How to select a dog: questions and answers
You are willing to get a dog? That’s wonderful! Perfect decision! But you believe you can do it in no effort. Just enough to pick out any attractive puppy from a neighbor's whelping dog. Or your friend suggested you to adopt, say, a bull terrier, because not so long ago he did take it himself. And that's okay that this dog was trying to attack your buddy couple of times. Most important, you think it is a wonderful breed, excellent guardian, quite hardy, moderately obedient ...
In this case, stop yourself! Read this article thoroughly and think carefully about your choice. After all, any dog, is like a human being, has its own purpose, character, inclinations, distinctive features. Having a dog means to be responsible for his life. Ask yourself questions first, weigh all "pros" and "cons", make the right choice.
So, let we try to give frank answers to the following questions:
Do you have enough funds for the dog maintenance?
Pedigree dog price can range from $ 100 to $ 2000 (or even more)! The adoption fee from a shelter will also cost you some money.
But actually, you have to calculate daily or monthly expenses of dog’s maintaining. You are going to spend on food, bedding and toys. Having a small dog you could easily handle for just $ 5 a week, but what if it requires a special diet? Some dogs have a food allergy or physical illnesses, demanding prescription diets; these may go higher than $ 20 per week, depending on the size of your pet. Obviously, the larger and / or more active the dog, the more food he will need.
You may need to fork out to have your pet well-kept, with neat appearance. Services of a professional groomer are valued from $ 25 to $ 300 (per visit).
Maybe you decide to send your dog to obedience class or other professional training; basic training classes can cost anywhere from $ 60 for a course of group lessons to more than $ 3,000 for training and care.
And you'll need to have vet visits at least once a year - or more often if your dog is sick or gets injured. A single trip to the vet rarely costs less than $50; it usually comes to more than $ 100 for just to obtain annual vaccinations and simple checkup.
Do you have enough time for a dog? Are you overloaded with work? Who is able to take care of a dog in your absence?
This question is the most important! Being a dog’s guardian is not enough just to play with your pet, you have to care for him 24/7 with regular walks, feeding, grooming, exercising, and providing your dog with a veterinary care, if necessary. A dog is not a piece of furniture to be easily tossed aside, when you plunge into your everyday business life. He is living, needy creature that craves your attention.
If you are more workaholic, working 10 hours a day, or, to assume, cannot imagine your life without daily parties, evenings with your friends in the bar, then accepting a dog is strictly forbidden to you, it will only burden you strong. If you are unable to devote a necessary time to a dog, better not to have it at all.
How spacious is your apartment? Do you live in a city apartment or in a country house?
Dogs are very active by nature, they are space demanding. Moreover, the majority of species were bred for the purpose of speed, agility possession, to perform specific jobs. Dogs can get along fine in an apartment, but in a confined space without proper activity, even a tiny Maltese is able to turn everything upside down for self-expression. Larger breeds can fall into depression, or, on the contrary, become highly aggressive. Even a small yard will become too narrow for large breeds.
Shepherds, Working and Sporting Breeds will undoubtedly thrive in the countryside. But remember: the unneutered male dogs tend to wander around, which can become fatal especially in a country or rural setting.
What do you know about the selected breed? Do you know the nature of the future dog, necessary care, nutrition, his level of activity? Or you are just attracted by the appearance?
This information is necessary to be learnt in advance. Otherwise, you can easily have the situation, when, suppose, your terrier may easily get out of control, St. Bernard suddenly grows up into a huge dog, and a tiny schnauzer will demonstrate a rocket behavior. Even getting the mongrel dog, you will have to look at his parents (at least at the mother-dog), their ultimate size, nature, marking. Selecting a breed, exclude the following disappointment.
Do you have small children? May be better to postpone with the dog adoption a year or two?
Because you'll be busy all day with the children. And any dog without proper care can bring the infection inside or either accidentally or intentionally injure the child. Think over your future living together carefully.
For how long are you going to live at the same place? Perhaps you are planning a forthcoming move to another city, another country? Or departure scheduled in the long run?
Are you ready to take your pet with you? That would be quite difficult to find a new supporting family for your grown-up dog and shelters for homeless animals may not exist in every city. More humane in such situation to get a pet later, at a new place, or to adopt adult dog.
Non-Sporting and Toy Breed Groups, as well as any of their hybrids, are incapable to reside outside the house all the time. Loss of homes means imminent death to them.
So you have answered “no” to most of these questions, then alas, you cannot afford to have a dog. You are not ready or have not ready yet to get a dog. Perhaps in your situation it would be more appropriate to buy a new laptop, smart phone or game console; which may bring more fun to you, taking away less of efforts and personal time.
In case you gave mostly affirmative answers, let's find out which dog will be right for you.
Bring a dog into your home a big deal. Of course, they are all adorable and hard to resist. But before you fall in love with clear dog eyes, ask yourself some more serious questions:
Which dog breed is the right one for me?
Do I want a puppy or an adult dog?
Male or female?
Big or tiny?
Try to decide, which dog’s nature meets your goals and lifestyle. People are highly individual by their temperament. Some of them prefer athletic lifestyle, spending every day jogging, cycling, skateboarding or rollerblading. Others love relaxing walks in the park, peaceful rest on the beach, regular trips by car. Another people get used to spend their days, lying on the sofa, having only lazy travelling from TV to the fridge and back.
Do you prefer active family holidays with children, hiking, picnics, outdoor sports, and in need of the similar active breed that loves children and able to look after them? Or you would rather have a dog to help an elderly or disabled person?
What if the future dog is intended to be for you as your son or daughter when you feel the need to take care of your future pet, carry him in your arms?
Perhaps you are an experienced pathfinder, honored mountain climber or rescuer, and you expect a hardy dog for service purposes, long trips in the mountains, expeditions into the impassable places, for hunting or fishing.
May, on the contrary, you are a self-sufficient young girl and waiting for a stylish pocket-sized dog to wear her in the purse, according to fashion.
There are numerous breeds of dogs for any of your purpose and lifestyle. Each breed was developed for specific tasks - protection of property, herding, hunting, hand-warming - and these breeds are divided into groups according to their original purpose. Understanding the appearance and personality of different breed groups can help you to find your own breed, and will also be useful if you are considering which type of mixed breed you would prefer.