Finding the Right Dog for You
Dogs can be pretty endearing. It's easy to be swayed by the thought of bringing a dog home before considering everything being a dog owner entails. When you let a dog enter your home, you become responsible for their happiness and welfare. Are you physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially ready to be a pet owner? And if you think you are, how do you decide what dog is right for you?
How to Choose the Best Dog for You
Letting a dog into your life shouldn’t be an impulsive decision. In choosing the best pet dog for you, consider the following:
Being a dog owner is tremendously fulfilling but also hugely time-consuming. All dogs need exercise, for example. The length may vary depending on the breed. For instance, a collie might need daily 2-hour walks that a greyhound does not. You'll therefore need to set a walking time to fit your daily schedule that already involves work and other things.
- Compatibility with Children
If you have a busy household with children, you'd have to choose a dog that does well with kids and people. Getting a pet dog can also be concerning if the children are very young. A child might not enjoy being herded, even though herding dogs like the Old English Sheepdog can be friendly and cooperative.
Another vital thing to consider is whether the dog breed is suitable for the environment you live in. It is not uncommon for a Chihuahua to have a good life in Alaska or an Alaskan Malamute to spend the summer in Florida. There is nothing wrong if your dog is not the ideal pet for your region of the country. But it's essential to understand how climate affects each breed and how well you can manage their needs, especially when temperatures soar into the extreme ranges.
If you purchase a dog from a breeder or adopt one from a shelter, you must be aware of the dog's history. A dog's personality can be influenced by events in the past, including abandonment or even cruelty. They could be genetically predisposed to certain illnesses, as well. Knowing these things will help you assess your ability to handle possible issues.
All dogs, regardless of breed, size, or temperament, need a variety of supplies, such as:
- Bed or Bedding
- Toys for Inside and Outside
- Collar and Leash
- Vaccinations and Other Health Care
- Water Bowl
- Food and Treats
- Grooming Supplies
- Crates for Traveling
Boarding fees, expert grooming, and licensing are possible additional expenses. Before settling on a particular breed, weigh your financial commitment against the demands of the pet. Larger dog breeds may have higher food costs, and some types may need more extensive medical care.
Maintenance is a significant consideration in pet ownership. A regular grooming regimen for an Afghan Hound may include daily baths. A Border Terrier's short hairy coat nearly never has to be brushed. German Shepherds shed all year round and lose their coats twice a year, meaning nearly constant hair cleaning. Dogs also need mental stimulation, which is a sort of upkeep in and of itself. This can include training, walks, and activities to prevent your dog from getting worried, depressed, or restless.
- Special Needs
Animals with special needs can have physical or behavioral disabilities. Some dogs may have missing limbs. Some are born deaf. Because of underlying medical concerns, others need their owners to pay additional attention to their nutrition. Special needs canines will need more of your time and resources.
How big is your living space? Can you accommodate a large dog in your area, or will just a tiny dog fit? Is there a yard where the dog could go to get some fresh air and go potty?
Keeping your dog secure outside can be challenging even when you have a big enough yard. Will you have to lock your pet inside, or do you have a traditional fence to keep them in? Some pet owners opt for the more advanced option of an electronic fence. If you have an e-fence, your dogs can wander the property without being limited by a leash or physical fencing. A signal delivered through the e-collar receiver alerts the dog to stay within the boundary.
Some of the best e-fence for dogs available include:
The PetSafe Stubborn Dog Collar offers four correction levels and vibration in the warning area for further deterrence. The vibration feature is perfect for older or hearing-impaired dogs!
This e-fence from E-Collar Technologies allows you to set boundaries around your dog's outside play area. They'll like unrestricted movement, and you'll appreciate knowing they are enclosed by a unique invisible barrier. You can even use it to mark off portions of your yard that your dog is not allowed to enter, such as the garden, pool, or other outdoor spaces. The boundary wire can be braided through the latticework, neatly fastened to the bottom of a wood fence, or buried just below the ground. A radio frequency alerts the collar to emit a sound, a vibration, or one of 30 levels of stimulation as your dog gets close to the wire.
A quick and safe solution to keep your furry friend safely contained on your property is with the Dogtra Company EF3500 Electronic Dog Fence System. For mild to stubborn dogs, this underground electric fence system works wonderfully. In regions up to 40 acres, regardless of the yard's shape or landscape, the tailored design enables you to define limits around the perimeter to keep your pal secure.
What Dog Breed is Best for Me?
If you already know you can handle having a pet dog but need to know what specific dog to get, here's a guide to help.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dog
A dog's personality usually varies as they progress through each stage, whether puppies, adolescents, adults, or seniors. Older dogs are much more likely to be house-trained than young dogs and might have calmer dispositions. Adopting an older dog is less risky because you already know their personality and medical history. Another crucial factor to consider is that some senior dogs don't react well around young children (often due to unpleasant experiences in the past).
- Coat Length and Shedding
Certain types of fur may cause allergic reactions. There isn't such thing as a hypoallergenic dog because the allergen is in the saliva, not the coat, yet long-haired dogs might aggravate some allergies. Different dogs shed at different rates. A Dachshund, for instance, sheds considerably less than a Collie.
Allergies are not usually the cause of hair loss. It might just be housework. You may prefer a short-haired dog if you're looking for a dog that won't require you to vacuum twice daily.
- Activity Level
Dogs with high energy levels are not suitable for families who live in apartments except if the owners are committed to giving the dogs enough exercise. Many families start out with this goal in mind but end up falling short. Without a way to release excess energy, a high-energy dog is prone to becoming restless and destructive.
Working dog breeds, in particular, tend to have high energy levels.
The height and weight of a dog are both factors in determining their size.
Picking a large breed can be risky if you have young children. Some breeds, such as Mastiffs, can be charming and kind to toddlers. But they can also easily knock over small children since they are unaware of their enormous size.
Meanwhile, small breeds trained for herding or ratting may snap at a child's heels to herd them like sheep. Most of the time, this behavior is trainable.
Therefore, carefully considering the dog's breed should be part of your decision-making.
Some dogs naturally get along well with kids. The Labrador Retriever is well-known for their affectionate disposition toward everyone. But not all dogs are the same. For instance, an Alaskan Malamute is bred for outdoor work and may not be particularly pleased spending time with a family indoors.
This does not imply that all Alaskan Malamutes are terrible with children, nor that all Labradors are excellent with kids. But generally speaking, some breeds get along with families with young children better than others.
You want your dog to heel if you want it to accompany you on walks. You must know that a dog must be intelligent enough to be trained to catch a frisbee if you want it to do so. The list of examples is endless. As a result, a dog's trainability increases with intelligence in many circumstances. Some dogs, though, are nearly too intelligent for their own benefit. They become stubborn and difficult to train as a result.
Some dog owners choose to train their dogs with a remote training collar. Remote training collars can be effective when used properly, and many options are available. Which collar, though, is best for you? We've listed the best remote training e-collars for dogs currently on the market to help in your decision.
How Not to Choose a Dog
- Prioritizing Looks
Looks fade quickly, but how they are as living, breathing beings last a lifetime. Choose the dog that best suits you, and you'll always adore their appearance.
- Blindly Trusting Temperaments
There is more diversity within a breed than there is between them, despite our best efforts to give you an understanding of each breed. That implies that every dog is unique. Spend as much time interacting with the parents and adult dogs of the same breed as you want to learn more about how your puppy will turn out.
- Price of the Dog
This is the least expensive cost throughout your puppy's life. It is much preferable to pick the dog you love.
- Assuming About the Breed
No dog is a good dog without a lot of involvement from their owner, although breeds vary greatly. A dog's nature is a product of years of diligent training. The opposite is true for supposedly challenging breeds like heelers, collies, and terriers; these dogs may be among the best with the appropriate approach.
Where to Get the Dog of Your Choice
- Take a Trip to Your Local Animal Shelter
Visiting an animal shelter or rescue organization in your community to find a new dog is your best bet. They may have the breed you're looking for because these places frequently have a large array of various canines.
Of course, this is only sometimes the case because it's impossible to predict what breeds will arrive at the door. However, you can ask them to call you when the desired breed becomes available.
There are several advantages to adopting from an animal shelter or rescue organization, including:
- Saves you Money
- Saving a Life
- Getting a Trained Dog
- More Loving Companion
Obviously, there are other considerations you should make before adopting a dog. You should consider whether you are ready for the challenges and rewards of owning a rescue dog. It can be a large burden that takes a significant amount of your time and perhaps money. Volunteering as a temporary foster parent is typically possible if you are still determining whether acquiring a new dog permanently is the best decision for you. This will allow you to better understand what you expect from being a pet owner.
- Purchase From a Reputable Breeder
As an alternative, you might discover that a nearby breeder has the dog you're looking for, so starting your search with these folks may be the faster route.
It's vital to note that there are some shady characters, like those who would create unethical puppy mills. Because of this, take into account the following factors when picking a breeder:
- Include a Health Check
- Check the Legal Documents
- Ask to See the Dog's Mother
Congratulations, you are now ready to start your search for your new furry friend! Choosing a new puppy is thrilling and bringing them home is enjoyable. Keeping the factors mentioned above in mind can help you make the best decision for yourself. Good luck!