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Autism and pets.

Posted by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 10:18 AM
  • 11 Replies
Hi Ladies

We are thinking about adopting a puppy, we would like a golden retriever. My 22 mth old who is currently being tested for a spectrum of autism LOVES her stuff animal puppies and plays with them before any other toy and does well with my in laws dog, but what are your thoughts or experience with a puppy/dog and a child with autism.
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by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 10:18 AM
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JP1516
by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Hi!  My family includes 3 dogs, 2 cats and a guinea pig.  My ASD son will snuggle with the dogs and cats before he will snuggle with us...lol!  I think its a great idea! Has he ever been around dogs?  Maybe you can take him with you to pick out the puppy just to make sure he is okay with it.  I know some children, even NT children, can freak out if they haven't had pets before.


Good luck!!  :)

lancet98
by Bronze Member on Oct. 9, 2013 at 12:29 PM
2 moms liked this

I would be careful.   Any small child can be too hard on a pet for it to be fair; be sure the child is supervised with the pet and doesn't hurt it.

Too,, keep in mind that if your child makes a lot of noise, some dogs will adjust to that, and others won't.

Whether a dog is suitable or not is not always guaranteed.   Be sure to pick the calmest, most relaxed pup in a litter, or to buy a trained dog tthat has already been taught to deal with the many things disabled kids may do.

For example one friend had a Golden that cringed and cowered every time her son made one of his loud happy noises.

BE careful, and do this with yuor eyes wide open - the animal has rights too.  BE SURE to contact breeders who provide service and seeing eye dog candidates, BUT STILL remember that every dog is an individual and not all, even from proven blood lines, will be happy with this job.

It tends to be easier if the child is quieter and more passive.   The more physical and loud the child is, the more difficult it is for the dog to tolerate it without stress and being miserable.   There are some kids I just would not get a puppy (or even an adult) dog for.   One gal I knew had tied her kid to a dog to keep the child from running away.   The dog was in no way suitable for the job.   It spent most of its time cowering and urinating on itself.   It was horrible to watch.   

I love all kids.   I don't hold it against a child, or blame him, if he makes loud noises or likes to grab soft textures.   But I also don't get him a dog.   He's better off wearing out a stuffed toy, flinging a stuffed toy, hitting a stuffed toy.   There are some kids that shouldn;'t have a dog.

amonkeymom
by Amy on Oct. 9, 2013 at 1:59 PM

These are great points.

You should always take your child when checking out potential pets to make sure the child and the animal get along and like eachother as well.

Quoting lancet98:

I would be careful.   Any small child can be too hard on a pet for it to be fair; be sure the child is supervised with the pet and doesn't hurt it.

Too,, keep in mind that if your child makes a lot of noise, some dogs will adjust to that, and others won't.

Whether a dog is suitable or not is not always guaranteed.   Be sure to pick the calmest, most relaxed pup in a litter, or to buy a trained dog tthat has already been taught to deal with the many things disabled kids may do.

For example one friend had a Golden that cringed and cowered every time her son made one of his loud happy noises.

BE careful, and do this with yuor eyes wide open - the animal has rights too.  BE SURE to contact breeders who provide service and seeing eye dog candidates, BUT STILL remember that every dog is an individual and not all, even from proven blood lines, will be happy with this job.

It tends to be easier if the child is quieter and more passive.   The more physical and loud the child is, the more difficult it is for the dog to tolerate it without stress and being miserable.   There are some kids I just would not get a puppy (or even an adult) dog for.   One gal I knew had tied her kid to a dog to keep the child from running away.   The dog was in no way suitable for the job.   It spent most of its time cowering and urinating on itself.   It was horrible to watch.   

I love all kids.   I don't hold it against a child, or blame him, if he makes loud noises or likes to grab soft textures.   But I also don't get him a dog.   He's better off wearing out a stuffed toy, flinging a stuffed toy, hitting a stuffed toy.   There are some kids that shouldn;'t have a dog.


lancet98
by Bronze Member on Oct. 9, 2013 at 2:04 PM

 

Um.

That's a good first step, but remember that as the child and the dog grow up, there may be need for re-evaluation.   There are some things that dogs should not be expected to tolerate.

I was at my friend's house when I discovered her 'normal' kids restraining their dog and putting a broken broom stick up the dog's rectum, while the dog lay quietly, whining and wagging his tail and flattening its ears.   

Yes.   The dog had to be euthenized.

Supervise ALL kids with pets, and re-evaluate often, if a dog is coping well with a disabled child.

Quoting amonkeymom:

These are great points.

You should always take your child when checking out potential pets to make sure the child and the animal get along and like eachother as well.

Quoting lancet98:

I would be careful.   Any small child can be too hard on a pet for it to be fair; be sure the child is supervised with the pet and doesn't hurt it.

Too,, keep in mind that if your child makes a lot of noise, some dogs will adjust to that, and others won't.

Whether a dog is suitable or not is not always guaranteed.   Be sure to pick the calmest, most relaxed pup in a litter, or to buy a trained dog tthat has already been taught to deal with the many things disabled kids may do.

For example one friend had a Golden that cringed and cowered every time her son made one of his loud happy noises.

BE careful, and do this with yuor eyes wide open - the animal has rights too.  BE SURE to contact breeders who provide service and seeing eye dog candidates, BUT STILL remember that every dog is an individual and not all, even from proven blood lines, will be happy with this job.

It tends to be easier if the child is quieter and more passive.   The more physical and loud the child is, the more difficult it is for the dog to tolerate it without stress and being miserable.   There are some kids I just would not get a puppy (or even an adult) dog for.   One gal I knew had tied her kid to a dog to keep the child from running away.   The dog was in no way suitable for the job.   It spent most of its time cowering and urinating on itself.   It was horrible to watch.   

I love all kids.   I don't hold it against a child, or blame him, if he makes loud noises or likes to grab soft textures.   But I also don't get him a dog.   He's better off wearing out a stuffed toy, flinging a stuffed toy, hitting a stuffed toy.   There are some kids that shouldn;'t have a dog.



 

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Oct. 9, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Welcome to the group!  My 5 year old is Autistic, and we have 3 small dogs.  We've had the dogs since well before he was born though.  He does well with them:)

lasombrs
by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 2:10 PM
Choose a very tolerant animal. We had a large dog and 3 cats and 2 iguanas before we had kids. My son loved them all but does not understand boundaries and limits. Petting an animal became tracking them cornering them and then hitting or kicking them because he enjoys the feeling of fur but does notbunderstan gentle touch ( at 4). We had to rehome 1 iguana and two cats that would react based on his behavior. One cat just accepts it, one iguana passed shortly after rejoining the other. Our German Shepard remains in a locked room at all times because as much as she loves the kids if we can't pay 100% attention we don't want them near each other. If he kicked her she would get pissed although not try to kill him.
HippoCat
by Hadley on Oct. 9, 2013 at 2:11 PM

We have 2 dogs and a cat. My son is particularly close to one if the dogs and getting really close to the cat. It's really wonderful watching those relationships develop. The other dog isn't as even tempered and we haven't had her as long so I really watch both of my kids with her and I still keep a protective eye over them with the other 2 pets too. 

amonkeymom
by Amy on Oct. 9, 2013 at 2:43 PM

That poor dog!  How awful.  :(

Quoting lancet98:


Um.

That's a good first step, but remember that as the child and the dog grow up, there may be need for re-evaluation.   There are some things that dogs should not be expected to tolerate.

I was at my friend's house when I discovered her 'normal' kids restraining their dog and putting a broken broom stick up the dog's rectum, while the dog lay quietly, whining and wagging his tail and flattening its ears.   

Yes.   The dog had to be euthenized.

Supervise ALL kids with pets, and re-evaluate often, if a dog is coping well with a disabled child.

Quoting amonkeymom:

These are great points.

You should always take your child when checking out potential pets to make sure the child and the animal get along and like eachother as well.

Quoting lancet98:

I would be careful.   Any small child can be too hard on a pet for it to be fair; be sure the child is supervised with the pet and doesn't hurt it.

Too,, keep in mind that if your child makes a lot of noise, some dogs will adjust to that, and others won't.

Whether a dog is suitable or not is not always guaranteed.   Be sure to pick the calmest, most relaxed pup in a litter, or to buy a trained dog tthat has already been taught to deal with the many things disabled kids may do.

For example one friend had a Golden that cringed and cowered every time her son made one of his loud happy noises.

BE careful, and do this with yuor eyes wide open - the animal has rights too.  BE SURE to contact breeders who provide service and seeing eye dog candidates, BUT STILL remember that every dog is an individual and not all, even from proven blood lines, will be happy with this job.

It tends to be easier if the child is quieter and more passive.   The more physical and loud the child is, the more difficult it is for the dog to tolerate it without stress and being miserable.   There are some kids I just would not get a puppy (or even an adult) dog for.   One gal I knew had tied her kid to a dog to keep the child from running away.   The dog was in no way suitable for the job.   It spent most of its time cowering and urinating on itself.   It was horrible to watch.   

I love all kids.   I don't hold it against a child, or blame him, if he makes loud noises or likes to grab soft textures.   But I also don't get him a dog.   He's better off wearing out a stuffed toy, flinging a stuffed toy, hitting a stuffed toy.   There are some kids that shouldn;'t have a dog.





bigmama423
by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 2:55 PM

I think it all depends on the child and dog really. You need to make sure that your daughter knows how to behave nicely with the dog, and that the dog does well with children.

We have 1 dog, 2 rats and an aquarium. My ASD kiddo loves the fish more than anything. He's not into our dog, but they respect each other. :)

Oh and if you haven't had a puppy before, they can be a lot of work.

Jaimielorai
by Bronze Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 10:19 AM
1 mom liked this

I am in total agreement that a pet for any child, especially a special needs child, especially one with Autism, is a great idea.  My son did everything to his pup who was about a year when he was born.  Dog put up with everything.  Every cry every noise the dog seem to get it.  My son learned to walk with the dog standing by him and using the dog as his base and walker.  for every step he took the dog walked along.  My sons best friend and first conversation was with the dog!  Below is a video of a Down Syndrom child and a dog, but it make the case.  animals especially dogs get our children.

http://www.godvine.com/Loving-Dog-Takes-Care-of-a-Little-Boy-With-Down-Syndrome-1908.html

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