Choosing a Dog Breed for the Family

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So you have decided to add a member to your family. A puppy. Before choosing a dog the first question you should answer is 'what kind of person am I?'
Are you loving?
A workaholic?
Are there young children in the family?
Where do you live?
Where do you want your dog to live?
How much spare time do you have?
Can you afford a dog?
Do you have the patience to train a puppy?

If the answer to the last question is NO, do not get a dog. All dogs, large and small, have to be trained. I'm not saying trained to show standards but all dogs should receive basic obedience training.

It is of vital importance that you choose the right dog breed for your lifestyle.

How to Choose the Right Dog Breed for You

Research. However, to research correctly let's look at the questions above and what kind of person you are.

1.  Loving - This type of person is best suited to a lap dog. A small dog who shows love and affection to his owner and sticks to his owner like velcroe.
2.  Energetic - If you are energetic and love plenty of exercise, a larger breed such as a Border Collie would be more suitable. However, if you aren't a real energetic type a breed such as a Pug or Cavalier Spaniel would suit you better.
3.  Workaholic - If you are away from home for long lengths of time and when home don't have the time to devote to a dog, DON'T GET A DOG.
4.  Children - If there are young children in the family, it is vitally important that you research the nature, character, personality of the breed in which you are interested. As an example, a Chihuahua is cute and cuddly but quite often can be a one person dog and snappy. You must ensure that a dog breed has great tolerance.
5.  Where do you live - Do you live in a house with a large backyard? Are you in an apartment with no backyard or a home with a very small outdoor area? Most dogs can adapt to your living conditions but obviously a larger, more energetic dog would require adequate outdoor areas. Also, you must consider your neighbours. Dogs bark, you know.
6.  Where do you want your dog to live - Inside or outside. Example, if outside then a Pug would not be suitable as he requires an even temperature and needs to be near his family.
7.  Spare time - If you have limited spare time, a low energy dog would be the best where a short play and walk would suit.
8.  Affording a dog - Dogs are expensive. Even if you get a puppy from a friend for nothing, he will cost you big time over the length of his life. There are various things to consider such as vet bills, microchipping, registration, vaccinations, illnesses, food, treats and general daily requirements. These all add up. Once you have taken possession of your puppy you are responsible for him for the rest of his life.

Now to the research. Either buy a dog breed book or Google the name of each breed in which you are interested. You will then be able to see how each breed would fit in with your lifestyle. Of course, you must pay particular notice to the personality of the dog e.g. is he sociable, good with children, easily trained etc. Also, take note of any common health issues with the breed.

Where to Get Your Puppy

There is only one place - a Registered, Responsible, Respected Dog Breeder. These are the three R's. DO NOT for one minute contemplate purchasing a puppy from a pet shop or over the internet as most puppies from these places come from puppy farms. I will be writing more about this later. You could also try a rescue centre, they may have a puppy but more often, mature dogs.
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