There is nothing more exciting than making a new friend. You have decided to make a new addition to your family and life. A dog, but a dog isn't just a dog. A dog is your friend and family. He will be there to greet you with wagging tail when you come home from work, or perhaps, she will go to work with you. The challenge is finding just the right dog for you. There are so many to choose from. There are a few things you should think about before you run out and buy the first dog you see.
1. Puppy or adult? A puppy takes a lot of training and time. You can't just leave them in the house or yard when you are gone and expect them to know how to behave. They need to be potty trained, they love to chew, and need lot of love and attention if they are to grow up to be well behaved and well adjusted. I love puppies and feel that, if you have the time for them, they do best with kids when they are raised with them from the start. Treat your puppy right and you will have the best of best friends. On the other hand, there are a lot of adult dogs out there who need loving homes. If you don't have time to train a puppy you should consider adopting an adult dog.
2. Purebred or mixed breed? Are you looking for a specific breed of dog? There are a lot of breeders out there. Research your preferred breed online, talk to the breeders and ask to meet the parents of the litter they have available. You can tell a lot about how a puppy will act based on how the parents react to you and how they are treated in their home. Also, check with your local animal shelters. Sometimes they have lists of breed rescues that take unwanted purebred dogs and keep them in foster homes until a new owner is found. Please, please don't ignore the mixed breed dogs though! Some of the best dogs are mixed breeds. Not to mention you can find some pretty cute mixed breed puppies! A lot of times mixed breeds, mutts, heinz 57, what ever you want to call them, come out with the best personality traits of the breeds they have in them.
3. Large or small breed? Well, that can depend on your situation as well as your preference. Your landlord might not allow certain breeds or sizes. And, believe it or not, homeowners insurance companies sometimes restrict the number of dogs and the breed/size of your dogs in order to keep your coverage! I personally love large dogs. The best dog I ever new was when I worked at a Humane Society. Her name was Maude and she was aGreat Dane/ Saint Bernard mix. Unfortunately she had been trained by a previous owner to kill cats and was an indoor dog so she was never adopted. However, I own two miniature Dachshunds! They are the most fun and cuddly dogs with the best personalities of almost any dog I've known.
So, when looking for your new friend, before you rush out to a pet store or answer an ad in the classifieds for a puppy or dog, I suggest checking into the animal shelters and rescues to see if you can save someone from there. Before you go, decide what you want in a dog. Will he be indoors, outdoors, both? Will she get to go with you places? How much time do you have to care for and train a new dog or puppy? If you are looking for a dog who will be left in the backyard and never played with or taken for rides, never let in to be part of the family, I highly suggest that you look into getting a statue, stuffed animal, or perhaps a robopet if you want one that moves and barks. Be fair to the dogs and be honest with yourself about why you really want a dog. Good luck in your search and I hope you enjoy your new friend!
Christy Tuller is an expert on several topics and is an animal lover. This article is written in memory of two wonderful friends who were lost over the years, Dusty, my Dad's best friend, and Patch who brought our family lots of smiles and left us with many happy memories. We miss you.
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