Adoptions - Choosing The Right Dog For You
Here at the Animal Services Agency Adoption Program, we try to assist the public in choosing the right dog for each situation. We have compiled a list of some important criteria to help you and your family in the selection of a new pet. Please take a few moments to read the information below as it is meant to be a guide in assisting you with your decision. Thank you.
- Why do you want a dog? For a companion, to do dog sports with, a pet for the children, etc. Your reasons for wanting a dog will affect your choice.
- Accommodations: Where you live, whether in a house you own with a fenced in yard or a small apartment, is going to be one of the biggest factors in choosing a dog. You want to be fair to the dog and to yourself. A Great Dane living in an apartment is not an ideal situation.
- Family: If you have children or elderly family members at home, you will need to find out as much as possible about the temperament of the dog you are looking for. Many breeds are known for having outstanding temperaments.
- Exercise: All dogs need daily exercise. How much is often determined by the size and breed of the dog. Large breeds generally require more exercise than small breeds. Dogs that are in the working, sporting, and herding groups all need quite a bit of exercise on a regular basis. If you work all day and the dog is going to be confined for a large period of time, this would be a major factor in your decision on what type of dog you are choosing.
- Grooming: All dogs require some form of basic grooming on a regular basis. Breeds with long coats need a substantial amount of brushing and other breeds such as poodles, schnauzers, etc., need to be clipped often. This can be costly and should be considered when you choose one of these breeds.
- Age of the Dog: Are you in a situation where you have the time and patience to train a new puppy? Young puppies can be a lot of work. An adult dog often has had some training and what you see is what you get. The size and appearance of the dog is already determined.
- Size of the Dog: Your accommodations will also determine what size of a dog you can handle. With cross breed dogs you cannot always tell how big the dog will get but by figuring out the approximate age of the dog and possible breeds, you can get a good idea. Regardless of the size of dog we suggest all dog owners take their pet for some basic obedience.
- Activity Level of the Dog: Many breeds are very active while others prefer to be couch potatoes. Not all small breeds are cut out to lounge around. Many of the terrier breeds are small but quite active. Some of the larger/giant breeds are happy with a regular, mild exercise routine.
- Personal Commitment: How much time you and your family members have to train, exercise and devote to your dog will determine what kind of pet you will end up with. The more time you can give to your dog the better your results will be. It is your job as a responsible pet owner to teach and train your dog to be a good canine citizen.
These are a few items to help assist you in your search for the right dog. We would like to stress that it is a major decision in getting a dog and one that is a lifetime commitment for that animal. If you have any questions please feel free to ask for one of the Animal Health Technologists who can help you.
Last update: 01.08.2008
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