The More You Know: Choosing the Right Dog P.1
When it comes to choosing the right kind of dog best suited to your lifestyle it helps to gain as much information as possible. The goal is to provide a loving forever home for your new canine companion, so it will take more time than researching the best cell phone. No one has a 12-year-old cell phone.
You may decide a calm Jack Russel Terrier who likes to lie on the couch all day or a perky Basset Hound who loves to run would be the best match for you. With just a little bit of research you will quickly learn how that is probably not a realistic plan. Now wouldn’t it be great if there was a place where you could learn about all the different breeds of dogs? There are such places! Dog Shows are a great place to see the over 140 American Kennel Club registered breeds and talk with their owners about their habits and natural behaviors. If attending a dog show is not realistic for your schedule, visit a local Petland, where trained pet counselors can show you different breeds and you can learn about their characteristics and tendencies. And the best part is you can play with them!
The most important question you must answer with the utmost honesty is how much time you have to spend with your dog regardless of the breed. Dogs have one item on their To-Do List – Be With You! Dogs are time intensive not space-intensive. A big yard is nice for a dog to be able to run but after a few spins around the yard, they are usually at the door looking for you. You can have a full-time job and be a perfect dog owner if you create a budget for Doggy Day Care and set aside time to play before and after work. Dogs who are isolated and inactive all day are much more likely to engage in destructive behaviors around the house or have lapses with their house training.
If you are considering a puppy then time is, even more, important. Puppies require a more intensive time commitment for at least the first 6-9 months. Puppy obedience classes are a must. It is the most worthwhile time commitment you can make with your new puppy. A well-run obedience class will teach you how to train your puppy and provides the opportunity for your pup to learn to play with others in a safe environment.
Your best chance to provide the ideal, loving forever home for your new best friend is to learn as much as you can about various breeds of dogs and be realistic about your time schedule and your lifestyle.