Choosing the Breed for You

Narrated from: Choosing a dog

Purchasing a dog requires consideration of several points. First and most important is the fact that you should never, ever, purchase a dog on impulse without taking into consideration all the responsibility that goes with owning a dog.

Odds are good that when people impulsively purchase a living, breathing animal and then get bored or overwhelmed with the responsibility, then that dog will be neglected or ignored or put in a shelter. Another important consideration is the fact that owning a dog requires a money commitment. There is the cost of dog food, regular veterinary check-ups, preventative medical care such as vaccines and heartworm medication, neutering, spaying and grooming where necessary.

Dogs are communal animals and require regular interaction with their pack – your family - as well as love and attention on a regular basis. In addition, due to the enormous number of different breeds and resulting cross breeds to be had, selecting the dog breed for you can be rather overwhelming. Here are some basic considerations when selecting the best pet dog for you.

First consider size and the space you have available. Small dogs can be vulnerable, delicate and susceptible to cooler temperatures. They can also tend to have the ‘tough dog’ mind-set to make up for their size which means they have no fear of larger animals that could hurt them.

Large dogs need more space and due to their size, you need a generous budget for them. Food, medicine, grooming and other expenses are going to be more costly with a larger dog.
Next consider the breed. This part can be challenging due to the wide range of breeds to choose from. There are purebred, crossbred and mixed breeds.

Owning a purebred gets you their breed specific looks and traits but this also includes breed specific health issues. Crossbreeds have good qualities from both parents but also the chance of all the health issues from either breed.

Mixed breeds have mixed characteristics but you don’t always know the breeds involved so it is more difficult to predict possible health issues later in life. However, many experts claim mixed-breed dogs have fewer health problems than their purebred counterparts due to those issues being bred out.

Once you decide on your type or breed the next consideration is where you will buy from. There are numerous options but the best are going to a reputable breeder, accredited organizations or a rescue center specific to the breed you choose.

There are also reliable websites selling dogs online but be sure to choose a site with a good reputation that has been operating for years. Visit the place where the dogs are kept, if possible, and be sure it is a healthy and clean environment. Ask to see the parents and be sure the dogs are social.

A pup that happily comes to you and is playful will be a good social pet. Those who hang back are shyer but once you earn their trust they will be a devoted pet. These pups may need a bit more patience when training as their natural shyness may make them more sensitive to correction.

Most importantly, check the dog’s health. Ask for a reference from the animal’s first vet check-up, be sure the dog has bright and clear eyes, is active and has a good appetite. No matter what dog breed you choose, with proper training and patience they will be a loving family member for many years.

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