A dog can be a wonderful addition to your family,
and a great companion for your child. Choosing the right dog for your child and your family is something that should be thought about before going dog shopping. Its really easy to choose a dog based on how cute they might be, and later finding out that this particular dog doesnt fit in to your family or living situation. Here are a few things to consider before you decide on your new furry friend.
The first step to take, especially when this dog is for your child, should be asking yourself, Is my child old enough and responsible enough to care for this new pet? If you are counting on your child to be the one who gives the dog the care and attention that it will need, this should always be the first thing to consider. Are you willing to make sure this animal receives proper care if your child isnt willing or able to provide for its needs.
Then take some time to think about where you live, before you decide on which breed or size of dog you will get. Ask yourself questions like these. Will this dog be mostly kept inside, or will this be an outside dog? Is my yard large enough for a larger dog to get exercise? Is my yard fenced, if I choose to keep my dog outside? Even if my yard is fenced, will my neighbors be compatible with this dog, e.g. will my fence keep my dog out of their yard? Do any of my bordering neighbors have children that would tease or harass my dog (this would be one good reason for choosing to keep your dog inside)?
These may seem like things of little importance before you get a dog, but any problems that can be prevented, are worth giving some thought to.
Another consideration should be what breed of dog you are thinking of getting. Have you had experience with that particular breed or have you done any research to find out what the characteristics of that breed are. Sometime just looking at a dog or even being around them for a very short time can be deceiving. For example; I once fell in love with a German Shorthair at our Humane Society. She loved my children, and they loved her.
She had a sweet nature about her, but what we didnt know was that she was extremely active, and not only that she was also very strong. My children couldnt even take her for a walk, for she would drag them down the street, and she never tired. Do some checking before you decide which one you will get. Some ways to do this could be to talk to a Vet, or talk to the staff at your local Humane Society. They have a great deal of experience with most breeds of dogs.
You might try your local library for books on specific breeds of dogs. If you have friends who own or have owned a certain breed, ask them what they have observed about that breed. All breeds of dogs have exceptions to the rules, but there are certain characteristics that are generally consistent with each breed. This would be especially helpful if you are planning on getting a puppy. That little puppy wont always be that size, and will have a grown-up disposition someday.
The addition of a dog to your family can be one of the most rewarding experiences you and your child my have. Thinking ahead, and knowing which dog would fit your family and lifestyle will only make this experience even better. Take a little time and do some research. The benefit will be worth your time spent.