Let’s start with some questions you need to ponder, and issues you need to consider:
● Lifestyle. What is your lifestyle like? Do you work a lot outside the house or are you at home all day? Do you travel a lot? If you do, where will you dog stay when you’re not there? Do you lead an active lifestyle or more sedentary? Do you live in the city or in the country? All of these are important factors in deciding which dog is right for you.
● Money. Dogs are expensive. They need food, vaccinations, and can have pricey vet bills if they get sick. Calculate how much you will spend each month so you can see if your income will easily cover the expenses of having a dog.
● Apartment or house. This will help you determine what size dog you can manage. You should also check to see if your apartment block will allow pets.
● Free time. How much time do you have spare to give your dog? Some breeds need constant attention and shouldn’t be left alone.
● Stimulation. Some breeds are highly intelligent and active, traits that require a lot of mental stimulation and physical exercise. How much activity you can provide – both for the dog’s mind and body – will help determine the breed that will be best for you.
● Pedigree or mutt. A pedigree has the advantage of you knowing the temperament and typical characteristics of that particular breed. A mutt can be less predictable yet adopting or buying as an adult reduces the risk of unknown traits surfacing later.
● Grooming. You need to consider how much time you can commit to brushing your dog’s coat. Some dogs have a huge amount of fur or even dreadlocks (think the Hungarian Puli) which need extra care and attention.
Also, some breeds (such as the Bulldog) are notorious for drooling and can leave slithers of saliva here, there, and everywhere. That’s not to put you off, just to warn you of the cleaning and maintenance required in taking care of a dog.
These are a few things you should really take a long, hard look at, to help you get an idea of what type of dog will be best for you. It may be your dream to have a husky, but if you live alone in a small apartment in a city and spend all day working outside of the house, it’s not an ideal choice.
This chapter looked at some of the most important factors to consider when deciding on getting a dog.
There are several factors you need to consider before getting a dog. These include:
● looking at your lifestyle
● how much money you have to spend on a dog per month
● whether you live in an apartment or a house
● how much stimulation you can provide them
● how much free time you have
● how much grooming you want to do, and
● whether to get a pedigree or a mixed breed.
Once you have a clear idea of what type of dog would be a good match for you, you are one step closer to giving your future canine friend a new home.
Let’s take a look at the different dog groups next, and learn their typical characteristics.