If you ask any adult about the day their parents finally let them have a puppy, they can surely describe it in detail.
My first dog's name was Lassie and I was the most excited third grader in the neighborhood that day. No, she was not the famous "Lassie", heck she wasn't even a Collie.
I can still tell you vivid details of that experience - immediately falling in love with my new best friend, how tiny she was, how I picked out her first collar at the local pet store.
These things are not forgotten, and long after the dog has passed and we are no longer children, the memories remain with us.
A new puppy is a new member to the family and will be a good friend, confidante and playmate to your children. Having an animal they are close to will be something your children will never forget and will be fond memories for years to come.
If you are choosing to get a four-legged addition to the family, it will be something they will think back to many years down the line.
What to Teach Your Children to Expect About Their New Puppy
Children are easily excitable, and a new puppy is certainly something they will be worked up about! Puppies are adorable and fun and a new family member to play with, so know your children will be very excited.
They will want to get to know their new friend, to pal around with him, play fetch, go for walks, and play in the park. There are limitless options on all the fun your child can have with the puppy and they will be bursting at the seams to do all of them.
This dog isn't the neighborhood kid's dog, it's not a stranger's dog, it is their dog and they will be very eager to start a solid friendship based on love and fun with their new friend.
However, being the parent, you have to consider things from the puppy's perspective. If the puppy is very young he will probably be very scared, after all they're in a new place around brand new people. It will likely be very stressed and afraid when you first bring him home.
Keeping all this in mind, the puppy will need some time to adjust. He will absolutely love getting to know you and your children, but in the beginning, he will need a little time in which he gets the proper space and treatment for him to deal with the stresses of entering a new home.
The best way to deal with how this new little one should be treated when he first arrives is with preemptive strike: call a family meeting. Make sure your children are involved; ask them questions about what rules should be set.
Children seem to abide by rules they helped establish better than ones imposed upon them, pretty much the same as we adults do.
Let your children know their new best friend is going to very nervous and scared and even though they are going to be excited to play with him, they need to be careful not to hurt or frighten the new family member.
Setting Up The Rules
Keeping the rules simple and obvious is your best choice. The three main ones you should teach your children are
Use indoor voices around the puppy. Shouting or raised voices could scare the puppy and should be forbidden.
No aggressive play or roughhousing with the puppy. Let them know a new puppy is very much like a new baby. It is very small and delicate and could easily be hurt.
Siblings should not fight around the puppy. Dogs are very empathic creatures and a new puppy could easily sense tension or anger between your children and become stressed.
Make your children recite these rules aloud until you are sure they know them well. Bringing this new family member into your home is a big responsibility and should remain a family responsibility.
Keeping your children aware of their needs will start the bond with their new puppy as a strong one and will keep the puppy happy and not stressed, at the same time providing lifetime memories.