It is easy to fall in love with a puppy. But making a dog purchase on emotion can end up causing you a lot of trouble. Take your time and do some investigating before deciding to jump into dog ownership.
You have decided to buy a dog! What kind of dog do want? What is the perfect breed for you? These are all questions you should ask so that you find a breed suited to your situation and life style. Here are the things you should consider according to the American Kennel Club:
What size of dog suits my living situation?
Small or big it is important to consider the size of the breed you are looking at. If you live in a small apartment a Golden Retriever might not be a good choice. You not only need room to feed your dog but room for them to sleep and get some exercise. Golden retrievers are wonderful dogs. But they are big and when they lie down they can take up as much or more room than an adult.
How much time am I willing to invest to get my dog the appropriate amount of exercise?
Some dogs just need more exercise. They are energetic even beyond the puppy years. Do you have a large yard where your dog can run and play and burn off energy? Do you live close to a park? Are you willing to donate the time to see that your dog can get outside and play. Are you willing to walk your dog faithfully? Some breeds want to play fetch or tug-of-war well into their adult years. If you are looking for a dog that will go for a run with you daily do not get a breed that prefers to lay on the couch. If you prefer a lap dog who wants to snuggle while you watch TV then you don’t want a rambunctious dog or herding dog that needs extended periods of exercise.
High energy breeds just want to go go go. If you are a high energy individual this could be a good fit for you. High energy breeds desire running, jumping and playing. They may need more stimulation throughout the day.
Low energy dogs are generally happy to lay around and nap. These breeds can be good to cuddle. If you are beat at the end of your work day and just want to veg in front of the TV a low energy dog may be best for you.
How much cleaning am I willing to do?
Most dogs shed to some extent. Do you mind a little hair on your clothes or sofa? If the answer is, dog hair freaks you out. You need to look for a breed with very little shedding. If you don’t think anyone will notice a little extra hair in your home or it just doesn’t bother you, then any breed will do. If you have allergies or someone in your family does a dog that does not shed at all might need to be a priority.
Another thing to consider is drool. Dogs drool. The amount a dog drools has a lot to do with the breed of dog. If you don’t mind a few wet spots on sofas or carpets your options increase. But if you do mind, you need to look for a breed that drools little.
How social do I want my dog to be?
Dogs that get along with people of all ages are appropriate for families with little children. It takes a certain level of tolerance and patience for a dog to love little children and all their antics. If you have small children it is important your dog have a family-friendly nature.
Some breeds bond well with one person but not with a whole family of people. Other breeds have never met a stranger and will greet any person they meet like their best friend. With tail wagging and kisses. Understand your need and look for a breed that fits your situation.
If you want a dog for some personal warning or protection, you don’t want a friendly I love everybody kind of dog. You want to look for a breed that is more protective of it’s family and less likely to trust a stranger.
Will a barking dog cause me trouble?
If you live in a densely populated area or an apartment building a dog that barks and yips all the time could stir up trouble with your neighbors. The truth is some dogs just bark more than others. If barking bothers you, you can look for breeds that aren’t as vocal. All dogs will bark but not all dogs bark the same amount.
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How easy is this dog breed to train?
Everyone wants to successfully house break their dog. Some dogs are better at this than others. Research breed characteristics on their ability to train and learn new behaviors. If you are thinking of adopting a dog, knowing if they are house broken is a good question to ask.
If you think you may want to train your dog to do tricks, agility courses or show your dog at competitions you need a breed that is intelligent, enjoys mental stimulation and has an aptitude for training. Breeds that want to please their owners will make teaching a breeze. Breeds that are aloof and like to go their own way, will not be a good fit if you want to be serious about training beyond the basics.
How much disposable cash do I have to care for my dog?
Dogs in general cost money. They need food, grooming and vet visits at a minimum. You will need to invest in leashes, collars, licensing, treats and toys. Some breeds require regular grooming hair cuts etc. This costs money. Do not forget to think this part through. All dogs need their nails trimmed and that requires you to buy dog nail clippers or take them somewhere to have them clipped.
The bigger the dog the more they eat. So you will need to consider putting the dog food into your monthly budget.
A dog as a companion is a wonderful thing. People who own pets are generally healthier overall than those that don’t. There is something beautiful about the relationship of dog and owner. Hopefully, answering these questions and researching breed options will help you get the dog that is perfect for your situation.