How to Choose a Dog

Getting a dog is life changing. There are some key considerations to be made before making such an important decision.

Are you ready for a dog?

Dogs are great companions but they can be hard work. It requires dedication to care for them.

Puppy or adult?

The first decision when considering getting a new dog is whether you would like a puppy or an adult.

You need to think about a number of aspects of your life before making that decision

Your lifestyle

Look at your lifestyle and decide whether or not you have the time to raise and do dog training. In the early few days they need time to settle into their new home and they potentially need training too. If your life is already busy then a dog may not be for you.

If you are not at home often or live in a small apartment/house then choosing a large dog is not a good choice as they need regular exercise and lots of outdoor space, especially for dog games.

Another factor to look at is whether you have children. If so maybe consider getting an adult dog that has been raised around kids or a dog that is tolerant to them. You’ll often find out this information from the place you get your dog from.

What size do I want?

Most people have an idea in their mind what kind of size dog they would like. The size may be to suit the size of their house or to suit their lifestyle. i.e. the smaller the dog the less exercise they will need compared to large dogs.

What dog breed is right for me?

Deciding on what kind of breed of dog you want may be difficult. It is useful to look up breeds for their behaviours and temperaments. Think about the dog’s coat Do you want a low maintenance dog or do you mind cleaning up after your dog’s moulting hair? Certain breeds may have particular smells, whilst some may dribble!
However if you are thinking of getting a dog from a rescue centre then you cannot be overly picky as you can only choose from the dogs that are there at that current time. Even so it doesn’t hurt to bear in mInd what size of dog you’d like. i.e. Do you want one that can sit on your lap?

Pedigree and crossbreeds

The difference between pedigree dogs and crossbreed dogs is that pedigrees come from two dogs of the same breed whereas crossbreeds come from two dogs of different breeds. There is more knowledge about a pedigree dog in terms of its character and health needs than a crossbreed as ancestory traits will come from both breeds.

Age

You will have already decided whether you want a puppy or an adult dog, however an adult dog’s age range can vary greatly. . Think about your current situation, how long can you care for a dog?  If you want it for more than a few years then look at getting a fairly young dog rather than a senior dog.  Also remember the larger the dog, the shorter the dog’s life expectancy.

Existing dogs

If you already have a dog and are looking to get another as a companion then the dog you choose must get on with other dogs. Your dog may prefer being the only dog in the house and may be jealous of other dog stealing your attention and affection. Therefore before you get another one it may be useful to see how they react to another dog staying with you, it could be a friend’s dog staying with you for a few days.

 Cost

Money always comes into it, are you able to provide food for your dog and pay the vet bills if and when they arise? You’ll need to consider the cost ofdog vaccinations and if you are putting them into kennels while you go on holiday they’ll need kennel cough vaccinations.  Dogs need feeding every day so are you able to buy them food? Ongoing costs like insurance is always recommended no matter what age the dog is as anything can happen and you don’t want to pay a massive vet bill coming your way.

The benefits of getting an adult dog
  • You will miss the puppy developmental stages such as teething and potty training.
  • Depending on the background of your dog if they have been trained then you will not need to send them to basic obedience classes
  • You will know what they are like straight away for example what their full grown size is, its personality and its grooming requirements. Because of this it is easier for you to pick the right dog that you want with an instant connection
  • They are easy to train. Dog training is easier with an adult dog because they are calmer and have past the hyperactive stage that puppies go through. Even if they haven’t been house trained they pick things up really quickly
  • They don’t require constant monitoring like puppies do
  • They settle in quickly as they have a greater life experience than puppies and know how to interact and behave with other people and dogs
The drawbacks of getting an adult dog

As the adult dogs personality has already been established they may have some behavioural issues that they have adopted from their previous owners. Undoing dog behaviour is harder than teaching them new things.

You will not fully know how and what an adult dog’s experience was like in their previous home and you will only truly find out when you take them home.