Choosing a Puppy for Kids

So you've decided to get a puppy for your kids. Congratulations. You've just made a great choice, one your kids will benefit from for the next 10 to 15 years. Of course, this assumes you choose a puppy that fits the kids from a physical and personality perspective. Let's take a look at the best approach to picking a winner.

Breeds

Dogs are unique among most living things in that they can be easily typecast. While training can change their conduct to a certain extent, the vast majority of puppies will grow up to display the characteristics typically associated with their breed. Put in simple terms, this means a Golden Retreiver puppy has a good chance of growing up and enjoying swims and a larger dog such as a Mastiff is going to be less energetic. Given this, it is important to research the different breeds of dogs to get a feel for which ones have the characteristics you are looking for in a friend to your kids.

Two factors you need to consider with breeds is their energy level and your living circumstances. An Australian Shepherd puppy is to die for. They will melt your heart at first glance. As an adult, they also happen to be very smart and very energetic. If you don't take them for jogs or long hikes every day, they can become bored and frustrated which leads to naughty conduct around the house. 

Where do you find information on dog breeds? There are three ways on Animaroo.com. The first is to click on over to our dog breed information section and watch videos on the different breeds. The second is to return to our home page and use the puppy selector tool. It matches your lifestyle and desired dog size up to the best breed choices. If neither of these options work for you, click the "Help Me Choose" blue button in the right column next to this article. This will take you to a submission page and we will contact you personally to discuss your needs. Don't worry. This is a free service with absolutely no upsells of any sort. 

Discipline!

Once you pick a particular breed, you need to prepare yourself to show some discipline. Let me be blunt. All puppies are absolutely cute and adorable. I mean, just look at this picture: Choose a Puppy for Kids

If you are not careful, you can end up bringing home a Collie puppy to your condo even though an adult Collie that needs plenty of space to burn energy. This happens all the time and is one of the reason far too many pups end up in dog pounds.  

The Litter

Once you find a breed you are interested in, it is time to find a puppy for sale in your area! The best approach is to locate a breeder on our site offering the breed you are interested in. Contact them and then ask to meet the mother and father if possible. They are going to pass along traits to the puppies, so knowing the tempermant of mom in particularly is important. Also, it helps to know the health history of both dogs so you can get at least a hint of any problems the litter might facel.

The next step is to watch the puppies play as a group. Their individual personalities will shine through, which should help you choose the perfect puppy for your kids. Some puppies show a dominate demeanor by rough housing with their siblings. These puppies may be difficult to train. Other puppies may be wall flowers.  A shy puppy can be frustrated at times. Puppies that show confidence and a wagging tail generally have a desirable demeanor. Confident puppies are going to be eager to learn, loving, and fun to be around. Other puppies are extremely hyper! High energy levels aren’t bad as long as you have plenty of time to play.

If you find a few you like in the litter ask to take them out separately.  By isolating the puppies you can get a good idea of how confident they are on their own. Puppies that have been well socialized will not mind being picked up and held. Take some time to play with them and see if you create a bond. You should also see if the puppy dislikes being touched. Make sure to touch the feet and mouth. Your kids will be touching them constantly, so you want to avoid a puppy that will be stressed by being touched and perhaps lash out. 

As you continue to evaluate the puppies, you should check their health. Make sure to look at the teeth. They should be very white with healthy gums. Examine their coat next. Are there any bald spots? Does it fall out when you pet them?  You should also test for deafness. You can only do this when the puppy is isolated.  When all the puppies are together they rely on cues from one another. Place the isolated puppy on the floor and clap your hands. If the puppy does not respond immediately, they may be deaf.

I cannot stress how important it is to bring home the right dog for you and your kids. If you don’t make a connection when looking at a litter, don’t be afraid to go home empty handed!

Good luck on finding your new puppy!

Annie Klacks

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