How To Choose A Dog - There Is A Lot To Consider, But A Lot Of Help Too
Choosing a dog is a fun adventure. The search for a new familial addition is exciting, but it can also be a little overwhelming. Don't despair; instead, keep in mind the following hints while searching and you'll know what choice is right for you and your lifestyle.
First, it's a little depressing to think about a Great Dane in an apartment your friends have dubbed "the water-closet". Even if you are able to hire a dog walker, it's going to be too cramped for you both. Save yourself and the dog from an uncomfortable situation. If you have the space, then it's not an issue. Compromise, because no matter how cute they are as puppies, they will fill those paws!
Space, exercise and quality time go hand in hand when it comes to caring for your new pet. Little dogs need exercise, however, bigger dogs need just as much or more. For bigger dogs, space is more of an issue than for a small dog. Little dogs have plenty of fuel to burn and can do it all indoors. Bigger dogs, however, cannot get as much exercise indoors. They need enough room to work up to a good run to really work their muscles. Even if you are city bound, be sure your dog is able to get plenty of exercise daily. That means outdoors walking, playing and running.
Think about how much quality time you can dedicate to your dog. Dogs need a lot of personal attention. They are pack animals. If you have another dog at home (and once the new addition is settled in), then leaving them alone together (with toys!) may help comfort both pets when you are gone at work. On the other hand, if the dog is obviously tired (and perhaps there are rambunctious children around), allow the dog to rest in its own personal space.
Another issue that arises is whether you want a dog that doesn't shed a lot. If your dog will live outside on the farm, then shedding may not be a concern. Different types of dogs shed at different times of the year, some all year long.
Next, think about whether you want a male or female dog. This is a matter of personal preference. There are different traits between males and females. Males tend to be bit more rowdy, explorative, protective and stronger. Females are less likely to wander off, are usually smaller and play a little gentler.
Finally, you'll want to decide if you want a pure breed or a mixed dog. A mixed, or crossbreed, will cost you less. It may even be free. The Humane Society is a great place to start. Many people find both young and old dogs that would love to be your or you or your child's loyal life companion.
Pure breeds have their benefits. Mostly, their bloodlines are well documented and you will know a lot about their instincts, temperament and size. It's important to know what you want out of your dog, a hunter, a protector, a worker or a friend. It's crucial to think about all of this if you have children.
Pure breeds may develop more problems than crossbreeds. For example, they may show signs of bad hips, elbows, or sight at an earlier age.
Crossbreeds, however, are more of a surprise. If you know the parents of the mixed pup, you can judge accurately what they will become. A crossbreed is less likely to develop problems often passed down in purer breeds.
All of this is important, but not as important as planning ahead. A little forethought will allow you to properly choose and care for your newfound friend.
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