Buying a dog is a long term obligation. Depending on the breed, a dog can expect to live between ten and fifteen years, with some making it to even older ages. Imagine how long that time would feel if you are stuck with the wrong type of dog! Even worse, if you do find yourself with a dog that does not fit in with your life, would you take him down to the shelter|dog pound, knowing that he would most likely end up being put to sleep? A dog is just about the only family addition that you can make where you can take some time to truly consider all aspects before diving in with both feet.
There are some things that you must decide before going out to look for your new pet. First, how much space is in your home? Are you already tripping over each other? If you said yes, then by all means skip the labs, the mastiffs and the Saint Bernard’s. Do you have a big house and a big yard with sufficient room to set up a dog kennel and run? Then by all means feel free to look at the dogs that are the more larger breeds.
Next, look at your family makeup. Do you have any young children in your family? If so, then skip the dainty, yappy dogs that tend to be high strung and sometimes tend to bite. Even though you could put a citronella spray collar on them, to hinder their barking, they can still be a bit demanding. Any dog that looks like it would need more accessories than your teenage daughter to be happy should be a no if there are toddlers or young children around. Also, if you are a fairly busy and active family, these dogs, which include the poodle, the Pomeranian and Shih Tzu are not the best for your family, as they require lots of grooming and will need to be clipped frequently. Dogs for families with young children should be sturdy, gentle or easily trained and less likely to bite. These include the pug or the puggle, the golden retriever, and the cocker spaniel.
Also, determine your family’s activity level and favorite hobbies. Do you like to spend the day at the river or lake, fishing and swimming? Consider a water dog that would be more than happy joining in with your hobbies. These would include the labs, and spaniel breeds which come in a variety of colors and sizes. With adequate exercise and training, either breed would be a good family addition, but take note that these particular breeds, if allowed to become bored, have been known to be destructive. So if you have one of these more active breeds, you will need to make sure they get enough exercise every day.
And lastly, consider a combination of the best breeds- the mutt. Many of the best dogs are not purebred at all, and rescuing a stray from a dog shelter is more rewarding than all of the pedigrees in the world.
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