Many people select a dog breed simply because they like a specific feature such as the breed’s colour or type of coat. As a child, you may have even fallen in love with a particular breed after seeing it on television or in a movie. In cases like this, many people make the decision to buy a dog based on superficial reasons without thinking the decision through. Owning and caring for a dog is a big commitment and a decision that should not be made lightly. So how do you make the right choice when selecting a breed of dog?
The oldest rule for choosing a breed of dog states that your decision should be influenced by the size of your home. It used to be the case that you could not keep a large-breed dog without having a spacious garden or backyard for it to run around. It is entirely possible, however, to care for a large-breed dog in an apartment or urban dwelling as long as you can provide for the dog’s basic needs. There are many cases where dog owners have large enough homes but, because they fail to meet the dog’s basic needs for exercise, the dog does not do well.
Rather than basing your breed decision on the size of your home, try to choose a breed that matches your lifestyle and your level of commitment. If you have a soft, meek personality, for example, you may want to avoid dominant breeds like Doberman Pinschers, Akitas, and German Shepherds. These dogs often exhibit independent or strong-willed tendencies so you need to be firm with them in order to stay in control. If you lead an active lifestyle and tend to be more extroverted, a friendly breed like the Golden Retriever, Border Collie, or Labrador Retriever might be more your speed. These dogs are very active so they require plenty of daily exercise to stay fit and healthy.
One of your most important tasks as a dog owner is to ensure that your dog’s need for exercise is met. Having a large garden or backyard is not enough – you need to take your dog for a daily walk to work off its energy. Dogs that do not receive enough exercise are prone to developing behavioural problems and they are more likely to become destructive. It is always better to be prepared by understanding your chosen breed’s activity level than to find out that you aren’t given your dog enough exercise when it chews up your couch or suffers from lack of activity.
In addition to meeting your dog’s need for exercise, there are other things you should consider in choosing a breed. To determine whether you have the time and means to commit to a dog, ask yourself the following questions:
If you didn’t answer “yes” to even one of these questions, you may not be ideally suited for dog ownership. A dog is a living, breathing thing that not only requires a certain degree of care but deserves to be treated properly. If you cannot commit to providing your dog with a high level of care, you should not become a dog owner. Check out our page on Breeds for a better understanding on the various breeds of dogs.
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Dogs who are bored tend to develop destructive and annoying behaviours such as excessive barking, chewing, and digging. These dogs aren’t trying to “punish” their humans for leaving them alone all day; they are just trying to entertain themselves and relieve their boredom. So how do you prevent your dog from getting so bored that he finds his own way to entertain himself?
For most of us, taking our dogs outside is a part of our normal routine. But what happens when it rains? It’s too wet outside that we can’t enjoy our normal routines and, unfortunately, our dogs don’t always get the physical and mental stimulation that they need. Rather than let our dogs reach a level of boredom and restlessness that they start to literally climb up the walls, it’s our job to get creative too. There are plenty of ways that we can break up the monotony of sitting indoors and waiting for the rain to pass for our dogs. Read about 5 here.
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