Choosing A Dog For Family
Choosing A Dog For Family - Basic ConsiderationsThe first question to ask is - is a dog right for you and your family? Before you decide, take plenty of time and give it lots of thought. Have everyone go over the responsibilities of owning a dog and what's involved so that the decision to get a dog is not impulsive. Moreover, everyone in your household should be enthusiastic about the idea. That way Fido stands a better chance of being a treasured pet.
.... how 'bout me?
Another important question concerns your future plans. Can you confidently include a pet for many years to come? Healthy dogs live fairly long lives, and they get very attached to you. Buyer's remorse is not a happy condition when it comes to a puppy - many sad faces at shelters will attest to that! But, if there are no obstacles, you can move on to the fun part - selecting a dog breed to find your perfect pet!
With a little know-how....
choosing the right dog will be a breeze and you'll have no
trouble selecting a four legged friend that will best fit into your family and be a treasured pet for
years to come.
But don't get trapped by falling for the first cute puppy you see! Taking the time to learn the pros and cons of the breed, will answer questions you didn't even know your had!
Choosing A Dog For Family - Temperament and Activity LevelTemperament and activity level are two very important factors to consider when choosing a dog for family life. You'll want your dog to be in harmony with the type of things you like to do. For example, if you are a high energy person, or family, and thrive on lots of outdoor activity, select a dog that can keep pace with you. You'll discover these traits mainly in the sporting and herding breeds.
Or perhaps you are drawn to the excitement and fun of competitive dogs sports and would enjoy owning a breed that you can train and enter into canine agility trials. If this has appeal, selecting a dog breed for these activities will take your search toward dogs that are natural athletes and that have the ability to focus and follow commands off leash.
Although all dog breeds can be compete in agility, some of the breeds easiest to train for it are Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Welsh Corgies. Just remember one thing, this sport requires both dog and master to have plenty of stamina.
Apart from the energetic canine sports, the beauty of the conformation shows has great appeal for those interested in working toward champion status for their pure bred dogs. Many people develop an interest in this hobby by attending dog shows or watching them on television - especially the famous Westminster Dog Show.
On the other end of the spectrum, are the people who prefer a quite sedentary lifestyle with a companion pet. When choosing a dog for family, they are more interested in finding a placid dog that takes more to the couch than the leash. No worries, many of the smaller dog breeds enjoy being lap dogs and are content with a just a modest amount of exercise.
MAKE A NOTE: Attending dog shows is a great way to learn more about dog characteristics and dog breed temperament. Plus, it's really fun to watch dogs enjoying all the activity and getting pampered at the same time.
Before you make your dog selection, think about your reasons
for choosing a dog for family. Is it more for security, companionship, rescuing the abandoned, or do you just love
dogs? You may also want to take our Choosing Dog Breed Quiz to get additional insight.
If you want a guard dog, consider your family's lifestyle. Do you have a busy social life with frequent visitors
to your home? This might confuse a potential guard dog or at least increase the time it takes for him
to sort out friends from foes! Plus, your friends might also be a bit more apprehensive
in approaching your pet.
Choosing A Dog For Family And Your ScheduleIs someone at home most days to take care of a dog, or does everyone have a job? Most dogs are such social beings, they get awfully lonely and even anxious whenever you are gone for more than a little while. Lap dogs can go more places, but other breeds left alone may bark or howl endlessly - your neighbors may justifiably be a little put out.
If you can't take your dog with you, think of selecting a dog that is more laid back or perhaps consider
two dogs to keep each other company. The other alternative is
doggie daycare, but there is a cost involved.
Whichever dog(s) you select, if they are home alone, just make sure their outside area is safe and they have solid dog houses to give them good shelter and keep them comfortable no matter what the weather. And, by all means leave some distractions...toys, nylabones and even some pet calming music to while away the time till you return.
Costs Of Owning A DogTaking proper care of a dog does cost money, so before you venture into pet land, do take a look what's involved. Here are some of the fixed costs:
- Regular health checks
- Annual Licenses
- Good quality food - this cost is variable depending on the size of the dog, be it a Great Dane or a Chihuahua
- A comfy dog bed
- A doghouse - especially in extreme climates
- Leash, collar, food and water bowls
- Vet insurance - for those unforseen emergencies.
- Microchipping - especially if travelling with your dog
In addition to the
regular expenses, most dog lovers like to purchase treats, toys and birthday presents for their dogs.
Choosing A Dog For Family - Other ConsiderationsSpace - If you are attracted to the larger breeds, do you have the room? Using the Great Dane again as an example, it's pretty obvious that this breed needs a good deal more room to roam than a Yorkshire Terrier, but it's surprising how often large dogs find themselves in small apartments or condos. Go figure!
Hair - Some like it long, some like it short, but most of us don't
like it on the couch. Do you have a dog-proof house - perhaps wood floors - especially sealed wood
floors. And perhaps leather sofas? Definitely something to ponder if you're not too fond of running
the vacuum! Also, be aware that grooming needs will differ between the long and short-haired.
After you've come up with a clearer picture... go one step further and find an ethical breeder. National dog breed associations have members who are required to uphold ethical standards of breeding.
Pet shops are the worst places to buy a dog as their dogs usually come from from puppy mills. The exception to this is Petco which sponsors events to help homeless pets find families to adopt them.
Pet adoption is a very worthwhile consideration when you are seeking a pet for your for family, as there are thousands of dogs given up or abandoned every year, who need good homes. It also helps children learn about the plight of animals. Most breed associations also have "rescued" dogs for adoption and of course your local shelters are obvious places to explore.
Most of us dog lovers are willing to make many adjustments for our furry friends. We consider the advantages far outweigh any changes we may make to accommodate our pets. However, owning a dog does mean making a commitment for a number of years.
Before choosing a dog for your family, one final thought..
I urge everyone read this article "How Could You?". Its message is profound and in my view really brings home the responsibility we have to a dog when we bring one into our family.
After all, this site is all about the ultimate care of pets!
Related Pages To Help With Choosing A Dog For Family:
- Dogs Good With Children
- Extensive List of Small Dog Breeds
- Choosing Dog Breed Quiz
- Hounds - An interesting and talented dog group
- Working Dog Breeds - They like to be kept busy.
- Terrier Dog Group - Lively, Fun and Smart!
- The Toy Dog Group - Diminutive Dogs With Big Personalities
- Non-Sporting Dog Breeds - Oh, I'll bet they'll play a game with you!
- Rare Dog Breeds - In a class by themselves
- Dog Buyers Guide
- Boy Dog Names
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