Choosing the right dog is important for both owner and canine. We all know that dogs are loyal, offer unconditional love and are awesome for families. A canine companion can teach children responsibility, trust, respect, and compassion.
However, that doesn’t mean every dog is right for everyone. Guest blogger, Alexandra Seagal of animalso.com writes about the top considerations for finding Fido. Dogs have personalities and quirks just like we do, so before you adopt a puppy or adult dog based on how cute he looks on the other side of the kennel door, we’ve dug up 5 tips on finding the right dog fit for your family.
Tip #1 – Ask Yourself “Why?”
Owning a dog is a responsibility that should not be entered into lightly. This animal will be a part of your family unit for the duration of its lifetime, so ask yourself the question of why you want a dog. Is he for;
-Playmate for the children
-Special activity, ie. hunting or therapy work
Knowing the reasons, you want a pooch in the first place can help narrow down your decision process. For example, you most likely wouldn’t get a Shih Tzu for hunting, but he will make a good companion or even therapy dog.
Tip #2 – How Much Time Do You Have For the Dog?
Most of us live busy lives. Between careers, family and hobbies/leisure activities, our days can be pretty full. Before you bring home a puppy or adult canine, you will want to ask yourself (realistically) how much time can you invest into the dog?
Exercise, grooming, and training (if a puppy) is going to take up the most of your time. Some breeds like a Beagle or Jack Russell Terrier are going to need around 2 to 3 hours of exercise each day, while the Great Dane is happy with a daily stroll around the block.
When it comes to grooming, a Husky is going to need a lot more care than the wash-and-wear Schipperke. Know your limits, so both you and your dog won’t suffer from your time constraints.
Tip #3 – Allergies?
Poodles and the Havanese breeds are two that have been known to be suitable for those folks that suffer from certain types of dog allergies. This may be because they do not shed, while other breeds like the Dalmatian shed all year around.
Tip #4 – How Much Money Can Be Dedicated to the Dog?
Most of us are on a budget, so fitting Fido into that budget plan is a must-do. The first year of your puppy’s life is going to be the most expensive. With vaccinations, worming, health checks, spaying/neutering, crate, toys and food you can expect the bill to be around $1,000.
After the first year, these costs will go down some from the initial, but you still have to feed the dog and have yearly vet visits.
Logically, you are going to spend less on a Chihuahua than you would on Mastiff (size does make a difference). Knowing your budget for the dog will keep you in the black and your furry companion happy and healthy.
Tip #5 – What Breed is Right for the Family?
This last question may be the one that takes the longest to answer, especially if you are looking for a purebred canine. Some breeds are just more family-orientated than others.
Take the Golden or Labrador Retrievers, these dogs are known for being great family pooches. They are kind, gentle and love being around kids. However, the Chow Chow can be a bit quick to bite and headstrong, so a person with experience with dogs would be more suitable for this breed.
Do Your Homework
Asking yourself the above questions is a great start to finding the right dog for your family; however, it doesn’t stop there. Do your research and homework into each breed you are interested in, paying particularly close attention to its personality traits.
Once you have narrowed down your list, search for a reputable breeder or rescue group to visit. Avoid any “breeder” that won’t let you see the parents or has many litters each year. These can be signs of a puppy mill where the female dogs are continuously caged and used as breeders. Getting your perfect match may take some time and effort on your part, but having a canine companion that fits into your family? That’s priceless!
Need help training your dog? Make sure you give Pro-Train a call at 760-749-0897. Under the leadership of legendary dog trainer, Mark “Dogman” Castillero, you and your pet can start off on the right path!