Choosing a dog isn’t as simple as going down to the pet store and picking up a puppy. As fun as dog ownership can be, there are several major points you should consider before you welcome a new dog into your life.
Some dogs shed hair like crazy; others are hairless. Some breeds have a reputation for being friendly, while others were born to sniff out trouble. Whatever qualities you like in a dog, make sure you research the breed before you make your final decision.
Major Life Changes
Depending on the breed, dogs usually live between 15 to 20 years. If you anticipate moving to a different country, having children or switching to a radically different profession, it might be a good idea to hold off on getting a dog until your life settles down.
If you’re buying a puppy, it will be much easier for you to oversee his obedience training. However, if the dog is a few years old, make sure you learn about his past. Where did he live? How was he trained? What sorts of commands is he familiar with, and how does he respond to discipline?
Inside or Out
Some people enjoy sleeping with their dogs, while others prefer to keep them outside in the fresh air. Before buying a dog, you should determine whether he will be an “inside” or “outside” dog. If you plan on keeping your dog outside, you’ll need enough space for him to comfortably run around. You’ll need to also make sure you can provide suitable shelter. If your dog will live with you in the house, make sure you take him for regular exercise. Also, you’ll need to plan to spend time house training him.
Small or Large
Although it may seem obvious, make sure you research how big your dog will be at maturity. A tiny dog will require different care than an enormous Great Dane.
No matter what dog you choose, make sure you love taking care of him. Dogs can take a lot of work, but the rewards are priceless.