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Betty's Blog

Choosing your dog

Choosing your dog

16th April 2012
When you make the decision to become a dog owner, you might already have in mind the kind of dog you’d like to have. But how much do you know about the breed? Is it the right choice for you and your family?
Take time to research different dog breeds
Before you make up your mind about the type of dog you want, make sure you have some understanding of the characteristics of the breed. It is well worth taking the time to do your research into the many different dog breeds; the decision you make could affect the lives of you and your family for many years to come.
Most public libraries have a collection of books on dog breeds. The internet, too, is a great source of information; we found a useful dog breed directory that gives some helpful pointers about different dog breeds.
Attending a dog show is also invaluable as you’ll be able to talk to dog owners directly to get more of a feel for the personality of the breed and what it’s really like to live with it.   Arrange to spend time around the breed you are interested in and ask as many question as you possibly can. It just might save you and the dog from unnecessary stress later on.
What a dog is like to live with is much more important than looks.
Too often, people fall in love with the 'look' of a certain dog breed and this blinds them to some important factors which can mean the dog is not at all suitable for them or their lifestyle.  For example larger dogs really do require a lot of daily exercise to keep them happy, healthy and fit. This may seem like common sense, but it is surprising just how many people don’t factor in the time it will take to exercise a dog each day.
How much patience have you got?
It is important to be aware of the training and obedience aspects of each breed. Some breeds take longer to mature and require more patience and stamina when it comes to training. Depending on your lifestyle and temperament, you might be better suited to one breed over another.
Budget for the bills
Research will also help you to establish how much you’ll need to budget for your dog’s ongoing care. If its coat needs regular clipping, stripping and grooming then you’ll need to factor in the cost of trips to the canine salon. Some breeds have potential health problems so it’s useful to be aware – there’ll be no surprises, then, if you have to fund vet bills or make adjustments to your routines.
Never get a dog on a whim
Owning and looking after a dog can enrich your life but it is also a big responsibility and a long-term commitment. Choose your dog carefully. Although the dog might seem perfect at the time, if you’ve not done your research then you might end up regretting the decision. 
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