Allieoop asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Just bought a toy dog, Vet concerned?

I thought I did my research, but I just took our new puppy to the vet. The vet was very concerned and told me he did not think this was the right choice for our family. After observing my kids, he thinks my household is 'too active' for a toy dog.

The vet thinks the puppy is at too great a risk in my home with very young children. I am so torn and don't know what to do. The vet is one of the top ones here and really thinks I should contact the breeder about returning it.


I have contacted the breeder, and it doesn't sound like they are willling to do much. It has only been 1 day, and we are willing to let them keep some money. We do have two older, bigger dogs, and the kids are great with them. But, yes, my kids are very active.

Update 2:

The vet said it was obvious I had good kids, but that they were 'normal'. And, that normal kids could be disastrous with a tiny puppy. My oldest won't even go near the puppy now for fear that he will hurt it. The vet had a 'talk' with the kids. I am so sickened by this and crying again as I type. We are a forever home for our pets and have always tried to instill that commitment in our kids. But, at the same time, it is not fair for this little puppy to have a potentially unsafe environment.

26 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best answer

    Usually toy dogs are more prone to nip than larger dogs. Did the vet mention that to you?

    I would listen to his advice, but make my own decision. Some vets have a lot of experience with dogs/families/kids, so they do have wisdom to draw from. If this is just a young vet talking off the top of his head then I would put that in perspective too.

  • Demon
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    You know your family best, but I would definitely consider what your vet said very carefully. Keep in mind that it is not in his best interests financially to tell you to return your dog as he won't be getting any more of your business if you decide not to get another dog. So if he's suggesting that you should think about returning the puppy, it is more than likely that his motivation is that he's genuinely concerned for the safety of this dog.

    Toy breeds and puppies can certainly be injured by accidents or inexperienced handling. A toy breed puppy combines the risks of a small breed and a young dog. I think your vet's concerns are legitimate.

    How old are your children? How capable are they of understanding that this small puppy is not an actual toy but a living creature with feelings than can be hurt if not treated well? Do your kids listen to you when you tell them to settle down or leave something or someone alone? Are there any toddlers in your family who are less than steady on their feet and capable of falling over on your puppy? Will your kids undermine your efforts to socialize or train your puppy - intentionally or not - by dangling food in front of the puppy, feeding it under the table, teasing it, or chasing it around?

    In general, puppies and very young children do not mix all that well. I'm sure their are exceptions, but in general, neither the puppy nor the children understand proper boundaries for interactions and one or the other is likely to get hurt because of it. Puppies also require a lot of work; it's not unlike having another young child. A larger, adult dog who has experience being around children may be a better fit for your family. Or if you are set on getting a puppy, you could wait until your children are old enough to understand how to behave around a puppy.

    At the very least, I would discuss your vet concerns with the breeder and possibly a professional dog trainer. Only you can make this decision, so consider carefully what's going to be best for the dog and your family.

    Edit: Regarding your additional information, I'm very concerned to hear that the breeder doesn't seem to be interested in doing anything about your concerns. At the very least they should be giving you convincing arguments as to why they think a toy puppy will be OK in your home. Most reputable breeders will take any puppy they have sold back at any time for any reason, including far less legit ones than yours. Is there anything in the contract about what you can or must do if you decide you don't want the dog?

    Knowing that you already have dogs does help the situation. Hopefully that means you've had adequate time and opportunity to teach your kids how to treat dogs gently and with respect. But you mention that they're big dogs and their certainly is a difference. One of your kids could lean on or even sit on one of your big dogs without any consequences. If your dogs are good with the kids and well trained, the worst thing the dog will do is get up and walk away. But of course, the exact same behavior could be disasterous for both child and dog when dealing with a toy breed puppy.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's not that small breed dogs can't get along well with children... but generally, they are much more fragile (easier to step on, easier to hurt) and less tolerant of children poking and pulling at them. If you pulled a Labrador's tail *just* enough for the dog to notice, he'd probably just pull it loose from your hand... if you pulled a Pomeranian's tail with that same "force", it might actually hurt the dog, and someone might get bit. I'm *not* saying go out and buy a Labrador, but just do some more research on some "sturdier" breeds!

    I think you should take your vet's advice. Contact the breeder, explain to them your concerns and those of your vet's. If they have an ounce of decency, they will take their puppy back and find a more appropriate home for it. Your concerns are valid and this breeder should have openly discussed this with you.

    Good luck!

    Add: How do you feel? If your children are old enough to understand the puppy's fragility, and understand that playing with a smaller dog will be much different than playing with a bigger dog, then you should all be fine. What did the vet see, that he didn't think was appropriate?

  • 1 decade ago

    LOL very funny metal.

    I see this problem all the time with people who want the cuteness and low maintenance of a toy dog, but never really think about their home lives blending in with these fragile creatures. Children under 10 ish have no concrete thinking and can not project that a tiny dog can be crushed by rolling on it or break a leg from jumping off the couch.

    For children under 12 (girls) or 15 (boys) a sturdy larger breed with a rock solid temperament is advised.

    I would return the dog before everyone becomes too attached, but don't expect to get all your money back from the breeder. She turned someone else down to sell you this dog and now has to find someone else to buy it and that will take time.


    I just read your added comments. Most states have a "returns" law that supersedes anything in a given sales contract in regard to a sale. If you think it best to return the dog, and with active kids and 2 big dogs I really think you should return the pup, then look up the laws regarding the state you live in. Typically there is a 3 day no questions asked return policy on ANYTHING sold with the exception of personal use items. I am really surprised that the breeder gave you this kind of response. It is very alarming that he/she isn't more concerned about the welfare of the dog.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It all depends on you and how well your kids are behaved. I know many people who have Chihuahua's, but their kids are all very well behaved. They really don;t fit in with toddlers too well as toddlers are clumsy through no fault of their own. I do know people who have had young kids fall on toy dogs and break their backs etc, but I have also known others who's kids know they must never run when the dog is in the room and to always look down when they walk. Someone I know the other day had her nephew sit on a chihuahua and it had to be put down. It's much harder with puppies then with older dogs too. Older dogs get out of the way, but puppies don't seem to have that built in radar to move in time.

    You also need to train the dog and train it well.

    Whilst toy dogs and children can work out it's often not the best combination unless the kids are very disciplined and old enough to understand that it won;t take much to hurt or even kill the dog.

    The breeder of my dogs won;t sell to anyone with kids under 10, but I know several good breeders do.

    You know your children better than anyone. Although your vet has valid points and real concerns you, yourself know how your kids are and if they are up to living with such a tiny dog.

    Edit: I'm sorry the breeder won't work with you. That does not say much for them as a breeder. Unfortunetly though he/she can;t be held responsible for your mistake so even though he/she should take back the pup without question he does not have to give the money back. Many good breeders would say they would give you back the difference between what you paid and what he sells it for less the cost of readvertising. My breeder actualy gives a week to return it for a full refund as long as the pup is not injured if it does not work out. If it is he will just take the pup back.

    I do hope this works out. Seeing your updates it's probably not a good situation for the pup so even if he does not give the money back it's probably best the pup does go back to him.

    Source(s): Owner of 4 Chihuahua's with no small children.
  • Elaine
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I won't call you a back yard breeder because clearly your scheme is to set up a puppy mill. In which case I'll more accurately call you an aspring owner of a puppy mill. You can't even properly spell the breed name of the poor bit*ches you plan to breed to death in this puppy mill enterprise. You don't have a clue about ethical breeding or how to properly care for dogs let alone multiple litters of puppies. Just a small point. Vet checks do not ensure genetic diseases will not be passed on to progeny. It's a tad more complicated than you imagine it to be. Your make it sound like a childrens fairy story... and they all lived happily ever after. This question has to be a wind up.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have to agree with your vet on this...we had a similar situation a year ago at my vet hospital where I work..a couple came in with a Toy Poodle puppy they had just gotten it..they had 3 young children ages 6 & these kids are very well behaved and are gentle kids (we knew them from their bigger dog a Lab)..they loved this new puppy..however we gently told the parents that a dog this size may not be suitable in house with children as young as theirs even though they were well behaved children..a few days later they brought the dog in on emergency...the puppy died shortly after arrival...the oldest child their 6 year old had accidently dropped the dog..we had another incident where a young child fell on the families Chihuahua puppy and broke it's pelvis and you may really want to reconsider keeping the puppy.

    As for the breeder sounds like a very irresponsible breeder..a good breeder would take the puppy back in a heartbeat (a responsible breeder likely wouldn't have sold the puppy to a family with young children in the first place)

    Source(s): vet tech for 35 years
  • Anama
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Most quality breeders will not sell a toy dog before 10-12 weeks (because of the hypoglycemia issue) and not to anyone with small or very active children.

    The reason for this is that with the toy breeds, one accident or one uncontrolled tantrum hit or kick, and the pup could be severely injured (broken bone) or killed. Think about what would happen if one of your kids stepped ,ran, or fell on the puppy or if they hit or kicked her out of play or anger. Also, not all small breeds are good with kids! Many can become testy and snappish or even start biting the children in self defense!(so this is a double concern) and not to mention the usual housetraining issues that you can have with toy breeds.. it can really become an issue when the pup is eliminating everywhere and you have kids running around. Most toy breeders will recommend that if you do not have the pup housetrained by 3 months, you should seek a professional trainer.

    I am afraid I agree with your vet, young and active children and toy puppies do not mix well usually.

    go here for more info.:

    and here :

    edit: aw, I am so sorry for you, your kids and your pup. It is heartbreaking, even more so when you have good kids and they love the pup. I am so sorry the breeder did not bring this up with you and discuss it with you. I do not envy you this situation, you have all my sympathy. It sounds like in the end you will follow your heart and do the right thing. I am glad to hear that you are so responsible. blessings-

    Source(s): sorry about all the typos,lol! My basenji is being a cheeky monkey and distracting me to death!lol! Trainer,bc companion 30+ yr, humane society vol.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Please take what the vet said and think about it. Toy breeds are high strung and with small children there is a good chance there will be problems. With smaller children you will need a more sturdy dog. Smaller dogs are great I have a black pug and he is wonderful with my grandchildern. I am unsure what breed you did get but it sounds as if you are in need of a medium sized dog. Did the vet suggest a different breed?

    I am very glad that you did research before you purchased a dog, however you must be sure to watch out for the temperment with children.

    Best of luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    Kids will be kids and dogs will be dogs but you can teach both of them the appropriate way to act around eachother. I think having a dog is great for children, i wouldn't listen to the the vet and i'd make it a priority to myself to prove him wrong by showing him the dog can survive and be happy in your home.

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