PM
I firmly believe that any dog of any breed can be good or bad with children, depending on how the dog and the kids are raised together. Have you considered an older rescue from a reliable background? Children and young dogs of highly active breeds like the Lab and Boxer can be difficult (but by no means impossible) to manage. An older dog who has been given up for reasons unrelated to temperament could be a perfect addition to the family. The breeders you mention may be able to help you find a reputable rescue that screens both dogs and potential owners.

Another alternative is to adopt a mixed breed. Mixed breeds have been used for hearing assistance for many years. Also, Boxer and Lab mixes are very common crosses - you should have no trouble finding one of these.

If you are sold on a puppy from a good breeder then you may want to contact a few breeders/breed clubs on the dog/child issue. Maybe see if they can point you to a few of their puppy buyers who have children to see what those dog owners think on the subject.

Hope this helps,

October 28th, 2004, 11:09 PM
I am biased toward labs because I have a nephew dog (a real furbaby you might say) who is a chocolate lab. This is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known, (Not to mention that he is also a big sook!!)

Labs love children, probably because they take two years to become adults themselves. <g> That said, I am not convinced my guy ever did, lol They do listen really well though once trained and are extremely loyal dogs. This one now shares his home with a lassa apsa (dog of his companion's new gf) and he lets the lassa sit on top of him and they get along wonderfully. In fact, the last time I labsat, my brother called thinking he missed the other dog. (He was too busy running around with his leish, my jacket and sneakers and looking at the door - OK, I know how to take a hint!!)

I also once baysat a boxer (next door neighbour's dog) and while a great dog, I'd pick a lab any day!!!!

Lucky Rescue
October 29th, 2004, 12:46 AM
Are you going to be able to meet the needs - housetraining, obedience training and VERY high exercise requirements of an extremely energetic and active puppy - with 3 small children to care for and supervise?

Are the kids in school all day? If not, it may be better to wait until they are.

October 29th, 2004, 05:46 AM
To answer to your question i actually do think this is the right time for us to get a dog.My oldest is in school all day and the middle is in school half a day.
Me and my husband are both home till 3...and then he goes to work.
Yes once they are all back from school ...initially it will be a juggle to do everything....but to be honest...with 3 kids i am used to juggling and doing it all.
My kids are very helpfull and i know will love to be a part of all the work that comes with a puppy.
I am still doing a lot of reading and talking to breeders....hopefully soon i will be able to make a choice between the 2 breeds.

October 29th, 2004, 06:01 AM
I dont see it a problem i myself have 3 small children before we had 2 small children and a dog and it wasnt a issue my children were to young to be in school. I was in all day with the dog it had a great life he was trained and excerised twice a day and let out in our huge yard frequewntly it was never alone for long. We too will be getting another dog in the spring cant get one now as the landloard wont let us we will have our own house in the spring.

As for the type of dog all the boxers and labradors in the training classes we attented were quite bouncy and active i belive mysts has just got a labrador perhaps you could ask her. I think if you raise them together and the children are taught to respect the dog and th epuppy is brought up with the children you should have no problems. I myself had a english mastiff with my 2 boys then and we had alot of other children round and he was excellent with children of all ages.

October 29th, 2004, 08:21 AM
WHy dont you foster a guide dog puppy? that way you and your family can get the experience you need for a year and help in the training of the pup

Plus you will get valuable expert advice from the trainers on working with a pup and each stage they go through and any problems that may arise.

Guide dog organizations are always looking for good homes for their fosters

October 29th, 2004, 08:38 AM
I may be biased :D but I think mixed-breed shelter/rescue dogs are perfect for families! Lots of puppies out there to choose from, and I'm sure you won't have a problem training it to be an assistance dog.

Just take your time when choosing a puppy. Interact with it for a good long time, and don't let anyone rush you. Take the kids with you when you go to pick one out to see how the puppy interacts with them (eg. does it come up licking, or does it try to steal their socks?).

I, too, see no problem with getting a pup at this point. I have two children - 5yrs and 1yr. I gather you're a stay-at-home mom? So juggling isn't an issue for you! :crazy:

Whichever road you choose, I wish you the best of luck!

October 29th, 2004, 09:25 AM
I think I am driving everyone crazy....mostly my husband.
He tells me ...just pick the breed and stick to it.(you see in his eyes its just a dog...a pet...not more...he has never owned one so he has no clue..LOL)
I really do not know why this decicsion is so hard to make.
I have known many people that get a dog bacause they are cute puppies at the time and then when they grow up they get rid of they realize how much work it is.
I am a strong believer that a dog is not "just" a dog but another member of our family. I think the reson why it is difficult to decide for me...might be..bacuse as a child we have had labs and golden retreiver mixes....they were wonderful...I have never had a boxer..but have heard that once you own a boxer you will never go to another breed.
I do have a question early would you recommend simple obediance trainning classes...would 3 months be too young...I want a well socialized dog...any advice...i have never done classes...i usually do the trainning myself...should i consider it?

October 29th, 2004, 09:28 AM
I took our mastiff training outside after his injections but we had a 2 home visits first when he was 10 weeks.

Lucky Rescue
October 29th, 2004, 11:30 AM
You can take your puppy to puppy classes as soon as he/she has had all vaccinations. I think it's a great idea.:)

I never went to obedience classes either until I got my present dog. It was wonderful and I learned a great deal about how to train my dog.

Puppy kindergarten and obedience classes are excellent for bonding and socialization and they are FUN too!

October 29th, 2004, 03:07 PM
:thumbs up :crazy:
Finally I made my choice...and you will never guess what swayed me.
I decided since all the reading i have done so far did not persuade me either way....i knew of a petstore that had a boxer and a lab....
Now dont worry i did not buy them as i know all there is to know about pippy mills...etc...Anyway..I held them...looked in their eyes and decided that the one that moved me to want to take it home would be the breed of choice....Well both were so cute!!!!as all puppies are...but the eyes of a boxer are just undescribable....its like they could read your thoughts...really kind of weird,....but i came home nd told my hubbie ...finally the choice is made.
Now i am on a waiting list for the boxer....if everything goes according to plans we are to get him in may or june....but we all know mother seems like not too many breeders are having pups...well fawn ones.
Does anyone here have any advice where else to search( other than a shelter) we really want to start from scratch with a reputable breeder

October 29th, 2004, 03:22 PM
I think Boxers are great (my choice) and good for you for doing research and you should keep reading up on them they are high energy dogs but super lovey. Go out and buy a Dogs Annual Magazine I think it is in the stores, or should be very soon because it is out to subscribers. Besides they list all the breeders and rescues they have great articles and there is a back issue on bring your puppy home and one on boxers.Probably worth ordering. Good luck

sue fox
October 29th, 2004, 04:02 PM
Great!! you're doing research!! I'm partial to the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier they are very social dogs and are non-shedding. My 3 boys were all under 8 too when we got our first Wheaten and she was great with them. I also agree almost any dog will be great with kids if you train them. The Wheatens do need to be groomed much like a poodle in that you need to brush every few days while a pup and at least once a wk when they have their adult coat which isn't until they're 2yrs. You also need to trim to your liking just like you would a poodle. They are also fun loving pups until about 2 but are playful FOREVER. :D :D Have fun looking!!