Choosing the Right Breed
After much discussion, the whole family has agreed that the timing is right, to add a fur-baby to the household.
Now the decision as to where to get your new friend, there are two options:
1) Adopt a rescue, or shelter dog, a noble cause, there certainly is no shortage of rescues, and with all the rescue clubs, you could have your choice of most any breed. But of course, the most obvious advantage to getting a rescue is you are saving a life.
2) Buy from a Breeder, now this choice gets a little trickier, because finding a Breeder that sincerely cares about the breed, (they are out there) is not that easy a task. There are a lot of unscrupulous people out there who are more than happy to separate you from your money, by selling you a bill of goods, about the fabulous health and quality of their puppies. When in reality you are supporting the lowest of the low a “Puppy Mill”. (It hurts me to just type those two words)
So if there is no appealing to your compassionate side, by trying to talk you into a rescue or shelter dog. PLEASE make every effort to research who you are buying from. One thing you absolutely do not want to do is unconsciously encourage the monetary gain of a Puppy Mill. The idea is to starve them out of business.
Next, the decision regarding, what kind of dog. This is not a lightweight decision, picking the right breed or mix of breeds is the difference between having a best friend or inviting untold grief and heartache into your home.
First Thought… The dogs Coat… Are you a neat freak who must have the home just perfect? If that is you; make a decision to cross off the breeds that are going to shed, and some shed a lot. In that same trend of thought, some dog’s coats require grooming, if you are short on time and money, cross out those high maintenance coats, that need to see a groomer every 6 weeks. But if the only concern is money, you can always learn to groom your own dog. You should groom anyway, to bond with your dog.
Second Thought…Time Constraints…What is your schedule? Are you always trying to find the time just to keep up with your normal everyday activities? If your time is at a premium, you should cross off the the list, those breeds that require heavy/daily maintenance. With some breeds, that walk to go potty, is not going to come close to giving them what is necessary to fulfill their needs in terms of exercise,. Some dogs are like the energizer bunny and without an outlet to release that energy; they can develop some heavy emotional issues, which in turn, makes them become the “Destroyer” of all things household. Therefore, if time to devote to the dog is a problem. May I recommend only looking at dogs that require the amount of time than you are prepared to offer?
Next consider Size… Do you like big dogs, great, but if you live in a third floor apartment, that consists of a Kitchen and a Bedroom that doubles as your living room, you might want to reconsider those large lumbering breeds. Also, let’s not forget to talk about the cost of upkeep. Certainly, it is going to be a big expense to feed and pay for the upkeep of a St. Bernard, but not so much a little Yorkie. In addition to the feed bill, there are always the Veterinary costs. Medical Procedures which involve anesthesia are often computed by weight. Boarding Kennels often predicate their fees on the size of the dog, as well as Groomers.
The standard rule of thumb is “The Bigger the Dog, the Bigger the Money”
I saved the most important for last… Temperament… Do you have kids, if so you would hardly want a delicate little wallflower of a breed that could get hurt or hurt others, while defending itself, against the well intentioned and innocent actions of children. Are you a senior citizen, looking for the love and companionship of a dog, if so then obviously one of the giant or working breeds, should not be a consideration. Of you live in the outskirts of town, and think you need a protector, start looking at those breeds that were bred for that purpose.
Now, put all this together and then give all of this some thought, then go online and start a pro and con list of the qualities of each breed that interest you.
Your next step we have already discussed, finding a reputable breeder. Try calling your Veterinarian, or ask friends. But do not just go out and buy the first puppy you see. If I may recommend, acquiring at least 4 different breeders to interview. I know that is going to take time, but this is a lifetime commitment and forever home. So this little extra time in the beginning is certainly worth the years of companionship. Also another benefit of doing the interview, is you can go over you pro and con sheet. If the breeders are truly interested in getting the best home for their dogs, they will be honest, and their expertise will be invaluable.
After you have talked to breeders and did your homework, by this time you should have a pretty good idea of what is right for you and your family.
I would like to once again, ask that you at least consider visiting or talking to the rescue of the breed of your choice or taking a walk through your local Animal Shelter. There are so many wonderful dogs out there of all breeds, sizes and ages, which through no fault of their own, are looking for loving homes, and who would be forever grateful of your consideration.