5 Signs Your Boy Isn't Ready for a Dog

If you are the proud parent of a boy who wants a puppy, you probably walk past the pet store with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. While you would love to see a smile on his face, he might not be ready to take on the responsibility of a pet.

Before you take that puppy home from the neighbor or the neighborhood pet store, ask yourself the following questions.

1) Is your boy a couch potato? Taking care of a puppy isn't like playing a video game. Puppies need to go outside to do their business, play, and explore the world. If your son is tied to the television, video game, or sofa, he’s not going to be able to meet the needs of a growing puppy. While you may think a puppy will get him out into the sunlight, he will be far more likely to drag his new buddy back to the sofa

2) Does your boy need constant reminding? If your boy can’t remember his coat at school or his chores at home, he will have a hard time remembering to take the dog for a walk. While he may have the best of intentions at the pet store, you will be stuck cleaning up after the dog if he hasn't taken his first steps toward responsibility.

3) Has your boy learned to be careful with things? Being angry with a toy is not the same thing as being angry with a puppy. If your son regularly throws tantrums or tosses unwanted toys across the room, it’s not the right time to bring a puppy home.

4) Does your boy know how to share? Learning how to share is a key step in a child’s development. It lets you know that he is able to understand how someone else is feeling. Since puppies lack the communication skills of humans, understanding how a puppy feels is vital to keeping both puppy and child safe.

5) Is this a whim, or does your boy really want a dog? Dogs are a serious responsibility that shouldn't be taken lightly. While toys are appropriate birthday gifts, children should not receive puppies on their birthdays and confuse them with yet another disposable object. Rather than a present, a puppy is a rite of passage for a boy on his way to becoming a man.

Once your boy has taken responsibility for a new puppy, it's inevitable that he will grow attached. Over time, the puppy will become a member of the family with bonds as strong as those for brothers and sisters. If you feel the time is right, remember to choose a puppy with the right temperament. Dog experts recommend Irish Setters, Vizslas, and Bulldogs for families with small children.

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