I was telling few co-workers that I got a puppy. One of the people I was having a conversation with said that she would like o get a dog for her kid. She would like her ten-year old to walk the dog and to have something to be responsible for. My response “Your kid doesn’t want a dog!!!” shocked her.
I’ve had this conversation with people many times. The assumption is that the kid will be happy to go for daily walks with the dog and will be enjoy everything with it. It is based on the fact that the child is constantly asking for a dog and is so happy to play with puppies.
However, the sad reality is that kids get bored and lose interest in pets quickly, especially once the puppy has grown into an adult dog and is not as cute or as much fun anymore. What kids, and often parents, don’t realize is that taking care of the dog is a mandatory daily exercise and is not a fun thing you do once in a while. A dog requires training, care and finances. All those things are required throughout the dog life and not just in the beginning … few vet visits, few puppy classes and few toys … And you’re done.
No you are not!
The child grows up and loses interest and the puppy becomes a dog and is not a cute little toy anymore. Even when the puppy is little, it is not a toy. Kids learn quickly that the dog doesn’t like being used as a toy and often the consequences of kids not being taught how to behave with a puppy result in the dog being given away or even worst, destroyed, because it bit the child, who was abusive and rough.
The consequence of the child wanting a dog is that the parent has to take responsibility for daily walks and exercise. The result is usually a grumpy dad who resents going out for those evening walks after work or frustrated mom who has to get up earlier in the morning to walk and feed the dog. The dog, as a result, get a quick frustrated walk around the block and maybe a nice walk on a weekend. There is also a possible access to the backyard where the dog is left to its own imagination and wrecks havoc in frustration.
So do not get the dog for your kid!!! (Some kids are an exception. I got my Doberman at 13 years old and spend every waking moment with it … walking, training and playing. However, I have always been obsessed about dogs.)
Get a dog if you as an adult want to have a dog and are willing to dedicate time to train and exercise with it. Your kids will benefit greatly from living with and caring for a pet, but they will not take care of it! I believe having a dog is one of the greatest experiences out there! However, most people only like the idea of a dog in the house and not the actual responsibility of having a dog.
So, do not buy a dog because your kid saw one in pet store or had fun playing with it in a park or friends house!
Make a responsible and mature decision!
Chances are neither you or your kid really want to have a dog!!!