This is a contributed post and therefore does not necessarily represent the views and opinions if this blog or its author.
Any dog owner will tell you that bringing four legs into the family home changes everything for the better. Dogs bring people together. Even if you don’t see your kids from one meal until the next, the chances are that they’ll want to come along to choose your family dog. They may even be willing to go out for that daily walk (if you’re lucky).
The fact is that dogs give love freely, and they encourage us to do the same. If you feel like something is missing at home, then, a four-legged furry could be what you need. The chances are that your youngsters have been begging for a dog since they could speak anyway. Why not give in and see what happens?
Of course, making that initial decision is only the start of a long process. Dog ownership is a significant commitment, and there is all manner of things to consider before embarking on it. You’ll need to think about everything from where you buy your dog, to which breed you go for. Though it may not be obvious, it’s also worth considering the age of your kids during these deliberations. Different ages call for different needs. And, you’ll find that different doggy options are good for each. To help prove why to consider the following age-related stipulations.
Adopted dogs may not be good mix for young children
Age comes into play before you even settle on where to get your dog. As a general rule, adoption is a fantastic path to take. There are endless numbers of unwanted dogs waiting for a home. If that fact breaks your heart, you may want to adopt rather than buying from a breeder. But, you might want to think twice if you have young children. While there are child-friendly dogs in kennels, they’re few and far between. For the most part, these pups have had a bad start. That can lead to unpredictable behavior and violent outbursts. While an adult or older child could deal with that, youngsters wouldn’t understand. It would be all too easy for them to miss warning signals and receive injury. And, that’s not what you want. In the majority of cases, an adoption center wouldn’t even allow dogs like these in a home with small children. Acknowledge that before you set your heart on anything.
Laid back dogs for youngsters
Speaking of young children, it’s also worth considering which breed would suit. As a general rule, you’re best off opting for laid-back breeds which won’t snap at your kids. While temperament also comes down to training, breed plays more of a part than you might think. Labradors are often a popular choice here, as they’re a loyal and gentle breed. They have a gentle demeanor and are unlikely to snap at persistent youngsters. Poodles and Cocker Spaniels also top the young-kid list. These energetic breeds have no problem keeping up with excitable kids.
Breeds with more responsibility for teens
If your children are a bit older, it may be worth casting your breeding net a little further. There are plenty of breeds which, while not ideal for young children, could be perfect for teens. At this stage, you want a dog which can teach your child about care. The breeds mentioned above are pretty self-sufficient and easy to look after. For teens, then, consider branching into terrier territory, or other more difficult waters. Breeds such as jack russels and yorkies can be snappy and require a lot of training. As a result, parents of young children should steer clear. If you have a teen at home, though, a pet like this could be the ideal project for them to embrace. The more gentle and understanding nature of most teens also ensures that no nasty accidents will come about from the pairing.
What are you willing to take on?
Whether your kids are under ten or over twenty, it’s also worth thinking about what you’re willing to undertake. Remember that even the most loving young kids soon lose interest in pets. And, your teen may well move out of the family home before your dog even reaches middle-age. Either way, then, you could end up as the primary caregiver. Hence why you should also consider which dog would suit your needs. Would you be able to dedicate time to a pup, or would you prefer an easy breed which is more of a companion than a burden? When it comes down to it, only you can decide.