Choosing a Dog That is Right for You

Dogs, like many other animals, come in many shapes and sizes. From Great Danes, who can weigh upwards of 200 pounds, to miniature Chihuahuas that tip the scales in mere ounces, there are many choices available to the prospective dog owner.

So, how do you know what size dog is right for you? There are many factors to choosing a dog. Do you have a yard? Or kids? How much time can you spend with a dog? Some dogs require a lot of exercise and a lot of space to run and play. Other dogs don’t like children or may like to always be near their owners.  Sometimes it is a general preference of the breed, while other times, it’s the temperament of the dog.

Careful research into the temperament and health of different breeds is required when picking your companion. Some illnesses and conditions, like hip dysplasia and deafness, occur more in some breeds than others. Non-standard colors can also be a sign of problems in a dog. For instance, some estimates say up to 18% of all white boxers are deaf in either one or both ears.

Other dogs are ideal for families with children. Outgoing and energetic dogs who love to romp and play are often well suited to families with children and other dogs, but may become destructive of depressed if they aren’t allowed enough socialization and playtime. These dogs demand attention and will get it, one way or another. Other dogs are content to leave the playtime to others, as they prefer to lie at the foot of the master of the house, spending most of their time simply avoiding the hustle and bustle of the major areas of activity in your home.

Border collies and other working dogs are sometimes chosen as pets, though you MUST socialize them early and have a large, fenced in area for these dogs to run and exercise, or they could become a nightmare of behavior problems when the urge to head for wide-open spaces hits them.

Make sure the dog you pick for your family will be a good fit by choosing one that can live happily and safely within your family structure. Consider factors such as: how and when you can take them for walks and outdoor play, and how much time you can spend with them every day.

Also, keep in mind the estimated costs of veterinarian care and feeding. While some breeds can be relatively cheap to house and feed, others may require as much food during a week as a human, and the expense can quickly add up if you choose a breed that is bigger than your budget.

Choosing a dog for your family is not a decision to take lightly. But if you do your research, weigh all the factors, and make a choice in breeds that is the best possible fit for you, then your dog will give you years of love, laughter, and loyal friendship.


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