People told Justin (my hubby) and me that we were crazy but we decided to get a new puppy just before my due date and as it turns out, 4 days after collecting our beautiful new puppy Bonnie, my daughter decided she would like to arrive a week early on my Dad’s birthday.
We got a blue English Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Some of our family had reservations as they had heard of Staffy’s having anger issues and attacking dogs and children. We have never had any issues but I’ve meet one or two that were agressive. It is known that Staffy’s can be bad with other dogs, that is if they are not socialised well at a young age. I guess every dog is different and I know quite a few other dogs (different breeds) that are agressive. Staffy’s are also referred as Nanny dogs as they are great with kids but I still recommend always supervising the two together as my toddler does not know personal space/limits when it comes to our dog and Bonnie gets excited with other children and tends to jump up which can scare children (and their parents).
I highly recommend attending a puppy class. You may not do alot with the puppy in the first class but it’s a great start and excellent way to start socialising your puppy in a controlled environment. We did a few classes and we definately believe it made a difference but if I had spent more one on one time with Bonnie I think she would have been an excellently trained dog. It’s also good to get out as a family. My husband and I took turns with the dog training while the other watched from the sidelines with our daughter.
Bonnie is like me and accident prone or has some very dumb moments. I also therefore highly recommend pet insurance. Ask about it at the puppy class or people with dogs. For us it’s been worth every penny. Bonnie has been poisoned, had a grass seed disappear in her eye, been xrayed (where we discovered she has an enlarged heart), spayed and trips justs to get her checked over by a professional. I looked online and found a vet with good reviews and I have to say it makes a huge difference when a vet is passionate and geniunely cares about your fur baby.
Elise (the toddler) is still learning how to treat a dog properly and requires good supervision. Elise pats Bonnie a touch too hard, pulls her tail, her ears, tries to drag her around, ride her, walk her on the lead, draw on her, feed her, tease her and put her in a cage, where she climbs in beside her. Bonnie is excellent though and once she’s had enough she gets up and walks away. Elise however has pulled a friends dogs tail. He was an old boy, not use to children and we were lucky he didn’t bite but he did growl and scare us all. I don’t believe that it was his fault though, I should have been watching Elise more closely and I am trying to distill in her how to treat animals.
I also highly recommend setting down ground rules that all the household agrees and don’t give an inch as once the puppy arrives you soften alot, well we did. Then it’s really hard to enforce the rules.
I can’t imagine our home without our fur baby now. Sure she can do my head in sometimes but it’s worth it, especially the way the two are growing together and how much my daughter loves her.