One of life's great mistakes is taking your children into a pet store if you aren't serious about bringing home a pet. You can be sure that in a matter of minutes, your children will connect with the cutest little puppy. You say no, then they hand the puppy to you and you're face to face with pleading brown puppy eyes and crying children.
So between the children's begging and memories of the family dog from your youth, you're paying for a shopping cart full of dog stuff - plus the puppy. There's no greater buyer's remorse than that felt after buying a dog on impulse. As the days go by, you discover that the dog's personality doesn't mix well with your family. You begin to resent taking the dog for walks or rushing home between appointments for feedings.
It's like having another child that you didn't plan. Those little puppy accidents, chewed furniture, nightly barking and other normal dog behaviors become more and more irritating. That's the point where some insensitive dog owners punish the dog to the point of abuse or neglect. Sadly, many of the dogs in shelters are there because they were the impulse buy of a family or an adult who failed to consider what dog ownership involves. The owner chooses based on adorable puppy features without learning about the dog's full-grown size or its breed characteristics.
In a matter of months, the conflict begins. Many dogs in shelters are actually good dogs with great potential as pets if they go home with the right family. The dog's only "crime" was being chosen by people who were not prepared to include them into their family.
Some breeds of dogs are more demanding than others. They need several hours of daily interaction or fun. If you don't provide it, they find it on their own - and it usually involves chewing or barking. Other dog breeds need daily room to run and play.
These dogs may be great companions for children. Even dogs that play well with older children may not have the patience for young children or toddlers. You simply need to know what breed of dog is the best match for your home, family and available time. Slow down as you visit dog breeders or pet stores and spend time visiting the dogs. Yes, it's hard to leave those big brown eyes and excited bark, but you want to make certain that when your dog comes home, this really becomes home for the dog, and not just another place to pass through. You may want to leave the children home when you go back to visit the dog and get more information about the dog's history, behaviors and needs.
If you do decide to own a dog, make sure you check out the dog training tips at DogObedienceTraining123. They're free!