Are you thinking about expanding your family with a dog? Here are some basic tips you may want to consider before your wonderful unconditional loving companion arrives.
- Firstly, what is your lifestyle? Do you want an active dog or perhaps a lap dog?
- There are several groups of dogs to choose from namely ~ Sporting and Non-Sporting Groups, Terrier, Toy, Hounds, Working and Herding Groups.
- Fulfill your dog’s drives. Make every effort to address its natural breed instincts to keep them entertained and happy. For instance if you have a hunting dog i.e. Poodle, Duck Toller, Lab etc, they will appreciate and love going for a swim!
- What are the inherent physical characteristics of your dog’s breeding? Pure breeds may have physical liabilities. What are these breed specific needs that may require medical support during your dogs lifetime for health and maintenance?
- Do you want to get a male puppy or breed your dog? If you get a pure breed perhaps get it “puppy tested”. Puppy Testing involves a battery of manual tests performed with the pup to see where it stacks up in the litter. Is it the runt or are you getting the best pick of the litter?
- Larger dogs do not have the longevity of a smaller dog, age wise.
- Grooming requirements. Some short hairs require no grooming, but other breeds may require a trip to the groomers every few weeks. This may be an additional expense for you to consider. You may want to get a dog that has a hypoallergenic coat, just in case of a family member developing an allergic reaction to the dog. It is a shame that so many dogs are surrendered to shelters because of allergies. Shedding is less problematic with a hypoallergenic breed.
- Prepare the family before the dogs arrival. If you are expecting a new addition and a baby is ‘on the way’, please ensure that your Family Pack Order is reinstated. You can simply practice with a surrogate baby (a doll), to tip off Rover, that there is something new coming into the family home! Practice walking the dog beside the baby carriage first. The dog should be walking beside you, not forward of the baby. By setting up this simple positioning, the baby is already ‘ahead of the dog’ in pack order.
- If you like a certain breed, check out Pure Breed Adoption Agencies.
Local Animal Shelters and Pet Rescue and Adoption facilities are also wonderful resources. If you long to have a pet and it is impossible for you to have one at this time of your own, consider fostering a pet. Your foster companion will come to you having been neutered or spayed and with the proper vaccinations and a clean bill of health. The expenses of maintenance and care costs are provided by the agency as well.