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Updated on March 19, 2012

Allsorts - the choice is difficult.

Mans' best friend needs no introduction!

Mans' best friend is widely acknowledged to be the dog. Some may disagree or prefer feline companionship, but for general appeal and versatility, the canine has won the race. How can anyone deny the appeal of these four legged friends and the sheer pleasure they can bring to any family. Before falling head over heels with that cute little puppy with the adorable appealing eyes, it is worth doing some research first. Finding the most suitable breed to fit in with your lifestyle saves a lot of pain or problems later on. Having said that, there are many examples where an unexpected rescue turned into a great success story despite seeming against the odds. Yes, there is always the exception that proves the rule . . . ;like in human relations it's often the unexpected chemistry that survives all the rest. No matter, it is worth doing some ground work first before opening your life to another living creature. It will have its own needs and rely on you to provide them.

Sorry,  I am still learning!
Sorry, I am still learning!

Children and pets . . .

Children and puppies have much in common. They both need a watchful eye to keep them out of trouble. As always, if there is a problem, it is usually with the owner. Careful training in the early days is vital. Setting the limits and boundaries of what is acceptable behaviour and what is not, is the responsibility of the leader of the pack! One of the first priorities will be toilet training. Be prepared for a few messes to need clearing up, but a puppy learns a lot faster than an infant. The initial efforts will reap dividends in the future. A note here about sad incidents that are occassionally reported about youngsters being attacked by a dog. These are indeed regrettable and usually due to a mismatch between unsuitable breeds and its surroundings. Certain dogs are working dogs and are not suited to inner city living. Like the captive birds and animals caged in zoos, they suffer from lack of space and exercise. Eventually they revolt or need to be relocated to an alternative environment. The result is in large part due to wrong decisions made by the owner and that the animal is not fully to blame. So do be warned that when making the correct choice it should be a reasoned one.

Marking my territory!
Marking my territory!

Motive is important too

Why do you want a dog in your life? Deciding to offer a dog a forever home should be for all the right reasons. Some misguided souls see them as a fashion accessory or little more than a toy. A dog is for life. It will hopefully be with you for at least 15 years or more. Other people purchase a powerful breed of dog better suited to security work. They require aggressive training and levels of handling. They are not meant to add machismo to an owner's personality. They rarely make ideal family pets and the outcome can be less than satisfactory.

Provided research is done and advice sought from people experienced in the dog world, these kind of problems can be avoided. This does not mean that all large dogs are aggressive. Some breeds are real gentle giants, whilst other tiny yappey little terriers can be highly strung ferocious animals. As a child I was lucky to be raised along with a collection of five different dogs. By and large we all got along fine. We had many happy times over the years and they taught us lifeskills that I remember to this day. As children we watched puppies being born, how to share and care for the weak and defenceless. What is loyalty, love and devotion. For a dog truly becomes a member of the family.

Chistopher Hitchens made a spot on observation:

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.”

Funny but a keen observation. It is this unquestioning devotion that makes dogs ideal companions. When they become old and slow down, they need our care and respect. For if as we are told, one of our years equals seven dog ones, then a ten year old canine is already a senior citizen.

The time will come when they will leave us! Either peacefully through natural causes, or perhaps they become infirm and in pain. That is the time some brave decisions must be made. It is hoped that we are strong enough to make the right decision and not prolong any unnecessary suffering. As in life, death should be with love and dignity. Fond memories will remain as with relatives and other family members who departed at their given time.

All sizes too . . .
All sizes too . . .

Which Dog - Thorough Bred or Mixed Breed?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: The choice of dog is a very personal one. No doubt if one is interested in breeding, then one looks for an expensive dog in prime condition and a perfect example of its breed. Be it a Spaniel or a Great Dane, a Labrador or an exotic, it is an investment of money, time and emotion. On the other hand, if one desires a companion and playmate, many mixed or cross breeds are highly intelligent and packed full of character. Read up on the advantages and disadvantages connected to the different breeds. Try to avoid those over miniaturised toy breeds. They often suffer from defects and poor health. Give me a cute and healthy mashup any day! Some of my best friends are the result of mixed marriages and I love them all the more for that! Of course each dog has its own personality just like we people do! I can't resist including the viral video because it always makes me laugh and that is what owning a dog is all about. . . happiness!

Friends speak the same language!

More good advice from sholland10 . . .

More good advice from sholland10: I would like to finish the post by referring you to read sholland10 excellent Hub Page which is full of advice and an excellent checklist. I have included the link below.

Good luck with finding your forever friend and hope you all live long and happily ever after. Thanks for reading & Ciao for now!


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    • christollesseb profile image

      christollesseb 6 years ago from UK ME ASIA

      Hi jc,

      Lets keep laughing . . . thanks for stopping by. Christo

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 6 years ago from Tasmania

      I love that video clip... great laugh...poor Bonzo!