Welcome to the ninth post in our Dog Training blog series. This ongoing series features guest posts by local professional dog trainers and highlights some of the big questions they address to their clients. Today's post was written by Adam Miller of Big Dog Canine Behavioral Dog Training.
Choosing a dog is not something to be taken lightly and should be done with great care and consideration. A dog is not an object…it is a living creature. Take your time, be honest with yourself and be prepared for work and dedication. Too often, people make the mistake of choosing a dog on looks alone and do not consider the breed’s specific needs or common behavior traits.
To start the process of choosing a dog, it is of utmost importance that you first look at your own energy levels and the activities that you want to do with your dog. Are you the type of person that is up early every day and goes for long trail runs in the mountains? Or are you the type to take on life in a more laid back and casual manner. Choose a dog that best fits the activities you enjoy or has the energy level to keep up.
Other than energy levels and lifestyle requirements, the following are some issues that you should take into consideration:
Size – No matter what size dog you want, make sure that you have the necessary space and finances to properly care for the animal. Naturally, larger dogs are more expensive and require more space than small dogs.
Allergies – Even though there is no 100% hypoallergenic dog, there are certain breeds that are far less troublesome to allergy sufferers. Dogs with non-shedding coats produce far less dander, which is the main cause of allergic reactions.
Independence – All dogs are social animals and don’t enjoy being left alone for long periods of time. But, if you are a busy owner, there are some breeds that tolerate your absence better than others.
Children – Consider the ages of any children in the home and the lifestyle your family leads. There are some breeds with endless amount of energy, some breeds with infinite patience and some breeds that tend to be protective.
Grooming Needs – All dogs require some amount of regular grooming, but there are certain breeds that require more frequent and consistent care. Dogs with curly or long hair coats dogs may need to be groomed several times weekly. Some older dogs may need more attention and extra care.
Experience – Some dog breeds tend to be docile and laid back while others can be more dominant or rambunctious. Whether you are picking your first dog or one of many, your level of experience with dogs should play a big role in picking your new companion.
Exercise Requirements - A tired dog makes for a happy owner…so be sure to wear your dog out daily. Every dog’s exercise needs are different but certain breeds tend to be more energetic or unrestrained than others.
There are numerous factors to consider when picking a new furry family member. Every dog owner’s desires, circumstances or situation is different so there are a variety of issues people should take into account. Bear in mind that what might be important or necessary to you may be of no concern to another dog owner. Refrain from buying or rescuing a dog on impulse because the dog looked cute or you felt sorry for the dog. Be sure to include the whole family in the decision making process and take your time before taking the plunge. Best of luck to you in your search!
This post was written by Adam Miller of Big Dog Canine Behavioral Training. For more information or to learn how Adam can help with your dog needs, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.