Many of my clients bought their dogs
because their kids requested them. Many parents make the mistake
of buying dogs for themselves instead of their kids without knowing
it. One of our clients that made this mistake bought a Boerboel puppy for
his 5-year-old son who has been begging him for a puppy. When the dog
was between 6 weeks to 4 months, the boy played with the puppy every day but as the dog grew further the parents started to notice
numerous injuries on the boy's body inflicted by the dog during play.
The dog has started growing too big to be playing with the boy. The
dog would push the boy down when playfully jumping toward the boy.
Soon the parents got tired of the numerous issues and stopped the dog
from playing with the boy. The dog never intended to injure his
friend but he didn't realize he was too big for his friend. The
parents ended up keeping the dog for themselves no longer for their
Buying a dog for your kids has to
follow some rules which will have to consider the kid's age and
temperament. I will not advise any parent to buy a puppy for a child
below the age of 3 years. From experience, I noticed some kids below
this age may not be able to observe hygiene while playing with dogs or
puppies alone. Some kids would even play with the poop of the puppy and may
sometimes get it into their mouths. Some of them might even use heavy
objects to hit the puppy to death or serious injuries. Sometimes
during play, they can be mildly beaten by these puppies who love to
play with their teeth.
Children of ages between 5 – 10 years
of age will really enjoy the company of a puppy. My advice is that
you get a toy dog – a dog that will not grow more than 5-10kg as
an adult - not a dog that will grow bigger than that. The reason is that
the dog will remain small and still be a dog. Kids start to learn to
be responsible for something both male and female. They start to
notice when their dog is hungry, active, tired, and sick. The kids
learn to clean up their puppy's mess and also bathe their puppy or
dog. It's said that kids that grew up this way usually have empathy
for living things. I am an example.
Children between the ages of 10 - 15
years will enjoy the company of dogs like German shepherds, Golden
retrievers, Labrador retrievers, and other dogs with a weight of
10 – 30kg. At this stage, the child has acquired the strength and
energy to handle dogs this size and may be able to train the dogs to
understand their spoken language. At this point, the child might be
able to walk the dog with a leash around the neighborhood without
being overpowered by the dog.
From 15 – 20 years and above the
child can be introduced to bigger and stronger dogs such as the
Rottweiler, Boerboel, Caucasian Mountain dogs, Pit bulls, and other
very strong dogs. At this stage, the child will be able to control
these dogs because they have acquired the necessary ability to manage
these types of dogs.
In conclusion, I will say that this
advice is not cast in stone. You can tweak them a little knowing the
experience of your kids with dogs. I have seen dogs being thrown out
of a very loving family because of these mistakes that I am trying to
correct with this article. Buying a puppy for your kids can be a very
nice way of giving them a friend, company, and a sound mind.