We are often asked for advice about children and dogs. While it seems like a great combination, young children are not always ready for the commitment and work that having a puppy/dog involves (daily walks, play, training, feeding, picking up poop, cleaning-up when they are sick, etc.- for maybe 15 years!). Older children will eventually move on to college and their dog will be left with their parents. Dogs can be particularly useful with special needs children, they can provide company and empathy. There are numerous examples of children who lives were positively impacted when a dog was bought into a house. But training a dog takes time and patience, and young children do not always have this and the burden will full on the parents, who may not have time either. Dogs are very smart and need the company of their human care takers to keep them out of mischief (especially while they are going through adolescence- 6-18 months). There is good and bad in having dogs and children together. We were lucky to have been brought up with several amazing dogs, but we will only advise potential dog owners with children to fully consider all the pros and cons before getting a puppy or a rescue. All dogs need training and caring for. It is considered that dogs remain at the level of a 2-year old human for their entire lives- a 2-year old for 15 years!
At Happy Urban Dog we provide a pre-puppy consultation for those considering a puppy for the first time- we won’t make the decision for you, but we will be realistic about the amount of work and time commitment a puppy/dog brings.
Happy training!