What you need to know when deciding to bring a dog home to your family
A dog is a wonderful companion. It has accompanied man for millennia in a very versatile manner in all the activities of his owner, from hunting to defending livestock, from guarding to "simple" company.
A tireless playmate on the one hand, and on the other they are the first real chance children have to be responsible for something that does not talk and cannot defend itself, but must be understood, loved, taken care of and protected.
Puppies are all wonderful and you will probably fall in love with them at first sight. However, here are a few questions you should keep in mind when you decide to enlarge your family with a four-legged friend, in order to make an aware decision that you will never regret.
You must keep in mind that even if the dog is seen as a playmate "for the kids", it is the adult who is ultimately responsible for its management, daily needs and the commitment.
It is important to take into consideration the space and time to dedicate to it: a garden is not fundamental for a dog to be happy, but the larger it is it will need more movement to get tired and use its energy. In addition to going outside three times a day for its needs, sporty or working breeds need much more activity to get tired out. The golden rule is that a tired dog is the best pet in the world.
If it is true that the dog is man's best friend, it is also true it must also be put in the condition to be a good friend. How? Through respect, with a few simple rules of cohabitation suitable for the age of every child, which permit serene growth for all. Specifically: elementary school age children can be assigned the task of giving the dog water and dry food, to play ball with it and help with its daily care. Pre-school age children, instead, can be given the honourable task of holding its lead when taking walks and teach them to respect their spaces, leaving it alone when it is sleeping in its basket. Even smaller children can be taught how to pet it correctly, on its snout and body without pulling its hair, ears or tail. Paradoxically, larger dogs can be more suitable for smaller children as they are sturdier, more patient and less sensitive to any pranks, whereas smaller sized dogs may get hurt easier, if pulled or shoved, but at the same time a smaller dog is perfect to be taken out on a lead by their little owners.
Regardless of any other factor, it is always strongly recommended to take a training course in order to establish a good relationship with your four-legged friend and have a obedient and well-balanced dog in the future. A few lessons will be enough to have optimal results and it will also be a perfect occasion to spend some hours outside with an activity that involves the entire family.
Once the general aspects have been clarified, the crucial moment will arrive: selecting the breed: what type is best to live together with children?
Starting from the assumption that the perfect type does not exist, every family can find their ideal dog. Here is a list of the 5 most common ones: