Selecting a Puppy – What to Look for in a Dog

There are big ones, little ones, furry ones, bald ones, calm ones and rowdy ones. So how do you know which puppy is right for you?

Some people take lightly the selection of a four-legged family member. They may make a selection based solely on looks or on the current hot fad. But selecting a dog without taking into consideration its needs compared to your lifestyle is unfair to both you and your new best friend.

There are several factors to consider when selecting a puppy.

Activity Level
If you are away from home most of the day, have a tiny yard and are not very active yourself, active dogs such as Jack Russels or Dalmatians may not be a good match for you. Better choices would be a French Bulldog or a Pekingese as these dogs require less exercise. If you live in an apartment, activity level is more important than size when judging whether apartment living will work for a new puppy. Some bigger dogs will do fine in an apartment as long as they are exercised regularly.

Some dogs, such as Poodles and Sheepdogs, require grooming a few times a week. Others, such as Beagles and German Sheperds, are no to low maintenance. Be realistic about how much time and money you are willing to commit to grooming. Also, remember that most dogs will shed at least twice a year.

Purebred or Mixed Breed?
Another thing to consider when selecting a puppy is that there are thousands of puppies in shelters and rescue groups that need a good home. If you want a purebred puppy, contact your local shelters. You’ll be surprised how many purebreds are available. Or, if you’re only concern is having a pet that will love you and will fit your lifestyle, consider a mixed breed puppy.

Children and Other Pets
Whether you have children or other pets in your home is another factor you must consider when selecting a puppy. Some dogs, such as the Portuguese Water Dog and German Shepard, are wonderful with children and generally good with other pets. Other dogs might become aggressive with other dogs or think cats are a toy to be chased. Check breeds carefully before making a selection.

Those are just a few of the many factors one should consider before making a decision that will effect your life for years to come. Others include temperament and health issues. Research all aspects of your breed carefully. Spend time with the dog before making a final decision.

Remember that by taking a puppy into your home, you are making a commitment to your new pet to care for it for the rest of its life. If you aren’t willing to clean up after he has accidents or if you’ll go off the deep end because he chews on a piece of furniture, maybe a dog isn’t for you. But, if you realize that the trade off – slurpy kisses, unwavering loyalty and someone to greet you at the door every day when you come home – is worth the inconveniences, then happy pet shopping.



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