Winston Pendelton once offered these words of wisdom for children hoping to convince their parents to buy them a puppy, “The best way to get a puppy is to beg for a baby brother — and they’ll settle for a puppy every time.” Though that trick might work some of the time, it’s probably not the best route to go. If you have your heart set on adding a pup to your family, there a few different things you can do to show your parents you are ready, willing, and able to take on the responsibilities that come with a dog.
Here is our list of the best strategies for getting your parents to say yes to a puppy:
Consider what a dog will mean for your parents
When a dog enters a family, there are a lot of changes that come along with him. For your parents, having a dog will mean extra money taken from the family budget to meet the dog’s needs. It will also mean a commitment to proper training, a change in routine or schedules, and even having to replace some items that end up chewed or ruined by the dog. Once you have carefully thought through all of these things, you can then begin to formulate a plan as to how you can help with these things.
Prepare a daily schedule
Showing your parents an itemized schedule of what the dog will need and how you will provide those things will go a long way to helping them understand your maturity and level of commitment. Among the things to include in your schedule are feeding times, exercise, play time, walks, grooming, and training sessions. You can establish a daily calendar of events as well as what you will need to do on a weekly and monthly basis to ensure that your puppy grows up to be a well-adjusted, healthy, happy dog.
Explain how you will accomplish the things on the schedule
If you are truly committed to adding a puppy to your family, your own schedule is going to have to change. It will go a long way to convincing your parents to get you a dog if you show them that you are willing to get up earlier in the mornings to make sure your pup is properly fed and walked before you leave for school. If some sacrifices to your extracurricular activities will be necessary, it’s a good idea to tell your parents which things you will be giving up, why, and what you will do with that additional time.
One of the most important things you will need to address is who is going to deal with the mess and any destruction. Most parents don’t want the added responsibility of pooper scooping or taking a dog in and out for bathroom breaks. In addition to this, having to pay money for household items that your pup has destroyed is something most parents will end up resenting. Include these scenarios in your plans and explain to your parents how you plan to address them, so they fall within the realm of your responsibilities and not theirs.
Establish a pattern of responsible behavior
If you don’t do the things your parents expect of you now, it gives them very little confidence that you will start doing MORE THINGS when a dog enters your life. You can show your parents that your word is your bond by doing the things that are expected of you each day and without being asked to do them. When your parents see that you are taking the responsibility of your household chores seriously, it will build their faith that you will also be committed to caring for a dog.
Research and select the right dog breed
Though all dogs are adorable, not every dog is the perfect fit for a family. Begin your research by assessing what you can handle. Do you want to spend hours and hours wearing out a high energy breed? Are you patient enough to teach a dog breed known for being independent and strong willed? Do you have other family pets your new dog must get along with? How much time are you prepared to spend grooming your new canine pal? Do you have a fenced yard in which your dog can run and play? Do you have the time to commit to daily walks? Is your family home suited to big dogs? How will you handle breeds that are known to dig under, climb, or jump fences? By taking time to consider each of these questions and do your research, you can find the breed you feel is a good fit for your family. Once you’ve done this, you can “present” your choice to your parents, outlining what the breed is like, what the breed needs in its ideal home, and how you plan to provide that for your pup.
Find a way to contribute to the expense of owning a dog
Dogs are expensive. If you think of different ways that you can make money to help offset some of the costs of dog ownership, your parents will see that you are prepared to not just invest your time but also your money. Some of the ways you can make a little extra cash include mowing a neighbor’s lawn, babysitting, taking on a paper route, or even walking friends’ dogs.
Create a list of benefits of dog ownership
When parents think of adding a dog to their home, their first thoughts are often: How much will this cost me? How much work is this going to be for me? Sometimes, it helps your case for you to show them how a dog can be a blessing to them.
Among the things to include on your list of benefits are:
- More quality time spent together as a family during walks and playtime with the puppy
- More time outside in active pursuits
- More security since dogs naturally bark at strange noises
- More opportunity for you to learn responsibility
- A chance to care for another living being
Write a contract
Writing a contract for your family outlines on paper what you are agreeing to do if your parents are willing to purchase you a dog. Be very specific with what you put in your contract and be prepared to fulfill it even if it is inconvenient for you. You are signing your name to this and by doing that you are entering into an agreement you will be expected to fulfill. Ask your parents for input for your contract, so that things that are of concern to them are properly addressed. If all parties can come to an agreement, then you and your parents should sign the contract and place it somewhere where you can each refer back to what you have agreed upon if needed.
Address the possible negatives
Your parents will be well aware that many kids beg their parents for puppies then tire of them and don’t want the dog anymore. Dogs are a commitment. They aren’t for a few days or a few weeks; most live from 10-15 years, and you will need to show your parents that you understand this and are willing to care for your dog for the entirety of his or her lifetime. No parent wants to have to rehome a dog because their son or daughter didn’t want him or her anymore. Show your parents that you are committed to this dog for a lifetime.
Be willing to wait for the right dog
Since Christmas is a busy time filled with activities and a routine that is far less than normal, it is not a good time to add a new puppy or dog to your home. Be prepared to wait until after the holidays. Most breeders will have waiting lists, so you will have to apply for a puppy and once approved, the breeder will let you know when a puppy is available for you. This could be a period of months or even several years. The right dog is worth waiting for, and during this time, you can be learning more about your breed and studying training videos, so you are truly prepared when it’s time to bring your new pooch home.
Sometimes the perfect dog is sitting waiting for you at your local shelter or in a rescue. Plan a visit to the shelter to visit with the dogs there. You just might find the one that is meant to be yours!
Think about buying an adult instead of a puppy
It is also a good idea to consider purchasing or adopting an adult dog instead of a puppy. Many breeders have retired adults that they are willing to sell to the right family. These dogs come already trained, making the adjustment period far easier on both your family and the dog.
Are you hoping to convince your parents to add a dog to your family? Follow our top tips, and you just might get a yes in your very near future!