Teaching Children Responsible Dog Ownership through Puppy Love

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Mikki Hogan, dog trainer and publisher of MyDogDidWhat.com is an avid dog lover to the extreme. She works actively in animal rescue, fostering special needs dogs as well as whole families and enjoys filling all her time with animal activities. When she's not busy with her dogs Mikki enjoys spending time with her family, writing for the net and socializing on FaceBook.
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I can remember as a child sitting in my room fantasizing about what my grown up world would look like. I would have a husband because all the mommies I knew had husbands. We would have three children because that’s how many my mom had and of course we would have a dog because I wasn’t allowed to have one of those. It was the perfect fantasy that always made me happy to think about.

The years passed and I grew up. I did get a husband and we had eight children instead of 3 and a dog wasn’t in our plans anytime soon. But my children, especially the younger they were, never failed to beg for one. Perhaps the want for a new puppy is an inborn desire?

As our children grew the childhood dream of owning a dog returned tenfold and with my children’s constant pleas it was inevitable for me to finally say yes. But it came with a stipulation, they had to help provide for our new puppy’s care.

Teaching Children Responsible Dog Ownership

It was important to me that my children not only enjoy the thrill of owning a dog but that they learned how to be responsible owners. I wanted them to learn there was more to having a pet than all the fun and games.

To begin we sat down as a family and discussed what a puppy actually required to be a happy, healthy pup that grows into an amazing dog. We talked about the importance of proper diet, exercise and the need for in home dog training for obedience.

Next we did our homework and began researching the different breeds and what DNA traits each breed brought to the table. Even if we decided to adopt from our local shelter we needed a basic understanding on what to look for and

which breeds were more likely to fit our lifestyle.

Then it came down to deciding if we wanted to adopt a puppy from the local shelter or find a breeder to ensure on a purebred. Both ideas had many benefits so for us it was a matter of family preference and being able to agree on where our dog would come from.

Getting Ready for Our New Puppy

Part of being responsible included properly preparing to bring our puppy home. I had the older children research and select a vet that was nearby. The younger children came along to purchase supplies such as a kennel, collar, leash, chew toys and of course puppy food.

We set up our puppy area as a family, laid out the ground rules for what our puppy was allowed and not allowed to do and agreed on our method of discipline. Once all the rules were clearly outlined we were ready to pick up our puppy and bring him home, which of course was the best part of all that extensive planning.

The first few weeks were up and down at first, having the kids remember whose turn it was to feed or exercise our puppy, reminding them of the no furniture rule and teaching our puppy not to bite. But even with the trials the children eagerly and happily carried the responsibility of properly caring for and teaching their new puppy.

For our family deciding to get a new puppy was a family project so to speak. It was an opportunity to teach my children responsible dog ownership and full fill an old childhood dream. What could bringing home a new puppy do for you and your family?

About the Author:

Mikki Hogan, dog trainer and publisher of MyDogDidWhat.com helps families make their dream of owning a puppy a reality by offering an online forum for dog training, resources on puppy care and support to get their questions answered.