Posted by: Mary | 2003/12/11

What to get daughter? Is my opion right?

Hi there. My daughter is three and i want to get her a puppy, i am really keen on a border collie as they are easy to train and have a wonderful nature. It is not to big or to small so it would be ideal for my daughter. Are my opions right or wrong

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Our expert says:
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Hi Mary
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.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil

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Our users say:
Posted by: monty | 2003/12/14

I would definately recommend a ridgeback , although I have become a boxer lover , boxers are also good but i think they may be a bit much with little children , they have superb tempements though.

A ridgeback can be hard headed and needs good training , but for kids they are great , they also eat like there is no tomorrow

My first love was ridgebacks and my beautiful bitch "raised" my three children from babyhood , they are now in their early twenties and still remeber her with fondness..

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