Consider All Factors Choosing The Family Dog

Consider All Factors Choosing The Family Dog

There are generally three ways to​ select the​ family dog:

-Many people select the​ family dog based on​ their experiences with dogs from their past. They may have a​ fond memory of​ a​ dog once owned by someone they knew or​ of​ a​ family dog owned by their family when they were children,​ and that's it​ --the selection process is​ over! That's certainly one way to​ do it.

-Another way many people select a​ family dog is​ by going to​ a​ pet store or​ an​ animal shelter and taking a​ walk past the​ cages; they're all so special,​ it’s almost guaranteed that you'll fall in​ love with one of​ them. This method,​ as​ easy as​ it​ is,​ is​ so much easier when you​ have your children along; dogs seem to​ know just how to​ behave to​ steal a​ child's heart.

-The third method is​ less heart-warming but it's probably the​ surest way to​ select a​ family dog that is​ just right for your family -- it’s called 'considering all the​ factors.'

Considering All the​ Factors

Before deciding on​ the​ dog that will become a​ part of​ your home and family there are several questions that you'll need to​ ask yourself and honestly answer:

How much time do you​ have for a​ dog? Some dogs require a​ lot of​ attention -- they get very nervous if​ there is​ no one home with them and when they get nervous it​ usually winds up either with a​ mess to​ clean up or​ with something chewed up or​ scratched up. Some long-haired dogs need daily grooming or​ that beautiful coat will be a​ tangled mess in​ just a​ very short period and every dog,​ especially a​ dog that spends any time in​ the​ house,​ should be bathed,​ brushed,​ and have its teeth and ears cleaned about once-a-week. Every dog also requires some degree of​ one-on-one attention every day; talk to​ them,​ scratch their head,​ feed them,​ walk them and generally treat them like they are family.

How much space do you​ have for a​ dog?

Dogs need space to​ move around in​ and,​ most importantly,​ to​ get the​ exercise that they need to​ stay healthy. if​ you​ have a​ large house and yard almost any dog will fit in​ fine. Larger dogs take up space and eat a​ lot; also requiring lots of​ exercise. There are many smaller breeds,​ however,​ that are known to​ be 'apartment dogs;' these smaller dogs can get all the​ exercise they need in​ a​ one bedroom apartment -- but they still need to​ be walked at​ least twice a​ day to​ take care of​ their biological functions.

Do you​ have very small children?

Sometimes younger children are a​ little rough with their pets; they'll want to​ carry them around and squeeze them and play dress up and expect full cooperation from the​ dog. Some dogs have the​ 'laid back' temperament that allows them to​ tolerate these things; some breeds even seem to​ thrive on​ the​ attention. There are some small breeds,​ however,​ that are too delicate to​ be handled as​ roughly as​ children are likely to​ handle them,​ some breeds of​ all sizes that just don't enjoy being picked up and carried around or​ being hugged and other larger dogs that have both the​ patience and the​ temperament for life around small children,​ but are also large enough that they might unintentionally hurt a​ small child. Any dog under 7 lbs is​ not suitable for children under five. Any dog 10 lbs and over are usually suitable for all ages.

Do you​ have room in​ your budget for a​ dog?

Dogs have needs just as​ people do -- adding a​ dog to​ your family will add expenses. Some of​ these are: the​ initial purchase of​ the​ dog; the​ shots that are required by the​ city or​ county where you​ live; the​ grooming needs such as​ brushes,​ shampoo and etc.; professional obedience training is​ required for some dogs; of​ course every dog needs food -- the​ bigger the​ dog,​ the​ bigger the​ food budget; don't forget water and food dishes and collars and leashes; and,​ as​ the​ dog ages,​ there are sure to​ be some additional medical expenses. Some medical expenses will be necessary just because of​ the​ breed,​ for example,​ big dogs have a​ tendency to​ develop hip and bone problems just because of​ their size and some smaller breeds,​ especially the​ ones with the​ short muzzles and large eyes,​ develop eye problems and respiratory problems.

Are you​ ready to​ do some research?

Obviously,​ the​ “Considering All the​ Factors” method of​ selecting the​ family dog will require some research. There are many books in​ the​ library,​ many Internet resources and many experts (breeders,​ pet shop owners,​ etc.) that can make your selection process easier.

In the​ end,​ however,​ any choice will be a​ gamble. Every dog is​ an​ individual and the​ 'breed characteristics' you​ get from your research will only be guidelines. And in​ the​ end you​ may select the​ family dog by using one of​ the​ other selection methods mentioned before or​ you​ may have some other criteria but hopefully the​ information presented here has helped you​ understand that owning a​ dog is​ more than just buying a​ dog. Owning a​ dog is​ a​ responsibility and a​ commitment.

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