How to Choose the Right Dog

So often we find ourselves caught by the cutest face in the pet shop or at the shelter and we find ourselves taking home a dog that is totally unsuited to our family and lifestyle. A prime example is, of course, the movie, “Marley”. Marley was a high energy dog that just wasn’t suited to suburbia. His family loved him dearly, but also found him very trying.
What, then, should we look for when choosing a puppy?
Firstly, before you even start your “shopping” at the pet shop or SPCA, consider your lifestyle. Are you a high energy type person that enjoys running or other outdoor activities? If you are, the border collie with the beautiful eyes may be the right choice for you. However, if you are more inclined to watch TV on the couch over the weekends, rather go for the low energy lap dog.
Do you work long hours? If you do, again opt for the dog that doesn’t have boundless energy. High energy Fido will get into mischief and destroy your house and garden if left at home for extended periods.
Also think about the size of your property. Large dogs on the whole need more space to move around, so they would be a bad choice if you live in a complex. If your chosen breed is prone to being noisy again, it would not be a good choice for a complex.
Another factor is purebred vs mixed breed. A well-bred pure breed dog can be a wonderful addition to your family, just be sure to do your homework on the breeder. Make sure he or she is registered with KUSA and that the parents of the puppies you are interested in have had all the recommended health screenings for that breed. A good breeder will let you meet and interact with both parents of the puppies. If the breeder refuses, heed the warning bells and move on to another breeder. A good breeder should also ask you a lot of questions to make sure you are the right owner for one of their pups. Meeting the parents should give you a good idea as to how your pup will turn out, both in temperament and in physical appearance.
Mixed breed dogs are wonderful animals, but keep in mind that not knowing the parentage of a dog means you cannot be sure what the dog will turn out to be. Make sure you are willing to accept the scruffy, long legged dog that was the cute fluffy puppy. Staff at your local SPCA should be experienced enough to have an idea as to how the pup will turn out, but he or she may still turn out to be the surprise package!
Approach puppies for sale by private owners on classified websites with caution. Often these pups have been bred by accident, or they have been bred because the owners feel their dogs “need to have a litter.” The latter reason is totally incorrect and bells should start ringing about the overall knowledge of the “breeder”. These people may not be able to help you choose the pup with the correct temperament for you and your family.
This article has covered just some of the basics to consider when choosing a puppy. Remember once you have purchased your puppy give us a call and book your puppy class.