People who have never had a dog of their own before need to consider carefully if the dog they are going to get will fit their needs, specifications and expectations. Nothing can be more disappointing, both for the new owners and the new dog, than being stuck with a dog you do not like and returning him to where you got him or selling him off to another owner.
Choosing a dog is at least as complicated as shopping for that new pair of shoes. You have to make sure that the shoes match your feet; the environment where you plan to use it, with a color and texture that matches your clothes. Similarly, your dog should be congruent to your lifestyle, personality and attachments.
Making a careful choice when choosing a dog breed and generally making sure it will be compatible with you is essential. But there are some things that you need to be sure of as you narrow down your choice. Here are some tips on how to choose a dog breed that is best for you.
- The issue of size. What do you want to have, a dog you can cuddle on your lap or a dog that flops down on your feet and puts his head on your lap? Small dogs are more delicate and could easily be injured if they happen to get stepped on. They easily feel cold and can be really active since most of these small dogs seem to compensate for their size by being tough and noisy. Large dogs, on the other hand, are more expensive and messy to maintain. As they say, large dog=big meals=large poop.
- The obedience issue. Do you want your dog to be trained? There are some breeds that are easier to train and suited for obedience school. Find out what breeds these are and you can narrow your choices further.
- The issue of grooming. Can you handle all that dog hair? There are some breeds that shed heavily. If you have a problem with allergies or do not relish the idea of having dog hair all over your couch, choose the breed that sheds less. If it’s okay with you to set aside grooming time everyday, then there won’t be a problem with this.
- Children and dogs. If you plan on choosing a dog that your child can play with and which he could care for, find out which dog breeds are best for children before choosing a breed.
- The issue of function. What do you want your dog to do? Do you want it as a simple pet that would calm the children? Or do you want it to function as a watchdog that would guard your possessions. Or do you want it to be both a playmate and a watchdog? Whichever your choice may be, there are specific dog breeds that can do these varied functions.
Getting a dog and welcoming it into your home is a wonderful decision and also a big responsibility. But with a good choice and responsible caring, you and your dog will surely have wonderful years together.