Choose The Right Dog For You
The Most Important Decision You Will Make
There are lots of important things to think through before selecting your dog. The first step to starting a long and lasting friendship with a dog is choosing the dog that's right for you. It’s the most important decision you'll make because a dog is a living, breathing being who will need your care and attention for the next 10 or 15 years. There are so many kinds of dogs to choose from, it can be hard to know where to begin. Here are some tips to help you choose the right dog for your lifestyle.
Puppy Or Adult Dog: While many people enjoy the thrill of having an adorable new puppy in their home, they often don’t anticipate the needs of what basically is a “baby” in your household. Housetraining, socialization, basic training, and “puppy proofing” your home take much time and effort and patience on your part. If you have a busy, hectic life, then a puppy may not be the best choice for you. There are many advantages to taking home an adult dog, such as the likelihood that the dog is already house trained whether they have had some training from the previous owner or owners. An adult dog has an “established” personality that you can observe. While all dogs require daily exercise, depending on the age and breed of the dog, the adult dog you acquire may not require the same amount of physical work as a puppy.
Family Matters: Finding the best dog for your family depends on your household’s activity level, family energy and living situation. In general, you can’t go wrong with a dog that has a gentle demeanor, friendly attitude, trainable nature, and an ability to keep up with your family. Tiny dogs can be more fragile, and might be comfortable around older, more cautious kids. Some very large dogs may be right at home with a rough-and-tumble crew, but require regular walks or a yard to romp in. Some dogs love to run and roam, and others will gladly forgo fetch for cuddles on the couch. The best dogs for families will vary depending on the family, so consider whether your crew is looking for a hiking buddy or a furry snuggle bug.
Personality: Whoever said dogs have no souls has CLEARLY never met one. Each canine is as unique as its human! Like people, each dog has a distinct personality. Make sure the dog’s personality fits yours. If you are quiet and spend most of the day sitting at your computer and writing articles on the internet, you need a quiet dog who will be satisfied with the attention you give and then sit around quietly. If you are into taking long hikes and want a companion for camping, find a dog that fits that style of life. No matter which dog you choose, they will need to be walked and groomed. Look at every dog you can and find one that is right for you. Remember, there is a dog out there for all sorts of people.
Short Hair Or Long: Thinking about a long-haired dog? There’s a lot of grooming. But, surprisingly, some short haired dog breeds can shed a lot as well! For the most part, getting a long haired or short haired dog is simply a matter of personal experience. Some people just love the look of luxurious long fur on a dog, and other people see it only as a bother. Long-haired dogs usually require more grooming time to keep their fur free from mats and looking good. So, if you get a long-haired dog breed, you may end up spending more time at the groomers, or brushing your long-haired dogs fur yourself. Just be aware that short-haired dog breeds don’t necessarily shed less than long-haired dogs.
Special Needs Dogs: Adopting a special needs dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences you ever have. Since there are many dogs available for adoption, it’s often the youngest, cutest and most low-maintenance pups who get taken home, while the others are left to a life in a shelter. Adopting a special needs dog isn’t always easy, but if you have the time and experience to deal with a pup who needs a bit more TLC, it can be a very rewarding thing. There are all kinds of special needs that a dog might have, from a minor medical condition to a missing leg to a complex behavioral issue. If you’ve decided to adopt a dog, consider adopting one with special needs, who might not otherwise find a loving and forever home.
Room For One More: If you already have pets, you have to consider them as well before bringing home a dog. Dogs can get along with other dogs and dogs can get along with cats. But it's not necessarily easy to get them used to one another, and sometimes it can be impossible. Some dogs may be perfectly happy as an only dog and could resent a newcomer. The more pets you have, the more potential problems you invite. Dogs and cats can become best friends, but some dogs with a high prey drive may not be able to resist chasing your cat.
Write down some notes about your needs, living situation and lifestyle and bring them with you to the shelter so our staff can help you find the perfect dog for your situation!
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