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Proper dog selection: Finding the right one
Ally, Border Collie-Australian Shepherd
the right one
Finding the right dog can be one of those challenges that is right up there with deciding with shirt to wear or what to eat for dinner. The AKC has a registry that list over 200 breeds of recognized dogs, (and that is just the beginning). The American Humane Society has sseveral thousand dogs that are waiting for adoption all over the United States. The following steps will help you to pick out the right one for you.
Step 1: Find out what you want.
This is the first most important step in the process of getting a dog. Many people get dogs as puppies for Christmas and many of those dogs end up in the local shelter. Choose responsibly. Do research as to the breed or mixed-breed that you want. If you are a very active person that likes the outdoors, you might consider a dog that has high energy requirements, such as the following: Irish Setter, German Shorthaired Pointer, Border Collie, or Boxer. If you are a more laid back person who is not into the great outdoors, but does like the occasional walk around the neighborhood, you migh consider the following breeds: Otterhound, Basset Hound, Bulldog, or Pekingese. Please take into consideration your families needs before getting a dog. And please keep in mind that the purebreed dogs often come with a lot more health issues than the mixed-breeds or mutts do. If you do not want a purebreed, than a shelter dog would be perfect for your family. Please make sure that any dog you get is child and other pet friendly. We have all heard the horror stories of children being attacked by the dog that the owner said was good with children. Also keep in mind the size of the dog. Don't buy a Great Dane for a tiny apartment. Other minor things that you should keep in mind would be coat (i.e. shedding) and friendliness.
Step 2: DO YOU HAVE THE TIME!!!
This is often one of the biggest issues that our modern society has today with its dogs. If you do not have the time for a dog, please do not get one. Dogs are a big responsibility and require time and energy to train and take care off. Dogs require excercise and love. Please make sure you have the time.
Step 3: Training and Temperment
Chosse a dog that has a good temperment and is fairly easy to train. Do not get one that is going to challenge you during training, as these dogs are often the ones that end up causing problems in the long run. A happy dog that is willing to please and has some smarts is always a joy to train. When looking for a trainer, try to find one that does not use harsh techniques or one that is to laid back. Try to find one that is the middle ground. Remeber, that when you start training, you are the alpha dog, the pack leader. Don't let the dog boss you around.
Step 4: Where to put the dog?
This is another key ingrediant to proper dog ownership. Many people believe that dogs are an extension of their human family, and while this may be true, dogs are still animals. This means that the dog does not sleep in bed with you or get scraps from the table. Most dogs will do fine with a bed on the floor or in the garage. One key to keep in mind is that the bigger the dog, the more likely it will do just fine outside. Dogs like to be outside as this keeps them from getting bored and going after your latest Prada shoes or Armani bags. A kennel will suit them just fine.
Hopefully after you have followed these steps, you find that you can have a working relationship with your dog. Just keep in mind what will fit you and your family and that dogs are not humans, but animals, and should be treated with respect.