Chances are good that there are certain dog breeds that you love. Many people fall in love with a breed and choose that type of dog when they want a new puppy or a rescue dog. But there are many more things to consider when getting a new dog than breed and appearance. That favorite breed might not be the right one for your home or lifestyle.
When choosing a new dog, you’ll no doubt be won over by the individual dog’s personality. But it’s a great idea to know your limits before you start looking. Decide on the age of the dog you want, the size that’s best for you and the temperament and energy level before you start looking. This can help ensure you get a dog that’s really compatible with you.
Puppy or Older Dog?
Everyone loves cute puppies, but there are several benefits to adopting an older dog, too. Puppies are high-energy and high maintenance. They have never walked with a dog leash or been trained, and will take a great deal of time to teach these things. Older dogs have most likely been walked with a dog harness, they may be potty-trained and they might have already lost all the bad habits that can form in puppies like barking and chewing.
There’s also the chance an older dog never learned these things, but despite the common belief that older dogs can’t learn new tricks, they’re often much easier to train. They want to please you, and are often so happy to have a home that they settle in very easily. If you live a high-energy lifestyle, a puppy or a young dog may be best. If you lead a more sedentary life, it might be easier to adjust with an older dog.
Size and Breed
If you live in a small apartment or a very restricted living space, a Great Dane probably isn’t the best choice. A high-rise where it’s hard to get your pet outside with a dog harness and leash for pottying can work with paper training, but also might not be the best choice for such a large dog. It’s important to consider a dog’s size when choosing your pet. In a high traffic household, a toy dog might actually be in danger of getting stepped on. Think of these pitfalls when choosing.
And remember that often size, breed and temperament go hand in hand. Larger dogs are often calmer, while small breeds can be more high strung and likely to bark, jump and be restless.
Some breeds also tend to shed a great deal while other breeds barely shed at all. Some require regular grooming haircuts while others don’t. Learn a little about the breeds you like best to determine which might be best for you. Don’t forget to buy lots of safe dog toys so your dog has something all of his own.