Just seeing that furry little bundle in front of a free grocery store doesn’t mean it’s the puppy you should take home. Adopting a dog is an important decision, and you need to do your research to make sure you are finding the right breed and temperate dog for your family. Understanding the differences between the races will help you make a good decision so that your new family member can bring you joy for years to come.
The first thing to keep in mind is that the American Kennel Club classifies dogs by group. There are seven different categories of dogs: sporting, non-sporting, toy, terrier, hound, working, and a miscellaneous class. Matching your family to the right group will give you a good base to work on. Read about each group and find out what makes it special.
Some things to keep in mind when deciding to adopt a new dog or puppy:
There is a compromise involved in owning a dog. They really become like a child, incurring food and medical expenses. Be prepared to take your dog with you on a trip or make arrangements when you are away.
Match your lifestyle to the type of dog you want. Clean-conscious people may want to steer clear of long hair and heavily coated dogs, while those who want a dog to participate in walks and outdoor adventures will want a high-energy dog. If you are in an apartment, you may want a lower-energy dog that is content to stay indoors.
Read up on the habits of certain breeds before making a decision; terriers, for example, are notorious for digging. Some varieties are “yippy”. Some breeds are protective, while others are overly friendly. Make sure you can deal with the dog’s habits. Some dogs have inherent health problems. Dog health is very important and you will need to review how to care for your dog.
Size matters when selecting a dog. Do you have room for a giant dog or would you prefer to have a lap dog? German Shepherds, Labs, and other dogs require more space. If you live in small rooms, a large dog can get under your feet. Little dogs love to jump on you and hug them.
He has children? Is the breed known for biting? Certain breeds are much more likely to bite on small fingers, while larger dogs can knock over small children. That is why it is important to find the right breed that will fit your puzzle perfectly.
Getting your dog from a reputable breeder will help you avoid health problems that may be prevalent in a particular breed. Use the AKC or other breeder association to find a good breeder match for your puppy.
You don’t have to go the puppy route. You can also rescue an older dog. Many purebred and mix dogs are available through shelters. Do your research to find a rescue group near you; Many of these can give you a history of the dog and an idea of the temperament (and potential problems if they exist).
Taking your time and finding the right pet will give you and your family endless joy and kisses from your furry friend. Nothing better than hearing those footsteps running to greet you at the door and the happy queue wagging when mom or dad come home.