Taken from the book The Right Dog for You by David Alderton – Published by Ivy Press
Picking a purebred or indeed, a designer dog is a decision that needs to be considered very carefully, and it must never be rushed. You will be selecting a companion who, with luck, will be part of your daily life for well over a decade, so you need to be certain that you are making the right choice.
Never be tempted to select a dog purely on the basis of its looks, even if appearance is a good starting point for your deliberations. Delve into the ancestry of a breed that appeals to you, and you will gain the best insight into its personality. This is the ideal way to begin studying many vital considerations, such as how much exercise your new pet will need, and how easily your puppy can be trained. In this way, you can be sure of finding a pet to suit your lifestyle.
There are a number of key factors about your home life that will affect your choice. You must have enough time to care for your dog’s needs on a daily basis. If you live in a small flat with no access to a garden and you’re out at work all day, then you might need to think about a type of pet that is less demanding than a dog. Dogs must have enough space to exercise and they are highly social by nature, so they will not settle well if they are left alone for long periods, and they may even become destructive around the home when bored. The size of a breed is, of course, a vital factor. Large dogs have correspondingly bigger appetites and also tend to have shorter lifespans. The grooming needs of the different breeds should also be a consideration. Smooth-coated dogs require relatively little grooming, whereas those with profuse coats will need daily combing and brushing to prevent their fur becoming matted, and some breeds will benefit from regular visits to a dog groomer. So you need to assess how much time you will have to devote to your pet before you make your choice, particularly as some breeds require much more exercise than others.
Size: The are extremes in size in the dog world. Keeping large dogs can be very demanding. Their dietary requirements are expensive, they need a much more spacious environment than their smaller relatives, and they are usually more demanding in terms of their care.
Breeds: Some breeds of dog make much better family pets than others, because they are instinctively friendly by nature. Children who have not had a dog as a pet before need to be taught how to play with their new companion, and never to tease the dog with food or toys.
Puppies? A puppy can be instantly irresistible, so it is essential that you balance first impressions with careful consideration of the time and care that will be required to give your dog a happy home.
Cost: The cost of keeping a dog will have an impact on the family budget. You can minimize the cost by choosing a smaller dog and taking out the right health insurance policy for your pet. Picking a short-haired dog will reduce the need to pay for professional grooming services.
Exercise: Once they are properly trained, dogs need to be allowed to run off the leash. Running and playing with your pet is one of the joys of keeping a dog but do remember that certain breeds will need much more exercise than others.
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