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How far would you go?

How far would you go to teach your kids to take care of their dogs. We have 2 dogs, the boys request. they have to be reminded all the time to feed them and give them water. We have threated to get rid of one dog. We let them think for a week that one dog had to go. They had to discuss it and decide together which dog was going. They finally deided to give up the dog that we have had for 2 years and keep the dog we have had for 6. We also told them if they did not take care of the remaining dog without being told, the other dog would go as well. They have done really well all week and hubby and I told them this morning that they could keep both dogs, but if they stop caring for them again, both dogs will go and they will be taken to the pound.

Did we go to far to teach them a lesson?


Asked by mlanderson at 11:15 PM on Mar. 25, 2011 in Pets

Level 16 (2,455 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • If they do care for them all week (like you've just said they have been) why not treat them to a new ball or something to play with the kids? Or take them to a new place to walk them that you haven't before? Give attention and focus on the good stuff your kids are doing.

    Answer by little.knickers at 9:44 AM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • So you punished the dog instead of your lazy kids? Brilliant. You took away something they didn't want to care for anyways...
    An animal is a commitment for life. You are the adults and took on the responsibility.
    You realize that the pound will kill the dogs, right?

    Answer by Orionsgirl at 11:22 PM on Mar. 25, 2011

  • You should never make a threat your not willing to carry out. That said, I think you could have handled it differently. There are things you can take away. You said you have a 16 yr old. Does he/she drive? Take away care privileges. Take away any game consoles, etc... Make sure their life is as boring as can be until you no longer have to remind them to feed the dogs. Punishing the dogs for the child's behavior is not right. And it doesn't teach them anything but throw away something their not interested enough into to care for.

    Answer by SalemWitchChild at 11:45 PM on Mar. 25, 2011

  • Personally I wouldn't threaten something you weren't actually going to carry out. And there is no way I would take a dog to the shelter to teach kids a lesson. Being 'humanely put to sleep' because your family didn't want to deal with it anymore seems beyond cruel to me. I kind of look at it this way: even if the pets are 'for the kids', I'm the responsible adult in the household so at the end of the day, I'm responsible for everyone- pets included. Based on that, I wouldn't get a pet that I wasn't willing to care for. Yes, at 13 and 16 the kids should be old enough to help out with the pets. I think this is more of a parenting issue than a pet issue- it's the kids that need a kick in the butt, the dogs are just being dogs!

    Answer by Freela at 2:08 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • This is exactly why i am against buying pets FOR children, you have a pet for the FAMILY. They are family pets. EVERYONE takes care of them. Why not buy a training book (I reccomend Kyra Sundances 101 Dog tricks, full of pictures and step by stpe instructions) and some new toys for the dogs...if you get the kids involved in the fun stuff, like playing and training to do tricks they are more likely to want to be involved in the general care of them. Reward your kids when they do feed them/play with them. Perhaps they could earn an allowance? Or earn time on the computer or whatever else it is they are doing when they aren't looking after the animals. Just don't let the dogs suffer because of this. Don't let them be ignored except at dinner time. Don't just get rid of them...they are a member of your family!

    I don't expect my children to do everything with our animals (and we have a lot, including 2 dogs and a puppy)..cont

    Answer by little.knickers at 9:41 AM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • How old are they?

    For me mine are young enough any pet care would be on me. I would expect help, but I wouldn't punish them by getting rid of an animal I bought/adopted in the first place. My oldest is 9.5.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 11:24 PM on Mar. 25, 2011

  • I am all for teaching responsibility and follow through, but I think that is a little much. Making them decide which dog to keep? I think that is rather harsh and it also teaches them that animals (and responsibilities) are disposable. Good thing that they care about their pets, therefore you did do that well in raising them.

    So, I think the better way to approach this problem is to draw up a chart of SOME (not all) responsibilities for each dog with a day and time attached to it. It should be very clear and something visual that you can hold them to, so if they fail you take away privileges that they might normally have.

    I don't know many parents who get dogs and the children actually take on the care and responsibility any age. I work with families with dogs daily. I don't want to say you shouldn't try, and your kids should get away scot- free, but I do think this request is slightly unreasonable.


    Answer by spottedpony at 12:49 AM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • I don't expect my daughter to be responsible for their care. That is a lot of responsiblity to put on kids. My daughter is 8 years old and she does help me feed them but she does it with me.

    Answer by KyliesMom5 at 6:53 AM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • Threaten to drop the kids off at the shelter not the dogs!! Tell them they are grounded. Take away all things until they pitch in!!! Don't threaten the dogs!!! That is not right!!!

    Answer by dancer at 7:49 AM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • however they DO because they respect me and they enjoy the dogs. We make them an everyday part of our lives with training, playing outdoors, long walks etc. I have 7 kids aged 2 months- 13 years. I have been very unwell, have had several operations even on bed rest for most of my last pregnancy yet because the dogs are a member of my family...I still am responsible for their care, just as i am for my children. So I do it..or find a way around it.

    Answer by little.knickers at 9:43 AM on Mar. 26, 2011