Selecting the Best Dog for You and Your Family: A Modern Guide for Pet Owners

Are you thinking about getting a dog? You have a little soul searching to do first because there are so many pure breeds (500+) let alone the numerous “designer” breeds and mixed breed dogs. Some of the things you need to ask yourself include:

– should the dog be large, medium sized or a little dog
– what type of dog will fit best into your lifestyle
– how much exercise will the new dog need and how much can you give
– how much time are you willing to put in to train a dog
– is shedding okay or not
– are you ready for an energetic puppy or an older dog
– are you looking for a way to teach responsibility to children
– is a male or female dog better
– are you planning to travel with or without your dog
– what type of dog fits best in your home or apartment
– is your new dog just for you or for the whole family
– can your budget handle the start-up and the ongoing maintenance costs

Take the time to figure out the real reasons for getting a dog and sort out all the issues before taking the plunge. Research breeds and breeders and before you choose the dog talk to your veterinarian about the characteristics of the breed you have selected. If you want an older dog already trained and needing rescue, contact your local animal shelter. You can inquire about the types of dogs available for adoption and even be put on a list to be contacted if a dog of your preference becomes available. There are pet rescue sites on the internet featuring dogs that need to be adopted as well.

Don’t be taken in by the latest “hot” dogs if they are not the personality types for you. These dogs always seem so well behaved and can do interesting tricks. Remember that the dogs you see on television or in the movies like the Jack Russell Terrier on Frasier, or the Dalmatians in the Disney Dalmatian movies, or the Chihuahua in the Taco Bell commercials have been well trained. Unless you are willing to spend the time or money for that level of training you should think twice. You will have many wonderful years with your new dog if you take the time up front to make the best choice.

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