Choosing a dog can be both thrilling and nerve-wracking. What kind of dog should I get? is just one of the many thoughts that go through your head when choosing a new dog. “Which dog breed is best for me?”
Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend for a variety of reasons. They amuse us with their antics, greet us every day with an enthusiastic wag of the tail (regardless of how frequently you leave and return), and provide countless photo opportunities to adorn our social media feeds. But there are other factors as well that make dogs the best. In fact, scientific evidence supports the notion that our canine friends are the superior species.
Here are some guidelines to help you select the ideal dog for you.
You might already be certain that you want a small, portable lap dog, or you might have your heart set on a large or giant dog breed. If you’re having trouble deciding, a medium-sized dog might be a good option.
Just keep in mind that some small dogs are delicate and more prone to harm. Serious harm can result from being stepped on or handled carelessly. Additionally, small dogs may be more sensitive to colder temperatures, so be prepared to provide warmth for them. Due to their small size, they might also require more frequent meals and bathroom breaks, making them more high maintenance than some larger dogs.
Remember that even small dogs require obedience training! Since they are simple to pick up and physically remove from challenging situations, small dogs are not always trained consistently. This can result in undesirable behaviors like growling, nipping, or a constant need for attention. Make sure you are ready for this scenario.
- Activity Level
Most likely, you are already aware that some dogs are more spirited than others. Although a dog’s breed frequently determines their activity level, you shouldn’t rely solely on breed to predict how active your dog might become. Regardless of breed or size, all dogs need daily exercise, so make sure you can provide it. You’ll probably do better with a lower-energy dog, like a Basset Hound, if you know you can only commit to one or two casual walks per day. Consider a breed like the Border Collie if you’re looking for a dog that can be a jogging partner, an agility competitor, or a “disc dog.”
Be prepared to change how much exercise and consideration you give your dog if necessary. A dog who is constantly barking, digging up your yard, wrecking your house, or otherwise acting out may require extra activities, mental stimulation, and training. Excessive energy exacerbates many behavioral issues. Due to behavior issues that may result from a lack of socialization, exercise, training, and attention, it is crucial to do your research and ensure the dog you want is compatible with your lifestyle. Sadly, many dogs are given up or even put to sleep because of behavior issues.
- Physical Maintenance
All dogs require some basic grooming, but depending on their coat type, some breeds may require more. If you adopt a dog whose hair is perpetually growing, advanced routine grooming is crucial. The majority of short-haired, smooth-coated dogs shed a lot, so plan on doing additional cleanup. Some grooming implements can lessen shedding.
It’s important to remember that dogs with long, floppy ears are more likely to develop ear infections and may need repeated, thorough ear cleanings. Additionally, many small-breed dogs are susceptible to dental disease, which may necessitate pricey dental procedures in addition to devoted daily brushing at home. Additionally, some dog breeds have a tendency to drool a lot. In order to wipe the drool, many owners of Mastiffs, Bloodhounds, and other similar dogs actually carry a “slobber cloth” with them. Watch out if they shake their heads!
How can I tell if a dog is healthy?
- Shiny, Clean Coat
Natural oils and shedding give healthy pets’ coats a glossy, clean appearance. Unless your pet got dirty, a healthy pet doesn’t need to be bathed frequently. Regular bathing is not necessary and can cause skin irritation in pets with fur (as opposed to certain breeds with hair that require grooming).
- Clean Breath
A pet’s health can be accessed through a healthy mouth. Good health is indicated by relatively fresh breath and teeth free of tartar buildup.
Periodontitis or gingivitis in your dog can eventually affect critical organs and result in serious health problems. It results from the accumulation of food particles, plaque, and tartar in the spaces between the gum line and the tooth’s root.
Which age of dog is ideal for you?
- Baby (puppies)
The most training and care must be given to puppies, especially during the first six months. Be prepared to spend a significant amount of time training and raising your new puppy. In addition to chewing your furniture and personal items, your dog will probably have a lot of accidents in the house. With dedicated training, these issues will eventually disappear, but patience is essential. Additionally, if you adopt a mixed-breed dog, you should be prepared for the possibility that your puppy will develop differently than you had anticipated. This is just something to be aware of, not that it is necessarily a bad thing.
- Young dogs
Young dogs can make a great option. If you want to get a good sense of the true energy level, attitude, and temperament of your new dog, an adult might be a better option. You should still anticipate some level of dedicated training at first because just because the dog is an adult does not mean he is trained. Thankfully, a lot of adult dogs have had some training and socialization, and they are therefore able to easily adapt to their new lives in their forever homes.
- Older dogs
It’s important to remember older dogs! The golden years of a dog can be filled with joy by bringing an older dog into your home. Unfortunately, older dogs have a lower chance of being adopted and frequently end up dying in shelters or being put to sleep.
If you’re looking for a lower-energy dog, an older dog can be a wonderful companion. However, it’s crucial to be aware that your older dog requires particular care, requires more frequent veterinary examinations, and is more likely to experience health issues that require time and money to resolve. You should be aware that you won’t spend as much time with your older dog as you would with a puppy or adult dog. If you’re ready to take on the obligations, think about adopting an older dog. One of the most kind things you can do for these priceless creatures is this.
You can take a few days to a week off of work to help settle your new dog or puppy in and begin housebreaking him or her. Additionally, it will strengthen your relationship, which will make training go more smoothly.