Toddler and puppy?

Flav - posted on 03/16/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I am thinking of getting a beagle puppy for my 3 year old active boy, do You think he is too young for aPuppy? He is an only child.

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Lynda - posted on 03/22/2014

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I smiled when I read your question. I just wrote a kid's book about a little boy who tries to convince his mom that he's old enough for a puppy! Although, he is older than three! I'd love to know what you decide!
http://tinyurl.com/kadz5ec

Lynda

Denikka - posted on 03/17/2014

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He is too young to be responsible for any animal.
As a parent, it would be your responsibility to make sure that the dog gets fed/watered/exercised, etc. But you can definitely get your son to help :)
I think it's great for children to have pets around, especially dogs :)
I would suggest though, to start out with just introducing him to some dogs. Let him spend some time with them and get comfortable. Some kids are innately afraid of dogs, and it can only cause chaos to bring an animal into the house only to find out that the child is terrified (or even allergic, or whatever) to the new pet.
Then shop around. Beagles can be good animals for small children, but make sure that the type of dog fits your entire lifestyle. Make sure you have enough space for the dog (some breeds require a more active lifestyle, so having a large back yard or a park nearby would be a necessity. Some require a higher level of interaction, so if the family is gone 8 hours a day, that might not be the right type of dog for you, that sort of thing)
And get the animal from a reputable source. Either a licenced breeder or a rescue would be my suggestion. Avoid back yard breeders and pet stores like the plague. You'll only get substandard animals from sources like that (usually behavioral issues, health problems, crappy genetics that lead to health problems later and/or a shorter life span, etc)
Make sure you (and your son) spend time with the animal before you decide to bring them home :) Make sure that the animal's personality matches your own. If a dog is very high strung, it's likely that they'll stay that way (don't listen to the crap about them mellowing with age. They will, a little bit, but a personality trait will remain. A high strung, active puppy is generally not going to hit a year old and turn into a lap dog)

As long as you do your research and understand that you, not your son, needs to be ultimately responsible for the animal, I think a pet, especially a dog, is a wonderful idea :)

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