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How to Choose the Right Dog Breed for Years of Quality Companionship

Dog owners don't just go out there and get any puppy they like! It is not as easy as you think. There are many factors to consider before you decide to buy any puppy breed. Getting the right one will bring many years of happiness and quality companionship to you and your family.

On the other hand, getting the wrong one will inevitably add headaches and irritations to your life. Your lifestyle, financial ability, type and size of your family are among many of the factors that you need to consider before you decide on a specific dog breed. While some breeds may required more attention, some require more exercises than the others, some are more suitable for families with young children, some are more prone to genetic health issues and some may simply required more money to own than others. The amount of dog breed choices is so huge, it is the dog owner's responsibility to research and learn what type of breed is actually more suitable to living with them. The number one reason for dogs to be surrendered to animal shelters is that they don't match the needs or the lifestyle of their owners. The idea of this article is to help you in choosing the right breed of dog to try and reduce the potential issues that could result when the wrong type is chosen.

Here are some important factors to consider before you proceed to bring your puppy home: 1. Accommodation - All dogs need some form of exercise in one way or another, but there are significant disparities among breeds. Small breeds tend to adapt better than large breeds to the smaller space available in an apartment. Nevertheless, some larger breeds who are not as active as others can still adapt well. Factor in how much space you have for a dog, as an apartment or a house with a fenced-in yard determines the type of breed you can get. Having a fenced-in yard will cut down on the time required to walk your dog for bathroom breaks and exercising.

All breed will adapt well in this type of setting, but the more active breeds will require more exercises. Giving a dog sufficient exercise is vital to having a good relationship with your dog. Many undesirable behaviors, such as hyperactivity, nuisance barking and destructive behaviors are results of insufficient exercise.

Laws and regulation in the place where you reside also need to be considered. Some landlords do not allow dogs in their rental units at all, while some neighborhoods have strict guidelines regarding the size and the breed of dog that can be owned in that neighborhood. 2. Lifestyle - Dogs are social animals and require time from their owners, some more, some less. If you work long hours, a dog is really not the best pet choice, especially if you live alone.

A pet like a cat or fish that require less upkeep may be a better fit for your lifestyle. While there are some breeds that do not mind being left alone for longer period (Shetland sheepdog, golden retriever and bloodhound), many can suffer from separation anxiety and went on to develop undesirable behavior problems. Don't commit the crime of condemning an essentially social dog to lead a life of anxiety, and boredom. If you really cannot live without a dog, engage a dog sitter or put him at a dog daycare centre. 3. Family - Make sure that everyone in the family is supportive of a dog.

There are breeds with tendency to show aggressive behavior and biting problems, which in most cases are unsuitable for families with younger children. Young children may play with the dog roughly without understanding what they are doing, or what the potential consequences may be. Dogs joining a household with small children must be very tolerant of the children's play. Dogs from the herding group may not be the best choice as they have a natural instinct to herd livestock and may try to do so with your family. Such innate instincts can result in nipping incidents.

Existing pets in the household must be considered when getting a new dog. The temperament of the new dog needs to be compatible with those of the existing pets to make sure no problems will arise with the new addition. Territorial problems should be expected. They usually clear up within a week or so.

It is recommended to feed the dogs in separate locations during the introduction period, as food is a common cause of conflict among dogs. 4. Financial Obligations - Keeping and raising a dog is a long commitment with recurring expenses. The initial cost will vary depending on the breed and type of dog you select.

On the whole, purebreds cost more than mixed breed dogs, especially if they are purchased from a breeder or a pet store. On the other hand, rescued pedigrees found in animals shelters cost much lesser. It is best to be able to see and meet your potential dog's parents.

Besides the initial cost, you can also visit local pet shops to ascertain the prices of dog supplies. Dog food, collars, leashes, toys, food bowls, crates, and any other supplies you think you need for your dog, and not forgetting your veterinary bills, grooming expenses and even an insurance policy. It is always advisable to ask your dog owner friends or family members to have a rough idea of how much they spend annually on their dogs. 5. Purpose of dog ownership - You should determine your purpose of dog ownership. Do you intend to show, breed or hunt with the dog? Is the dog needed for service, therapy or for companionship only? For dog shows, dogs should meet or even exceed the standards for the particular breed and have necessary documentation for its lineage.

For hunting, you will require a good scent or sight-hunting dog. While many dogs are good for service or therapy, they need to have good temperaments, low ability to be distracted, and a willingness to learn. Knowing the purpose would inevitably help to select the right breed. 6. Size - Dogs are commonly group into three category based on their weight during adulthood.

Small breeds are generally up to 20 pounds, medium breeds are from 20-50 pounds, and large dogs are greater than 50 pounds. As a rule of thumb, bigger breeds are unsuitable if you live in a small apartment, or a home with a small or unfenced yard. Nevertheless, this is not the case for all dogs.

Some dogs such as golden retrievers actually possess characteristics that make them more suitable than an active schnauzer to apartment living. Temperament and activity level are equally important when selecting the right breed. While smaller dogs generally do not require as much space as larger dogs, caution should be taken with small breeds due to their small and fragile bodies. Smaller dog breeds are more prone to accidents and injuries during play with owners or other dogs, it is because of their small stature. On the other hand, large breeds can unintentionally cause harm to small children when playing. It is also found that large breeds have a shorter life span of 8-12 years while small breeds can live up to 15 or 16 years.

7. Temperament - Purebreds display well-understood mental temperaments and characteristics to a large extent while mutts are more difficult to determine. It is recommended to seek advices and consultation to choose a dog's temperament to complement your existing lifestyle. If you have children, look for dogs with a low tendency to bite and a high tolerance for handling. If it is a guard dog, you want it to be obedient but still able to effectively guard the territory. Dogs that are overtly aggressive should be avoided always.

In a nutshell, adding a dog to your family is a life changing and long commitment. Consider carefully before you decide to bring the puppy back. Take the time to choose the best dog breed. By doing so, I'm sure you will get to enjoy and be rewarded many times over by the love, affection and good company that he or she will bring into your life.

Moses Wright is an experience dog lover and owner of 3 beautiful dogs. He loves to help fellow dog owners with their dog obedience training problems. You can get a free copy of his book filled with useful and practical tips here: Free Dog Training Book



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