Making the decision to welcome a new furry family member into your home is a big step that requires forethought and planning. Choosing the right dog to fit your lifestyle is a big component in making the move to be the best doggie parent possible!
There are a handful of criteria I take into consideration when helping people with the match-making process. First and foremost, size. All dogs are adorable as puppies, but take into account the full grown size of the dog and the amount of space you have available. Second, energy level. Just because a dog is smaller, doesn’t mean it will just hang around the house, and not every large dog requires obscene amounts of exercise. Thirdly, consider lifestyle as well – do you work long hours? Are you an outdoorsy person or a couch potato? Do you plan on adventuring with your dog or do you stick to a pretty regular routine? These three baseline criteria will set you up for careful consideration when you go to pick out your next dog.
Once you have an idea of size, energy and how you want your dog to fit into your lifestyle, now it is time to figure out where to actually look for your new buddy. The two most common ways to obtain a dog are either through rescues and shelters or from a breeder. Both sides have their pros and cons. Getting a dog from a shelter, you get to save a life, and there is nothing better than feeling like you made an impact on an animal’s life. You also have the opportunity to adopt an older dog, where you have a better gauge of how large the dog will be and their temperament isn’t as much as a coin toss. However, rescue dogs can come with their fair share of problems, including separation anxiety, resource guarding, etc.
When you are purchasing a dog from a breeder, you have the ability to get history on the dog’s lineage and get an idea of what to expect health and personality wise. A good breeder is often willing to help new owners match with a puppy. Getting a purebred dog also allows you to be particular about the type of dog you are buying based on general qualities of the breed you pick. However, you can often be looking at higher price tags with these dogs, and you run the risk of unconsciously supporting a puppy mill type of operation.
“You run the risk of unconsciously supporting a puppy mill type of operation.”
All in all, once you have spent some time making decisions on the type of dog you want to suit your lifestyle and where you are going to get your dog from, it is important to speak with a trainer (even before you welcome your pup into your home!) so that you can make sure you are set up with all the skills needed for a successful transition into their new family!
If you enjoyed this post, you should read “How To Have Conversations with Neighbors About Their Barking Dog” here.