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kids "owning" dogs

Discussion in 'Dogs - all breeds / types' started by moose, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. moose

    moose New Member

    i've been lurking over on the pit bull forum -- actually, was just trying to get the story behind this "tiger cub" thread and whatnot (same poster is having a problem with his dog)...anyway, some stuff was brought up about kids owning dogs and whether that was right or not. i was kinda curious what people over here thought about that.

    personally, i work at a shelter and i can't even begin to tell you how many calls we get each day from people hoping we'll take an animal off their hands. the most common reason (*cough*excuse*cough*) is that their son/daughter/uncle-in-law has become allergic to the dog/cat they've had for the past 10 years. however, we do get quite a few calls from parents who say their kids aren't taking the dog out for walks like they said they would....or the kids aren't scooping the litter box like they promised for months and months they would. my point is (if i have one) ... i'm sure there are responsible 12 year olds or 9 year olds or however-olds...but i really do believe these are the exception and not the rule. does any responsible breeder or shelter or anyone for that matter adopt their animals out to people under 18? i know we don't, and i think it's silly to think a 12 year old should be considered to have sole guardianship over something so serious as another living creature.

    so. i'm done rambling for now...just wanted to comment and see what others thought on the issue.
     
  2. 4Dogsihave

    4Dogsihave New Member

    I have a 2 yo and 4yo. My kids 'have" a dog. Now do they take care of it, no I know they are too young but we thought it would help them learn responsibility. They help us with feeding and my 4yo fills the water bowl. Helps me let them out and she even helps with the accidents. I think letting the kids have a dog is a good idea as long as you are prepared to take over the animal, and know sometimes your child might not be able to give it all the care or might loose intrest in it. My parents let me get a dog when I was 16. I had a job and payed for all her vet bills, food and other expenses. But while I was at school my mom still had to take her out ect. If by some chance she needed something serious done my parents were prepared to help me. We rushed her to the ER one night for what turned out to be nothing, but a huge bill. They payed the bill and I payed half of it back. I am sure you are talking about kids older than mine having their own dog but I wanted to throw my 2 cents in. I am hoping that by my children seeing the work that goes with it they will learn some responsibility too. My pom fifi listens to my daughter, when she tells her to do something she does. I think this is great!
     
  3. Jules

    Jules New Member

    Parents shouldn't let their kids get dogs if they are not willing to help out. Of course a kid is going to say they will care for it- because they really want one. I remember saying that kind of stuff when I was young, eg: If you buy me that doll I'll play with it every day, I promise!!! If we get mice I'll clean their cage out!!! etc, etc. My Mum to her disgust ended up cleaning the cage, and we also ended up with a heap of mice because they bred. The doll eventually ended up being replaced by a new and exciting toy. Anyway, do parents really believe their kid is going to have the time and dedication to look after a dog? Most kids I know hate chores- and feeding and cleaning up after a dog is basically in the same catagory. I can't believe there are parents out there that think they are not going to have to do any work if their kid gets a dog... they must be deluding themselves. Unless they have perfect angel children like off some disney show or something! So, I think the whole family should be dedicated when it comes to kids with dogs, and if they're not maybe they can get some goldfish, or a cactus garden. :mrgreen:
     
  4. Jules

    Jules New Member

    Parents shouldn't let their kids get dogs if they are not willing to help out. Of course a kid is going to say they will care for it- because they really want one. I remember saying that kind of stuff when I was young, eg: If you buy me that doll I'll play with it every day, I promise!!! If we get mice I'll clean their cage out!!! etc, etc. My Mum to her disgust ended up cleaning the cage, and we also ended up with a heap of mice because they bred. The doll eventually ended up being replaced by a new and exciting toy. Anyway, do parents really believe their kid is going to have the time and dedication to look after a dog? Most kids I know hate chores- and feeding and cleaning up after a dog is basically in the same catagory. I can't believe there are parents out there that think they are not going to have to do any work if their kid gets a dog... they must be deluding themselves. Unless they have perfect angel children like off some disney show or something! So, I think the whole family should be dedicated when it comes to kids with dogs, and if they're not maybe they can get some goldfish, or a cactus garden. :mrgreen:
     
  5. kyles101

    kyles101 New Member

    agreed jules. ive got bashed before over a topic very similar to this. but its so true. kids arent capable of doing everything when it comes to a pet so the parent HAS to step in. regardless of what other commitments they have. they bought it, they gotta take care of it, no excuses. and if a parent is doubtful about their kid taking care of an animal properly and they dont want to be lumbered with the responsibility in the end then they shouldnt get one. simple! im not trying to deprive anyone of owning an animal but it does make sense.
     
  6. It is a shame that so many Parents out there get pets for thier children and have no interest in it thier selves. I believe the way to go about this is: to tell your children "Child" that we will be getting a family pet, and along with that comes responsibilities for each person in the household. Then you divy out who does what! and perhaps rotate the tasks. I think it's a very good way to teach children responsibilities, compassion, and a sense of self worth. It starts with good parenting, and ends with your children learning some valuable lessons on how to treat another living being. When I was a child things were much different then, I was brought up in a house of respect for your Parents. Please don't get me wrong here! I KNOW that their are great Parents out there! but things ARE DIFFERENT NOW....The idea that "everything is acceptable and nothing is wrong" is way to rampant now a days....But I still belive that it's a great teaching tool having a pet for your children, you just have to be willing to take up the slack :D

    The Parents need to be educated in how to care for a pet properly first.

    Sincerely, Susan
     
  7. lil96

    lil96 New Member

    I think its good for kids to take care of dogs

    But, I think ultimately a parent must also be involved. I remember watching Animal Cops or Precinct I forget when there were two dogs nearly starved to death tied up out back and the lady was like those are my sons dogs I tell him to feed them(but you are too lazy to do it yourself, you'd rather watch them starve, good thing we have mothers like that to teach us important lessons in life, that was sarcasm) and she kept insisting that she shouldn'T go to jail or court whatever bc they were her kids. But this is a learned behavior from the parent, that boys mother probably was able/around to take care of him and so he thought that care was good enough for a dog chained up to a dog house.
     
  8. kyles101

    kyles101 New Member

    very true. there is no point having someone in the house you dont care about. it has to be a joint effort.
     
  9. gailau

    gailau New Member

    I grew up with dogs - there was not an expectation of me to "look after" the pets - children are more entertainment value for our four legged friends rather than the keepers :D I got my first pup at 20 and have been blessed with some of the most wonderful companions, feline and canine, over 34 years. To this day, my daughter has loved them all to death since she could walk but responsibility for their welfare and training has never rested with her. Parents buy pets, not children, therefore the commitment rests with the parents. Any parent who thinks a young child is going to put in the hard yard, day and night to bring a puppy through to adulthood is somewhat misguided. Kids are just that.... kids, and responsibility comes with age. I was pleased to read that pets from one of the shelters are not placed with anyone under 18. Don't get me wrong..... I love to see kids rumbling and tumbling around with a bundle of fluff, but when all is said and done, it's Mum and Dad who have to be the committed ones.
     
  10. Lyl96, I think I watched the same show as you did. That made me sick! Of coarse the Mother was responsible! That is why i said: it starts with GOOD PARENTING. That woman was obviously not a good Parent. Having a pet in the home for the whole family is a good teaching tool for the children. That is what I meant, incase it was missunderstood.

    Susan
     
  11. Shady_Babygurl

    Shady_Babygurl New Member

    I do not adopt out to anyone under the age 18. It would be irresponsible of me to adopt a life out to a person who isnt even responsible for their own life yet. A child is unable to soley be responsble for another living thing. I have a 8 yr old that helps feed the dogs, water the dogs and play and groom them. He is VERY helpfull but I could/would never trust him to care for these animals on a daily basis without adult supervision. He and his 2 sisters each have a dwarf hamster. They feed them, play with them, and water them. Who gets the job of cleaing the stinky cages? lol ME. They help but when it all boils down to the nitty gritty mommy owns the hamsters lol....I think it is great for children to have responsiblity and help raise the family pets but to be soley their responsiblity is absurd. A child needs help remembering to do home work, brush their teeth, eat their veggies, and do their chores sometimes. There are children out there who do these things without help or a hint to do them but not always. My children love out animals and rescued but they are still children up until they are 18. I am responsible for them therefore I am responsible for the things they are in the end. However as most mothers will say they are my babies until the end, regardless of age. :D I was raised on a farm with many responsiblities and chores. I did my part same as everyone else BUT if I was to forget or something happen that I could not, my father understood I was a child and still needed the occassional help. Even a 13 yr old needs help sometimes... :oops:


    Kim
     
  12. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    I got my kids one mouse each when they were about 8 and 10 years old. They used their own money to buy the mice and cage and supplies. They were to clean the cage every week and be responsible for feeding them and making sure they had water. The bought ongoing supplies (bedding, food, etc) with their own money as well.

    My son (the older one) was very good about it. They used to alternate feeding, but my daughter would always forget so he took it over and did it every night. I really don't think he minded. The food was right next to the cage so all he had to do was dump some in, and he would use the time to watch the mice and talk to them. He kept an eye on their water as well.

    They grumbled about cleaning the cage, but why (as someone else posted) would *I* end up cleaning it for them?! Now, that is irresponsible parenting to me. The day I cannot make a child clean a mouse cage (by saying "Go clean the cage!") and ignore the whining and grumbling is the day I realize my kids are in charge and not me. Yes, it is a pain in the butt and may be easier to just do it yourself, but that's a cop-out!

    All that being said, of course I kept an eye on those little critters. I made sure they were fed and properly cared for and safe. And when one got sick, I paid the vet bill and ended up quarantining the little guy in my room for 10 months, giving her medicine (two kinds) and eye drops twice a day until she died.

    The experience of owning the mice taught my children how difficult it is to care for a pet. When my son's mouse died, he was offered the chance to get any kind of small pet he wanted - another mouse, a rat, a hedgehog - whatever. And he declined. We still have mice that are MY mice and I think he decided that enjoying someone else's pet was much easier than caring for your own!

    My daughter still has a short-tailed opossum that is "hers." I definitely take care of him more than she does, but she still cleans the cage herself. I know she loves him but is tired of taking care of him, and I think she has learned that she is not ready to take care of a pet on her own. So the experience has taught her about responsibility and making wise decisions.

    Something as difficult as a dog I would NEVER get as a young child's pet. It would be the family's animal, or mine. An older child - well, it depends on the child. If my son wanted to get a puppy to train as a service dog for his Eagle scout project, after discussing the reality of what it would be like, I would probably let him. I think he is responsible enough to handle it. (But I don't think he would do this because he knows he would not be able to give the dog up.) My daughter? No. She would not last a week.

    I think the mice were a good idea. It taught the children about themselves and what they can and cannot handle. Any experience like this that you take on with your kids should involve a lot of parent-guided self-reflection and discussions to make it a good learning experience. The kids learned a lot more than just how to take care of mice. They learned about themselves, and they learned about issues such as empathy for animals, pet death, illness, etc.

    And any parent needs to be willing to step in and care for the pet when necessary.


    Jamiya
     
  13. Well said! Jamiya, that was my point exactly....you just said it better than me :D

    Susan
     
  14. Mary_NH

    Mary_NH New Member

    shelter I volunteer for won't adopt out to anyone under 21.

    My son volunteers with me for the shelter's fundraisers (he's 15). He helps me when I foster kittens (one we nearly lost last year could often be found on Geoff's lap).

    I think it's irresponsible parents teaching their children to be irresponsible with pets in most cases of animals being dumped that kids don't care for. What kind of message is the parent sending when rather than MAKING the kid scoop the litterbox as promised they take the cat/kitten to the shelter instead? They are telling their kid that if they grow tired of something it's easier to just dump it. Enforcing the disposable attitude many people have.

    People just don't like to make their kids do anything today. It's easier to give in to them than enforce rules.
     
  15. bullylove1

    bullylove1 New Member

    I do believe that some children are responsible enough to have a pet. BUT, I do believe that as a parent you should overshadow the child and also keep an eye out for the animal. Like Jamiya said, it is a cop out to have your kids walk away and you solely take over the job. I think fostering animals would be good in a house that has children. They get bored with things faster. While fostering, they get to have the experience of owning a "new" pet and the responsibility, but eventually it will go to a forever home, and the child has learned 2 valuable lessons. Life is not expendable, and taking care of a life is a tough job!

    I personally don't have tons of cash right now, I am starting school in Sept. The main reason is because I spoil Harley so much!! I would rather go without some luxuries I enjoy in life, than to not provide as much for her as I do now.

    I have had friends as a child who "owned a pet", and the parents didn't give a damn about the darn thing. I don't understand how you can live in a house with an animal, know it hadn't eaten in 2 days, and still go about your daily life. That to me is irresponsible parenting, but again, it takes 2 minutes to let youchild know tho feed the pet. IF a parent does not want to help out, then the pet should be small and relatively easy to care for.

    I know many people who are in shcool and own a dog. They are broke, but their dog is very well taken care of, and not missing out on anything. They spend their tuition money on food for the dog toys, etc. , and go home 3 or 4 nights a week to eat at their parents.

    Ah, the joys of parenting. Thank goodness I am not there yet.
     
  16. honeybears

    honeybears New Member

    Everyone has explained it better than I could :D

    When it comes down to it - it is the parents responsiblity no question about it. I think many parents placate their kids because they in the "I have to have" or it would be a good learning experience. but what happens when they get tired and the parents dont want to take responsibility after all the kids signed up to care of the pet.

    Look at the woman here who last week posted and wnated help about a neighbors huskey looking neglected. she explained it use to be walked, go on picnics, kids played with it. now it was banished outside tied up in a fenced yard under hars conditions. This is a perfect example of someone probably getting the dog because the kids had to have it and the novelty wore off. It breaks my heart :cry:

    honeybear
     
  17. bullylove1

    bullylove1 New Member

    good point honeybear.
    I wonder what happened with that? Hmm...seen her around here lately?
     
  18. GinaH

    GinaH New Member

    This subject was touched on in the Pit bull forum and there were some very angry people there because they did not agree with what I said. Which is fine I do not expect everyone to agree with me. But I do stand by my beliefs that IF you cannot Support yourself you should not own a dog. I got accused of wanting to take children's pets away! I never said that. I have 3 kids and 4 dogs and 2 cats and I think Family Pets are great. I was told the things I said about not owning a pet if you did not have all the means to care for them was "silly"
    I volunteer and foster for my local animal shelter and one of the number #1 reasons why people dump their dogs/cats is they just can't afford to care for him/her or because the vet bills are just so high and they can't afford to take the animal to the vet.
    Kids never really own a dog at least not in my experience. My kids love our animals and help out quite a bit with caring for them but could never be solely responsible for caring for them they just couldn't do it. Shelters do not adopt to people under the age of 18 any good breeder should not either.
     
  19. bullylove1

    bullylove1 New Member

    Hey Gina:
    I agree with much of what you said. I went to respond to you but the thread was closed. It is too bad that some bloke went on there just to casue trouble. GRRR....

    Things get pretty heated over there lots of the time, that's why I balance between both boards. This one I find to be very positive and informative, while respecting all opinions.

    See you around the forum!! :lol:
     
  20. honeybears

    honeybears New Member

    bullylove - she is a common poster on the cat thread since she is a cat owner and came over hear for advice.
    Gina - your dog has such pretty colors!

    honeybear
     

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