Once you have decided that you want a dog in your life, do you know what dog to choose? There are several things to consider. You have to be willing to invest the time, energy, and money necessary to care for this dog. The life span of a dog can reach from 10 to 18 years. What dog should I choose was my question, too. My first pair of dogs lived a very long time to the age of 14 and 16 years old. Now, I have another generation of three. The type of breed is important and size of dog. Some dogs require a lot of exercise while some are very lay back. Raising a dog from puppy hood or starting the friendship with an adult dog is also a choice. What you want in a dog should help making a decision.
Consider your lifestyle
What type of dog would fit your daily routine? Will you be gone or home most of the day? Would you bring the dog along most of the time?
Are you getting a dog for a specific purpose?
This is this most important question. What will be the purpose of having a dog and what will be the dog’s role in serving you and satisfying your specific needs?
There are several roles that can be performed by a dog as follows:
- hunting partner
- a guard dog that barks to protect your home or business
- a dog that just intimidates by his appearance
- a playmate and learning experience for children
- a simple role of being a companion and family member who is loved and fits in regardless of the lifestyle and activities
If a dog is chosen for companionship there is a wider choice of dogs from breeds and sizes, hair, appearance and behavior. Almost any breed is good for being a companion pet.
What size of dog is good for you?
Some large dogs can be very gentle even if the parent is a small person. For example if a woman is 120lbs and she has a 100lb dog she can still enjoy and manage the dog during walks and other activities. On the other hand some dogs that only weigh 20 or 30lbs could give a 200lb man a real hard time. The point is that training a dog is very important. How to train your dog needs to be a priority more than what size the dog is.
Are you an active person or do you have a sedentary lifestyle?
Are you a biker or a jogger? Most dogs can keep with a jogger. With a biker we must consider that the dog is working harder than we are on a bike.
Are you a hiker? Maybe your dog is capable of carrying some of the load as well but it must be a reasonable weight for his size.
Are you a young person or in your golden years? A person in their golden years may prefer a senior dog or a very well trained dog.
What size of property do you have?
Do you live on a hobby farm or in the city? If you live in a small apartment it would be best to have a small dog rather than a large breed.
Most dogs spend the majority of their time in the house. Being a house dog consideration must be taken as to how much space the dog will have to exercise on the property. Dogs need their walks daily or a play in the park to keep them conditioned.
How often are you willing to Groom the dog?
Some dogs hardly need maintenance and some are very demanding. If the grooming is burdensome are you willing to invest dollars for the necessary professional service? Long haired dogs are more likely to need more grooming as their coats get matted and tangled from outdoors. Lots of trimming and brushing is needed for certain breeds. While they are a puppy the grooming is not so bad but becomes more demanding as they get older. All dogs need their nails trimmed regularly.
Does a male or female make a difference to you?
Either way make sure that you have your dog neutered or spayed. It’s the only way to reduce the over population of pets.
Is an Adult dog a good choice or should you choose a puppy?
Raising a puppy can be a lot of work in the house training and teaching the puppy to obey commands. The advantage of raising a puppy is that you can train it to be a good dog with love and socialization unlike a dog that is always alone with very little contact with people. A puppy doesn’t show much of a personality until about a year old so we never know the absolute character until then. But remember that how the dog is raised will be the most influential factor of the dog’s personality once an adult.
Choosing an adult dog or senior can have the advantage of already being trained and the personality is already developed thus you have a good idea of what the dog is like. The disadvantage is that sometimes they may have fears or an issue of some sort that we may only discover later. Many times with patience the master can help the dog heal from the disorder or just love the dog accordingly.
A final thought
Dogs live a long time and you want to make that right decision so that you both have a healthy active journey through the years.
There are many resources available to gain knowledge by talking to a variety of people such as dog breeders, trainers, veterinarians and pet owners. Pet owners are always happy to talk about their companions. There is a wealth of information available in books, and magazine articles about every stage and phase of owning a pet.
Remember that the responsibility of keeping the relationship positive and happy falls on your shoulders. That is fair because you made the decision to bring the dog home and you make all the choices for your companion. If you are kind to the dog you will have a happy friendly companion for his whole life.
May you have a happy long life experience creating special memories in being a forever dog parent.
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