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To bring a dog into the family is a big decision. The right dog can bring your family years of enjoyment and companionship, whereas the "wrong" dog can add misery and annoyance to your life. There are many factors to consider in order to make sure you choose the best dog for your situation.
Your financial standing, lifestyle, size and family type are important considerations to be factored when choosing a specific dog type.
While some breeds may require more attention, some require more exercises than the others, some are more suitable for families with young children, some are more prone to genetic health issues and some may simply required more money to own than others.
There are so many dog breeds out there to choose from and it is the dog owner's responsibility to find out which one is exactly suitable for his lifestyles and way of living. The main reason why dogs are abandoned at Shelters is because the dogs do not suit the lifestyle or needs of the owners. The idea of this article is to help you in choosing the right breed of dog to try and reduce the potential issues that could result when the wrong type is chosen.
These are some fundamental considerations before you decide to bring a puppy home:
1. Accommodation – All dogs need some form of exercise in one way or another, but there are significant disparities among breeds. Small breeds tend to adapt better than large breeds to the smaller space available in an apartment. Neverheless, some larger breeds who are not as active as others can still adapt well.
Factor in how much space you have for a dog, as an apartment or a house with a fenced-in yard determines the type of breed you can get. Having a fenced-in yard will cut down on the time required to walk your dog for bathroom breaks and exercising. All breed will adapt well in this type of setting, but the more active breeds will require more exercises. Giving a dog sufficient exercise is vital to having a good relationship with your dog. Many undesirable behaviors, such as hyperactivity, nuisance barking and destructive behaviors are results of insufficient exercise.
Laws and regulation in the place where you stay also need to be considered. Some landlords do not allow dogs in their rental units at all, while some neighborhoods have strict guidelines regarding the size and the breed of dog that can be owned in that neighborhood.
2. Lifestyle – Dogs are social animals and require time from their owners, some more, some less. If you work long hours, a dog is really not the best pet choice, especially if you live alone. A pet like a cat or fish that require less upkeep may be a better fit for your lifestyle.
While there are dogs that are fine with being left alone for longer periods (Shetland sheepdog, golden retriever and bloodhound), other dogs may undergo anxiety and result in undesirable behavioral issues. Do not condemn a social animal such as a dog to a life of fear, and boredom. If you find it difficult not to own a dog for various reasons, employ a dog walker, enroll him into a daycare center or maybe entrust him to your retired neighbor.
3. Family – Make sure that everyone in the family is supportive of a dog. There are dogs with the inclining for aggression and biting so it is less suitable for households with smaller kids. Young ignorant children are likely to irritate the dogs through rough play without knowing what they are doing. Dog breeds that are more patient and tolerant of children is advisable for families with young kids. Herding dogs might not be the best option because of their natural inborn instinct to herd cattle, they are likely to do so with your younger family members. Such innate instincts can result in nipping incidents.
Current pets that are already part of the family must be factored in when deciding on a new dog. The temperament of the new dog needs to be compatible with those of the existing pets to make sure no problems will arise with the new addition. Territorial problems should be expected. They usually clear up within a week or so. It is advisable to give them food separately during the first meetings, as food is a main reason for rivalry in dogs.
4. Financial Obligations – Keeping and raising a dog is a long commitment with recurring expenses. The initial cost will vary depending on the breed and type of dog you select. Perigees are generally more expensive than mutts no matter where you get them. On the other hand, rescued pedigrees found in animals shelters cost much less. It is best to be able to see and meet your potential dog's parents.
Besides the initial cost, you can also visit local pet shops to ascertain the prices of dog supplies. Dog food, collars, leashes, toys, food bowls, crates, and any other supplies you think you need for your dog, and not forgetting your veterinary bills, grooming expenses and even an insurance policy.
It is highly recommended to ask friends who own dogs about their expenses so as to give yourself a good idea of how much you need to commit financially to a dog.
5. Purpose of dog ownership – You should determine your purpose of dog ownership. Do you intend to show, breed or hunt with the dog? Is the dog needed for service, therapy or for companionship only? For dog shows, dogs should meet or even exceed the standards for the particular breed and have necessary documentation for its lineage. For hunting, you will require a good scent or sight-hunting dog. While there are many breeds that are suitable to work as service or therapy dogs, they generally must possess good temperament, keen willingness to learn and good concentration. Knowing the purpose would inevitably help to select the right breed.
6. Size – Dogs are commonly group into three category based on their weight during adulthood. Smaller dogs commonly weight up to 20 pounds, Medium dogs in the region of 20-50 pounds and larger dogs are mostly heavier than 50 pounds.
As a rule of thumb, bigger breeds are unsuitable if you live in a small apartment, or a home with a small or unfenced yard. Neverheless, this is not the case for all dogs. Some dogs such as golden retrievers actually possess characteristics that make them more suitable than an active schnauzer to apartment living. Natural temperament and activity level are important considerations when choosing a dog.
While smaller dogs generally do not require as much space as larger dogs, caution should be taken with small breeds due to their small and fragile bodies. Smaller dog breeds are more prone to accidents and injuries during play with owners or other dogs, it is because of their small stature. On the other hand, large breeds can unintentionally cause harm to small children when playing. Studies have shown that smaller dogs generally tend to live longer than their larger counterparts by 5 to 8 years.
7. Temperament – Purebreds display well-understood mental temperaments and characteristics to a large extent while mutts are more difficult to determine. It is advised that advise and consultations be taken in choosing a dog with the right nature to suit your life. If you have children, look for dogs with a low standby to bite and a high tolerance for handling. If it is a guard dog, you want it to be obedient but still able to effectively guard the territory. Over aggressive dogs must not be considered.
In a nutshell, adding a dog to your family is a life changing and long commitment. Think about it seriously before deciding to bring a puppy home. Take the time to choose the best dog breed. By doing so, I'm sure you will get to enjoy and be rewarded many times over by the love, affection and good company that he or she will bring into your life.