A four-legged friend is a real asset to any family, but when you have kids, the rewards of dog ownership are magnified tenfold. Dogs bring such a lot to any home, not least their unconditional love, but with so many breeds to choose from, it can be difficult to pick the right one. So if you are considering bringing home a puppy for your family, here are some wise words of advice.
Bundles of Energy
Most puppies are highly energetic creatures that play wildly for short bursts of time and then crash into a heap for a recuperative snooze. In the early days, they won’t be able to go for long walks, but as they mature, your puppy will need more exercise. For smaller breeds, this might not be an issue, since many small breeds don’t need a lot of walkies. Larger breeds, however, are a different story, as they will need at least two decent walks a day.
If you have toddlers and younger children, it will be difficult to find the time to take a large, energetic dog out for a five mile walk twice a day. Realistically, all you will end up doing is pushing the dog out into the garden for a quick runaround, which won’t be good for the dog or your garden. So be honest about your abilities to exercise a large dog, and if you don’t think you have time, look at smaller, toy breeds, that don’t need much exercise.
Age of the Kids
Older children will appreciate the boisterousness of a large dog such as a Spaniel or Labrador. Younger children may end up being flattened by a large, excited dog. Consider the age of your children before you buy a puppy, and remember, a cute puppy will grow up into an adult dog very quickly!
Smaller breeds such as Havershire puppies (follow this link to visit their site) are better suited to younger children, although you do need to be careful not to leave small children unsupervised with a puppy, in case one of them sustains damage.
The larger the dog, the more space it needs. A large breed of dog such as a German shepherd will struggle in a small flat, where as a toy breed such as a Chihuahua will be perfectly happy.
Home Alone All Day Long
Puppies need lots of attention. In the early days when you are toilet training them, you need to be on the ball enough to spot the signs your puppy is ready to go to the toilet (hopefully in the garden rather than on your wool rug). In time, you will be able to leave him for short spells, but if the puppy is going to be left home alone all day, it’s not going to work out very well and you will be better off with a cat not a dog.A dog is for life, not just for a few weeks, so think very carefully before you buy a puppy.