Should you get a dog to teach your children responsibility? Getting a dog is a big responsibility for anyone or for any family. There are many things to consider: who is going to feed the dog? Who’s going to walk him or clean up after him? Who’s going to groom and bathe him? Will you and the rest of the family have time for the dog? If you work and your kids go to school, when will you make time for the dog?
Depending on your child’s age, you, as a parent, should be aware that you will probably have to do most of the work involved in taking care of a dog. Even children with the best intentions can fail to follow through and, where a dog’s concerned, someone has to be there to make sure the dog is fed, watered and cared for.
If you have a young child you can assign some of the chores involved in taking care of your dog to your child. If you think your child is responsible enough, you can assign them the job of keeping your dog’s water dish filled with clean water. For older children you could give them the task of picking up after your dog in the backyard or giving the dog a bath once a month.
Some teenagers may be eager for more responsibility. If they love dogs and they wish to be involved in all aspects of your dog’s care there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be given that responsibility. They can feed the dog, groom the dog and even become involved in training the dog. Many families with a teenager who’s crazy about dogs go to the ultimate extreme of getting the teenager their own dog for competition events. Teenagers can excel at events like Junior Showmanship, offered by the American Kennel Club, obedience, rally, agility and other events with their dogs.
Some people still think it’s a good idea to have a litter of puppies to teach their dog about “the miracle of birth” and responsibility but this is usually a bad idea. Pregnancies can sometimes be difficult and raising a litter of puppies is a lot more work than it may seem. Plus, you then have to find homes for all of the resulting puppies which isn’t always easy. If you don’t find homes for the puppies you may have to take them to the animal shelter where they could be put to sleep. So, it’s usually not a good idea to consider breeding as a way to develop responsibility in your children.
Owning a dog is a big responsibility but there are some good ways that you can include your children in the work to teach them about the responsibility involved in pet ownership. Allow them to help with some of the basic care of your dog and you will be teaching them that animals need care and work to be happy pets.
Tell us how you have used your dog to teach your children responsibility.
Until next time……….