Do you have children? This is an important question, not for the sake of finding out whether your kids are the ones who want the dog, but because in some instances, kids and dogs just don’t mix.
This is especially true in the cases where you have children who are around toddler age. They won’t understand why it’s not a good thing to pull the dog’s fur, tail, ears and sundry other parts.
They will also find it difficult to understand why you went and got a plaything for them which they can’t really play with and which they can’t bash or throw about as they would their other toys.
Your toddlers are still growing up and still learning, and if they are at the terrible two’s stage where every other word that comes out of their angelic mouths is “NO!”, then you can be sure that they won’t listen to you when you tell them not to pull on the dog’s tail etc.
The only time they will understand that “No”, means “No” in the case of messing around with the dog, is when they get bitten.
And in these cases it is almost always the dog that comes off worse, because when all is said and done, the dog is after all just an animal, and the child is, well your child.
You have a choice to make in the case where you have very young children.
You can either put off getting a dog until your children are much older, or you can keep the dog outdoors for most of the time and send it to a good training school, or you can get an older dog that has been trained and is used to dealing with children.
All of these approaches work well for you if you have young children and want a dog as well, but please do remember that the dog also has its limits.
Even the friendliest dog will find that his patience is pushed to the limit when he is being constantly harassed by an unrepentant toddler who doesn’t know any better.
Having got that out of the way, I can now tell you truthfully, that although I love dogs I do not believe in mixing young kids and dogs, no matter what the age, size or temperament of the dog.
It does pain me to say it, but a dog is just a dog in the end, not a human. And if a human can commit violent acts of crime thinkingly and unthinkingly, who’s to say that a dog can’t do the same.
Most dogs are highly intelligent beings and since we have no way of interpreting anything other than their most basic needs, we have no way of knowing the true nature of the dog.
We can make good guesses, but in the end, that’s really all they are, guesses. There is no way for us to know that our saint-like dog won’t suddenly turn on us, or our children, one day and bite the hand that feeds it.
This is why it’s always a good idea to never leave young children unsupervised with dogs around.
No one will know who did what, first, but in the end it won’t matter, the damage will already have been done in more ways than you can imagine.
This is also why I ask in the beginning whether you have young children or babies around. Babies are even more at risk than toddlers are because of their relative inability to defend themselves.
I don’t mean to put you off getting a dog, but these are things that you must take into consideration when looking at getting a dog as a pet.
It is just negligence to ignore these questions, however unpalatable the answers might be, and you are doing not only yourself an injustice but also your children, as well as the dog.
There’s also one other thing that you will want to take into account when looking at getting a dog with young children around to contend with as well. And this comes in the form of discipline.
If you get a puppy, then like as not, your toddler will have hours of fun with him. And you can rest easy in the knowledge that all is right in your world.
Except of course for the small fact that both your toddler and the puppy are of a like mindset. Both are highly curious, and both are probably prone to get into much mischief. (This will probably mean that where there is one, you will be able to find the other!)
You need to be aware of this penchant for getting into trouble that most young the world over have in abundance, as well as the fact that you will have to discipline and bring up not only your child but the dog as well at the same time.
You will have to do this for both, and it will probably try your patience sorely at times, but you must be ready to do this. And you must be ready to deal with this separately as well.
It’s really no use punishing and disciplining the dog for something your child has done and vice versa. You will need to consider whether or not you can handle double the task of bringing up both your child and dog together at the same time.
However, if after going through this, you decide that a dog is alright to have, you will want to find a dog that is known to be good with children. There are dog breeds that are used as type of “nanny” dogs and these can be depended upon to a very large extent to be good with children.
When you are looking for a dog however, you will need to specify to whomever you’re going to for a dog, that you have small children. They will then be better able to help you find the dog type that is suitable for you.