This question is not as silly as it sounds! People buy pets for many different reasons, and you should be very sure of your motivation. You need to be sure that you truly WANT a puppy and all the hassles, responsibilities and expenses that come with it.
If you are getting a puppy just for the kids -DON'T!
Children as you well know have very short attention spans. The puppy will be a novelty for a while, and then it will start to grow up ... At some stage, the puppy will start to nip the children's hands, to chew up their toys, to become more demanding, and without the correct upbringing and training, will very soon become a damn nuisance! This is the time that most young children seriously start to lose interest!
If you are getting a puppy to teach your children responsibility, DON'T!
You know as a parent, no matter what rules you make, the children are not going to be caring for this pet for the next 10 to 15 years. YOU ARE! So do not try to fool yourself into thinking that the children will care for and look after the puppy, because you know that is not going to happen.
PUPPIES/DOGS ARE NOT!
- Puppies are not - toys or playthings to keep the kids occupied. They are complex creatures with emotions and feelings, and have very specific needs. They are gregarious, social animals needing lots of love, time and energy and a "genuine long-term, life-long commitment" from their owners.
- Puppies are not - mobile security systems. If you are getting a dog to keep in the yard just to protect your property – DON'T! For a dog to want to protect your family and property, he needs to feel and be included as part of the larger group/pack (family). If the relationship is appropriate and the dog is genetically sound, he will protect you and yours. But, if he is kept in solitary confinement behind four concrete walls with no stimulation and no interaction with your family, and/or is kept isolated from the world at large, then he will have no reason to protect anything but HIMSELF. If this is the case, then rather go out and spend the money on a good security system.
- Puppies are not - a fashion statement nor a status symbol!
With each new doggie movie that is released, hoards of unscrupulous backyard breeders and puppy mills mass-produce poor specimens of puppies for the gullible public to buy! The fashion changes with each new film release!
The public needs to understand that each dog you see starring in a film has been specially researched, selected, bred, and trained for the part. It would therefore be illogical to think that each individual dog of each breed has the same character, nature, or is equal in trainability to his film star counterpart!
- Puppies are not - a child substitute!
If you are getting a puppy for this reason, what is the position of the dog going to be when you become a harassed new mom? Is this pet going to end up in "doggie jail" - condemned to a life alone in the back garden, lonely, rejected, neglected and forgotten?