BEFORE YOUR FAMILY GETS ANY DOG, PLEASE ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
Why do I want a dog? Am I certain it isn't for selfish reasons?
Am I prepared to take full responsibility for the dog - pay for all necessary food, housing, and supplies and veterinary expenses for the dog - for the next 10 to 15 years?
If I have children, am I willing to to PERSONALLY care for the dog, whether or not my children live up to their promises and even after my children have left home?
Am I committed to keep this dog for its entire life, even though that may mean nursing it through poor health and caring for it during its eventual old age and passing on?
Am I prepared to teach this dog proper manners through gentle positive reinforcement training techniques, which may involve obedience classes and regular socialization, so it can be a well-behaved member of my household and society in general?
Will I be home on a regular basis to give the dog lots of attention during my non-working hours?
Can I accept that my home will not necessarily be as neat and clean as I'd like and that dog crates, dog beds, dog bowls, dog toys, or other signs of my dog -- to include dog hair and possibly even dog drool or other messes -- may abound?
Have I researched dog ownership to determine the best match for my circumstances in terms of breed or mix, age, size, sex, temperament, etc.?
If you can't honestly answer "yes" to all the above questions, please don't adopt a dog until you can ...