Before you get your dog, remember that you must make a commitment that will probably last more than a decade. Make sure you are willing to bear responsibility and take on the cost that having a dog entails.
Not only the initial cost, remember that a dog could live up to 15 years or even longer. That’s a long time to be paying for things like:
– Dog Food
– Ongoing preventative medical treatment such as flea prevention, worming, vaccinations
– Kennelling when you go on holidays
– Training Classes
– Toys and playthings
– The major vet bill just when you don’t need it
Space and Ordinates
Consider the space you have available and your local ordinances when you are considering whether to get a dog, and what kind of dog.
Research the different dog breeds you are considering. A small dog may fit into an apartment but it may require huge amounts of exercise. A large dog may fit quite comfortably inside that same apartment because they seldom indulge in racing around. Think smell too. A really big dog living in a small home can make your home smell like a vet clinic at the end of a busy, hot day.
Be realistic about your plans and be willing to compromise.
Dog-related laws vary from place to place. Be sure you are familiar with the local ordinances before the purchase.
There are generalities about male and female dogs, but individuals vary. And neutering pretty much levels the playing field when it comes to sex.
We all have our preferences. There is no “better” or “worse” between the sexes, but there are distinct differences in their behavior.
Female Dogs are:
– Easier to train
– Easier to housetrain
– More demanding of affection
Male Dogs are:
– More likely to be more aggressive with other dogs
– More dominant
– More active
– More destructive
There are no differences between male and female dogs in these aspects:
– Watchdog barking
– Neutering almost always eliminates sexual drawbacks without inhibiting the attractions of that sex
Puppy or Adult Dog?
Adults and puppies each have their advantages. So do purebreds and crossbred dogs. Think hard about what your family is really expecting from a dog, and make your decision accordingly.
Puppies are like putty in your hands, ready to be moulded to you and your family’s lifestyle. Your dog will have fewer behaviorial problems if you acquire it when it is about 8 weeks old and raise it in its own unique environment.
Adult dogs are probably already house-trained. Many adult dogs already have an understanding of basic doggy obedience. Costs of purchase, training, and neutering have been met.
The advantages and disadvantages of getting a puppy, rather than an adult dog, should be weighed carefully before deciding.
Purebred or Mut?
If you are buying your dog from a breeder, look for breeders who are clearly devoted to the breed. Responsible, reliable breeders will ask you lots of questions about your suitability as a dog owner. That’s a good sign!
If you are thinking purebred, its best to know why a dog looks the way it does. That gives you good clues about how it behaves. The advantage of a purebred dog is that you are getting and individual bred for a particular size and temperament. Meet the breeder, if he asks as many questions about you as you ask about the dog – he is a reliable breeder.
Avoid Pet Shops. It is extremely rare for reliable breeders to sell their dogs through pet shops. Unreliable breeders – the people you do not want to do business with – sell their pups this way.
If you are thinking mutt, and thinking puppy, it can be difficult to guess what size they grow to. Puppies can grow to 4 times their mother’s size. It can also be difficult to guess what type of personality traits an individual dog has inherited. A possible advantage of the mutt is that they can be hardier and healthier than a pure-bred.
It is a good idea to adopt a dog from a shelter or a rescue organization. Just make sure you learn as much as possible about the dog before you bring him home. Remember, you may be saving their life.
Plan, plan and plan. It IS a very big decision but the rewards are worth it.