|By Fran Black
The big day has finally arrived, a new
member of the family will be joining your ranks. When
you bring the little one home, you want to know you have
made the right decision, are they going to fit in well
with the other family members, will they be kind to everyone,
will they be too rambunctious or too big? Of course by
little one I am referring to a new dog in the family.
These are questions that often come to mind when bringing
home a new pet. While there are no guarantees that whatever
dog you choose will connect instantly with your family
and most important your children, considering a few different
things will better ensure a proper match.
The first item to consider is the size
of the dog you want to bring home. Canines vary in size
from miniature two pound Chihuahua's up to three hundred
pound English Mastiffs. While it seems like a very small
dog might be best for very small children, think again.
If the dog is too small it has a greater likelihood of
being stepped on or hurt even by small children who are
ten times their size. Huge dogs are not taboo when it
comes to children, they can work well, but now the child's
size gives them the disadvantage. Other things to think
about are where you live; will the dog have enough room
to stay active? Large dogs in a small apartment or tiny
dogs on a huge plot of land may not pose problems, but
do you want to take the risk?
Another item to think about when choosing
a family dog is personality. While mean dogs are generally
that way because of training, there are breeds that are
more likely to be bad with children. Of the 279 deaths
caused by dogs between 1979 and 1994, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers
and German Shepards were the most commonly reported dog
breed involved. Other dogs that have a tendency to be
biters are Dobermans and Dalmatians. Along with thinking
about how vicious a dog is, dog activity is another thing
to consider. Even if a certain breed is known to be less
vicious, it may be too rambunctious for small children.
There are many things about a dogs personality that lend
themselves to being good with children, one that is docile,
loving, patient, and willing to be tugged at. Finding
a dog that has these characteristics is the key.
There are other things that will make having
a dog and children easier as well. Children take a lot
of your time, having your daily walks with your dog may
not be as easy as it once was, especially in cold climates
where it is difficult to take children out at the same
time. Dogs that require a lot of exercise such as larger
terriers, spaniels and most dogs over 50 pounds may not
be able to have the attention required to keep them healthy
and active. Other considerations in choosing a dog is
how easy it is to clean up after, does it shed a lot,
or does it require regular grooming? While they may seem
small considerations now, constantly having to vacuum
or pull dog hairs off you baby or child will eventually
become very tedious.
The last item to think about when it comes
to dogs and children is timing. What do I mean by this?
Many dogs do much better when they are raised at the same
time as the children. It is more difficult for an older
dog to adjust to infants or small children than one who
has grown up with them. When a dog is accustomed to children
from the time they are puppies, it can tolerate the hair
pulling, hitting and tugging with more patience. It might
even be more willing to be dressed up for a tea party
There are no guarantees when it comes to
choosing a new dog for your family, but when certain things
are researched first, it can increase the likelihood of
a good match. A family dog will be a member of your clan
for years to come, hopefully some of the information here
can help them fit in and become a loving part of any family.
About the Author
Emma Snow is a prolific writer and writes for Dog Pound
and Wildlife Animals http://www.wildlife-animals.com