1. THE BASICS – THE RIGHT BREED
Before adding a new member to your family, first, you need to be sure that you can invest the time, energy and money for your new pet dog. After checking these points off the list, you can go ahead with selecting the right kind of breed or mix for yourself. Here are a few things you need to remember before getting a new dog.
One of the primary factors that you need to keep in mind while selecting the right breed is the “size” of the dogs. There are various sizes of dogs depending on their breed; there is the tiny little dog breed called Chihuahua to the huge Great Dane. Select a breed depending on the amount of space that you have for your dog and which suits your living conditions. If you live in an apartment or a condo, choosing a smaller breed size would be more convenient for you instead of going for larger dogs which require more indoor as well as outdoor space to play around. Apart from that, if you are a new dog owner and lack experience, going for big dogs won’t be the best idea as you need to think of your own ability of controlling and managing a dog.
Think about the energy requirements prior to getting a new dog. There are dogs that are bred to be working dogs while others are more like couch potatoes. Getting a dog that does not suit your idea of a pet dog is not a good idea. Hence, know what kind of dog you want before you decide the breed.
Always keep in mind the exercise requirements of various breeds before selecting one for yourself. Prior to getting a dog think of how much time you can invest for your new pet’s exercise. If you a get a dog with high requirements for exercise and cannot devote to it accordingly, it is likely to develop various health and behavioral problems along with frustration and aggression. Hence, always select a dog breed keeping in mind the amount of time you can devote to its exercise.
If you have children and frequent visitors to your home and want a friendly dog, pay attention to breed descriptions. Look for terms like friendly, affectionate, gentle etc. Breed descriptions are never termed as unfriendly or dangerous. Instead they will come as courageous, reserved, vigilant etc and these do not necessarily mean that these dogs love everyone.
Trainability is another factor to consider while selecting the right breed of dog. Some dogs are more intelligent than some of the other breeds because of which they are referred to as work dogs from time to time, for example the livestock guarding breeds of dogs. These dogs can also be “aloof” and more stubborn than other dogs.
Grooming is another important factor while selecting the right breed. Some dogs do not need much grooming and are easy to look after while it is quite opposite for breeds like Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute. These dogs shed a lot of hair and need frequent brushing along with trips to the dog salon which will drain quite some money from your pocket. Keep these things in mind before deciding on which breed you want to get.
While selecting the right breed for you, do not forget to take breeding history and family lineage in account. There is a huge variety of dog breeds, some of which are pure breeds while others are mixed breeds. In some cases there is a considerable amount of difference in the nature dogs of the same breeds due to different levels of breeding. For instance, the Standard Poodle is a great dog for show that also makes an excellent family pet. While selecting a breed it is your choice to make what type of a dog you want for which paying attention to breeding history and family lineage plays an important part.
Research about health related problems and the typical lifespan of the breed that you are planning to get. Many dogs have certain health risks due to genetic disorders and a shorter life span than others. Talk to your breeder or pet shop about these before getting a dog. If your desired breed associate health related problems, you might want to rethink about your budget and must be ready to frequent visits to the vet.
Avoid dogs from puppy mills and the best way to do this is to ask to see the mother and the puppy together. Dogs at puppy mills are treated very inhumanely where they are caged at crowded environments with poor biosecurity which leads them to have behavioral problems, being aggressive at the owner, gastrointestinal problems, problems socializing and other health risks.
2. HAVE A BACKUP PLAN
Things do not always go as planned and the same thing may happen with your pet as well. Think about what will happen if things do not work out between you and your pet dog. Look for responsible breeders to get a puppy from who put the welfare of the dog before money and will make you sign a contract to return the puppy to them if for some reason you don’t want or cannot keep the dog with you anymore. Abandoning a dog is not just bad but a completely inhumane to do. Hence, think ahead and have a backup plan for you and your puppy.
3. CONSIDER RESCUE DOGS TO ADOPT
Rethink about getting a puppy from breeders or pet shops; they require a lot of work, time and energy to invest. Consider adopting a rescued adult dog or even a senior one. These dogs too have the right of having the joys of a forever home. It is found that rescue dogs who get adopted live up to the expectations of their owners. This is a noble act that you must really think of doing.
Getting a puppy or an adult rescued dog both has its own set of pros and cons.