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How to choose the right dog for you?

    Are you thinking of getting a dog? Choosing to bring a new dog into your life is a significant decision. Be sure you are ready for a dog before you start the process. It is also essential that you understand the cost of dog ownership. If you have decided that the time is right, congratulations! Now, it is time to figure out what dog is right for you. There are several factors to consider before choosing a dog.

    Most importantly, examine your current lifestyle and consider what adjustments you will make for a dog. Look at your family’s needs – especially if you have children or other pets. People with allergies or those who prefer low-shedding dogs might want to look into hypoallergenic dog breeds. Next, think about your new dog’s ideal size, energy level and age. Then, determine where to get your new dog. Remember that getting a dog requires a firm commitment to responsible dog ownership. Here are some tips to help you choose the best dog for you and your family.


    You may already know you want a little lap dog to carry around. Or, you might have your heart set on a large or giant dog breed. If you cannot decide, perhaps a medium-sized dog is a good choice.

    Remember that some small dogs are delicate and vulnerable. Being stepped on or mishandled can cause serious injury. Also, little dogs can be much more sensitive to colder temperatures, so be ready to help keep them warm. Don’t forget that small dogs need obedience training, too! Some little dogs can develop “tough dog” attitudes to compensate for their small size. Be sure you are prepared for this possibility.

    Very large dogs need a bit more space to move around. Big, happy dogs with long, whip-like tails need “wagging space” to avoid tail injury or damage to household objects. Another consideration is expense: the larger the dog, the more expensive things like dog food, dog supplies and medical treatments become. Training is also a key factor here. If you get a large or giant breed puppy that can act like a lap dog when young, he will grow up to walk all over you – literally!

    Activity Level

    You probably already know that some dogs have more energy than others. A dog’s activity level is often determined by breed, but it does not mean you can rely on breed alone to decide how energetic your dog could become. Every dog needs routine exercise, regardless of breed or size, so make sure you can provide this. If you can not commit to more than one or two casual walks daily, you will probably be better off with a lower-energy dog, such as a Basset Hound. If you are looking for a dog that can be a jogging partner, agility competitor or “disc dog,” consider a breed like the Border Collie.

    Be willing to adjust the amount of exercise and attention you give your dog if necessary. A dog that barks constantly digs up your yard, destroys your home, or acts out in some other way is most likely in need of extra activities. Many behaviour problems are the result of excess energy. Unfortunately, many dogs are given up or even euthanized because of a behaviour problem that could have easily been avoided with the proper amount of exercise and attention.

    Physical Maintenance

    Your dog’s appearance has a lot to do with his maintenance needs. All dogs need essential grooming, but certain types require more based on the type of hair coat. If you get a dog with hair that keeps growing, then advanced routine grooming is essential. Most short-haired, smooth-coated dogs are major shedders, so be prepared to do extra cleaning. Some grooming tools can help reduce shedding. Be aware that dogs with long, floppy ears are more prone to ear infections and require frequent, thorough ear cleanings. In addition, certain types of dogs can do a lot of drooling. Many owners of Mastiffs, Bloodhounds and similar dogs carry a “slobber cloth” to wipe the drool. If they shake their heads – watch out!


    Puppies require the most significant training and attention, especially over the first six months. Be prepared to dedicate much time to housebreaking and raising your new puppy. Your dog will likely have plenty of accidents in the house and will probably chew your furniture and personal belongings. Dedicated training will resolve These problems gradually, but patience is necessary. You should also know that your puppy might grow up differently than expected, especially if you adopt a mixed-breed dog. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just something to remember.

    Adult dogs can be an excellent choice. An adult might be a better choice if you want a good idea of your new dog’s energy level, attitude, and temperament. However, just because the dog is an adult does not mean he is trained, so you should still expect some degree of dedicated training at first. Fortunately, many adult dogs have been trained and socialized to some degree and can easily adjust to their new lives in their forever homes.

    Senior dogs should not be forgotten! Welcoming a senior dog into your home can be an excellent way to bring joy to a dog’s golden years. Unfortunately, senior dogs are less likely to be adopted and often end up living in shelters or being euthanized. A senior dog can make an excellent companion if you want a lower-energy dog. However, knowing that your senior dog needs particular attention and more frequent veterinary check-ups is essential. It is more likely to develop health problems that cost time and money to address. Unlike a puppy or adult dog, you must know you will not have as many years with your senior dog. If you accept the responsibilities, consider adopting a senior dog. It can be one of the most compassionate things you can do for these precious creatures.

    Purebred or Mixed-Breed Dog?

    Purebred dogs are undeniably popular. Many people are attracted to a specific dog breed for various reasons. Perhaps you were raised around the breed or have spent a lot of time with the breed in your life. Maybe you love the way a particular breed looks and acts. Or, based on what you have read or heard about the breed, you might feel the breed is right for you. If you want a purebred dog, thoroughly research the breed. Determine if you are willing to take on potential challenges with temperament, grooming, and health problems. Ensure the breed fits in with your family and lifestyle – including other dogs.

    Mixed-breed dogs can become beautiful additions to your world. The combination of two or more dog breeds can often balance out their personalities and physical characteristics. Expect the unexpected, especially if you adopt a “pound puppy.” There is no way of knowing exactly how your puppy will look when grown up, and you cannot predict health problems. However, many experts believe mixed-breed dogs have fewer health problems than purebred dogs. Overall, they tend to be good-natured and intelligent. Adopting a mixed-breed dog usually means saving that dog from euthanasia or a lonely shelter life!

    Where to Find Your New Dog

    Once you have narrowed your options, it is time to start looking for your new dog. There are many options out there, but some are better than others. Research the organization or person from whom you will get your new dog to determine if they are reputable. Then, see the location where the dogs are kept to ensure your new dog comes from a healthy environment. Please consider dog adoption first. Here are some sources to help get you started.

    1. Animal Shelters: These can be great places to look for a new dog. Though many dogs in shelters are mixed-breed dogs, you can find a purebred dog! Shelter dogs often have previous training and socialization, though others may unfortunately come from troubled backgrounds. Talk to the shelter staff members and volunteers about each dog you consider to understand their background and personality. You can also try searching online adoption sites like
    2. Rescue Organizations: Rescue groups are dedicated to finding the best families for homeless dogs; some are even devoted to specific dog breeds. Most rescue organizations keep their dogs in foster homes until they can find forever homes for them. These foster parents have usually forged a bond with the dogs and can tell you a lot about their history and personalities. Rescue organizations are typically very selective because they care so much about getting their dogs into suitable homes, so be prepared to answer many questions.
    3. Reputable Breeders: If you purchase a purebred dog, find a knowledgeable, experienced breeder with a good reputation – not a backyard breeder or puppy mill. Ask your vet and other dog owners for referrals, or get a referral from a rescue organization recommended by a national kennel club, such as the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts. A responsible breeder should be willing to show you the premises and tell you about the parents’ histories. Be sure that the breeder’s home or kennel is clean and odour-free. The adult dogs and puppies should appear healthy and lively. If you are uncomfortable with the breeder, do not purchase a puppy.

    Precautionary Notes

    Please do not purchase your dog from a pet store. Tragically, these dogs are often from puppy mills. Though you might be “saving” the dog from poor conditions, you support a terrible industry that should end. Some online kennels are puppy mills, too, so do your research before doing business with an online kennel. Ideally, you should be able to visit the kennel first.

    Be careful about getting your dog through newspaper ads and signs with statements like “free to a good home.” Unfortunately, these dogs might come from poor conditions and irresponsible dog owners. You might end up with an unhealthy dog, but you may also encourage inconsiderate people who do not spay and neuter their pets.

    Making Your Final Decision

    Once you have found the right dog, ensure he appears healthy. He should be bright-eyed and lively, have a shiny coat, and have a good appetite. If the puppy or dog has special needs of some kind (usually due to physical or temperament issues), make sure you are prepared to handle them. Be aware that dogs or puppies that show signs of aggression, fear or other behaviour problems will likely need your extra training and attention. It does not mean the dog is any less worthy of a good home, but it is best to know what you are getting into. It is unsuitable for anyone if you must return your new dog or puppy to the breeder, shelter or rescue group.

    Before bringing your new dog home, you should obtain a new dog/puppy packet from the breeder or adoption group that contains general information about caring for your new dog. Make sure your home is prepared for a new dog. In addition, be sure to bring your new dog to a vet for a general examination immediately. If you adopted your dog, know what to expect for the first few weeks. If you are getting a puppy, learn all about proper puppy care.

    Congratulations on your new dog – I am sure you and your dog will enjoy a long, happy life together!

    “This advice we are giving is not our own; it is copied from other sites; we are not vets; we are just sharing advice.”