Different breeds of dog can have very different attributes and, as dog ownership is a long term commitment, having a dog that fits you and your family’s lifestyle is essential.
There are a few basic questions that you should ask yourself:
- What size of garden do you have?
- How active are you?
- How much time do you have to spend with your dog?
- How much money do you have to spend on your dog?
Puppies can be very time consuming while toilet training and behaviour patterns are established but many dog owners derive great joy in watching their puppy grow and develop. An older dog from a rescue centre may already be well trained but could have bad habits that can be difficult to break. Responsible rescue centres will have assessed the dog and will advise you of any issues which you may need to take into consideration upon adoption.
Another consideration is whether you want a male or female dog. Males tend to be more dominant and self-confident, whereas females may be more affectionate and home-loving. But, of course, these are very broad generalizations; every dog is different.
It is important to consider the size of the dog – remember little puppies can grow to become big dogs!! When thinking about the size, you need to consider where he will sleep, how large your garden is and how you will transport him.
It does not always follow that larger dogs require more exercise. The temperament of different breeds can vary enormously. Researching the breed characteristics can be very important. Some breeds suit a very energetic family environment, some are more sedate, some have a tendency to be difficult to train while other breeds tend to be more eager to please. There is likely to be a breed of dog to suit most households but it is important to do your research first and ask the advice of your Vet at an early stage.
Next week I intend to look at important considerations when preparing for the arrival of your new puppy.