What Dog Should I Get?

My name is Carina and I'm only 15, but I love animals. My dad and I are the only ones in our home. We had a miniature Italian Greyhound a year ago. He was attacked by a big dog in the lung and we had to put him to sleep.

But anyway I am asking my dad for another dog. I am just wondering what kind of dog breed would be best for us and how old should we get it.

My dad has work all day. I have high school from 6 to 3, I am also going to be working in the future. I wanted a puppy in the summer to spend training time with.

We have a boat up at Lake Erie and we go there early Saturday mornings and leave late at night. We go swimming and to these little beaches they have there. I have seen owners with their dogs there too. I want to know a good dog that would want to go on our boat and go swimming.

We also do not have a yard. just a small 1 floor house with a basement and garage. I really don't know what kind of dog to get, or if I should even get a dog. I am curious of your opinion.

I just really love dogs and want one of my own as a friend. Thank you.

Answer From the Editors at Dog-Spoiling

Thanks for contacting us Carina. I am glad you are questioning whether getting a dog is actually a good idea at this time.

My first reaction, to be honest, is that your present schedule isn't ideal for meeting the many needs of a dog, such as: exercise, playtime, training, socialization, grooming, food preparation and of great importance - companionship.

With you and your dad being gone for long periods of time there doesn't seem to be sufficient time left to properly take care of a pet - plus you have your own needs to consider including the future job you plan to have.

Dogs are very social animals and most do not like being left alone. For a dog to become a good and beloved family member they need companionship, daily guidance and on-going training. A puppy needs even greater and much closer attention for at least a year.

Bored and lonely pets very often develop separation anxiety, bad habits and even destructive behavior. This is one of the main reasons dogs end up being turned over to shelters by their owners - even though it wasn't their fault.

Before you make your decision about a dog, here are some pages on the website that you may find helpful:

Dog Selection

Choosing Dog Breed Quiz

Home Alone Dogs

How Could You

If you do decide to get a dog I would recommend finding a dog/sitter/walker to visit, walk and play with your dog during the day. Taking your dog to a doggy day care center occasionally would also be helpful with socialization.

If you want a dog that is good around the water, read some of our profiles of the sporting breeds here. Just click on any one in list to learn about them.

Lastly, I think an adult dog would be a better choice, perhaps one from a rescue that is already housetrained. As adorable as they are, to be fair, puppies really need an owner's presence.

Most of all, before making this very important decision try to consider what is best from a dog's point of view - a dog that will rely on you for his happiness and well-being for the next 10 to fifteen years.

Best of luck to you.

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