Whether they’re babies, toddlers, or 10-year old’s, children are a part of your decision-making process when it comes to just about everything, especially when considering a dog. You don’t want a dog who will harm your kids, but is that a valid concern? Is there a right or wrong choice?
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Routes to take: Adopt or Buy?
Adopting a shelter dog can seem a little wary if you have very young children. Admittedly, you can’t know the background of every shelter dog. They may have been through traumas that have caused them to develop aggressive behaviors. It is heartbreaking to think about, but through no fault of their own, that is the reality for some. However, just as many shelter dogs make excellent companions for families. They are sweet, loving dogs who are yearning for a loving home. It’s all relative to the dogs’ background and personality.
If you are considering adoption, be sure to do your research before committing. Take your family and kids to meet the potential new member and see if it’s a good fit! Don’t be deterred by the misconception that all shelter dogs have some issue or could be dangerous. In the right circumstance, adopting a dog from a shelter is a perfectly viable (and encouraged) option.
If you’re in this situation, you may decide buying a puppy is the better option for you. If you were concerned about the adoption route, purchasing a newborn puppy should put your mind at ease. Your new puppy will grow up with your children and will have a loving home throughout their lives (ideally). There is, however, a particular “workload” that will come with a very young, untrained puppy. If you have toddlers or infants… you just added another one. As long as you’re comfortable with the time, responsibility (and frustration) that can come with training a puppy, it’s tough to argue that they’d be a great addition to your family. If you have enough on your plate as it is, looking for a dog who is already trained could be a better option for you (or revisiting the shelter route).
Breeds & Sizes
We’ve all heard the ridiculous stereotypes about breeds like the Pitbull. The fact is, Pitbulls and breeds similar to them can be the best choices of them all. They are sweet, compassionate dogs noted for being extremely gentle with children. This is not meant to turn into a Pitbull campaign, but the point we’re making is, there is really no wrong choice when it comes to breeds and potential “danger.”
At least when it comes to purchasing a puppy. Dogs are inherently gentle and loving creatures; most if not all of their actions and personalities are developed through their owners. If you give your dog a loving home, it’ll grow up to be a loving dog, and it’s that simple. To be safe, you may want to ask the seller about your puppies’ or adopted dogs’ parents, what they were like, and if there are any genetic issues at play.
There can be a right and wrong choice when it comes to breed personalities. As mentioned, if your dog is placed in a loving home, you will have yourself a great dog. However, genetics apply to canines as well, and some breeds are predestined to be different in some ways. For example, bulldogs are much more likely to be content sitting around, while a Yorkie or a Shepherd may be bouncing off the walls with energy, looking for an activity. You get the point, but you want to pick a dog that will fit your family’s situation.
If you’re a very active family, look into very active dog breeds. If you have babies or very young kids, you may not want a big dog who’s constantly running around with pent-up energy, knocking things over. In that case, look into calmer breeds. Families often choose to go with a Labrador or Retriever, as these breeds can be a perfect medium between active and calm companions.
Another to consider is your other pets (if you have any). Just as you’ll take your family to meet your potential new dog, bring your existing fur family as well. Your dog or cat will have a chance to meet and interact with potential new family members, and you can try and gauge how they will get along. Some dogs and cats can be overly protective of their environment, in this case, your house.
While it’s almost always a non-violent approach, you may deal with some suspiciously toned growling and barking when you first bring your new dog home. In this situation, try letting the dogs meet outside somewhere, in neutral territory, and then take them both into the house. After a while, they’ll get used to each other and hopefully become great friends!
Dogs are an excellent addition to any family. With the right amount of research, you will find yourself a loving companion in no time!