How to Pick the Right Dog for You

Whether we have a family or we live alone, at one time or another many of us want a pet. Pets can be fun for our kids or give us companionship when we are alone. I have a family, and when we decided to get a pet, we decided to adopt from a local humane shelter.

We intended to go in and find the perfect little dog for us. There were no little dogs. There were many large dogs or dogs that would grow to be monstrous. Since we lived in town and had a small home, this was not the type of dog for us.

I had grown up with dogs. Because of this, I had no experience with felines and hadn’t been a big fan of other’s cats creeping up behind me and rubbing all over my legs, leaving me to look like I was half hairy Sasquatch. When we realized we weren’t going to be getting our marvelous pooch, the kids still had their hearts set on having a pet. They asked if we could look at the kittens. That’s what we got, and I love my little fur-kids today. We’d have never been happy with a large dog considering our location and environment.

If you have your heart set on a dog, there are several things you should consider before bringing Fido home. Failure to weigh out the important details of your situation could leave you with regrets and your doggy very unhappy.

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Start with where you live. Do you live in the city or do you live in the suburbs? Great big dogs obviously don’t do as well in the city as in the burbs.

Consider how active you are. If you go for a run or a walk after you get home from work, you might want to consider a hound. Smaller-sized hounds like the whippet, beagle, or basenji can be great workout buddies. They enjoy apartment living so they are also fit for life in the city.

If you prefer to plop down on the couch when you get home, consider getting a compact dog that will be content to take short daily walks. Look into the French bulldog or the bichon frise. If you’re a couch potato and into the ‘dog-in-your-tote-look’, go for a toy. These dogs are petite so keep in mind that tiny toys may be too fragile if you have children. A mellow, small dog would be a pug while a feisty toy would be a Pomeranian. Hounds, toys, and non-sporting type pooches all do well as city dwellers.

If you live in the suburbs and having a watchdog to feel safe is in your liking, you may want to consider training a puppy for this job. If you can be a tough trainer, you can train the playful and alert terrier. The Wheaton, for instance, will bark at strangers but have the potential to be destructive unless they are trained properly.

If you’re a softy and would prefer a quick learner so that you don’t feel as if you’re cracking the whip, pick a herding dog. They’re easy to train and very territorial. Border collies and German shepherds were bred to keep flocks together. They do well outside of the city limits.

If you reside in the burbs and if having a watchdog is not your style and would like to keep martial-law out of your relationship between you and your dog, go for a sporting dog. Golden retrievers are very friendly. The down-side to the retriever is its constant, profuse shedding. A spaniel is less hairy and equally sporty.

Keep these points in mind before deciding on bringing home a dog. You don’t want to get a dog that only ends up making you or your neighbors miserable. You especially don’t want to get a dog that will end up unhappy with his new home. Be smart when picking your pooch and you will both have a great relationship together.

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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