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How To Pick The Right Dog For You

Do Your Research and You’ll Find the Right Dog for You

There are several paths you can use to find the right dog for you: a breeder, a governmental animal shelter, any humane society, a breed rescue or a rescue them all group, which quite often have meet and greet events. Whatever course you choose, you can start in the comfort of you own home in front of the computer.

If you like a particular breed of dog, you can learn about this dog’s characteristics from the American Kennel Club (AKC.org). A Rottweiler may look good to you, but are you prepared for a power breed? Or, a pug tempts you, but did you know about the nose problems? Find out first before sinking your hard-earned money into a purebred pooch.

If you decide you want a mixed breed dog, there are several sites that can help you choose: the American Humane Association (AmericanHumane.org), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS.org), Best Friends of America (bestfriends.org) and Petfinder (Petfinder.com) among many others.

While doing this research, keep these six points in mind.

1. Health
Purebred dogs can have multiple health problems over the course of their lives that are particular to the breed. Mixed breed dogs, if adopted from a governmental shelter, can quite often have kennel cough (bronchitis), which is easily treatable with antibiotics or ringworm or mange, both treatable. On top of that it’s unknown what the future holds for these little guys unless a particular breed dominates their appearance.

2. Longevity
Big dogs usually don’t live as long as small dogs. The average age of a big dog when it dies is 10-12, and the smaller dogs can get into their teens.

3. Energy Level
It’s not necessarily true that small dogs are good apartment dogs because they’re usually full of pep and need lots of attention. The gentle giants, such as retrievers, are good for apartments as long as they get a good run at least once a week.

If the dogs are very active, then you must be too. Are you prepared to channel that energy?

4. Size
Do you want a big dog, a medium dog or a small one? Remember the food bills. Also, big dogs tend to slobber, not the most endearing quality. Also, big dogs, like pit bulls, tend to be the power breeds and require oodles of training.

5. Care
Dogs need regular exercise. A daily walk even if it’s just for the call of nature is good. Longer walks, especially for the larger dogs, are mandatory at least once a week. Also, factor in play time.

They also need to eat only their food. The occasional treat from the table is all right, but not as a steady diet. Also, don’t overfeed. Overweight can have serious consequences for dogs.

6. Training
If you get a puppy, he will have to be housebroken. Also, he will go through teething, so hide the furniture and the shoes. Even with teething toys, these guys will have gums that hurt, just like a human baby.

If you have an older dog, you still have to train him to the rules of your house, including walk times, furniture rules, rules about where he sleeps, and more. Dogs like routine, so establish one early.

After you’ve done your research, go get that dog. It’ll be a match made in heaven.