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5 Tips In Deciding to Get a Puppy for Your Child

5 Tips In Deciding to Get a Puppy for Your Child In the movies, children's books, and television shows, children are always seen having a very compatible relationship with a dog. Your child is exposed to this information and images on a regular basis, and if it's not from the media and books, it's from friends in the neighborhood or other family members.

With these images all around you, there is no reason why you may not be wondering if it is time to purchase or adopt a puppy or dog for your child. Deep down inside, you probably had a dog growing up in which you have fond memories, and you may want to share this with your child. There is no doubt that dogs do make great pets for children, as it is so common to see a child being followed by a dedicated and loving dog. Regardless of your reasoning, there is some preparation and thought that needs to go into making that ultimate decision of getting a puppy.

Do Your Research

It is very important to do your research before making a decision to purchase or adopt a puppy. Not all dog breeds are compatible to children. There are dog breeds that are not tolerable of children, and yet there are dog breeds that truly live to be a companion to a child. In fact, one of the most compatible dog breeds for children is the Australian Staffordshire Bull Terrier, aka, "the nanny dog". This dog will unconditionally love a child, will want to constantly play with the child, and even follow the child around the house or yard guarding and protecting the child from any harm. This dog can play for hours with a child.

This is only one example of a dog breed that is child friendly, but there are many other dogs that will love spending countless hours with a child. This is where doing your research is essential. The most detrimental thing you can do is purchase a dog that rather be alone sleeping or roaming the house than being a companion to your child.

Determine if Your Child Wants a Puppy

After you have done your research into the best breed of dogs for a child, have a discussion with your child if he or she would like a pet dog. Show your child pictures of the types of dogs that you have researched to be child friendly, and pay close attention to your child's reaction. If your child does not show any interest in having a puppy, don't push the issue. You don't want to force this type of relationship and it will only lead to an unhappy child and a neglected pet.

If your child shows you complete excitement and energetically jumps up and down saying, "I want that puppy!", then of course, that is a sign that this could be a great match up. Out of the dogs you picked that are child-friendly, encourage your child to pick the puppy that he or she likes the most. This is the beginning to a great relationship for years to come.

Expose Your Child to Dogs

Take some time to expose your child to other puppies and adult dogs, and take note of his or her reaction. Your child may have been excited looking at the cute puppy and dog pictures, but when it comes to the dog being near them in real life it may mean a different story. You want to ensure that the child-dog relationship is one that will be welcomed, and not one that will cause fear for your child. If he or she is scared, you should wait.

If a child is not comfortable around a dog, it will be hard for the dog too. Dogs want love and attention, and if the child is scared and reacts by hitting or running from the dog, neglect will soon be felt by your new pet. If your child softly pets, hugs, and plays with someone's dog, then it is a sure way to know for sure that your child is ready for a puppy.

Practice Puppy Care

Buy your child a toy puppy to practice basic puppy care that your child will be able to participate in. Teach your child how to softly pet and carry a puppy, and of course teach your child not to step on, hit, kick, or pull the fur of the puppy. Children need to be taught on the proper love that needs to be given to a puppy, regardless of their age, as children of all ages can be abusive to dogs.

You may also purchase some dog toys and show your child the difference between his or her toys, and the toys made especially for the puppy. Let your child know that his or her toys are not for the puppy to play with, because it can be dangerous and hurt the puppy. Have your child pick out the puppy toys so he or she will make that connection that there is a difference in the toys.

Accept Your Responsibilities

Understand that you may be the sole care taker of your new puppy. Your child, depending on his or her age, may not be capable of washing and feeding the puppy, or even cleaning up after the puppy. You may, depending on the age of your child, encourage him or her to assist you in the dog duties, but don't expect a young child to be fully responsible.

Let your child enjoy the play time and companionship, and you can take care of the other needs until your child becomes old enough to understand how to completely care for a dog. The most important point you want to make with your child is the development of the child-dog relationship. Find T-shirts with your dog breed for your child, or even purchase puppy checks that you can use to show your child how much love there is to give to a dog. The care can come later.

About Author: Kim is a freelance writer and lover of dogs. She recently bought a puppy for her two children and enjoys teaching them responsibilities in caring for their new pet. Kim shares her love of dogs with others by using personalized checks found at www.personalchecksplus.com.

Photo credit: Smlp.co.uk