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What age do you think a human is fit to own a dog?

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

  
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Athena

50% dane, 50%- lab, 100%- trouble!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 30, '07 9:57am PST 
Just a curiosity question. At what age do y'all think most people are responsible enough, etc, to own their own dog?
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Spice©

Happy New Year
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 30, '07 10:49am PST 
I personally think it depends on the person! I know my mom allowed me to have a pup when I was 9 years old. I feed,watered and walked my pup everyday. Of course my mom watched him when I went to school, but he was my responsibility and I took care of him!
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Buddy ☮

Ducks Are My- Nemeses
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 30, '07 10:50am PST 
I agree with Spice. It totally depends on the person. But I would hope they had enough financial support to care for the pup properly
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Papllon Gang

Fun-N-the Sun
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 30, '07 12:17pm PST 
It totally depends on their maturity level. I think under 18, no way. If someone under 18 wants to buy a pup, I won't even consider it. I deal with the parents and my contract would only be with the parents.

Just the other day someone in their 60s contacted me for a puppy and I felt they were not responsible enough.
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Spice©

Happy New Year
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 30, '07 3:00pm PST 
Well I know when I was 16 and not living with my parents, I was WAY more responsible and adult like than any adult I knew. I would have hated getting turned down just because my age..

I think all that matters is how mature and responsible someone is!big grin Also like Buddy said, they need to be ready financially for a dog!
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Abby

*snort* rub my- belly! *snort*
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 30, '07 3:11pm PST 
My mom got me when she was 10 and has always taken good care of me. However, she didn't have financial responsibility so that of course comes into play. At what age could someone FULLY take care of a dog on their own...I'd say 18...maybe 17 if they have enough money.
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Athena

50% dane, 50%- lab, 100%- trouble!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 30, '07 4:01pm PST 
Thanks guys big grin I'm 23, and have had dogs all my life. I just looked on a rescue site, and they said they don't even CONSIDER adopting to anyone under 25! I just find that crazy. Should it not be a case-by-case scenario?
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Gio

CD RE (CKC)- RXMCL (CARO) FM- CGN SJATD
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 30, '07 5:20pm PST 
I think it totally depends on the individual, just like other people mentioned.

My family has always had dogs, my parents had a dog before I was born and I was practically raised by the thing until I was about 3 and we had to put her down (poor girl got really bad hip dysplasia).

I got "my" first dog, a Sheltie, when I was about 10 or 11. I was responsible for taking care of it (training, exercise, feeding, pooper duty, grooming, etc.) but my parents still had financial responsibility.

Gio was the first dog that I was every completely 100% responsible for, including financially, and I got him when I graduated high school. So age 18.

I have since purchased my second dog, Romeo, at age 23. By this time I had proven myself to the local dog community that people actually recommended me to Romeo's breeder before I even knew that Romeo was available. The breeder was asking around the local kennel club and agility clubs if anyone knew of a good sport home for one of her dogs and a few people actually told her to contact me as they felt I would be a good home for what she was looking for. So I was lucky that this particular breeder did look at things in a case-by-case way, as I am still in college and reasonably young so would probably have had trouble purchasing from another breeder that hadn't received my name as a recommendation.

So I don't think there is a magical age when someone automatically becomes fit to have a dog. Some kids may be financially stable and responsible enough at 16 or 17, while other kids that age would not even sort of be able to handle the full responsibility. I can say the same thing about some 25 year olds, some 35 year olds, and some 55 year olds! It all depends!
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Duke - *1992-2007*

Tennis Ball- Junkie
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 30, '07 5:29pm PST 
I agree in thinking that it totally depends on the person. I was 11 when my parents allowed me to adopt Duke at 6 months of age -- I'd been wanting a dog since I was 7, and spent several years going to the library after school and reading everything I could about dogs and dog training. When I got Duke, I trained and played with him everyday -- we lived across the street from a nice big park, and we spent 2-3 hours there every evening. I remember getting up at 5:30am every morning to take him for a walk and short run.

Of course, important medical decisions were up to my parents, but my opinion was always taken into account.

That experience was so valuable to me, and I can't imagine a life where Duke hadn't been in it. I'm very grateful to my parents for giving me the opportunity to step up to the plate of such a responsibility and allowing me to have one of the best experiences of my life at such a young age. Duke was a lot of work, but he was worth every second of it!
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Vance CGC

You kids g'off- my lawn!
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 30, '07 5:43pm PST 
I don't think a dog is truly "yours" unless you have full financial responsibility of it. Which is probably one of those things that's inexplicable, but you understand if you have full financial responsibility of a dog. There is no safety net, there is no one to go through before you make a decision regarding food or training or health care, there is no limit other than what you set in terms of care. It's definitely possible to train and feed and bond with a dog without all that, but it's not the same.

So, that said, 15 would be the absolute minimum, unless you're a darn busy babysitter!

I don't think it's usually wise to get a dog before you've been living in "the real world" for a year or so. There's a lot to be considered: housing, expenses, work, time, and so on. It's no good to go into that blindly and suddenly be hit with the reality of it. I did get Vance when I was barely 20. I was fully aware that he will make it very difficult for me to ever rent a place. That I will not be able to drop everything, drive to Mexico with a friend and bum around for a few months. Or even hit a party Friday night and come crawling home sometime Saturday afternoon. I will probably go without cable, internet and so on at some point so I can feed us.

I have ended up talking several of my friends out of getting a dog by bringing up points like that. But all things considered, I decided I'd rather go without and have a dog than do whatever I want without a dog. When you can say that, I think you're ready.

And yes, many rescues have stupid limitations. Yes, it should be case-by-case, but oftentimes it's not.
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