If you’re considering bringing a dog into your family, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed by the number of dogs out there to choose from. Whether you choose to buy a puppy or adopt a dog from a rescue, it’s important that you know how to choose the right dog for your family. Here are some important things to consider when looking for a dog.
Large or Small Breed
Small dogs are usually the best choice for people who live in an apartment and don’t have a lot of space to exercise their dogs. Many apartments will only allow dogs up to a certain weight, so check with your landlord before buying any dog. Small dogs also tend to live longer than large dogs, and they are much less expensive to care for. Large dogs, on the other hand, are often better for active owners or families with children, since they are sturdier and can handle a bit more roughhousing than a 6-pound Yorkie.
Every dog is an individual, but there are certain characteristics that are very common in certain breeds. Sporting dogs like labrador retrievers, for example, are usually quite active and require a lot of physical and mental stimulation. Dog obedience training in Southwest Florida can help you rein in this energy, but be prepared to commit a lot of time to training and exercising these types of dogs. You should also ask your insurance company about any breed restrictions they may have, since many insurance companies (and landlords) will not permit dogs like rottweilers, pit bulls, and Doberman pinschers.
If you find a breed you like, do your research and see what grooming they require. Some short-coated dogs require little more than the occasional bath and nail trim. Others require extensive grooming and trimming on a monthly or even weekly basis. If grooming sounds like a hassle and you don’t want to pay someone else to do it, stick with a low-maintenance dog.
Many people are allergic to pet fur and dander, but some dogs cause a more drastic reaction than others. While no dog is completely allergen-free, some do shed less than others, so your house will tend to stay cleaner. Despite what you may think, it has nothing to do with the length of the dog’s hair; some short-haired dogs shed year-round! Look for dogs with a single coat instead of a double coat of fur. Some of the top hypoallergenic dog breeds are poodles, bichon frises, and Yorkshire terriers.
Picking Out Your Dog
If possible, spend some time visiting with your prospective dog before buying him. Look for a dog who is friendly and curious with all members of your family. If you have children, make sure the dog doesn’t seem scared of them. You should also use this time to examine the dog’s health. Make sure his coat, eyes, and ears are clean, and listen for any signs of coughing.
Adopting an Adult Dog
Many people choose to adopt an adult dog instead of buying a puppy. Adopted dogs can become extremely loyal members of the family, and many of them have already learned basic manners, so they can be easier for a first-time dog owner. However, some adopted dogs come with behavioral issues that can cause problems in their new home. They might have accidents indoors, pull on the leash, or be frightened of new situations. Dog obedience training in Southwest Florida is the best way to help your new dog learn to adjust to your home. Your trainer can work with you one-on-one in your home to address any questions you may have, so you won’t have to feel like you have to solve the problem all by yourself.