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Is Kim ready to care for a dog?
You decide !

Introduction | Task | Process and Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion

Kim needs your help!!  She is 9 years old and she has a 12 year old brother. She wants a pet dog. She lives in a small houseEntlebuchers near the beach, and she walks to school every day as her school is only 20 minutes away. She tries to get up at around 7:30 she does her homework in the morning. After school, she does sports. She gets home around 4:30pm and goes to bed around 8:30 p.m.  On the weekends she plays Nintendo with her brother, walks on the beach and visits friends. She is a keen smimmer, and during the week she plays soccer.

Kim's mum and dad aren't sure if she is ready to own a dog yet. Her mum used to own a dog as a child but knows that a pet is a lot of responsibility. Her father has never owned a dog, and doesn't know much about how to care for dogs. In the neighbourhood, there are many dogs that are pets, and there are working dogs on farms.

There are many things needed in taking good care of a pet. She has asked for a dog since she was 6 years old because she thinks it would be really cool, and she could have fun with a dog. She has seen Tux Wonders Dogs on TV in New Zealand while travelling there. It's a show about dogs going around a circuit with jumps, jumping through tyres, weaving around poles, and other fun stuff. She thinks she can teach her dog to do those tricks. Her parents are now willing to get her a dog, but is she REALLY ready to take on the responsibilities? 

She is a little apprehensive, a little nervous about getting a dog, and wants your opinion if she has enough time, enough information, enough commitment to be able to properly take care of a dog.  Also, if she does get a dog, what kind should it be?

Some Practical Issues You need to have a satisfactory answer for all these questions before you get a dog.
  • can you afford ongoing costs such as food, annual registration, vaccinations, vet bills and holiday boarding, on top of one-off costs such as the purchase price and sterilisation?
  • is your home a suitable place for a dog? If renting, does your lease allow a dog on the property?
  • do you have time to exercise and play with a dog every day?
  • will your dog be alright if you leave it alone during the day?
  • can you arrange care for your dog during holidays, and when you're away?
  • can you provide care, and meals at regular intervals until your puppy is six months old?
  • does a dog fit in with your lifestyle, activities, sporting pursuits and priorities?
  • are you prepared to confine your pet at night in the house, shed, garage, or kennel?

The Task
Is Kim really ready to have a dog? You must research and find out if she can afford a dog, have time to play and teach the dog, and if she does get a dog, which breed, what kind of dog?

Get in groups of four and decide who will be the experts.
There are four: financial advisor, a breeder, a time organiser and a training expert.

Roll Goal
Member 1

$ Financial Advisor $
How much would it cost Kim's family to keep and care for a dog?
Member 2

What kind of dog should she get? Does it match her personality, and her surroundings (where she lives)?
Member 3

Time Organiser or Commitment Advisor 
There are a lot of commitment and responsibilities in owning a pet.  Does she have the time to spend with a dog, and is she really commited?
Member 4

Training expert
Dog training takes skill. What kind? What are some of the things that you really need to teach a dog? How do you make the public safe around dogs?

Put on your individual thinking hats as you and your teammates become experts. As you will see, you will constantly have to ask your teammates about their findings as it will help your whole team decide if Kim does have time, money, knowledge for getting a dog.

What do you do at the end of your research?
You will then be ready to combine what each of you have learned into your Group Report. Your Group Report can take on any form: a poster, a website, a PowerPoint presentation, a word processing document, or in a book form.

The very final product for this assignment will be to give an oral presentation about your findings to the class. So, practice what you will say to the class before you get up there.

Have Fun!!

The Process
So, you have decided to become an expert on something. What you see below is what you need to do, and where to find some of the resources.

Remember, take notes!
You will need to it for
your presentation to the class.

Member 1-- Financial Advisor $$


How much does it cost to keep a dog?

Your job is to find out the prices of what you think she'll need to care for a dog.
Example: a bowl, food, toys, collars, leads, training, vets cost, etc.

Go on the Internet, or go to a pet shop and find out.

The amount of food will depend on how big the dog is. Depending of the size of the dog you choose for Kim will depend on the quantity of food.

Remember vet bills. Your dog will need to be vaccinated, and she may need medical care. You will need to find out from a veterinarian. Go visit one, or telephone one.

What happens to the dog when her family will travel?
Find out how much it'll cost for boarding kennels or pet sitters. Email the boarding kennels and find out!

Then, add up the prices and put your findings in a spreadsheet program.


DOWNLOAD this worksheet to help you out

WEBSITES: Remember that the following New Zealand websites are just the beginning.

Pet Post is a online pet store
IQ Dog TOys has prices for some things

To find boarding kennels, do a search "boarding kennels" in a search engine, and find one near you.  Or, use the telephone book, and ring one up and find out the price to keep a dog in a dog kennel for one night.

Member 2-- Breeder


What kind of dog (breed) should Kim get?

Find out the groups of dogs (ie working dog, ground sniffing dog, hound dogs, etc), and what each breed group is good at. This will help you decide what kind of dog Kim should get.

Once you have selected a breed for Kim, find out the country or region of origin, the history of the breed (to find out what she's good at). In your report, you need to justify (gives reasons) why Kim should get the breed you have selected.


Dogs Guide Need help deciding which dog to choose? Get highly personalized and completely unbiased recommendations with our decision guide!

Breed Selector, and answer the questions

Take the breed selector

Choosing a Pet Is a dog right for you?

Member 3: Time Organizer


Does Kim have enough time to care for a dog properly? Find out the different kinds of responsibilities and commitments that comes with owning a pet.  Some examples are:  feeding a dog, playing with a dog, and walking a dog. 

Remember that Kim is interested in doing tricks with her dog, and perhaps she might like to join a dog club. You will need to find out about dog clubs in your area, and see if this can fit into Kim's schedule. List at least six activities that Kim must make time for. 
After, write a daily schedule for Kim, including her sports, and all her other chores at home.


Dog play... what can you do with a dog?

Lots of ideas for you and your dog.

Dog clubs in New Zealand

Dog Sport

Member 4:  Training Expert


Training a dog is very important. A well-trained dog means that it can live happily in society. Some people are good dog trainers and some aren't. Why? personality is the first thing to look at. What are the qualities and characteristics of a good dog trainer?  What do you think?

This will help answer the next question: What are the basic things a dog has to be trained to do.  How would you teach a dog to do these things? You also need to think of things a dog might do that you need to teach him, for example jumping up on you when you come home, or digging up your mother's rose bush.

In order to help people learn more about dogs and be safe around dogs, what are some of the tips you would tell your parents, or other school kids. For example, how would you react towards an aggressive dog?

Don't forget to add the cost of the
training experts to  member 1's list of expenses.


Video all on dog tricks

Some good articles on dog training

6 basic commands to teach your dog.

How much is it to train your dog? You will need to email them or telephone them to ask what they charge. Trainers don't advertise their cost on the Internet, but they will tell you privately. Some dog trainers listing in New Zealand

Matty's Training Tips
then play Go Fetch, and see if you learned what Matty said in the Q and A section. It's sort of like a quiz section.

What are some things you need to remember when you train a dog?

Check List

DOWNLOAD Check List (Word 2000)
I know that sometimes we forget something. Here's a check list for all of your group.

Other Resources
Here are some useful resources for you to check out on your way to completing the tasks. They will help you out a lot!!  For full marks, you are required to use at least 10 resources in your total report.

Online game:



Long live your dog It has training tips, and other tips you can watch for answers

These are some other useful search engines that will help you find more information.
How DO YOU use a search engine?  

You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks -- With The Right Diet

This is team work and you will be evaluated as a group.
3 Marks 5 Marks 7 Marks 10 Marks

Participated poorly as a group.
and showed little

Relatively good group work and
Good group work and participation, some team organisation, and a little enthusiasm
Excellent group work and participation, great team organisation, and much enthusiasm
1-3 resources used well
4-7 resources used well
7-9 resources used well
10 or more resources used well


Not well organised; not fluent; repeated information
relatively organised; showed that work was put into oral presentation
shows good practice and organisation;
o.k voice projection
Excellent fluency;
very well organised;
shows that topic was well researched;
excellent voice projection
The final report:
a poster,
a website,
a PowerPoint, a word processing document, or in a book form.
Not many suggestions or
comments to give
Few comments and suggestions
A significant amount of comments, suggestions; good linkage to findings
Excellent and useful suggestions and comments; excellent linkage to findings; provide reader with other information
sss ss ss ss Total Mark



I hope that you have learned the responsiblities of looking after a dog. It is important to get the right breed. Very important. You don't want a Border Collie which needs lots of exercise when you live in a small apartment. Remember that all dogs can be aggressive just like us, but their teeth can inflict a lot of damage on us. Proper training is needed to have a great friend for a long long time.


Dog pictures credit: by clicking on the picture, it will bring you to the original picture's location.

This website was made in order to give kids an opportunity to learn about dogs.
This webquest (named: dogquest) could not have been possible without the resources from


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