9 Questions to Ask Before Your Family Gets a Dog
Has your family decided to get a dog? With so many breeds available, it may be hard to choose! Learn what characteristics to look for in a family dog and which breeds are best for families with children.
Question 1: Do You Have Time for a Pet?
It’s no surprise that Mom typically takes on extra duties when it comes to caring for a puppy. Plan to make time for dog training when you get your new pet.
Question 2: Do You Have Room for a Dog?
A large-breed dog can survive in a condo or small apartment, but a house with a yard is best. When you purchase your pup, make sure to ask how large the dog will become.
Question 3: What Kind of Personality Do You Want in a Dog?
Different dog breeds are known for certain types of personalities—hyper, aggressive, loyal. Do a little research about the various breeds before you buy. Have your prospective pup spend time with your family to make sure that the dog fits in with your brood.
Question 4: Can You Afford a Pet?
Veterinarian bills can be costly—especially in your puppy’s first year. Vaccines, neutering, and training are just a few of the expenses. A pet can make a huge dent in the family budget.
Question 5: Are Your Children Old Enough to Handle a Dog?
Some experts recommend waiting until your child is at least 5 before getting a dog. Younger children require constant attention around the dog. A dog may nip at a child who was just trying to demonstrate affection by pulling the dog’s ear or tail.
Question 6: Do You Know Which Dogs are Difficult to Train?
Alexandra Powe Allred, author of Teaching Basic Obedience: Train the Owner, Train the Dog, cautions that these 10 breeds are the most difficult to train: Shih Tzu; Basset Hound; Mastiff and Beagle; Bloodhound; Pekingese; Borzoi; Chow Chow; Bulldog; Basenji; and Afghan Hound.
Question 7: Do You Know Which Breeds are Biters?
This list has some surprises. Allred says that in nature, breeds one through seven can be friendly, but they are intolerant and snap when handled roughly, startled, or pushed around. German shepherds, Rottweilers, and pit bulls are actually much less inclined to bite, but their powerful bites lead to greater injuries and are reported more often. They include: Chow Chow; Shih Tzu; Lhaso Apso; Toy Terrier; Dachshund; Maltese; Cocker Spaniel; German Shepherd; Rottweiler; and Pit Bull.
Question 8: Do You Know Which Breeds are the Smartest?
These breeds are known for their intelligence. If you’re looking for a dog that’s easy to train, then consider: Border Collie; Poodle; German Shepherd; Doberman Pinscher; Golden Retriever; Shetland Sheepdog; Labrador Retriever; Papillon; Rottweiler; and Australian Cattle Dog.
Question 9: Do You Know the Best Breeds for People with Allergies?
If you need a dog that’s easy on the allergies, these breeds are good picks: Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier; Basenji; Boston Terrier; Chinese Crested Dog (Hairless); Schnauzer (both standard and miniature); English Toy Spaniel; Pinscher (not Doberman); Pointer; Skye Terrier; and Smooth Coated Terrier.
Thinking about adding a pet to your family? Find out which one would fit in best.view gallery
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