bulldog walking

Choosing the Right Dog

bulldog walking

Matching Your Dog and Your Lifestyle.

Do you know what sort of dog you want? The worst thing you can do is buy a puppy, get him settled into his new home, and then discover he really doesn’t suit you or your lifestyle so you’re forced to find another home for him.

This may be heartbreaking for you, your family and your puppy too, as he has probably become somewhat used to you and his new environment. Sadly, most puppies usually find their way into Animal Welfare facilities.

Do your homework thoroughly and view every possible outcome that may occur as a direct result of your choice to buy a puppy. Then you should be able to choose what will become a very integral part of your life and that of your family. The following factors must be analysed fully before you make that ultimate purchase.

Are you able to have your dog fully enclosed?

Check every inch of the space where you’ll keep your dog when you’re out or when he goes out for exercise. All fencing must be tightly secured. This includes the bottom of the fencing because some dogs can burrow their way under almost any type of fence. Check that he can’t jump over it, squeeze between the gate fittings or fence palings, or squeeze between any wires that are part of the fencing.

Can you give your dog enough exercise?

You need to spend quality time with your beloved dog and exercise is part of that time. Dogs vary as to the amount of exercise needed. If your dog wants a walk every day, that may motivate you to do the same. It’s great exercise physically and it can calm you mentally at the same time. Life doesn’t always go to plan, of course, but if your dog is kept cooped up a lot of the time, it’s grossly unfair of you to buy him in the first place.

Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier

Dog people will naturally talk to other dog people as they walk in public places. This can mean you’ll make more friends and feel as though this daily commitment is of great benefit to you as well as your four-legged friend.

Coat Care

Owning a dog isn’t just feeding and exercising him. It also means caring for his coat on a regular basis. The grooming process can help strengthen the bond between your beloved pet and you. There are numerous problems that can occur if you don’t do this regularly. Here are a few examples:

Your fluffy, cute puppy can turn into a real mess if he’s not groomed on a regular basis.
Breeds with short coats can moult and their hair seems to go everywhere including your carpet, furniture, clothes, and even your bed if he spends time in bed with you.

A professional dog groomer salon can be costly. Finding a reliable, caring groomer can be difficult to locate and harder to even get an appointment.
Professional groomers rarely try to comb the knots out of matted hair that’s quite long. They tend to cut the coat off right down to the skin. Once it starts growing back (like a carpet), it’s nearly impossible to comb. In between those times, you can either cover your pet in a rug similar to the ones used on horses, or leave his skin open to the weather and then he can get sunburnt in the hotter weather and wet and cold in the lower temperatures.

So it’s wise to choose a dog breed with a coat you know how to look after. Ensure you have plenty of time to learn how best to look after it. If your new pet is a cross-breed, it may be complete guesswork, trying to decide the type of coat he has. On the other hand, there’s copious amounts of information available regarding purebreds that you can learn.

Do you know your local laws?

If you reside in a city, it’s essential to check the local laws governing dogs and the location of on-leash and off-leash areas where your dog can be exercised. If you wish to buy a big dog, there may be restrictions on where he can and can’t be exercised. In many local councils, you have to get your dog registered (in a similar way to how you pay rates. If you’re a renter or live in a retirement village or unit, check with the people running the place you live about what rules are in place regarding whether you can have a dog.

What dog is good for a family that includes children?

If children grow up having a dog living in their home, it should be pleasurable for the dog and the children. If children grow up with no pets, a lifetime of experiences are missed. However, there are certain safety elements to consider.

First off, particularly if the children are small, remember dogs are actually pack animals. The majority of dogs don’t see children in the same way as adults. A dog could attempt to treat the child as part of a pack and try to dominate him/her and this may include biting. If you buy a dog for a family with children, you must be “the boss” 100% of the time and this means you never leave the dog alone with a child.

Tibetan Spaniel
Tibetan Spaniel

A helpful solution is having a small dog cage where he can go to escape the child if you’re not home. The dog will get used to the concept of “his space” and the child learns that their dog can sometimes prefer to be left alone and that he does have feelings.

By creating and abiding by these rules, introducing a new dog to the family will be a great learning experience as well as being fun for everyone.

What’s your lifestyle?

If you’re a single person in a tiny apartment that’s on the third floor, choosing a large retriever is not the best idea. However, if you love running and want someone who can keep up with you OR if you have lots of kids who will enjoy playing with a dog, then the bigger dog can be worthwhile.

You need to evaluate a dog’s compatibility with your children, exercise needs, assertiveness and friendliness before buying a dog of any kind. You’re not merely buying a dog. You’re buying a new family member, someone to care for, play with, feed, pat and simply enjoy as part of your family.

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