A puppy is an ideal gift for children, primarily because children take kindly to dogs and the fact that it is the only gift that will teach your kid how to be responsible for another living being. A child with a pet dog will most likely grow into a responsible, well-mannered adult who has compassion for other people.
One thing you should keep in mind, is that both the child and the puppy will have needs that neither can provide just yet so it is important that you or another adult take the time to check them from time to time and provide much needed support. Here are some thing that you can do to help your child raise a puppy:
When Choosing Breeds, Choose Dogs Good with Children
For example, a large muscular dog may be good for guarding your house, but it is bad news for the kids. Not only is it intimidating, but it may turn out to be aggressive to your kid since dogs, like a lot of animals, use size as the deciding factor in deciding who should be master, so the smaller kid will not be respected. A beagle, on the other hand, is small enough that it won't intimidate your kid, and it is a naturally energetic breed that will love to play with your equally energetic child.
Buy a Puppy Instead of a Mature Dog
Dog obedience training is usually done during a dog's puppy days, as old dogs are very difficult to train without professional help. Additionally, puppies tend to be cuter than adult dogs, so it will appeal to a child more naturally.
Use Proper Dog Training Accessories
This is not the place to improvise, especially if you have both the kid and the dog's safety to consider. Basic dog training will run much smoother and safer if you have all the necessary tools, such as dog leash and collar, training food bowl, and a lot of time and patience to teach the young kid how to handle his pet.
Focus on a Single Pet
If your kid has never had a pet before, try to ensure that the puppy is the only pet he has. Kids are prone to losing interest in things if there are too many distractions, and a dog is not a toy that can be discarded if your kid decides that he would rather play with a bird instead.
Keep a Lot of Treats for Both the Dog and Your Kid
One thing that your kid and his puppy have in common, is that they respond well to rewards and positive reinforcement. A dog biscuit will do wonders to show the dog that he did something right, while a kid may appreciate a cookie, or an ice cream or whatever kind of food he considers delicious.
Observe Proper Dog Training Methods
Don't EVER use aggressive training methods on the puppy, since that will only teach the dog how to be aggressive on its own, and guess what - an aggressive animal with teeth is not something you want anywhere near your children.
With the above tips in mind, it will be easier for your child to care for his brand new pet, and while the kid may only consider it playtime, he is actually being thought how to handle responsibilities, obligations, and relationships, all of which will be useful later on in his life.