May 29, 2017
Whether your family is ready for a new dog or even if you have never had one before, it’s important to understand which breed is the right fit. Every year, millions of healthy dogs are euthanized because the people who bought them did not research information about dogs before they bought a puppy and then discovered they couldn’t handle its habits or temperament. Before you add a dog to your family, there are a few ways you can ensure it is a good match.
Do Your Homework
Many people get a certain dog breed after seeing it on television or in a movie but are unprepared for its habits. For example, that beagle on your favorite television show might be cute, but will you be prepared for the breed’s howling and excessive digging? Read up on the breed you’re considering before you get a puppy.
Consider Your Children’s Ages
Not all breeds are a good choice for children. Some smaller breeds are more prone to anxiety and biting, especially if they are handled roughly. If you are considering a toy breed, such as a Yorkshire Terrier or a Shih Tzu, make sure your children understand how to touch and pet a smaller dog so accidents are less likely to happen and look up as much information about dogs as possible before visiting a shelter.
Talk with an Expert
Talking with a knowledgeable shelter representative about the dog breed you are considering is a great way to understand its temperament and habits. Reputable shelters in your area can be found online or through an adoption program and may be able to offer additional dog information that can help you make the most informed adopting decision. A local expert can also help you decide if your property is suited for the breed’s exercise needs.
Consider Your Living Space
Do you live in an apartment? A house? Is your yard large enough for a dog, and if so, are you or your children ready to clean up after a pet? These are all things you need to consider before you bring home the breed you choose. If you choose a dog that is known for its ability to escape a yard, such as a husky or an Australian shepherd, you will need to think about putting in fencing as well.
Research Breed Medical Issues
Different dog breeds are susceptible to different problems such as allergies, hip dysplasia, and epilepsy. Before you buy a dog, look into the breed you’re considering and learn about any diseases or conditions to which they might be prone. It may save you a lot of heartache and vet bills in the long run. While not all individual dogs will suffer from certain types of issues, you may want to try and gather as much medical history as possible about the dog you are adopting.
Not every family is at the right stage to have a dog, but if you have decided to add one to your household, the best thing you can do is to look up as much information about dogs as you can before you make the choice. Remember, a dog can be your family’s best friend or your worst nightmare, so take the time to make an informed decision.