Adopt The Right Dog2019-03-30T18:05:38-05:00

How To Adopt The Right Dog

The Biggest Mistake You Can Make Is to Get The Wrong Dog.

How To Adopt The Right Dog 

Always take the time to research a dog’s breed and it’s characteristics  in order to adopt the right dog for you. This research will help you determine whether your new dog will fit your lifestyle. The biggest mistake you can make (for you and the dog) is to end up getting the wrong dog.

When choosing a mixed breed, alwaays consider the information about all of the mixes. This way you will know what to expect from your new dog. It will also make your shelter search much faster. You’ll already know that you want “ a dog with some training” or “something the size of a lab” or “some with the energy of a Dalmatian.”

Making sure that you adopt the right dog requires knowing the history and breed characteristics of the dog. This “breed information” gives you insight into what the dog will need for exercise, feeding and training.

If you already know what breed or mix you want, you may still want to spend some time researching it. You may learn something new or find that the “right dog for you” is something much different. It might actually be a dog that you hadn’t considered before.

If you have questions, be sure to ask. There are a lot of knowledgeable people in the dog world. Most are very willing to help you adopt the right dog.

When asking others, expect to hear the negatives as well as the positives about a breed. This is not intended to scare you away. On the contrary, it is to insure that the breed you are choosing is the right one for you.

There are over 400 recognized breeds of dog in the world today and no one breed is right for everyone.

Here are some questions for you to consider when you’re looking to adopt the right dog.

  • What size dog is right for you?

When starting your search, don’t just ask for a “small” or a “large” dog. Some people think that a large dog is 25 pounds. Others say it’s 75 pounds. A better way to refer to size is to say, “something the size of a Miniature Poodle, a Begal or a German Shepherd.”

  • Do you want a male or female?

There are pros and cons to each. Unless you plan to breed them it really doesn’t make much difference. Most dogs are spay or neutered before you adopt them. If you are not sure, just look for the dog that fits your needs and lifestyle.

  • How much space do you have?

This question could be “Part B” of the first question. It’s quite possible to successfully keep a larger dog in a small house or apartment. It is however, a lot more challenging because you will need to provide plenty of opportunities for exercise. The dog may become destructive if you don’t. There is one thing to keep in mind if your house or apartment is very small. A Newfoundland or a Great Dane will take up all of your room. After all, you need to have room for your furniture. Don’t You?

  • How much time will you have to exercise your new dog?

Some smaller breed dogs can get by with a short walk. Others will need to be walked or ran for an hour or more every day. You need to be honest with yourself. Decide what amount of time you are willing or able to spend exercising your dog. Be sure to consider both, your physical abilities and your time schedule.

If you’d like to own an active dog but your job keeps you busy 10-12 hours a day, you may not want to get a really active dog. Active dogs need to go for long walks or runs every day. Not just on weekends when you don’t have anything better to do. An active dog would be miserable (and probably very destructive) if you aren’t able to spend the time to exercise him properly everyday.

  • How much training can you do?

Regardless of what kind of dog you decide to adopt, it will be much easier to live with a trained dog. A well trained dog can go to more public places with you. This is because they cause less of a disruption. A well trained dog will be more easily integrated into your life. Obviously a puppy will need more of your attention. Most older dogs have had at least some training and will therefore take less time to train.

  • Where will the dog live?

Many individuals and professionals now feel that dogs who live outside are more apt to be neglected and abused. They feel very strongly that all dogs should live in the house. Any dog will do well inside if given enough exercise. Some dogs (given proper shelter and attention) are equipped to live outside even in the coldest winter conditions or in the hottest summer conditions. Some perfect examples of this are the German Shepherd and the Siberian Husky.

They all are capable of handling the cold weather. However they don’t really do to well in the heat of summer. This is because of their double coat of fur. If your new dog will be spending any time outside, you must consider your area’s climate when you are choosing a breed. If your dog must live outside, be sure that it has adequate (enclosed, covered, maybe even heated or cooled) shelter. Take time making sure that your dog has enough food, water and shelter during severe hot and cold weather conditions.

  • How much grooming are you willing to do or pay for?

Dogs that have long or curly hair will require you to spend more time to keep their coat free of tangles and matting. These types of breeds will require a lot more time on your part to keep them properly groomed. If you can not do it yourself it will cost you more money to have a dog professionally groomed. Many of these breed types may require regular grooming every 6-8 weeks. Even short haired dogs that are fairly low-maintenance can go through periods of profuse shedding. Their coats will require extra attention occasionally. No matter what breed you choose, all dogs need to have their nails, eyes, and ears taken care of on a regular basis.

Adopt The Right Dog - your new dog must fit your lifestyle
how to adopt the right dog
How to Adopt the Right dog
Adopt The Right Dog - by Michael Albee - your new dog must fit your lifestyle
  • What do you plan to do with your dog?

Are you looking for a watchdog, a loyal “fireplace” dog, or a running partner? Maybe you want an active and athletic dog that you can do things like agility training, hiking, herding or hunting. You might even be looking for a dog that you can train for Police Work, Therapy Work or as a Service Dog. The reason you want or need a dog can really affect your breed choice because, for example, most toy breeds just don’t make very good Police dogs.

  • What kind of past experience do you have with dogs?

Everyone has a first dog at some point. After all, we all had to start some where. But it’s important that you know that there are a few breeds that are not recommended for first-time owners. For instance, an older Dachshund is a lot easier to care for than a one year old Husky, Bull Dog or a Border Collie.

  • Are there other family members in your home and are they all willing to teach, and care for the dog?

Adopting a dog should be a family decision and all family members should be a part of raising the family dog. Teaching children to properly care for and train a dog can make a lasting impression on them. Learning how to control and train a dog can help build self esteem and help them become better with people too.

  • I have kids, what kind of dog is best around kids?

The answer to this question depends more on how the dog is raised and trained than what breed it is. No matter what breed you choose, supervision of the dog and the children is critical when they are with the dog. Just because a dog is usually good with children, you will still need to supervise the activity. Children can sometimes get carried away. They may not realize that every dog has a breaking point.

If you are unsure of your ability to properly train young puppies and/or children in this respect, you may want to consider waiting until the children get older. You may also want to find an adult dog known to always be good with children under any circumstance.

Finally, if you already have a dog or two in mind, don’t forget to think about the breed and the job that breed was meant to do. There are only a few breeds that were specifically developed to be pets. Most breeds were originally bred to do a job. Most dogs were bred to be either hunters, herders, guards, or some other job which might be in conflict with your expectations of a perfect pet.

Here are a few good examples.

If your lawn is important to you, you might not want to adopt a terrier. Almost all breeds of terrier will dig relentlessly. If you don’t have a lot time to exercise a dog, you probably won’t want to get a Greyhound, a Dalmatian, a Husky, any kind of pointer or retriever.

Most of the Herding breeds will probably not be a good fit either. All of these dogs were bred to run for many miles without getting tiring and they need to do it often or they get bored.

Remember, if there is no breed specific work for them to do, they still crave the challenge and the exercise because it is part of their DNA. If you don’t give it to them, they’ll find ways to let you know that they don’t have enough to do. Most of these ways are very destructive.

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“Adopting just one dog will not change the world, but the world will surely change for that one dog.”