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- Selecting a Dog
Best Dog Breed Selector : Matching Your Dog to Your Personality
What Kind Of Dog Should I Get?
Do you know how to select the breed of dog that is best for you? With the large number of dog breeds that have been developed in the last 100 years it seems there is a dog out there for everyone!
There are a few important considerations you need to look in to when selecting a new dog, however, and please take the time to choose carefully. There are breeds that do not shed much, do not bark much, are great with kids, are good watch dogs, and some others that are just good at being a companion.
A dog is not like a new purchase that you can just dump if you do not like, since with proper health care she is going to be part of your life for the next ten or fifteen years!
So what kind of dog should you get?
Should I Get A Purebred Dog?
Having a purebred dog can be important, not just because of your new ability to show him off to your neighbors! When you get a purebred you know what your dog is going to look like and how big he will be when he is older, and maybe more about his personality.
Unfortunately some purebreds are selected to have traits that make them less than healthy, and other purebreds all trace their ancestry back to a few dogs that carried a genetic disease. There are numerous examples, like hip dysplasia in German Shepherds, bleeding disease in Dobermans, back problems in Dauchsands, eye problems in Pugs, etc.
This decision on whether or not to have a mutt puppy is really up to you and no dog should be looked down upon because he does not have “papers”.
Only get a purebred if the dog you find for your family happens to have papers.
Which Breed Is Best?
There is no such thing as a “best breed”. Certain dogs were developed for special purposes. Although they make acceptable pets, breeds that were developed for personal protection, like the Doberman, will probably be happiest if they have a job to do.
Some breeds are better for some lifestyles; some are not suited well and will be unhappy in their new home. A Border collie has a lot of energy and is not the type of dog that should be locked up all day long in an apartment. A Pug shouldn’t be owned by an “Iron man” who wants to take his dog on 20 mile hikes in the mountains.
Do plenty of reading. Start out with books that discuss all of the breeds you might be interested in and if you think you have found out what type of dog you want research even further. The breed books written about the individual breeds are usually terribly biased so it would be a good idea to talk to just a few people that own that dogs of that breed.
I have owned large dogs like Pit Bulls, Siberian Huskies, and Rottweilers, small dogs like the Maltese and the Pomeranian, as well as a Lhasa, a Shepherd, and several dogs of questionable ancestry and medium size. I have also had the joy of working with dogs of many different breeds in veterinary practice and training classes. As you can see I have no breed preference. The Siberian Huskies were perfect at that point of my life, my Maltese was great when I lived in Chicago, but at the moment I have a Pit Bull cross from a backyard breeder. They were all great.
Where Should I Search For My New Dog?
If you get your dog from a pet shop, he comes from a backyard breeder or a puppy mill, the puppy has probably not had any socialization and may have been raised in a cage where he has been playing in his stool. If you start out with a dog like that you are going to have problems.
Some shelter puppies and adults are excellent. He may be a great dog that has just outgrown his puppy cuteness and the owners have grown bored with him, he may be a dog from a puppy mill that will be difficult to train, he may be a dog with a serious behavioral problem that will require extensive therapy. Shelters keep a lot of dogs from being euthanized by providing them with new homes, though, so you have to look into your heart and decide if you are willing to save a dog´s life.
It is really easier to buy a dog from a breeder that has spent plenty of time with the puppies and evaluated the personalities before sending the puppies on to their new homes. Take the time to research the breeder on the internet and then go and look over the location. If you are not happy with the way the adults are treated you should not be buying a puppy there. Look for another breeder, find a breed rescue, or try the local animal shelter or Petfinder.com.
So How Can I Tell?
Actually finding a dog that suits your personality is the most important part about getting a new dog. Make sure her personality fits yours. If you are quiet and spend most of the day sitting at your computer and writing articles on the internet, you need a quiet dog who will be satisfied with the attention you give and then sit around quietly. If you are in to taking long hikes and want a companion for camping, find a dog that fits that style of life. Are you a runner? A rancher that needs a dog to run the cattle? No matter which dog you choose she will need to walked and groomed, but look at every dog you can and find one that is right for you; remember, there is a dog out there for all sorts of people.
Even getting a specific breed does not guarantee you will be free from problems. There are horror stories about aggressive Golden Retrievers, lazy Border Collies, hyperactive Maltese, and Siberian Husky guard dogs. The only thing you can do is pick the right type of dog and then make sure that she has been evaluated properly and will fit your lifestyle. If the breeder has not already done this, spend time with all the puppies and use the puppy evaluation test from “Dog Training for Dummies” by Jack and Wendy Volhard. I tested all the puppies from my dogs’ family using that system and I am glad I did.
Several of them did not fit my lifestyle but the dog I selected is a perfect companion!
Yours can be too.
Once you bring your new puppy home, make sure to start training early. This book will take you in the right direction. Make sure that you have a canine good citizen
Training Your New Dog
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- How to Train a Crazy, Chewy, Nippy Puppy
Need tips on dealing with a crazy puppy? Find the answers to your questions here.
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Simple and cheap method to potty train your puppy, with tips on how to spend each day.
- How to Train a Puppy Early
If your puppy can walk and knows what is going on in her world, it is time to start training. There are some things to take into consideration when training a small puppy--start now!