Dog lovers instinctively know that they want a dog, but they might not really have contemplated which kind they want. With so many to choose from, how in the world does someone make that kind of decision? For some, it really doesn’t mater as long as it qualifies as a dog. But for others, there has to be some thought process in order to make the call.
Before you make the decision as to which kind of dog to purchase, you need to determine where you will find it. There are many reputable breeders out there who specialize in quality animals. Plus, your local humane society is an excellent place to find a multitude of animals that are anxious to make a new start with the right people. Just be careful not to purchase without checking out the source. There are puppy mills that produce animals under deplorable conditions. These individuals should not be supported by having their animals purchased.
When looking for the right animal there are some things to consider. You need to decide if you want a larger breed or a small one. This will be determined on a number of factors: how much space you have, if they will have to maneuver stairs on a regular basis, ones that are suitable for children and guests, etc. All of this information must be compiled to narrow down the size of your new pet.
If the canine is not full-blooded, then you need to figure out what mix they are. This is especially true if it is a puppy. The last thing you want is to look for a smaller dog and end up with one that is unknowingly mixed with Saint Bernard.
Along the same lines comes their personality. A mixed animal carries the personalities of both types. If you are hesitant to own a particular kind of dog, then make sure that there isn’t a chance that your potential pooch is this variety. You will enjoy your new member of the family more if you are certain on what there is to expect.
Knowing the breed will also tell you if the animal will shed or not. This is a real deal killer for many people. For some, it’s because they don’t like the mess and the constant cleaning, while for others it is strictly from a health standpoint. Certain members of the family might have allergies or asthma that affects them more when they are exposed to certain types of animals, including longhaired dogs.
Certain dogs are also better with children than others. This is not important from the standpoint of your children, but also for those who might be visiting. Strangers have to be taken into the equation, as well. Some dogs are much more territorial and will instinctively attack anyone coming through the door. Their demeanor might also be to bite first, and wag the tail later.
When looking at their personality, think about how much you are going to want to interact with the dog- meaning physical activity. Certain breeds, like Jack Russell Terriers are absolutely adorable. They are great around children, blend into families very easily and are extremely intelligent animals. But they are also a compact ball of energy that have a difficult time relaxing. If you are looking for a fireplace dog to just lie around and chill out, then a Jack Russell Terrier is probably not for you.
Other breeds need to be walked to burn off excess energy and to socialize. Staying cooped up in the home is the worst thing that you can put these animals through. They get bored, over-anxious and left to their own demise, act out by chewing and destroying everything they can get their paws on. This is even more pronounced if they will be left alone at home all day while you are a work. Is the animal you are considering going to be able to handle solitude for that many straight hours, every day?
Along the same lines, consider where your new pet will be housed a majority of the time, especially when you are away. Is your home suited to accommodate such an animal? And if they get out, how much damage can they cause? Plus, once you get home are you prepared to give your complete devoted attention to them until they deem that their needs have been met? If you do not have the time, or the inclination, to walk a dog regularly once you return, then keep that in mind during your search. To summarize, the dog’s personality should closely resemble the owner’s.
Above all else, remember this: no matter what dog breeds you look into, most dogs live an average of 12 to 15 years, so make sure that you are committed for the long haul. If your situation has a distinct possibility of severely altering during that time frame, then you need to decide if your new pet will be able to adapt to the changes easily.