The first step on the road to owning a dog is to ask yourself some tough questions? Why do you want a dog? Can you afford it? Are you prepared to take care of the dog the rest of his life? Do you have time to commit to this dog? Do you have time to spend the next two years training this dog? Do you have time for daily exercise or walks?
If you answered yes to the above, let’s look at some options to find your perfect dog. This is going to take some time. Just like you are not meant to marry every person you date, every dog’s temperament is not going to be ok for you and your family. If you are a push over or couch potato, don’t get a German shepherd, it will run you ragged and become the leader of the pack. If you like to run and want a dog to accompany you, a bull dog should not be your breed of choice. Are there exceptions in every breed? Absolutely, but on the average what you see in the parents you will see in the puppy
Where to get your dog?
Adopting a dog instead of buying one is one way to find your perfect dog and also save a life! To find the perfect match, you’ll want to choose the right one for you and your lifestyle. Shelters and rescues have dozens of dogs just waiting for homes. There are also breed specific rescue groups if you would like a pure breed dog. Many people are afraid to adopt because they don’t want someone else’s problem but not every dog is meant to live with every person, and you have to look at a lot of dogs to find your perfect match.
Yes, adoption agencies and rescue groups have applications, sometimes very lengthy applications; they want to make sure this is a forever home, not a temporary home. Ask your Veterinarian or local dog trainer to help you find a shelter or rescue group that will assist you in finding your perfect dog, not one that wants you to take any dog they have.
If you want a puppy and you want to buy from a breeder, ask your local Veterinarian or dog trainer for help in finding the right puppy for you. Responsible breeders provide loving and healthy environments for their dogs, one that they will be proud to show you. Never buy from a breeder without seeing where the puppies are kept or the parents are raised and housed.
Responsible breeders will grill you about your home, your family, your lifestyle and your intentions with their puppy. If not, move on, again a responsible breeder wants to be sure yours is a forever home. More than likely, your puppy’s temperament is going to be the same as the parents. If it is not going to fit your lifestyle it’s ok to wait for the perfect match for you. Make sure you like your breeder; you should be establishing a relationship with the breeder as well. A reputable breeder will be there for you throughout your dog’s life to answer any questions, to respond to any email; make sure you like him or her.
Don’t be fooled by common claims made by pet stores or websites or ads. If you can’t see the parents, don’t buy the puppy. Just because the ad says they are family raised or home raised, doesn’t make it true! You may be looking at it as rescuing the puppy from the pet store or puppy mill but what you are doing is giving these puppy mills reason to keep these poor animals in horrible and abusive conditions. You are putting money into their pockets and subjecting countless dogs to sad and lonely living conditions.
When to get your dog?
Make sure you have a lot of time to spend with the pup or dog when you bring him home. Don’t buy a dog before leaving for vacation or for the holidays, you want to make sure you have to get to know your dog and help him adjust to his new home.
It’s a big adjustment going into a new home, and it takes the dog about 4 months to really believe that he is home. I recommend at least taking one week off from work to help your dog adjust; if you are able to take him to work with you, even better.
Take your time. Your dog will be with you for a decade or more; you want to make sure it’s a good match for you and your family. You will meet a lot of dogs before you find the right one for you, just make sure when you take your dog home it’s forever.