Getting a dog – choosing carefully

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The choice is overwhelming.  However, finding the right dog for you should not be an impulse decision. It needs, careful, thought before deciding on the pooch for you. So, why then, do so many people get this important decision wrong?

I see many people that have, simply, not thought about what a dog means, potentially, too their lives. Often, decisions are made, simply, on such ideas as ‘I’ve always wanted this breed” or “they look nice, so I had to get one”. Ridiculous approaches to such an important decision, showing little regard for the needs of the dog or the owner.

Taking on a dog is, almost, as important as deciding to have or adopt a child. So, before leaping in and, going for something that looks cute or meets any other weak criteria; stop and think.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Why are you getting a dog?
    • Companionship
    • Support
    • Protection
    • Getting out of the house and meeting people?
    • Status

The above, are just some of the many reasons why someone might want a dog.

  • Home situation
    • Size of property
    • Garden
    • Other pets
    • Family members
    • Work commitment
    • Time to commit to dog (play, walking, socialisation, etc)

As you can see, there are quite a few things to consider; the list above is, by no means, exhaustive.

Certainly, when considering the home environment, it is critical that everyone in the household are committed to sharing their home with a dog. I see too many people who have partners, for instance, that have no desire to have a dog, yet – their partners still get one. Not good for the people and, definitely, not good for the dog.

If your work keeps you away from home for long periods, meaning your dog has to be left alone for long periods or, you don’t have much time for walking and spending time with your dog; think, very carefully, before bringing a dog into your home. It is, simply, not fair on the dog.

If you want a dog to help you get out and meet people, don’t get a trophy dog such as an Akita.  People may well be put of by such a dog.  Don’t, misunderstand me, in the right home and with the right owner, Akitas’ can make great pets.  However, they need someone who knows what they are doing and, are willing to make the compromises needed for such a dog.

I could keep going, so I will stop at this point with a few, final words.

When getting a dog, think about the commitment, time, effort and involvement needed to give that dog a good, happy, social life at home and out in the world.  If you can’t commit fully to all of the needs of your canine companion – DO NOT get one – get a budgy instead.

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