If you really want to practice being a parent, one dog won't do the trick.
Momlogic's Momstrosity: It's almost impossible to explain to someone without children the emotional roller coaster ride that is motherhood. The highs, the lows, and the smells. So when perky couples inform me they're practicing for parenthood by getting a dog, I have to laugh. For a long time. In their face. Granted, it doesn't make me too popular at parties.
What parents in training need to know is that one "canine kid" doesn't begin to equal the myriad experiences one bona fide human child brings to the table. Unless you get ALL of these dogs at once. Each of the dogs selected simulate one of the many "joys" of parenthood.
1) Crying and Whining: Chihuahua
To simulate the crying and whining of a baby, the yapping, yelping, and growling Chihuahua is a must-have. These demanding little canines, just like infants, believe the world revolves around them and get pissed off if you even attempt to engage in any activity that doesn't include them, like showering, reading a book, breathing, eating, or thinking. Just like a baby!
2) Potty Training: Irish Wolfhound|
One of the most exasperating parts of parenthood is the proliferation of poo. A human child will need to have diapers, pull-ups, underwear, and bottoms wiped for at least three years. That's why, if you're going to "play parent," you've got to get yourself an Irish Wolfhound. According to trainpetdog.com, wolfhounds "keep confusing their potty places because they think that it hardly matters where they potty." Welcome to "parenthood"!
|3) Drooling and Spit-Up: Bulldog|
From snot to drool to spit-up, when you have a kid, ALL their bodily fluids become yours for the wiping. Enter the bulldog, a dog that will drench you and your house with endless streams of drool and slobber for a lifetime.
4) Hyperactivity: Jack Russell Terrier|
To mimic a kid's bounding energy, a Jack Russell terrier fits the bill. These dogs, says dogster.com, are "Freakishly athletic and bursting with energy." Exactly like an overtired toddler hopped up on multiple high-fructose juice boxes.
5) Discipline: Pit Bull|
If there are no bad dogs, does it also mean there are no bad toddlers? Not quite. That's why a pit bull is the perfect stand-in for the toddler mentality of "my way or the highway." Preferably, get a pit that's hard of hearing to really simulate the way kids can "tune out" their parents. Good luck.
6) Trashing Your Home: Great Dane|
You know how they say "When you have kids, everything changes"? They're talking about your home. To recreate the "redecorating" a small child does on your nicely decorated abode, the Great Dane is a terrific substitute. Voted the most destructive dog in a U.K. survey, Marmaduke will stain carpets, rip sofas, and chew cables, as will a real kid.
7) Grooming: Poodle|
To maintain your kid, you have to be vigilant with grooming, bathing, trimming nails, and brushing hair and teeth. That's why the high-maintenance poodle will simulate the oodles of time you'll need to keep your kid clean and clipped. (If your poodle-baby is a girl, be prepared for battles with the hairbrush and plenty of fussy bows just like you'll have with the real thing.)
8) Toys on the Floor: Siberian Husky
Kids leave their stuff everywhere. When you have kids, your entire house will be covered in toys. Everywhere you look, you'll find tiny LEGOs, puzzle pieces, and trains, planes and automobiles. Constant evidence that tiny people live in your house. The Siberian husky also leaves a bunch of stuff lying around: hair. These dogs shed a LOT. You'll find hair and fur all over your clothing, upholstery, carpeting, under your furniture, on your countertops -- even in your food.