A question very frequently asked of us when we visit schools is “what kind of dog shall I get?”
The answer is not really a simple one to give!
A huge part of our workshops is about encouraging young people to think about this answer for themselves, and perhaps even deciding that they should not get a dog after all. There is so much to consider when it comes to dog ownership and we must consider our lifestyles and budgets and how a dog may fit in with that, and whether we can meet all of the needs of the dog.
After learning about some dogs that had been given up by their owners for a range of reasons including high vet’s bills, not having enough time for the dog, a puppy mouthing and nipping and not understanding how much exercise and training their dog would need, some year 3 pupils in Norwich were asked this question:
Here are some of their answers:
“Some people really want dogs just because they are cute, but you have to check that they are healthy.”
It is extremely important that we get dogs from responsible sources. Sadly, the current fashion for brachycephalic - flat faced - dogs like pugs and French bulldogs had led to puppies being bred in unpleasant conditions and possibly smuggled into the UK to feed the demand. Even puppies bred in the UK can have a host of health issues and so it is important to learn what to look out for so that you buy a happy, healthy dog. You can see Dogs Trust’s advice here: How to Get a Dog Responsibly
"See if it is energetic and see what breed it is."
It is very important that we find out as much as we can about the requirements of the dog we are interested in and see if we can meet these before rushing into a purchase or adoption. Whilst all dogs have their own individual personalities, some traits such as high energy or stamina are strongly associated with certain breeds or types of dogs. Dogs Trust always check potential adopters carefully for this reason.
"My advice is to think about how big their house is and how sensible they'll be."
It is important that everyone knows how to act safely around dogs. If we act in ways that dogs find worrying, then it could be unsafe for us and a miserable life for the dog. You can find out more by clicking the Be Dog Smart tab on this website.
At Dogs Trust, we would always ask anyone considering bringing a four-legged friend into their life, to rehome a rescue dog. We have thousands of dogs of all shapes and sizes in our rehoming centres waiting to meet their special someone. We will interview any potential adopter and ensure you find the best match for you so that the dog finds a great new home that can meet all their needs – and we also offer support for the lifetime for the dog, so a new family can feel happy knowing they have someone they can go to for help and advice.
If you would like your class to learn more about the responsibilities involved in dog ownership or about staying safe near dog they own or may meet in the community, please book a FREE workshops with your nearest Education and Community Officer today!