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I'm looking for some input here. As you all know I foster chihuahuas from time to time & screen out homes, etc. Generally I do have a clause where I won't adopt out to folks who have kids under 8. I had one family, who had a chihuahua previously, that had been waiting for some time to adopt a chi but none that were kid-friendly came in. Then I met another foster mommy and told her about them. She gave me my foster Zak (the one with Tequila in the Pictures section) as he was approved with kids and was a "sturdier" mix. Well, after a few days of trialing it out Zak was returned as the kids were stressing him out and he was clearly uncomfortable. These were younger, about 3 or 4.
I guess what I want to know is; I know that there are plenty of moms and owners of chihuahuas on the forum. Just what is it that you are doing differently that you are able to have both your young kids and dogs live in peace? Everyone says that they raise their kids to be gentle with pets, I know; but there's got to be more to it than just helping a child understand to respect a dogs space. Do you just monitor any interactions closely and otherwise not let them around one another? It would be helpful to know what you guys do so that I can pass it on to any adopter in the future if I have another mother inquiring with me. As I said my policies are No Kids Under 8 and this family was an exception to the rule. They'd lived with a chihuahua before who had no problems being handled. And I just hear so many opposite sides to this; 90% of rescues won't adopt dogs out to folks with young kids. And I know; a LOT depends on the individual dog; as well as the child. That said, is it just easier to err on the side of caution and that's why most rescues have such a strict clause? Is there any helpful advice that could be passed on to chihuahua moms that would help make it possible?
Its just sad as many people have their heart set on a Chihuahua; and when shelters/rescues deny them adoption because of their kids they just end up going to a backyard breeder who'll sell them a dog without screening. There's gotta be some advice that can help make moms of young kids still good candidates for chihuahua ownership.:confused: How do you folks do it?!
 

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Here's the way I see it. As the foster mom of the chi's you get to know your potential adopters as much as you can. You get references interviews home visits, but how often is it that when a company hires a person they fire them 3 months later because everything they said they were is a lie?

It wasn't that long ago that shelters would release unfixed dogs because the owners swore up and down they were responsible owners, great people who would get their pets fixed? Only to have litter's from their own rescues dumped on their doorstep? Example: My ex's mother got two male kittens signed a contract that stated she would have them fixed and of course they never were, so being male they began roaming..I think i'm happier not knowing what became of the cats after that teenager in a 50 year olds body got through with them.

I know that fixing isn't the issue you hear but my point is this. People lie. They want something and if they are smart enough they will say exactly what they know you want to hear in order to get that dog. Or better example that we can all relate to "my dog isn't aggressive at all!" five seconds later either a human or a dog is bit "she was just defending herself" 'insert one denial excuse after another'.

You can't trust people depressing but true. But what you can do is place the fosters where you know they stand the very best chance of having a happy life. I wouldn't place a chi with a child under 8 simply because I know that there is a chance that they are lying or ignorant.

As for the people on here with kids and chi's you have to credit that the vast majority on here are here because they are completely committed to their dogs. Greeders and irresponsible owners don't last long before they are shamed to the point where they can't deny it any longer and they often leave. People who come here are here because they want to do right by their Chi's so we tend to attract and maintain a very pro responsible ownership community. So as for the children and the chi's your most likely talking to the smaller margin of responsible owners who know how to properly care for chi's with small children. They can advise you, but could you honestly trust others like you trust them?

I know this is a little depressing, I promise this is the end of my tangent. I wish I could advise you on how the magicians on here with kids are doing it but as Bijoux is my only child I can't help ha ha
 

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LOL! Well I appreciate the advice. I have no children either but I would like to think that whenever I do I will still be a good pet parent. I just wish there were a way to tell if the folks were the type who'd actually join here and want to learn to make it work; and those who just want a pet. In my case I was at least lucky that the adopter was a very honest person. Their last chi must have been much more accustomed to her kids' ways; but she was truthful with me until the last moment when she said she didn't think it was working. She only lives 5 minutes from me so we went and picked him up. That's partially why I like to do the "trials" before official adoptions sometimes; because even if the owner is confident in it working out sometimes you don't know unless you try. And I of course have the return clause anyway (that they have to come back to me instead of be rehomed, sold, given to a shelter, etc.) so one way to look at it is if it's just a long-term trial LOL. I always emphasize to people I don't care if it's 10 years down the road and the dog was just hit by a car; if they can't handle it, CALL ME and I'll be there to take it back. (Of course now I'm just convinced that the moment we have some kind of natural disaster around here and all our homes are destroyed, I'm gonna have a whoooole bunch of people showing up to give me back a bunch of dogs, LOL.)
I guess I just hate being cynical. =( I know a lot of times rescues/shelters also unintentionally discriminate against young (18-21) adopters because of the stereotype that they aren't settled or have a stable life yet. And ever since I was 18 and on my own I was the exception to that rule... but I was also a homeowner at age 21 so that did work in my favor. But still; when I'm screening people or families out thats what I try to get a feel of; on an INDIVIDUAL basis. Grated I won't lie; sometimes I've had people inquire who either do one-line emails like 'how much do u want 4 ur dog', or type in all caps; and I don't even bother replying or giving them the chance to redeem themselves. So I can't say I don't judge... I just.. selectively judge. ;) LOL >.<
 

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Maybe interview the children! Have them meet the chi and give them(the child) a quick check :)
I REALLY depends on the child, I think :) Especially if they can walk up to, and pet the dog.
I hope, in a few years from now, my son will end up being a calm, well behaved child, who understands boundaries. But, it reallllly depends on how well the child behaves and is willing to listen to their parents, I think...
The parent might be a phenomenal dog trainer, but a terrible strict parent!
That said, I don't think 3-4 is too young to understand how to treat a dog right. When they're that young, it seems that they're fascinated with animals, and simply do NOT want to leave them alone! This is probably where the well behaved child who listens to mommy when they say no, comes in :)
 

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It depends on the children and the dogs. All mine are fab eith kids (more so than with adults!!) but I am always wary if new children or babies and make them sit onthe floor and wait for new dogs to come to them. My problem is mine see kids and go mental they want to lick the child and play like mad!!

I have friends with toddlers with Chis it all depends on the parents, unfortunately a few questions you aren't going to get an idea of hoe these parents bring up their kids!

I have an 11 year old who thinks she knows it all And I have to constantly remind her to watch what she is doing and not walk around holding the dogs. I would use your judgement but be vary wary.
This is a typical reaction of one of mine to a baby - yes that's a smile


 

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I have watched that video 3 times, it goes great with morning coffee.

I know when we were growing up in our home my parents adored our animals/ foster animals probably every bit as much as they loved us, and if I were to be totally honest at times they loved them more :). We didn't refer to it as fostering, I am not sure if the term was common back then~ it was just an automatic way of life animals needed care, respect, love & compassion. I can't ever remember a time when our home wasn't the home that took animals in, nourished them, loved them healed them and opened our home to them or found them an amazing family of their own when they were ready. Mom and Dad came by their love and respect of animals from their parents. I truly believe people have the compassion or they don't. I don't think there is middle ground on this.

My daughter is 6 I had no doubt she would be fine with a chihuahua of any size, because I have no doubt she has it in her heart to care for and nurture animals. That being said we take precautions. But the precautions that apply to her apply to all of us. A little common sense goes a lonnnnnggg way and will get a person through many challenges/ obstacles in life. I am a realist an accident could happen, but an accident could be in the hands of an adult or a child. We don't carry the dog. We spend an unbelievable amount of time on the floor, lol. Yes there are times she gets scooped up by an adult but I don't permit any of the children she plays with to pick her up. That rule also applies to our cats, the bigger dogs & our fish... They aren't loved less, they cuddle with us on the furniture and snuggle/ play on our beds when they are ready, able capable, but we don't tote them around. Our house is childproof/ animal proof. She has an x-pen in the living room with a shower curtain down for her area. If she can't be 100% supervised (multiple sets of eyes mandatory for children, preferred for adults) she is in her x-pen (plenty of room for adults or kids to get in & play). She has her crate, an adult has to place her in it and remove her from it, because her little legs can get stuck in the door. All pet bowls, litter boxes are cleaned and dried each day and this responsibility doesn't fall on just one person we are all required to keep an eye out and do our part... We make trips to the vet as a family. The older kids realize its vital for their health & the expense involved, the 6 year old is learning, vet appoints are mandatory and do cost money. Usually people adopting an animal have a history that follows them with the animals in their life. Alot could be learned from that.

My brother's kids (ages 7, 5 & 2) have a little bit more of a wilder streak in them, they have larger animals in their home, the neighbor girl is 4 and has only known large breed dogs, never lived with a cat as her Mom is allergic. They all get to play with the kitties and the pup, 100% supervised to a much stronger degree than when I am with my daughter and she is having her supervised 1 on 1 time. When pup first came home they played with her, petted her gently and loved her while I held (protected) her on the floor. I explained about her tiny bones and her delicate, soft hair, her fragile "buggy" eyes, her little tender stub of a tail, her visible backside. From the moment they all met, they knew she was tiny, she was fragile and spending time with her required the kids to really be Big Kids and they were "responsible" to love her and keep her Safe. Even the 2 and 4 year old are able to learn to love & be gentle, and have done wonderfully as she grows. They are actually "proud" of themselves for looking out for her and being gentle with her. It's a process, but it's a valuable one for kids to learn be it with a Chi ~ who a responsible adult is able to protect and supervise under these times ~ a kitty, or a great dane.

If the adult is responsible their children have the potential to be as well. And you can tell a lot about the adult 1 on 1, and then when the adult has their children there, just watching them interact you can tell boatloads too. Each family would be unique, but there are families out there with children who are very capable of providing a safe environment for a Chihuahua.

On all the sites you can see rehoming the dog, doesn't like kids, can't train it, life "got in the way". It makes a person sick to read that over and over again. Shelters and Rescues are filled with animals because of the previous reasons, but a mind blowing percentage of those animals are a result of being homed with people who view animals as disposable objects of convenience. When the novelty and cuteness wears off and the the responsibility as well as expense kicks in ~ those cute little critters aren't so cute anymore and the baby that was loved and catered to (to a minimal degree in the grand scheme of things) is the victim of the most cruelest act ~ being turned away.

I would think some families with children could be considered, there are instances when it could work. But the person placing the animal would really have to go more miles than what they already do when placing an animal. Talking to the potential families and spending time with them and their children ~ you really could weed out the majority instantly, but there would be a few who you would know would put in their best efforts.

Our pup is safe, loved, cared for & protected even with a 6 year old in the home and real little kids in the family and friends. So I know it's possible. You would really just need to see a history & see the family in action together and talk to them in depth. It makes most sense to err on the side of caution, but I think you will find that every now and again a family with a child/children do meet and exceed expectations and have the ability and desire to provide a pup with the greatest home imaginable and in the end that is what you are looking for. If it happens 1 out of every 10 / 1 out of every 100 of family applicants is an amazing event.
 

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I think it really depends on the child. My son is 11 and great with dogs, especially Chihuahuas. He just has this wonderful calming energy, and a natural respect for a dog's space. I wish I could take credit for that, but its really just him. When I've taken him to Chihuahua meet-ups, even dogs that were fearful of children would approach him.
He was 8 when I got JJ, who was only 3.5 lbs at the time. My son was wonderful with JJ from the beginning.
So, I would say, if you are looking at allowing a family with kids to adopt the Chihuahua, have the parents bring the kid(s) to meet the dog. If you have a no kid policy, you can say its a condition of possibly making an exception. This way you can if the kids are good with the dog and vice versa, or if the kids are rowdy or the dog is terrified.
I thought the cut-off for kids too young for a small dog was 10 years old though?
 

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We have a chi who we adtoped from the local animal protective league. My daughter is 6 and my son is 8. They are very gentle with our chi. My daughter treats him like a baby. She always hold his bottom with one hand and her other hand around his shoulder area. I had tried to adopt chi's before but was told that they arenot good with kids. Our chi sleeps (in his bed) on my daughters bed every night. I got very lucky we were able to adopt when we did. I think it does depend on the child...and you should just expect all kids to be rough with chi's. My daughter lvoes our chi and our chi (bean) loves her.
 

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It depends on the child and his/her maturity level IMO.
I'd say possibly younger than 8 would be ok, depending. But prob. not younger than 7.
Once they are in around 1st grade they generally have enough sense to be gentle and understand what you are telling them. But again it depends on the child. If the kid is a brat (lol) then they probably aren't going to do what mom or dad say anyway.
Interviewing the kids is a good idea.
 

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I have 4 kids. 3 girls (12, 9, and 5) and a 18mo boy. this is my first chihuahua but I do wildlife rehab with baby animals, we have had a boxer for years, and we have had a small parrot for years.

For us it's simple for the most part. Both the kids and the dogs get firmly reprimanded for not being gentle with the other. If I can't watch them closely I crate the chi. My biggest issue is the carrying. I tell the two younger girls and the baby not to carry the chi at all. The 12yo is fine. The 9 and 5yo's don't understand why they can't. They don't hurt her but she doesn't like being carried across the chest, sitting up. And if I let them carry her at all her feet would never touch the ground! the baby pets her harder than I would like but he's otherwise fine with her. I did have to give up on tethering for potty-training, that leash was far too tempting for both the baby and the 5yo. Potty-training is still coming along though!

I imagine that the reason I was never called back from the boxer rescue I tried to adopt from years ago was because I had young kids. They missed a good placement and I ended up with a backyard breeder. The shelter I adopted Juliet from only asked if my kids were used to dogs. I only had my 5yo and 18mo with me but they did see the young ones. I said "yes, they are good with animals" and that was it.

I don't know how you can tell the difference in the families but there are definitely loving families for chis with younger kids. i think a puppy like mine is perfect though. she was 5mo so big enough to be less fragile but young enough to be flexible. She goes to the little kids to play (sometimes a bit toothy, working on that) and the oldest for loving. Lots of kids means lots of love!
 

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My son's two daughters LOVE my dogs. And Tango and Jazz LOVE people, so you'd think that was a match made in heaven, right? Unfortunately, not so much :(

It's interesting to me that the older one, the 7/almost 8 year old, is nowhere near as good with the dogs as her sister, who's not even 5. She seems to instinctively understand to slow her movements WAY down, to not be jerky with the chis, to not walk around with them....all the things that I have to be constantly reminding the older one about.

I don't ever leave the girls alone with the dogs, period, but honestly? I'd feel comfortable about leaving the younger one unsupervised for short periods, whereas I don't feel like I can take my eyes off the older one for a second.

I guess my only point is that even with the most socialized, most well behaved of dogs, (and my two certainly qualify) the humans are far more the wild card than the canines.
 
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