Dog ownership is a big commitment. There are hundreds of thousands of dogs in rescue shelters around the world because people did not do their research before acquiring a dog. Owning a dog is not just about picking a cute pup and taking it home; a responsible dog owner will consider a whole host of factors before making the decision to buy. The size of your home, the people in your family (whether you have children, for example), the amount of free time you have and even the nature of your work can have a large influence on your suitability as a dog owner.
Points to Consider
Sharing your life with a dog is fulfilling, rewarding and fun. But good dog ownership starts even before you choose a breed. A good dog owner will research what type of dog they are best equipped to look after. Dogs have differing requirements and personalities – some dogs require lots of exercise, lots of food and lots of space, others are more laid back and prefer a quiet life. Knowing what you can realistically offer a dog in terms of care is the first step in finding the right dog for you. A good dog owner will also be confident that they can afford the veterinary bills, food and grooming costs associated with dog ownership over the animal’s entire lifetime.
Puppy or Adult?
The joy of bringing home a new puppy is hard to match But getting an older dog has many advantages too.
In most cases, older dogs are house-trained and have a history that enables new dog owners to make more informed choices regarding suitability. With so many older dogs in rescue centres, there is a wide choice of breeds and ages for prospective dog owners to choose from, and the cost is often much lower than that of buying a puppy. In many cases, dogs at rescue centres are ‘free to a good home’.
Finding Your Dog
There are numerous ways a potential dog owner can go about finding the right dog for them, but you have to be sure that you are properly equipped in terms of time, space, lifestyle and funds before beginning the search It is easier to decide that you are not quite ready for dog ownership prior to seeing lots of adorable pups. Once the decision is made to get a dog, it is important to find out what breed, sex, age and type will suit you.
Although you may be able to purchase a puppy from a pet shop, buying directly from a breeder can have many benefits A breeder is often enthusiastic about the breed he or she specializes in and will be prepared to give plenty of advice. If you buy a dog from a breeder, he or she should be able to show you the puppies with their mother. This will allow you to see how each litter member interacts, thus enabling you to pick the one with the personality that best complements your situation.
Breeders typically breed for the love of the dog, rather than for money, so do not be surprised if the breeder you visit bases his or her operations at home. The breeder may also ask for your references, and some insist on visiting potential homes. Make sure you ask a lot of questions. and do not select a dog until you are absolutely sure.
Rescue Centre or Shelter
Some people prefer to get their dog from a shelter or rescue centre. These places are home to many different types of dogs, of varying breeds, ages and backgrounds. Sadly, some may have been abandoned or mistreated, so seek advice from the staff on which dogs may be more challenging. There will also be a good number of older dogs looking for a home; typically these will be house-trained and less active than pups.
A Buying a puppy is an important decision, sadly too many dogs end up in rescue centres. such as Battersea Dogs Home
Before handing over a dog, all good shelters will require a visit to your home to ensure that your set-up is suitable. Also, the better – often breed-specific – rescue homes usually take a profile of prospective owners, and then match a specific dog to you, in order to avoid ‘returns’ as much as possible.
From a Friend
You may choose to take a puppy from a dog with which you are already familiar. The advantage of this is that you will know the parent dogs and can make a better judgement of how the puppy is likely to turn out.
Breed Differences and Personality Types
Personality differs from dog to dog. but it differs even more so from breed to breed. Certain breeds are associated with certain types of behaviour and personality. and these attributes can be traced back to the working roles of that particular breed. In some cases dogs demonstrate atypical personality attributes for their breed All dogs share some very important personality traits such as a drive to eat, reproduce and protect, but other attributes are more breed specific.
Intelligence is associated with working pastoral and herding breeds such as the Border Collie and German Shepherd Due to the breeding stock that was initially used and the type of work the dogs are used to doing. any dog that has a history of droving or herding will be of above-average intelligence
Aggression is present in all breeds. as it is linked to the survival instinct. but some dogs are more prone to becoming aggressive more easily These tend to be breeds that were bred originally for guarding or for lighting as their ancestors were selected especially because of their propensity for aggression
Almost every breed is inherently loyal, with the possible exception of a few breeds that are used for lone hunting. Hound breeds are likely to be more loyal than most dogs, often to the exclusion of other family members The Greyhound is known for its devotion, this is because Of the natural inclination the dog has to form a partnership with a master, due to its working origins.
Tenacity, manifested either in play or work, is most prevalent in terrier breeds. Terriers were required to be hard. energetic workers. so only the ones with the right skills were used for breeding, meaning that the terriers of today typically display a great deal of tenacity and vigour