Before I had kids, I had a dog. This Labrador/German Shorthair mix was very smart, quite obedient and high energy! He would escape from wherever we put him to keep him safe while we were at work. He chewed the Christmas tree lights while they were plugged in, he chewed through a car charger cable while it was charging, as well as many, many other things. What he loved the most though, was chasing balls, any balls, baseballs, tennis balls, golf balls, wiffle balls. He would not stop. My brother-in-law actually built him a machine, like at a batting cage, where it would shoot the balls out for him. By the way, he also chased water from the hose and snow out of the snow blower with the same enthusiasm.
One Thanksgiving we were traveling to my Uncle’s house and brought our dog with us. He warned us that his kids would wear the dog out and we laughed. We thought nothing could wear this dog out. But, we were wrong. Eventually our dog came to us and hid at our feet to get away from the attention of my nephew and niece.
Kids love dogs. They love to touch them and run with them and throw things for them. This is especially true of kids who don’t have a dog of their own. But kids who have their own dog, have a special relationship with them. They are trusted secret-keepers. They don’t judge. They never get mad at the ones they love. They are always happy to see you. And when they are at rest, they exude peace. There is something special about kids and dogs. My son can pull our dogs’ ears and stretch out their jowls and they love it and him.
Some people like to get their kids a pet to teach them responsibility. Some people think that having a dog to walk will get their kids outside and exercising. Some people even claim that kids who live in houses with pets build up stronger immune systems than those without. I’ve personally seen that having dogs taught my children communication skills and empathy. Since dogs can’t talk, they had to watch for visual clues of how the dog was responding to what they were doing. If the dog wouldn’t make eye contact, walked away or growled, it was done with them. If it was wagging its tail and licking their faces, it was happy.
My parents were given a dog (funny story for another time) when my younger brother graduated high school. Their dog was not used to small children, so when my kids were young, the dog was agitated by their movements. Eventually we just kept the dog separated from the children. That isn’t something I want to have happen to other families. So, I make sure that Abuhl Shepherd puppies have spent time being handled by children from an early age, so that they are comfortable being placed in a family home.
The little girl in the picture below is all grown up now and has 6 dogs and three cats at her house!
Future best friends are available now at abuhlshepherds.com