Hints On How To Choose The Right Dog For Your Lifestyle

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Hints On How To Choose The Right Dog For Your Lifestyle

by Rose Smith

Once you?ve made up your mind to get a dog, you are only at the beginning of a heap of decisions that need to be made. The following information should help make your decisions a little bit easier for the first time dog owner.

What Size Of Dog Should You Get?

The first consideration will be selecting a breed that would best suit your family, work and home life. Should you settle on a large or small dog? Too many people instantly want to get a large dog because they look impressive, are often great guard dogs, and they can be quite imposing.

Before you run out to buy a Great Dane, Saint Bernard or Rottweiler, you need to step back and consider the following:

a) As a general rule (and there are exceptions to every rule), a large dog costs more than a small dog.

b) A big dog means that you will have to provide a lot of food, which can get quite expensive.

c) They will need room to roam and sleep ? quite a bit of room.

d) They also require more exercise, since you?ll have to walk farther and longer, than you would with a small dog, in order to give it the appropriate amount of exercise.

Should You Get A Pedigree Purebred Or A Mixed Breed Dog?

A mixed breed or mutt will be as loving, attentive, and sometimes as good looking as a purebred. However, many people base their choices on the pedigree lineage of a particular dog breed, rather than the temperament of the dog.

You should be made aware that purebreds can have quite a bit of problems related to their particular breed. For instance, many purebred dogs have bone and joint disorders that will eventually cause lameness, while others may be prone to epilepsy and/or seizures. Still more, such as dogs with long droopy ears, run into frequent ear infection problems. There?s more, but you get the idea. That?s not to say that mixed breed dogs don?t also have these problems, but they are less prone to harbor them.

The benefits of purebreds are that they most often have ?set? characteristics that you can more or less count on. For example, you can be pretty sure that a golden retriever will be medium to large in size, have golden/silky fur, have a pleasant, non-aggressive temperament with a laid-back personality, and would be a good choice for a family with young children. However, like everything in life, there are always exceptions to the rule. The dog you choose ?may? be the exception, but you won?t know until you have him/her home.

Mixed breeds tend to have more genetic diversity and therefore often have an overall healthier immune system. They are usually just as intelligent, sometimes more so, than some purebreds (due to in-breeding).

But please be aware, just because a mixed breed ?looks? like a cross between a shepherd and a husky doesn?t mean that its parents were purebreds. More than likely they were also of mixed breed heritage.

It just means that somewhere along the line there was a retriever and a shepherd and those two dominant physical characteristics have emerged within the current dog. It also doesn?t mean that this particular dog has either of their temperaments. If the parents were also of mixed variety, it?s possible a very aggressive gene could emerge within the current dog. Again, you won?t know until you have lived with your new pet for a few days.

Shall You Get A Puppy Or An Adult Dog?

The puppy is a delightful little creature, full of amusing antics. They provide endless pleasure with their squirming bodies, playful temperaments, and enthusiastic licks. At the same time, they will undoubtedly provide a certain amount of trouble. Puppies, like children, have their ?ailments? and will need to be de-wormed, among other things by your veterinarian.

You will also need to provide proper nutritious feeding for a growing puppy, take the time to housebreak your new family member, and engage in behavior training.

Your new puppy will also show his/her friendly feelings for you by tearing up your rugs, chewing anything he/she can get his/her teeth on, and doing as much mischief as he/she can possibly get away with.

An adult dog will usually save you a lot of this trouble as he/she has already gone through the ?puppy stage?. Unfortunately, as an adult, he/she may also have developed bad habits, which you may or may not be able to break them of.

On the whole, you may want to choose a dog that is around nine to ten months old, if you can get one at that age. By that time the young dog has passed much of the real puppy trouble stage, yet he is not too old that he/she has developed bad habits. It?s also a good age to train the dog in the behaviors that you desire.

How Much Grooming Will Your Dog Require?

Another thing to consider is the grooming aspect of the dog of your choice. Long haired dogs will require frequent brushing and trimming. Some breeds grow hair like a well fertilized and watered lawn. Their fur will require frequent cutting (Terriers fall into this category) and brushing; otherwise it will become a matted, tangled mess. If you aren?t up to the task, you should look at acquiring a short-haired dog instead.

A Few Additional Pointers When Choosing A Dog

When looking for a dog, pay attention to the eyes and expression of the animal. Besides making sure that they do not have any noticeable eye infections, you can often tell whether the dog is good-natured or aggressive. Think of when you?re outside and someone walks by with a dog on a leash. You will look at the dog and either reach out to pat him/her because they ?look? friendly, or you?ll take a few steps back because the dog ?appears? aggressive ? even if the dog didn?t do anything other than walk by you.

Be sure to also check over the coat and skin carefully, looking for evidence of eczema, mange or other possible skin diseases. Examine the teeth, ears, and nose for any signs of infection or decay as well.

There are many good books on the market that can guide you in how to choose a healthy, good-natured dog that suits your lifestyle and I suggest you take the time to read a few. Hopefully, this article has given you a base in which to begin your research to finding a great dog that will provide you with years of love, smiles, laughter and wonderful memories.

About the Author:

(c) 2007, Rose Smith. Discover how to have a happy, healthy dog! Learn more about natural dog health care, choosing nutritious dog foods, plus many other canine topics. Visit: http://www.caringforcanines.com/ right now!

Return to Index


Cannot find it here? Search the internet with the power of Google: