Our expert says:
I'm not sure what your previous experience with dogs is, but I will assume that you haven't had a Border Collie before. They can be extremely hyperactive and demanding and, especially if you get one from herding stock, need to be exercised and worked for at least a couple of hours a day. You will need a big garden and to spend time every day training or playing constructively with this dog. They are not always good with children and can be snappy and touch-sensitive, unless really well socialised with children from an early age. They have been known to herd children around the garden if they are bored, which can be quite frightening for visitors. Having said that I feel that a child of 3 should never be given a puppy, but the puppy should belong to the family rather. Although it is good for a child to grow up with animals it is important to realise that they don't automatically "get on" and there will be times when you will have to separate them. For instance when the pup is teething (3 - 6 months) it will bite and mouth everything, including your child and her toys. It is difficult to explain to a three year old how not to scream and run away when the pup nips at her. I suggest you consider a kitten rather than a puppy as they are much easier with young children and not as demanding as a puppy. Otherwise think about other breeds such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Ridgebacks, Whippets, Pugs or French Poodles. Look them up in breed books or on the net and find out their good and bad points before deciding. Females are generally easier than males and remember to start puppy classes from 8 or 9 weeks.
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