Your Adorable New Puppy
Let’s face it. Puppies are downright cute. In fact, it’s that cuteness factor that is probably responsible for the majority of impulse decisions people make when they pick a puppy. Whether it’s that little ball of fur running around playing with his littermates, staring up at us with those puppy eyes, or even giving us a small lick on the chin, puppies have a way of softening even the most hardened personalities.
While these endearing qualities do have a way of making the decision of getting a puppy somewhat trivial, the “cuteness factor” should not be at the top of the list when (1) deciding whether or not to get a puppy, and (2) which type of puppy one should get.
The most important thing a prospective new puppy owner should do, before ever setting foot in a shelter, or meeting with a breeder, etc., is some research about the breed of dog he or she is thinking about getting. This, of course, is after the owner fully understands the responsibilities of getting a puppy and is fully willing to assume those responsibilities.
Every owner should get to know their breed’s characteristics and intended breeding purposes before settling on that particular breed. Each breed of dog is bred for a particular purpose, whether it’s hunting, guarding, retrieving, etc. It’s these characteristics that every new owner must understand to ensure that the dog’s lifestyle fits into their own.
Many times people enter into the responsibility of owning a dog with the mindset that “a dog is a dog”, without taking each breed’s unique personalities into account. Every dog is an individual and needs to be regarded as such BEFORE you pick a puppy. Another mistake people make is getting a breed because a friend or relative either has or recommends that particular breed. While that breed may have suited their lifestyle well and been a perfect fit for them, it may not be the same for everyone.
Take some time to look at the lifestyle you lead and make sure the breed of dog you want fits nicely into that lifestyle. The list below provides a starting point of some of the considerations new dog owners need to make before they select a breed and pick a puppy.
Evaluate Lifestyle Changes Before You Pick a Puppy
- Determine the amount of exercise required. Are you someone whom wouldn’t mind spending a lot of time exercising your dog? Some breeds require a great deal of exercise, or they can be quite mischievous.
- Are you looking for a companion animal, or a dog for a specific purpose, such as, hunting, guarding, etc? Think about what role the dog will fill in the family unit.
- Are you willing to spend the extra time and/or money required to groom certain breeds. Some dogs require frequent trips to the groomer.
- Think about the size of the dog you’d like, in relation to your living arrangements. Some breeds of dogs are not suited well for apartment-style living.
- Do you need a dog that is good with children? Some breeds are better choices for households with small children, while others would do better with older children or maybe even no children at all.