miercuri, 3 octombrie 2007

Dogs are good for children

Although many children grow up without a dog or other family pet, for many, it is considered a ritual of passage to have a family dog. Having a family pet can provide warm memories for years to come.

Of course, if you want to get a dog for your child, you should do your homework first so that you choose a suitable breed. The breed should be gentle, patient, and not prone to bite. If possible, it should also be patient with a little bit of rough handling, such as small children can do, and it should most certainly be amenable to a certain amount of noise.

In fact, dogs can even play an essential role in child development. If you give a young child the responsibility for a family pet (even if you keep a close watch to make sure that responsibility is met so that the dog is well taken care of) this can help instill a sense of maturity and pride in a job well done. And of course, if the child loves the dog, this only helps motivate him or her further to take good care of him.

Certain breeds are better for children than others. In fact, certain breeders have tried to selectively breed dogs specifically for their calm temperament and placid nature around children. One example of this is the mastiff. An English mastiff is generally very tolerant. It can handle a lot of rough play before it shows any signs of aggression. And in general, it does not bite even if provoked. Pointers are also very peaceful, although they are very playful and may be harmful without meaning to be to very young children. Still a third very patient and devoted breed suitable for young children is the St. Bernard, although again because of its large size, care should be taken around very small children. Simply because it is so large, it could hurt a very small child without meaning to at all.

Certain breeds are better for very rambunctious children who like to play outside. Examples of this include the Labrador, Dalmatian and American Eskimo dog. For children who prefer the indoors, the St. Bernard or mastiff is a cozy companion.

With a little homework and your own personal knowledge of your child, you should have no problem choosing a pet for your child. Of course, simply going down to the Humane Society and choosing a dog from the pound that shows a patient temperament may also be a good idea, and you'll give a homeless puppy a loving place to grow up. Of course, you can also choose a well-behaved, patient adult dog if you don't want to deal with the house training and teething issues that come with puppies. If necessary, you can enroll your puppy in obedience school to provide the proper training, or if you have the time and patience, you can do it yourself. If your child is a little older, beginning at about the age of nine, he or she can also train a dog, and this will only further increase his or her sense of pride and responsibility to the new family pet. Just make sure that your child has the patience to train lovingly, since violence is never a good option when disciplining or otherwise training your dog. Firm, loving behavior is the best way to go.

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