Dogs have long been known as “man’s best friend”; they are social animals who see the humans around them as their pack and they become strongly attached to those humans. One of the things about a family pet is that they can help teach responsibility. A dog can be a lot of fun and a great addition to your family, but a dog can also be a lot of work, and there is always the chance the child might tire of the pet and leave the chores for Mom and Dad. Thats when your parenting skills come in to empasize how important it is and how much it means to your pet when your kids help out with them. One tip is to make the chores fun, help the child out if they need it and make it a routine.
Now, if you have decided on a pet dog, here are some things to think about:
Dogs are social and do best when not left alone. If you are not going to keep the dog inside then consider getting two dogs so that they can keep each other company. You will need to plan on spending plenty of time with the dogs so that the dog will feel like it is part of the family.
Socialization takes at least one half hour every morning and about one hour every evening. The younger the dog, the more time needed.
Dogs love routines – same time, same place.
Dogs are a long-term commitment – with many breeds living twenty years or more. Be sure you are ready for such a relationship before you commit to having a dog join your family.
If you have decided that a dog is the right pet for you then you need to decide which dog breed you will bring into your family. Every breed has different needs and typical personalities, but like people, every dog within each breed is unique. Before you take a dog home, spend some time playing, petting, and getting to know that particular dog. See how it responds to you and your family. See if there is a trail period so that the dog can come home and meet the whole family and live a day in the new atmosphere. Do whatever you can to ensure that the dog you choose is a good fit for you and that you are a good fit for the dog.
The Beagle is a small, friendly dog that needs companionship from human or from other dogs. It is a pack animal. It is gentle, tolerant, and typically good with children. It can be loud – often prone to barking and howling. The short, smooth coat is easy to maintain.
The Collie was made famous by the television show "Lassie", and is a dog of grace, speed and strength. Most often the collie is an intelligent dog that is willing to please. It makes a gentle friend and is great with children. Although it is a breed that is wary of strangers, the natural inclination to be friendly keeps it from being the best watchdog. The smooth-coated collie does not need much grooming. It needs room to run and plenty of shade and is not recommended for apartment living.
The Greyhound is a wonderful pet and makes a great indoor companion. Although it is used in racing, it is gentle and quiet – preferring to nap. It is not a high-energy dog, but does need social interaction (with family or other dogs) to avoid becoming timid. The breed is loyal and friendly but can be extremely sensitive. Grooming is easy, mostly because of the short coat. The skin on the greyhound is thin and so it is sensitive to cold. It can also have troubles with digestion, so the greyhound should be fed several small meals over the course of the day as opposed to one large meal.
In summary, there are many things to consider when you are thinking about bringing a dog into your family, and one of the most important is the long-term commitment to the animal. Dogs are social animals and they will bond with their family. Breaking that bond can be harmful to the pet. Take some time to really think about the long-term place a dog will have in your family before bringing one home.