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5 Questions to Ask Yourself to Determine if Your Kids Are the Right Age to Have a Puppy

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The idea of adding a furry member to the family often brings joy and excitement, especially when envisioning the bond it could create among family members. However, the decision to welcome a puppy into your home involves much more than just the age of your children. It’s about readiness, lifestyle, and commitment. 

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Deciding on a Family Puppy

The decision of whether to grow the family with a puppy needs to come down to whether the adults in the home want to add this responsibility to their plates. If the adults are fully on board, then any age/situation within the family can be managed and enjoyed. Is this the time to add a 4-legged friend to your family? Here are five questions to ask yourself. 

1. Is at least one adult in the household truly excited about getting a puppy?

If you’re doing it simply “for the kids,” PLEASE DON’T. For busy parents who don’t really want a dog, the tasks of raising a puppy can quickly become overwhelming.

2. Is the dog lover in the family the one who is home and available most?

If the canine enthusiast in the family works 70 hours a week but promises to handle the dog care, this is not the time to get a dog. Even very smart dogs cannot be trained to only poop on the carpet when Daddy is home. 

3. Who will train the puppy?

The puppy/kiddo combo can be an awesome experience when the pup is nicely integrated into the household through proper planning and training — and exceedingly difficult to cope with otherwise. 

Will you be able to find the focus and energy necessary to teach the pup the things that make dog ownership rewarding and fun? Will you be ready to deal with “He tore apart Mr. Bunny!”?

Managing the “what-ifs” involves thorough planning, which includes scheduling training sessions, exercise routines, setting up gates for puppy-proofed areas, safely storing tempting treats, organizing trips to the vet for check-ups and vaccines, arranging grooming appointments, and similar tasks.

4. Who will train the children?

No matter how much you work with your new puppy, if he’s constantly chased after by kids insistent upon pulling his tail, trying to ride him, and putting him in outfits, he is going to have no choice but to tell the kids that he’s had enough. 

What might this look like? Even the absolute best puppies from the absolute best breeders who have taken the time to socialize puppies to these kinds of situations, have their limits. Under these circumstances, any reactions are not the dog’s fault. 

Training your kids, and their friends, to be respectful of puppy and his boundaries is imperative for everyone’s safety. 

5. How do you feel about chaos?

You are undoubtedly imagining an adorable puppy curled up on the couch between your children, but what about when puppy is awake? 

Your mother-in-law popped by for coffee, and she just stepped in fresh poop. She is screaming in horror, but you cannot hear her because puppy just ate the foot of Captain America, and your child is bawling. As you’re taking in the view around you and apologizing to your mother-in-law while reaching for a paper towel and Gorilla Glue, the puppy just raced past grandma and is now running down the street, and you’re not even out of your pajamas yet. 

So, how do you tink you’ll feel about getting a puppy in that scenario?  

The Puppy Experience — A Journey of Love, Laughter, and Learning

Listen, getting a puppy can be such a great thing. They are sweet and loyal and so much fun. They can bring so much joy to everyone in the family. But, dogs always bring a certain amount of chaos to a home.  I cannot imagine my life, our family, without our dogs. It’s been more than 14 years with dogs. Our kids were 3, 5, and 6 when we began our doggie journey. These past years have been filled with love, laughter, and, yup, chaos. But I wouldn’t have it any other way — despite the loss of a gazillion pears of flip-flops, a few leather watch straps, a leather belt, and the corner of our bed frame.

Having dogs share our home has definitely helped us to learn to go with the flow, take it all in stride, and learn to laugh! Wait, this is all great stuff for the kids to learn too! 

The key in this whole thing is truly that the adults in the home must embrace the experience, all of it. So, what it comes down to is, Hey, Mom and Dad, are you ready for a puppy? Are you ready for Grandma stepping in dog poop, children screaming over chewed toys, and running down the street in your PJs? Are you ready to think on your feet, a lot of laughter, and make room in your schedule for what it takes to create a great dog? If so — you are the right age for a puppy! 


Alana Holst
Australian Labradoodle Breeder  at 

Since 2011, I've dedicated myself to breeding Standard Sized Australian Labradoodles, fueled by a passion for holistic practices and exceptional quality. My focus lies in fostering strong bonds between humans and dogs, crafting loyal companions for therapy, service, and family — spreading love, one precious puppy at a time.

Alana Holst

Alana Holst

Australian Labradoodle Breeder

We make a heartfelt promise to our cherished puppies and their new families, dedicating ourselves to the health, happiness, and lifelong well-being of every Labradoodle we raise and to fostering a supportive community among our adoptive families. Learn more about us.

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Australian Labradoodle Momma at Big Rock Labradoodles

Where Care Meets Excellence!

At Big Rock Labradoodles, we champion a comprehensive, science-based, and holistic approach in breeding and nurturing exceptional standard-sized genuine Multigenerational Australian Labradoodles. Our commitment to atypical rearing strategies ensures that we never settle for the ordinary — we strive for extraordinary dogs destined for prolonged and fulfilling lives. Learn more about our code of ethics and our adoption process. When you feel ready to welcome a new family member, we invite you to fill out our adoption application — the first step towards finding your new furry family member.

Big Rock Labradoodles