For your pets: Choosing a dog

Did you know that approximately 80% of people choose a dog solely on its looks? This is how people wind up with ones that are totally inappropriate for their sitiuation.

As you may know, most dogs were bred with a purpose. Greyhound? Racing and hunting. German shepherds, for security. Pugs? Pugs were bred as a lap dog, their only job was to hang out with their owners, nothing too athletic.

For every person there’s some appropriate breeds and then there are some that couldn’t be more wrong. For example, if you live in a city (or not on a farm) the last breeds you should look into are herding dogs. They’re beautiful but need approximately 30-60 miles of exercise a day to be at their best. Same goes with Huskies. Do you know that race the Iditarod? Scientists have studied the dogs that took part and it turns out that when the race is almost over at 1000 miles these dogs are just getting warmed up. Do you really feel you are able to exercise that dog enough? Being taken on a 5 mile daily run is like a walk to the bathroom for us. If you don’t like barky dogs, the last pet for you would be a beagle.

Puppies are adorable but take a huge amount of work. If you’re not into all the housebreaking and training that go with puppies you might want to think about adopting an older dog, they already know everything.

What’s the problem? It’s not fair to us or them, and all the frustration and extra energy can manifest into destructive behaviors like separation anxiety, eating your furniture or doors or worse. Getting the wrong dog for you and your family can be nipped in the bud by doing some research beforehand, ┬áit’ll make everyone happier.

Not sure who to ask? Check out shelters, groomers, pet food stores (ones that do not sell animals) and vets, these guys have loads of experience with all sorts of breeds and will tell you things someone trying to sell you a dog wouldn’t.

There’s nothing better than an ideal pet, their great for company and stress. Getting a dog is a life long commitment, please take you time to choose responsibly, it’ll be worth it.

2 comments to “For your pets: Choosing a dog”

  1. on 11 Aug 2011 at 5:10 amLiz

    Choosing to get a new dog is always a big decision. People should examine their current lifestyle and consider the adjustments that they are willing to do when choosing one. Making sure they are ready for a dog is essential before starting the process. The interesting thing is that people often look at shop / litter / kennel of dogs and pick the dog that most looks like them. The recent study concluded that, in a majority of cases, owners select dogs who resemble themselves. At first I did not believe it but when I clicked on Doggelganger website I was surprised. It is a pity that this project only runs in New Zealand.

  2. on 14 Aug 2011 at 10:12 amjen

    it’s so true! i used to think i’d grow up to own Scottish Terriers, until i did some research and learned how feisty and stubborn they can be…not bad dogs, just not the right dog for me. and i had no idea that Pugs shed so much! again, awesome dogs, but i like a little less hair in my life.

    my partner and i did lots of breed research before we got our dog, even though by then we knew we wanted a shelter dog, who was likely to be a mix. i’m still glad we did the research! it sucks to have to return or otherwise give up a dog because it wasn’t the right match.

    so do your research, and go to the shelter or a breed-specific rescue group! no one is more grateful than a rescued dog. they are friends for life.

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