Dog Breeds and Their Characteristics
The selection of a dog for yourself or your family is a subject that while enjoyable and fun, should be taken very seriously. You really should do research into the various dog breeds and their characteristics before you select a dog based only on how cute they are–all puppies are cute. There are hundreds of different dog breeds and when you include all of the mixed breed dogs that number rises to extreme heights.
So much depends on where you live, do you live in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets? If this is the case then you will need to hold off until you are living in a place that allows dogs. Also, some apartments allow dogs but they have size restrictions. Be sure to find out exactly what the rules are for adding a family pet and follow them precisely. Most rental properties require substantial security deposits which could force you to choose between where you live and getting a dog.
Look for a Dog that Will Be Compatible to Your Family’s Lifestyle
Another consideration when deciding on the selection of a dog is the determination of the dog breeds and their characteristics of the dog breeds or mixed breeds that you are attracted to. It’s very important to get a dog that fits in with your family’s lifestyle. For example, if you are all active and love water activities, you should look for an active dog breed, preferably one that loves the water. In the case of mixed breed dogs, you should try and determine what is the dominant breed in your mixed breed selection. You should also attempt to find out any history you can on the dog — assuming you have access to that information. You can also find out what breeds are included in your mixed breed dog of interest by the DNA of the dog. There are places that offer this service.
So before you even start looking for a dog think of your lifestyle or your family’s lifestyle, depending on where the dog will be and who will be the primary caregiver. If we are talking about a family do they have small children? Are they an active family, always on the go? The places that they like to go will they be appropriate places to take a dog? You need to think of the needs of the dog, while they aren’t extravagant they are very important. This is like adopting a child so you must think of your home as the dog’s future “forever” home.
Do Plenty of Research on Dog Breeds and Their Characteristics
Some people change dogs like they change their clothes which are very irresponsible and completely incomprehensible to me. This is why researching the differences and needs of various dog breeds in advance is so important. By researching the traits common to various dog breeds you can look for dogs that are compatible with your lifestyle. For example, if you and your family are couch potatoes, look for a dog breed that doesn’t require a lot of activity. Many behavior issues can be prevented or at least greatly reduced by researching the characteristics of the various dog breeds before adopting a dog or puppy. However if you do intend to adopt a puppy, be prepared to spend the time and money necessary to train the puppy and to get the recommended and required shots and vaccines.
Many Behavior Issues Can Be Eliminated By Training
Once you have acquired your new dog, don’t just give up on him because of behavior issues. It’s very likely that some training could take care of behavior issues that might develop. If it turns out that a family member is allergic to dogs and you didn’t know it so you have to give the dog away, the most responsible thing to do in this case is to turn the dog over to a rescue group or a no-kill shelter. This dog doesn’t deserve to be killed so the only responsible choice is to be sure the dog ends up in a good home or a rescue group or no-kill shelter.
Adding a new dog to your home should be like adding a new family member because that is what it amounts to. You might be getting a new puppy but this should be considered as a lifetime relationship (for the life of the dog) and that you want to care for him throughout all the stages of his life. Please do not go into this without doing your research and preparing yourself and your family. You need to know how large this dog will get if he is still growing and you need to be prepared to find him a good veterinarian in your area and make sure you get him checked out once a year at least to be sure you are not overlooking any health issues.
Be Sure to Watch your New Puppy Closely for any Changes in Appetite or Activity Level
If your puppy starts behaving differently, stops eating doesn’t want to play then these are signals that something is wrong. The best action you can take at this point would be to take your puppy to a vet right away. You really need to do your homework and take time looking at different dogs and read about dog breed characteristics. It’s important to choose a dog that matches your lifestyle and is within the size limitations of your living situation. In addition, do an honest inventory of yourself or your family and your lifestyle. Do you have an active life and enjoy the outdoors and activities such as running, walking, hiking, hunting, or swimming, or are you a family of couch potatoes or somewhere in-between?
Search for a breed that best matches your family’s lifestyle—your lifestyle currently. If you get an active breed then he is going to want to be active now, not sometime in the future. Read more to find out dog breeds that match your family’s lifestyle.
Select a Dog Breed that Matches your Family’s Lifestyle
Some people change dogs like they change their clothes which are very irresponsible and completely incomprehensible to me. This is why researching the differences and needs of various dog breeds in advance is so important. Once you have acquired your new dog, don’t just give up on him because of behavior issues. It’s possible that some training could take care of behavior issues that might develop. If you or a family member are prone to allergies, you should get tested before getting a dog to see if you’re allergic to dogs. It is much better to discover this before getting a dog and then having to re-home the dog.
Rescue Groups and No-Kill Shelters
Please Adopt a Shelter or Rescue Dog and Avoid the Pet Stores
When you are ready to adopt your new family member please look at shelters first. There are so many wonderful dogs stuck in shelters that are waiting or their forever home. Many of the city or county-run shelters do not keep them very long before they euthanize them. This is such a tragedy and you could prevent this from happening by adopting from a shelter. Those “shelters” that kill perfectly healthy dogs and cats should be outlawed. If you end up finding your perfect dog in a no-kill shelter, or rescue group, these dogs need homes too. The reputable shelters work at making pets that start out un-adoptable into well behaved, nonaggressive pets. Most reputable shelters won’t put a dog up for adoption until the dog has passed several pre-adoption tests. Dogs are tested by being put in a variety of situations to see how they react.
One of the situations is trying to remove the dog’s food bowl while he’s eating. The dog must learn not to growl or bite before he is ready for adoption. A good, reputable shelter will work to break the dog of this habit before releasing him to a home. Reputable shelters will spay or neuter the pet before adoption as that is a major cause of pet over-population.
Get Your New Pet Into Training Classes as Soon as Possible
Many shelters and rescues do some basic training before they declare the dog to be ready for adoption. However, don’t stop there with the training. When you bring your new puppy or dog home you should continue with any training your new pup has received. If your new dog is a puppy, be sure he gets the necessary puppy shots. After the shots, sure to get him into puppy socialization classes and obedience training. If you adopt a grown dog get him started with basic obedience training as soon as you can. The more training your pet receives the happier you will all be, including your dog.
Please don’t Buy Your Puppy at a Pet Store
I would also advise you to avoid pet stores as a source for your new dog. Many of the puppies in those pet stores come from these horrible “puppy mills”. A puppy coming from that horrible environment could very possibly have an illness or develop one later. Puppy mill puppies are very unfortunate, and their mothers are even more unfortunate as they are bred constantly. The poor mother dogs are forced to have litter after litter of puppies with no time for recovery. The people who run these terrible places only care about money. If you’re looking for a particular breed of dog, don’t go to a pet store. You can still get the breed you are looking for from a reputable breeder or from a breed rescue group.
Breed rescues specialize in rescuing usually one but maybe two particular dog breeds. But, whatever you do don’t buy your puppy from a pet store. There is a possibility that a pet store puppy came from a puppy mill. You will be taking a risk that your new puppy could be plagued by health issues throughout his life.
Be Prepared Before You Bring Home Your New Family Member
In most cases, the dog has already been spayed or neutered, unless the dog is too young. In this case, most shelters will give out a free certificate to have the dog spayed or neutered. Unless you are planning to breed dogs then they should be spayed or neutered. Unfortunately, there are many irresponsible dog owners out there that just don’t care. They let their dog run loose in the streets which could get him into fights with other dogs. It’s very dangerous to allow your dog to just run freely about the neighborhood. The dog but could be attacked by larger animals or get hit by a car. The dog could be a nuisance to your neighbors, by going through their trash cans, and other unpopular behaviors. The neighbors could get angry and call animal control which could result in the dog being picked up.
Before you bring home your new family member, be sure that you have a fenced yard. Also, be sure the fence is high enough to prevent your dog from jumping over it. However, if you select a small dog or a puppy, be sure your dog cannot get out under the fence. If you take your time and do your research you will end up with a wonderful companion. Your new best friend will give you years of happiness and unconditional love. All you need to do is provide a loving home for him if you take good care of him.