The answer to this question cannot be found in the atlas of dog breeds, the place you should look for is your home. For the following 15 years you need to consider these questions:
- How long will the dog be daily alone?
- What kind of physical activity do I expect from the dog and what kind of can I provide him with?
- How often do I travel and who will take care of the dog when I am gone?
- Can any member of the family be allergic to animals?
- How busy is my household? How much money can I set aside yearly for “having a dog”? How much feed can I buy for it?
- How much will the veterinary care cost?
When you answer all these questions, you can proceed to write down what your ideal dog should look like. Maybe you initially wanted a Doberman and suddenly what seems to come out of your scheme is a “couch dog” of a smaller size. Now is the perfect timing to open the atlas of dog breeds and start searching. Do not worry, you will find the right one that will spend many years with you and you will love it immensely. You will not even remember that you initially wanted a completely different kind of a dog.
Do not select a dog by the way it looks like or according to what is currently fashionable. Overstuffed dog shelters are the proof that it is not the best way. And maybe it is just the place where your future dog, the best and only, is waiting for you.
It does not matter whether you live in a block of flats or whether you have a huge garden, the dog needs activity of a pack, not long hours of solitude on hectares of land.
If you live in a floor without an elevator, do not choose breeds with long spine, stairs can be a huge problem ever since the middle age.
If you are sports-focused, forget about bulldog. Conversely, if the dog owner is a coach potato, Border Collie is not a perfect choice either.
If you are quite sociable, do not buy a guard dog. It may discourage your visitors or annoy them immensely by persistent barking. There is no sense in reprehension, it is its nature after all.
If you have small children, you should think twice about potential purchase of a large dog. Children love screaming, teasing and even the nicest dog might feel the urge to intervene. (It is true that even a small dog might want to react, nevertheless, the damage is not so great).
Do not think of buying a dog just for the sake of the children. Remember that you will be the one to take care of it for the next 12-15 years. The dog may entertain our children for 1-2 months, then it turns into a burden to them. (Of course, there are virtuous exceptions that prove the rule).
The costs for “having a dog” are directly proportional to its size, starting with feeding and ending with medicine, all is administered in doses determined by weight. Feeding with cheap feeds and forgetting about preventive care are not the solution. At the end of the day you would pay much more for (quite often lifelong) treatment.
If anyone from your family is allergic, try to buy a guinea pig or a gerbil first. If you find out that the allergy covers also animals, it will easier to donate it to someone than to find a suitable new master for your dog.
If you travel a lot and you do not have stable dog sitting, you should choose a small breed. It may happen that you will have to take it with you. Not every dog is comfortable with dog boarding.
If you spend on regular basis more than ten hours away from home, forget about getting a dog. To tell the truth, it would be difficult to bear even for a cat or parrot. What about a huge aquarium?
© This article was taken from website www.mujvet.cz and its publication is subject to prior written approval of Mrs MVDr. Renata Popelářová.
!!! Further distribution of this article is possible only with the consent of Mrs MVDr. Renata Popelářová!!!
Hereby I would like to thank Mrs MVDr. Renata Popelářová for the consent to the publication of her article.