Choosing the Right Dog for You
Youíve been thinking of owning a pet, and youíre finally ready to go out and get one. After much deliberation, youíve settled on a dog. But, what kind of dog should you get?
Canine companions come in all shapes and sizes, and they have different personalities and different needs. Before you can actually get a dog of your own, youíll need to do some homework.
Are you in the market for a specific breed? Sure, there are some beautiful purebred dogs available through reputable breeders, but animal shelters also offer thousands of sweet, adorable canine pets, both purebred and mixed breed, who are in need of loving homes.
If youíre set on one particular breed, make sure you know what youíre getting into with that type of dog. Do a little research on the breedís temperament, grooming and exercise needs, and any health problems to which it is prone.
You might find that your favored breed isnít exactly the type of dog you were looking for after all.
If you havenít settled on a specific breed of dog, ask yourself a few questions about what kind of dog owner you will be and what you expect from your future pet. First, why do you want a dog? The dogís purpose in your life can go a long way towards deciding what type of canine is best for you.
For example, if you live alone, you may want to select a somewhat large dog with an innate tendency to protect and guard you and your home. However, if youíre bringing your dog into a household with small children, you might want to go with a small adult or even a puppy. Be aware that certain types of dogs arenít good with children, no matter their size.
When opting for a puppy, remember that cute, little ball of fur will be an adult soon enough, so answer the rest of the questions with his adult needs in mind.
For instance, how much space do you have for a dog to run and play? How much time do you have to devote to your dog each day?
Puppies are quite active and need a great deal of attention, and if that puppy grows into a large, energetic dog, he is going to need either a large yard or an owner with plenty of time to take him out for daily runs.
Grooming needs are another requirement to consider. If you live a hectic life, without much extra time to give to your dog, youíre probably better off getting one with a short, smooth coat that will require less frequent brushing than would its longer-haired counterparts.
Dogs with shorter coats will also shed less, making it easier to clean up after them. Dogs with thicker, longer coats may also require professional grooming, so your wallet could play a part in making your decision as well.
Some say that gender is another important decision when preparing to get a dog. However, there arenít many differences in temperament between female and male dogs, particularly if they have been spayed or neutered.
The compatibility of your lifestyle and the dogís needs should weigh much more heavily in making a decision about your new canine companion.
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