THE Most Frequently Asked Question
Well, here it is. THE most frequently asked question I get: "What is the right dog for me and my family? What would be the perfect breed?"
And the answer is, there is no such thing. There is no perfect breed and there is no perfect animal for you and/or your family. Here is what I tell people as they begin their search for the perfect dog:
- Remember that no matter where you get your dog from, a shelter, a breeder, a pet store, there is always a risk. You are never guaranteed how that pet will turn out. So be prepared for the work and the risk. This is a lifetime commitment.
- That being said, go adopt your pet from a shelter
or rescue organization. Unless you really have your heart
set on a particular purebred, save your money and check your local
humane society. My apologies to the breeders.
- Sit down with your family and make a list of the characteristics you would prefer in a dog. Then see if your list matches any particular breed, or take the list to your local shelter and try to match up what you want with what they have. I have done this with my own family and it really works. See the next page for a partial list of things to think about. It is impossible to make a complete list. I will leave that task to you and your family.
- I will talk about the pros and cons of shelters,
breeders, pet stores, etc., in another section. Read that part
List of things to think about before you adopt your new dog (in no particular order):
- How big do you want the dog to be when full-grown?
- Do you want to housetrain a puppy, or adopt a dog a bit older?
- Do we want a male or a female? In most cases, since you are going to hopefully have the pet altered, it does not matter. The big difference is boys lift their legs and girls dont!
- Do you want a short haired or longhaired dog?
- How do you feel about shedding?
- If they are going to shed, what color hair would you like them to have?
- Do you want a dog that needs frequent grooming, or none? And
this means brushing and grooming at home, as well as professionally.
- How much time will we have to exercise the dog, and how big is our house or yard?
- Floppy ears, or ears that stand up?
- A dog that will live 8-10 years or one that may live to 15 years?
- A lap dog, or a larger dog that can live more outdoors.
Again, this is a partial list. Add your specific questions to it. Write down the answers. Then, either go to your local shelter and see what fits the bill, or check with me to see if I can help you find the breed that would suit you best.