Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How do you choose what type of dog that is best for you?

How do you choose what type of dog is best for you? Or put differently, what kind of dog are you and your family the best fit for?

It's not all about looks, but of course, we all have our preferences for what type of dog is cute. I know, I know, not everyone prefers the big giant fluffy Newfoundland dogs like I do lol. I would suggest starting with a list of what type of dog you prefer.

1. What size dog? Perhaps you just LOVE Great Danes but you live in a tiny apartment... hm.... but start with what you like best for your list, then compromise from there if need be.

2. What breed? Perhaps what type of breed doesn't matter to you, but if it does, this needs to be on your list too. Oh, and please, please research the breed thoroughly if you aren't very familiar with it already. An example that comes to mind is my favorite breed the Newfoundland Dog. As puppies they look like cute, fluffy little bear cubs. Oh yes, they are adorable!! However, soon these little bundles of fluff grow up to be big, very big, and strength to match or surpass their size.

They need exercise, obedience training and sometimes people can't handle their 150 pound newf. Then that dog could very well get placed in rescue or shelter and lose their family. Think before buying! I happen to love newfies, they are awesome, but they are not for everyone. I see the cute puppies and know that they will one day grow up to be huge dogs, and that's okay with me but I also had newfies before.

3. That does bring up point number 3 here. Do you have time to exercise a dog? All dogs need exercise. On our walks I see dogs that appear to mostly just be in their backyard for exercise. That is not acceptable. Dogs like that often end up barking obsessively at everything and anything. It really isn't their fault either. They are bored beyond belief so they pick up bad habits.

4. Money? Dogs need veterinary exams, vaccinations and routine care. Sometimes you have to take your dog to the vet for more than routine visits too. Dogs cost to upkeep and over here in the U.S. pet insurance sure doesn't seem to be a widespread thing like in Europe. Here you pay upfront even if you do have insurance usually, then they pay you back if your claim is accepted. In Europe, it works the same as medical usually does here for humans. You pay a co-pay then it goes through the insurance company.

5. Now, if you have your list together... and by all means this isn't an inclusive list, you should have a good idea of what type of dog might be good for you. With your list together, look up rescue groups for whatever breed you are interested. You can also go to your nearest shelter and see what types of dogs they have.

6. The most important thing I did leave for the last list point here. It is if you (and your family too) are a good fit for the dog, not just is the dog a good fit for you. Perhaps you came looking for a small dog, but that senior labrador retriever is a perfect match anyways? Choosing a dog that is good for you can be simple and can be difficult, but if you find the dog that is your match, oh so rewarding.

Gunilla Wachtel - Kanweienea Kreations Artfire studio
Gunilla is an artist who sells fine art prints and originals of orcas, horses, dogs and more through Artfire and other sites.


Debra at Sleepy Cat Designs said...

Excellent advice and points to ponder. Adopting a dog is a serious choice that leads to great fun and joy when the match is the right one.

Pam said...

What a fun, creative, fact-filled way to help people find the perfect dog for their family. Great job! I loved it!