When you first consider getting a dog to add to your family, you need to ask yourself a few questions first
How active is my family? If you are the sort of person who loves long walks and hiking on a wet afternoon, is your idea of fun, make sure the dog you choose has an equal energy level to you. For instance, a short-legged, short-nosed type of dog is going to be unsuitable to you, and you’ll both end up frustrated that you can’t enjoy your time together. Choose instead a dog that is built like an athlete but also has masses of enthusiasm to burn off with you. If your family are more of the gentle walking and Sunday stroll types, then consider a breed like the Greyhound, this dog is a 30 mph couch potato! His idea of a good day is a stroll before breakfast, then catching up on his snoozing on the sofa. So looks can be deceptive, a dog built for speed like the Greyhound doesn’t necessarily need large amounts of exercise, an enthusiastic breed like a Jack Russell type thrives on steady exercise but doesn’t want a runner as an owner. Take time to work out how your time will be spent with your dog; this will help you recognize the dog for you when you see it by physical type as well as temperament
How much can I afford? This might sound like a strange question, but in general, the bigger the dog, the more expensive it will be food, insurance, and Veterinary treatment. For instance, a small terrier will cost less for any operation or drugs than a large dog having the same course of treatment Are you prepared for the costs that go with your dog?
What are the dynamics of my family? By dynamics, I mean how many children are involved, is it just you or you and a partner and are there any other pets to be considered? We test most of our dogs in various situations to assess them for reactions to things like cats., other dogs and children but this method isn’t foolproof. It is a guide to that individual dog; if you have any particular concerns, make sure the kennels are aware of them, we don’t want to waste your time or ours by showing you inappropriate dogs just because you like the look of them!
What is my level of skill with animals?
There’s no point in taking on a dog that will ultimately prove too much for you and your family, far better to be upfront and admit to your experience level with dogs. On this point, it’s not the number of dogs you may have had. It’s about how you trained them and how much commitment you are prepared to offer the new dog in terms of time and effort. There are dogs in rescue who are balanced, well trained and have come from certain circumstances beyond their control, just crying out for someone to offer them a home. We also have dogs who have not been fortunate enough to have had a good upbringing; these dogs need guidance and commitment of a different kind. By honestly considering what you want from your dog and what you’re prepared to give the right dog will come into your life
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