Am I Ready For A Dog?

I’ve always wanted a dog and my parents have always said no, but this year they’ve said yes, so suddenly, I’m not so sure. I’m 14 (a student) and I have quite a lot of spare time to take care of a dog, but I still need one-two hours a day to study. I’ve done about a years worth of research into the dog breed I want (Japanese Spitz) as well as borrowing library books about dog care/training/health. I’m willing to take full responsibility for the dog (although my parents are a bit skeptical about that), but I do have a history of keeping my word. I’m pretty good with dogs (none of the ones i’ve interacted with have ever tried to bite me) and my neighbour’s cat that visits regularly. The only pets I’ve ever owned are mice (two females) and fish (freshwater) and I’m the one that cleans the tanks and changes their rubbish. I only go on holiday once a year (for a month) and my grandfather (who’s enthusiastic about my canine ownership) is willing to take care of the dog. I’m not planning to move out of the house for at least the next 10 years and I have a younger, teenager sister and a stable financial situation.
So… am I ready for a dog?

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11 Responses to Am I Ready For A Dog?

  • dyllis says:

    you sound almost ready.
    you said you’ve read on dog care, training and health, what about dog behaviour? how to tackle potential behaviour problems like dog aggressiveness, shyness, barking etc how to prevent these problems and what to do when they surface? i suggest you read Cesar Milan for this aspect. it is extremely important to read about maintaining your position as pack leader.
    japanese spitz requires extensive daily brushing and combing through which i’m sure you will do it. but they also require professional grooming sometimes to trim a little here and there, does your family have the budget for that? shampoos, conditioners, detanglers etc are not cheap too
    i would suggest that you try volunteering at a shelter first. this way, you can pick up basic grooming skills, practise with training dogs, walking them, interacting with them, honing your leadership role. think of it as a practical to apply what you’ve read which is only the theory part.
    i would also suggest that you start to research on reputable breeders in your area and it’s best to get a puppy during your holidays. this way you are at home the entire day so you can housetrain your pup faster, start with basic manners like not begging, not jumping up on people, letting people walk through doors first etc. it serves as a good start. you’ll also have more time during the holidays to introduce your pup to people and situations to socialize him and make him a stable adult.
    a good start in life is the most important, it should be when time is of the adundance. if you’re in school, it’s at an disadvantage. remember when lavishing attention, be careful not to let in morph into seperation anxiety.
    so now, read Cesar Milan, check out a reputable breeder. and while waiting for the hols, you can volunteer at the shelter.
    this way, you’ll know more on handling potential issues, owners dump their pets sometimes because of behaviour issues they didn’t anticipate and give up on them when they escalate.
    good luck!

  • winnie says:

    Well, you certainly seem more prepared than most kids or teenagers are when they tell their parents they want a dog. Seems to me like you’re ready, you’ve done research, you have a plan for when you go out of town and you have a history of being responsible with pets. I’d say it’s a go!

  • Baby Bubs says:

    sounds like you’ve covered most of your bases and are pretty ready for a dog.
    Just remember a dog needs more cost and care than most people think (haircuts, vet visits etc).
    Good luck. (im looking for a sydney silky terrier myself )

  • the_char says:

    i think you are ready for a dog but ahy are u asking everybody else? you are the 1 who will truely know if you are ready or not i think your hopeing some1 will say no your not ready 4 a dog lol..
    go and get your new friend
    all the best

  • Lulu x says:

    You sound like you’re tryin to talk yourself out of it 🙂
    Maybe you should wait a little longer, you’ll kniw when you are really ready.
    Take care you, Lulu x

  • Sally S says:

    Well, you should be able to answer this yourself with gut feeling
    You sound like you’d be a responsible dog owner but it’s better safe than sorry- if you’re not 100% sure don’t

  • Big->Bad-> Bombers!! says:

    yes it sounds like you are but if you get a dog you may want to train it to get the best out of the dog

  • seth says:


  • The Intrepid Elite says:

    You sound well-prepared, but I would look into the financial aspect of a dog. Not just leashes and food (food costs me over $40 a bag because I, too, want to take the best care of my dogs, and the best food isn’t free), but also veterinary costs. Do you have a couple thousand put away in case of emergencies ? What about fencing ? Do you have a fenced-in yard ? If not, how do you propose to keep him in your yard ? Where will he stay during the day ? If you answered, “crate”, then how big of a crate are you going to get, where is it going to stay, and what kind of crate are you going to get (you may want to research that). After veterinary costs (I just spent $213.76 yesterday on flea/tick & heartworm medications and some supplements for my two), what about grooming ? Spitzes need a lot of grooming ! After that, where you do intend to get this dog ? I recommend a rescue, if it is going to simply be a pet. How do you intend to pay for spay/neuter costs ? That’s $200 some. A dog costs several hundred dollars a year. They’re expensive ! That’s only part of my concern for you. I think you need to look a little more into the financial department, and re-evaluate your desire.

  • yaivi says:

    If all you say is true and will remain true, then yes, you may indeed be ready for a dog. But looking after a dog is much harder than it seems to be, and much harder than it is when written in books, magazines and websites! Just keep that in mind!
    But anyway, this decision is up to you to make. Be a hundred percent sure that you can handle everything before getting a dog. It’s a bit odd that you should ask this question though, because if all of what you’ve said is real and true you should be confident that you can take care of a dog. Don’t try and talk yourself into it. It may be one of the worst things you do as you could ruin a dog’s life, and too many doggy lives have already been ruined.

  • Lissy Loo says:

    ok, this may be a little long,
    I have a dog, I got him 5 years ago, I didn’t want one at first but then I really did, when I first got him I was scared that he wouldn’t be right for me, you know, like I was scared that I would be embarrassed when taking him for walks and stuff (like you always are when you first get a new pet). what you can do is foster or care for one for a bit just so you make sure it’s right for you, if it isn’t or if it’s a bit to hard for you then maybe give it some time.