By Larry Kay
This quiz will measure how good your relationship is with your dog and will give you ideas how to make it even better. We can make a great relationship when we enjoy being responsible. To be safe, always have a responsible grownup supervise you.
This piece first appeared in Dog Fancy magazine’s “Dogs for Kids” column.
0 to 9 points: We need help to become best friends.
10 to 14 points: We’re learning to be best friends.
15 to 17 points: We’re best friends.
18 to 20 points: We’re more than best friends, we’re soul mates.
#1 SPEAKING. Your relationship grows when you speak loving words. Since your dog can’t speak words, she speaks with her body language. Score one point for each.
– I tell my dog that I love her and how much I care about her.
– My dog knows her name.
– Sometimes my dog visits me just to nuzzle me or to be petted.
– My dog says ‘please’ by sitting and looking at me.
Total Speaking Points: _____
#2 CARING. Actions speak louder than words. Give yourself one point for each caring action that you do.
– I help feed my dog.
– I help brush my dog.
– I put away my toys, clothes, and school stuff so that my dog doesn’t chew them.
– I have helped take my dog to the veterinarian.
Total Caring Points: _____
#3 LEARNING. Your dog is happier when she learns. Add another point for each.
– When I cue sit, stay, down or come, my dog does it.
– I say “Good dog” when she learns.
– My dog is potty trained.
– When my dog pulls on her leash, we can help her to stop.
Total Learning Points: _____
#4 PLAYING. Dogs love being with people who have fun with them. Score one point for each.
– My dog and I play together.
– We can do at least one dog trick.
– I love to help take my dog on walks.
– We play quietly and she likes it when I pet her.
Total Playing Points: _____
#5 SOCIALIZING. Is your dog ready to greet other dogs and people? Add one point for each socializing experience.
– When we walk, my dog likes to meet other nice dogs.
– My dog enjoys meeting guests at our home.
– My dog has played safely with another dog in a park.
– We have had a celebration for our dog that includes other people or dogs.
Total Socializing Points: _____