by Marion Herbertson
Choosing a suitable Dog? Large or small – active or couch potato – longhaired or short – with the myriad of options out there, how in the world do you pick the right dog?
Will a large dog be best – or a small one? Do you have children? Do you have other pets? Choosing a suitable dog raises so many questions, but choosing the perfect family dog is one of life’s big bonuses. Dogs make brilliant companions and wonderful family pets – if you get the maths right! Making the wrong decision results in heartbreak for yourself and your family – and yet another unhappy or abandoned dog.
Choosing a suitable dog for your family is a major decision and there are ALL SORTS of things to consider. Will a dog fit your lifestyle? Will you have the patience to cope with a puppy ? Or would re-homing a mature dog be best for your family? If you do decided to go the puppy route – are you prepared for sleepless nights, puddles in the most unexpected places, not forgetting chewed up family heirlooms?
However, with a little bit of help, picking the perfect family dog can be a breeze if you do your research and remember the following basic points -
What TYPE of Dog will suite your lifestyle?
Simply put, the type of dog that will fit your lifestyle largely depends on the type of lifestyle you have.
Are you an active, outdoors type of person? You will probably enjoy a medium to large, active dog which needs regular exercise and can join in all your fun. If, however you lead a more sedate lifestyle, a smaller, calmer dog would be suitable and more appreciative of your calm lifestyle.
Space is also an important consideration. Some large dogs need plenty of space whilst small dogs do quite well in flats and apartments.
What BREED of Dog will suite your lifestyle?
Once you’ve decided what “type” of dog will best suit you, you can now work out the breeds which fit the bill. Dog breeds differ from each other as much as night does from day – this is why research is an absolute must.
Do take time to check out the breed AND the breeder thoroughly. Your dog’s temperament is decided primarily by his breed and breeding and only then by human conditioning and training. However, when he is under pressure or provoked, it is almost always your dog’s breed and breeding that will win – do bear this important fact in mind.
Other Factors to Consider
When choosing a suitable dog, don’t forget to take into account the cost of looking after a dog. Consider, for example, a dog’s grooming needs – ie: shorthaired or longhaired? If you go for a longer haired breed, you need to factor in the additional cost of time and/or professional grooming.
In addition to the usual expenses such as dog food, dog treats, vet bills, annual vaccinations and insurance you also need to consider the care of your pet while you’re on holiday . Believe me, this can be expensive! More dogs than you care to imagine end up in a dog shelter or worse still on doggy death row simply because their owner had not considered these cost implications.
Last by not least, what type are you?
Well …… choosing a suitable dog largely depends on your own personality. After all, it’s no point picking a dog which is the life and soul of the party if you’re the retiring type. Nor is it much fun choosing a dog which matures early and becomes all “dignified” – when what you thrive on is regular rough-and-tumble sessions! Yet another reason for you to do your research thoroughly.
So, do your research at this stage – there is a lot to be considered when choosing a suitable dog. Read as much as you can – and take your time. You’ll find a dog which settles into your lifestyle so comfortably, you wont remember a day when he wasn’t there – and even if you do, you’ll wonder how in the world you managed without him!
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