If you are a parent, at some point your child will approach you and ask about getting a dog as a family pet. Of course, your child will have no idea how much responsibility in involved in dog ownership. You have to train your dog to do its business outside, walk the dog, feed the dog, take it to the vet, clean furniture and carpet from shedding, and provide some form of flea and tick control. There is also the expense involved; paying for it, getting the dog spayed or neutered, plus the shots from the vet, dog food, vet visits, and pet supplies. There is also the question of who can take care of your canine friend when no one is home, either due to work and school or a family vacation. Most parents who buy a dog for their kids quickly find that it is not their child’s dog, but their own! Kids have a way of forgetting to feed their pets, or take them for walks, and they certainly won’t be paying for the dog food or vet visits, much less cleaning up after it with a pooper scooper.
None of this is meant to deter you from getting a doudou bébé dog as long as you have the space for the breed you want and your family, including your child, seem ready for dog ownership. Dogs can be very loyal and loving and make great companions. But before you pick out your new dog or puppy, you should do a little research on the different breeds available; their temperament and the size they will be when fully grown. You might also want to know how easy a certain breed is to train, since it is unlikely your new pet while have much training when you bring it home.
Suppose that you have a large, fenced-in yard, and your family leads an active lifestyle. You might consider a Dalmatian. These are working dogs that were originally breed to pull carriages, so they are athletic and have a lot of energy for playing. Another good dog for outdoor activities is the Labrador Retriever. Labs are friendly, loyal, and good with children. They can be a great companion for hunting, camping, or hiking. A dog that does well in cold weather and has great stamina is the Husky. Huskies are hard-working, but stubborn, so if you chose this breed, make sure you have the patience for training your new pet.
If you don’t have a lot of space for your dog to run, consider a smaller breed. Smaller dogs, especially when they are young, can be even more active than larger breeds. Even a dog the size of a Chihuahua needs lots of exercise and smaller dogs tend to be a tad hyper. Still, a smaller dog can use a smaller space for its exercise. A Jack Russell terrier, a true bundle of energy, can get a workout running around a kitchen table. Chihuahuas are popular now due in part to the high profile of Paris Hilton’s dog, Tinkerbell. But they are not the best breed around young children. A dachshund is a nice compromise; smaller in size, but smart and good with children. The “wiener dog” was originally breed for hunting badgers, so they are not pushovers, but they are gentle around people. A major drawback to this type of dog is that they are highly susceptible to back problems.
This is just a small sampling of the many dog breeds available. There is also the mixed breed mutt, which can suffer from fewer negative genetic traits. Pure-bred dogs often have problems due to inbreeding, and picking a dog from the SPCA or other shelter can save money and help an animal in need. Whichever dog you chose, make sure that you have done your homework regarding the type of pet and gotten your home ready in advance.
If your child is desperate for a pet dog, but you don’t have the space or budget, or just feel that your child isn’t ready, there is a simple alternative. You can placate your child and avoid a lot of temper tantrums with a plush dog! There have been great advances in stuffed animal manufacturing and design so that now you can get an incredibly realistic plush dog in the breed of your (or your child’s) choice. That way you won’t have to worry about vet bills, shedding, late-night barking, cleaning up with a pooper scooper, or an expensive de-worming. Plus, a stuffed dog can help give you an idea of whether your child is ready for the responsibility of a real canine. If they can “feed,” walk, and exercise their plush pet at appropriate times, they may be ready for the real thing. Likewise, if your child fails to show responsibility for their plush dog, then no real animal suffers and your child may learn a valuable lesson about the need for responsible behavior. It’s really a no-lose proposition, and your family gets a cute and cuddly plush toy in the bargain.
A Guide For Parents Looking For the Perfect Family Dog
Most parents can probably expect to hear their child ask for a dog some time during their life. This can be a dreaded question, because there’s a good chance your child has no idea what’s involved in dog ownership. They don’t consider the time and money involved, like walking the dog every day, taking it to the vet, shedding, and other problems that can cause a mess in the house, and the need for a dog sitter when your family goes on trips. In fact, many parents soon find the dog to be their responsibility! Besides paying for its needs, they have to feed it, walk it, and use that pooper scooper every day!
But if you do decide to go forward with dog ownership, there are a couple of things that you’ll need to consider. First, you need to investigate the temperament and behavior of the dog you want to adopt. Remember, pets rarely come perfectly trained, especially if you plan on getting a puppy.
Let’s take the example of a Lab. This larger dog is extremely active, and it needs a family that’s just as high energy. The Lab is a great dog for outdoorsy types; if your family loves things like camping and hunting, then this dog would be a great match. Also a great match for the active family would be a Dalmatian. These animals were originally bred to be a working dog as carriage horses, and so they are agile with a lot of stamina. Another great match for the energetic family, and probably the most active dog around, is the Husky. Bred to race, these large, long-haired dogs are known for their athleticism. They are also stubborn without training, so before getting a Husky you need to make sure your family has the patience and dedication to train hard. On the other hand, if you do not have such an active family, then a smaller dog like the Chihuahua might be a better match. While these doudou bébé dogs can be wound up like any animal, they are certainly more mellow overall. They also crave attention and are territorial, which means they aren’t good dogs for families with small children.
These are just some examples of common traits for dog breeds. Carefully evaluate your lifestyle and the needs of the animal before making a decision. Some dog types are also less prone to health problems, which can cut down on your vet bills. So remember, there is a lot to consider when deciding if a dog is right for your family.
But if you decide a dog isn’t right for your household, there is a way to cut off any child tantrums before they start. Get them a plush dog! A plush dog is still cute, but there’s no shedding, barking, biting, cleanup, or vet bills. This could also be a great “in-between” stop before making the final decision on whether or not to get a real dog. Have your kids take care of their plush pet as if it were real, giving them a chance to get used to the idea of all the responsibilities that come with dog ownership. Get them into a routine where they “feed” the dog at specific meal times and give the stuffed toy and themselves regular exercise. They’ll either perform well and give you the confidence that they can handle a real dog, or they’ll realize that an animal would be too much work for them. Either way its win/win, and in the meantime, you get an adorable placeholder for the real thing.