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How to Choose a Dog?

The decision on how to choose a dog is important, and even a life changing one, for both you, your family and the dog who will soon be part of that family.

The decision on how to choose a dog is important, and even a life changing one, for both you, your family and the dog who will soon be part of that family.
It’s hard to overstate the place that a beloved pet has in your life, it’s not just an animal, it’s a bestfriend and a family member at the same time so you need firstly to consider if you are ready to have a dog.

how to choose a dog
How to choose a dog?

So How To Choose A Dog?

Some factors to consider are:

The Cost

Ask yourself, can I afford one? An average sized dog can easily cost 40 USD a week in food and insurance, and vet bills can be into the thousands. At the very least a dog will cost 2000 USD to keep for a year and is a big commitment.

The Time

Are you ready for the time commitment? A dog will live about 12-15 years and you have to walk it, feed it and care for it everyday. That means getting up early in the depths of winter to let it out, giving it regular baths, brushing it and spending time every day with it.

The Space

Can you look after it? Do you have a house that is big enough and what will the dog do all day if you are at work? Dogs shouldn’t be left in the house by themselves, doing so can lead to boredom, stress and many negative behaviors. They are energetic, fun animals and it is unfair to keep them locked up everyday. If you do work, ensure that someone can look after it and walk it when you are out.

The decision on how to choose a dog is important, and even a life changing one,

If the you can answer yes to all the above questions and are still considering a dog, think about what sort of dog do you want?

What kind of dog to choose?

Choosing a dog is about a lot more than “cuteness” or color, each breed has it’s own strengths and weaknesses to consider. Some key questions would be, do I want male, female, rescue or puppy?

The good news is that no study has yet proved that male or female dogs are different in terms of aggression, temperament or intelligence and this is really a question of preference.

Puppies are cute but requires more commitment

Many people go for puppies as they are cute and small but these take extra care, they will need lots of looking after and house-training. They don’t know how to behave and you need to be very patient and disciplined with them. Don’t let their cuteness deceive you, you still need to be firm with them and tell them what is right and wrong which can be very hard for some people.  

The good news is that no study has yet proved that male or female dogs are different in terms of aggression

Some puppies are born through puppy farming or intensive breeding that is very bad for the health of the animals. If you do go down the route of buying from a breeder, make sure they are legitimate and their animals are well cared for. If not, you could be supporting a cruel and unethical industry.

Choosing rescue dogs is ethical and convenient

Rescue dogs tend to be trained already and you could give be giving a home to a loving dog that a previous owner had to give up. Rescue dogs are not any more likely to be aggressive, in fact as they are usually fully grown you will be able to see how they behave much more easily and know what breed (and what size) they are which means no surprises later on.

Choosing a rescue dog
Choosing a rescue dog

The other advantage is you are quite literally rescuing a dog that has no home and allowing another dog to be taken into the shelter in it’s place. Unless you have a specific reason to get a puppy, adopting a rescue dog is usually the best option for both you and the animal.

It’s also a lot cheaper and they will have already had all their vaccinations and a vet check up before you can take them away. In many cases someone from the shelter will assess your home and give you advice which is essential for all new dog owners!

you are quite literally rescuing a dog that has no home and allowing another dog to be taken into the shelter in it’s place

The other advantage is that breeders often breed on request meaning that puppies are bred specifically for those who ask. It seems a shame to request a dog be born specifically for you when there are thousands of loving animals needing re-homed already.

Are there better breeds?

Some dogs are easier to train than others, with animals like Labradors being one of the easier breeds and suitable for newcomers. Dogs like malamutes are more difficult and are not recommended as a first dog.

Size does matter

Consider the size of the dog as well in relation to your home and car, can you fit them into your life? This is especially important if you buy a puppy, they don’t stay small forever and may become a bigger commitment than you imagined!

Most people just want one dog, some people want more than one but it is not recommended to get more than one at the same time. Often this weakens the bond with the owner as the dogs play together and they require much more work to train.

Choosing more than one dog

If you already have a dog and want a second one you should be wary about how your dog will react, it may have spent years being your only pet and will have become used to being the center of attention. A newcomer onto its territory may make it feel scared, replaced or territorial. It’s best to see how your dog reacts with other dogs in your home before buying a second.

Final words

Deciding on a breed is not easy and misleading reports and stereotypes about dogs like Staffordshire bull terriers haven’t helped. Aggressive dogs are very unusual are usually the fault of the owner or because they have been hurt or scared. That being said, dogs like labradors, retrievers, newfoundlands, bulldogs and poodles are commonly touted as being the most affectionate and gentle around children. Again, though this really comes down to their environment and how easy they are to train, all dogs will be loving and gentle if they are brought up and cared for properly.

Is summary there are a whole host of factors to consider wisely before deciding how to choose a dog. If you are sure you can look after one getting a dog may be one the best things you ever do and you can have a lot of good times with your new bestfriend if you choose wisely!

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