If you add a dog to your home or if you are adding a new little person to your family…consider safety first, when it comes to “Kids & Dogs.” Here is a great article on Kid-proof your dogs; dog proof your kids : http://www.canismajor.com/dog/kidsdog1.html
Bodie & Cooper - Photo Credit: firstname.lastname@example.org
Having a dog is a big responsibility; I have never taken this lightly. Even though I was living on my own, I knew that my dog would need to be socialized as he/she would be a around my family and friends. I needed a dog that I could trust and one that I would not have to be concerned being around children. When I have searched for a dog in the past, there was very little background information on them as they were chosen from shelters.
Here are my criteria for selecting a fur-friend:
- Breed Type
I always figured most any dog crossed with a Labrador was a good dog to be around children and with proper socialization, other dogs too. My main concern was always the temperament of the dog first. Don’t take me wrong, there are MANY breeds that fit the bill for a good temperament. Growing up as a kid, our family mostly adopted Labrador mixes, so this has been my experience with big dogs. We had an Australian Sheppard too…he was very good with children and protective over our family.
- How social is the Dog?
I sit back and see if the dog approaches me and if it is friendly or not. I never crowd over a dog or chase them, but let them come to me.
- Friendly Dog!
Now, that I am associating with a friendly dog, I see if it will listen to simple commands to check out obedient skills. This can all be learned of coarse, depending how much time you devote to your dog in learning to be obedient. Really, they do want to please you. Exercise and playing with your dog helps in bonding and this process too.
- Submissive or Aggressive?
I also pet the dog and see if it is submissive or not. Does the dog resist the attention? Does the dog lay down, wags it’s tail and relax? Does the dog go on his/her back and let you scratch their tummy…this is a very submissive dog and this sign is good. Growling and aggressive behavior is not a good sign.
- Interaction with people and other animals?
I always ask to be able to take the dog on a lead to see how he/she walks and see how they react in walking by other people and possibly animals at the shelter.
- Want to go Home?
Finally, I ask the dog if they want to come home with me. They will let you know with a lick, tail wag and or follow you.
I am no dog trainer or expert in picking out a pup, but I research, talk to experts and sometimes take a trusted “dog” friend with me when visiting a potential new fur family member. The last time I picked out a dog (Bodie), I did these very same “tests” to him and as listed above. He past them all. I just felt that he was the right pup for me. After 4.5 years of Bodie and I being our own family, we met my husband, Mark and his Son, Cooper (at the time five years old) and soon joined a new family. Cooper and Bodie bonded right away, although Cooper was taught how to act around animals prior to introducing Bodie to him. (Read the article link above about how children should “act” around animals).
Cooper called Bodie his “Brother.” They did everything together and our family misses Bodie so much! As I am writing this Blog, Bodie left this earth just six weeks ago. I suppose that this is also part of my healing process to share my experience and knowledge of my “Kids and Dogs.” Thank you for reading.
Love, Peace & Wags,
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