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|05-01-2005, 01:13 PM||#1|
YT 6000 Club Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Seattle, WA
[News] Choosing A Dog For Kids
When I was little, I was surrounded by pets, from rabbits to budgies to cats and dogs. I guess that was how my love for animals started. Teaching children the responsibilities of owning a pet is not easy, but I learnt early on that animals were living creatures and deserved respect.
Letís talk about dogs.
Visit any pet store, and you will see many different breeds of dogs. From long hair to short hair, big, medium and small, from imported to locally bred. After news of the Rottweiler which mauled a little boy weeks back, everyone wondered: what dog is good with children?
When Lassie was a great hit on TV, everyone wanted a collie for the kids. Then came 101 Dalmatians, and everyone thought: Dalmatians. Now, everybody wants a Golden Retriever because of movies like Buddy and Air Bud.
Frankly, all breeds of dogs are great with kids. I myself own a Rottweiler. It is true they are mainly used for guarding and police work, but my Rottie is a little darling. She gets along great with children, other dogs and adults as well. Of course, due to its size you donít allow young children to play with a Rottweiler, as he might accidently injure them. But that doesn't mean that the species is vicious and aggressive.
How good a dog is with the children depends on how much time you are willing to give to your children's dog, be it for training or grooming.
The mane question
Some long-haired breeds like the Shih Tzu , Silky Terriers and Miniature Schnauzer are great with children, but are not usually recommended for young children because of their fur. Unless you are willing to comb the dogís hair everyday, it is not advisable to get a long-hair breed for your child, except when he is older.
Short-haired breeds, however, just need regular brushing every now and then. And there is no way their hair can get tangled or matted. They tend to shed more, though.
Before you decide on the size of your dog, you need to take note of the age of your children. You might think a Golden Retriever is best, but if your child is only four, this dog may be too big.
Large breeds like Labradors, Mastiffs, Dobermans, Rottweilers and Dalmatians are more suited for children 10 years old and above. This is because they are usually clumsier and sometimes do not know their strength during play.
Medium-sized dogs are like Beagles, Corgis and Cocker Spaniels are fine for children above the age of five, but make sure there is always someone supervising their play, as accidents may happen.
Small dogs are the best for children, but not all are appropriate. Really small dogs like Chihuahuas, Toy Poodles, Pomeranians, Miniature Pinscher and Yorkshire Terriers are quite fragile. So they are the ones at risk in encounters with children. Remember that small breeds are very small when they are puppies, therefore you must supervise any play between the pups and your little kids. The Jack Russel Terrier, French Bulldog and Boston Terrier are best as they are hardier.
Some dogs are bred to hunt, retrieve, guard or herd. You must always keep this in mind when choosing a pet dog.
For instance, a herding dog would tend to think of children as sheep and would herd them around, perhaps frightening them. A guard dog would be very protective of their masters and might think that another child playing rough with his master is being aggressive.
Also bear in mind how active a dog is. Dogs that are really excitable can cause hurt to a child while those that are inactive might frustrate children who want to play with them.
The pet store
Many say pet stores are not the place to get dogs because they are only interested to make a sale.
I guess both parties should play their part. The store should be responsible in making recommendation (not trying to sell a Rottweiler to a family with a toddler, for instance!). And prospective owners should shop around with their kids. Ask them which dog they think are able to get along with.
You may say Iím a little biased when it comes to the breeds of dogs that are suitable for children. But this is just a rough guideline. Any dog that is not socialised properly or is raised in a wrong way tends to be a little cranky. And always keep in mind that the dog is only following its natural instincts whenever it does something.
Another thing: donít be fooled by the puppy-dog looks. Always check out the size of a full-grown adult before settling for what will be your pet for life.
|05-02-2005, 08:18 AM||#2|
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New York
Funny, there are many things in this article that I flatly disagree with. What I found shocking, almost amusing was the recomendation of a Jack Russell Terrier for small children. Even the JRT Club of America makes a special statement that JRT are not great with kids! Furthermore, I find interesting the comment made about coats. Silkies and Yorkies don't shed and that is one of the strongest SELLING points of these breeds! This must have been written by a "big" dog person who isn't all that familiar with small dogs. When I speak to people with young and very small kids looking for thier first dog, I usally refer them to the Beagle/Shelite sized dog and AWAY from toy dogs and small (potentialyl pugnacious and/or stubbern) small terriers. A dog needs to be big enough that it can handle some man-handling of children without getting harmed or alarmed enough to bite. Corner any animal in a situation where it feels overwhelmed and threatened, and it will resort to aggressive behavior. That's more likely to happen when you have a 40 pound kid with a 4 pound dog as opposed to a 40 pound kid and a 30 pound dog.
|05-10-2005, 09:34 AM||#3|
Stewie Rox the Sox
Join Date: Feb 2005
I can't believe someone hired this guy to write for a paper. His grammar is atrocious, sentances choppy and he does not make any good points.
Kristy & Stewie