How to Match Your Dog to Your Lifestyle

Considering the anthropological, social and cultural evidence that has documented the nature of the relationship since the canine was domesticated, what has man learned from his dealings with this unusually loyal of best friends? It is that a dog does not choose you, any more than he or she controls you. Having a dog and imbuing on it the indelible print of dominance is not a form of heinous control, but rather a social baring that the dog needs and wants as much as you need a good dog.

Responsibility is point number one. Choosing the right dog, to begin with, is the key to how your relationship is going to work out. If you live in a tiny, cramped, but oh so posh, Manhattan apartment, a Bull Mastiff may not be the ideal pooch for you. If you have your mail forwarded to your office, because you’re there most of the week, then perhaps a wound up, toy dog shouldn’t be wandering the confines of your lonely house.

Consider what your life is like. Take into account that your lifestyle needs to mirror the bred personality traits that your dogs already has. You’re not going to make a dog’s genes bend to your will, no matter how hard you try, so, as your first step, do your research; your patience and your dog will reward you, in the end.

That apartment we talked about earlier, it’s yours? You should consider adopting Greyhound. Not only could you save the life of something that gave years of its life to degenerate gamblers, but they’re pretty much genetically configured to find your dingy little closet you call a home, downright roomy.

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Let’s say, for instance, you know the your office better than your own home. If your work schedule makes for irregular and unpredictable hours away from home, then you’ll want to have a dog that is not only there to greet you, upon your return, but also one that won’t fret while you’re away. A Whippet, which looks much like a Greyhound, will work best. Often called the perfect all purpose dog, a Whippet’s mild temperament and innate patience will keep him occupied until you get home.

Your home is your castle and because of that, your paranoia has reached an all time high. Think about adopting a Dalmatian. While not an obvious first choice for security, keep in mind that this dog was bred to watch over carriages. They are just as paranoid as you are and twice as protective. A good investment if you are willing to put in the time and energy they need.

Putting that time in, right away, and regardless of what breed of dog you have chosen, is key in the development of a secure and worthwhile relationship with your mutt. Guidance through leadership; it’s what every dog ultimately craves and the best of dogs will come asking for it. Assuming the role of alpha, quickly, will serve you best.

Start with simple things like making the dog wait for you to give him or her attention. Your dog will realize he’s second in line when you regularly eat your meals before he gets his. And this means no table scraps! A dog will respond to your level of commitment and consistency; in that regard they are like a child. Establish, early on, your dislike of shenanigans. Commands are intended for the dog to behave, all the time so don’t just save them for those times you feel like being stern.

Don’t show pity, to the pooch, it’s an emotion he or she won’t understand. Dominance is your way of entering into their world and speaking to them so they can understand you. It’s not about bullying or making them cower, it is how a dog learns to respect and remain loyal to you, it’s master.

The phrase, “man’s best friend,” means just that. A dog owner wants a pet, a friend, not a commotion and not a project. Responsible owners will make sure that the home to which they bring their new dog is just as suited to the dog as the breed is to the owner.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Should you think that your pet needs medical attention, please contact your local veterinarian.  
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