When looking for a dog to add to your family it is important to consider what you expect from a dog, and what the dog will expect from you. If you pick a dog based soley on looks or what you think the dog might be like you may be headed straight for disaster. I do understand that it is hard to figure out just what to look for or what you should ask yourself and the person selling the dog. So- here are a few quick tips and suggestions.
Be honest with yourself and your lifestyle. If you are a busy family with young children and already you are stretched for time you will be looking for something different than a young couple who like to hike and jog.
Do your research. Do some digging- go to the library- surf the net, find out about the breed, or breeds that interest you. A Shih Tzu is very different than a Border Collie- they have different requirements and more than likely you will be happier and more suited to one over the other.
Talk to people- Generally Pet Supply Stores, Vet Clinics, people at the dog park, Dog Trainers- all of these people will have ideas about what kinds of dogs are good with kids, or what kinds of dogs are hypoallergenic. It is important to get lots of opinions- not just your neighbors!!! Everyone is going to have something to say but there will be some common ground at least!
Think about where you will be in 5 years, 10 years....now picture the dog beside you. Does the dog fit in? I should hope so! A dog is lifetime commitment and should be loved for it's whole life.
Now for the fun part!
Part of my job (well, Volunteer Position) is to help people figure out what is the best kind of dog to suit their lifestyle. And by kind of dog I don't mean breed, more like "type" of dog.
There are LOTS of different breeds out there- and of course there are lots of mixes of all the before mentioned different purebreds. You will find both purebreds, and mix breeds at the animal shelter, rescue, and in the paper. It is your job to make sure you are making an educated decision- but it is my job as a rescue volunteer to help you!
So- I will be putting together a three Part Series
Are you ready for Fido
What kind of dog?
Where to find a dog?
And as always- if you are considering a dog but aren't quite sure what to do next- we are always more than willing to help out!