There are a plethora of things to consider when deciding what kind of dog to get. Years ago I recall selecting a dog from the shelter based solely on the fact that I thought she was adorable. This could have proved to be a truly careless act! Lucky for me she turned out to be as sweet as she was cute, and things worked out. However, now knowing better, I realize there are many variables that should have been taken into consideration.
Human to Dog personality match-up
Dogs are like people with each having a unique personality all of their own. There are also certain traits found within breeds. When deciding on a dog you should make sure that the one you choose possesses all of the traits that you desire.
Imagine, if you are a couch potato, bringing home a new dog that requires tons of exercise! A dog that requires a lot of exercise but that does not get it, will develop bad behaviors. There would need to be a release of energy somewhere in there, and it could turn him into a dog that destroys things by chewing, garbage picking, or worse.
The good news is that there’s a human-to-dog match for everyone (even the couch potato)!
Things To Consider Before Getting A Dog
Below are things to consider, that are sure to guide you in making the best choice for both you, and your dog-to-be!:
- Do you rent or own a home? (Some rentals have dog weight limits, or don’t allow dogs at all. Also, taking into consideration that you will be sharing a wall with your neighbor, you won’t want a troublesome barker.)
- What is the size of your space? (A 120 lb dog may not fit nicely into a shoebox sized apartment.)
- Do you work long hours, or are you away from your home for long periods of time? (Some dogs do NOT do well with being left alone for long periods of time. Other dogs, so long as they can be let out within a reasonable stretch of time, will take it in stride. However, dog walkers and pet sitters can help in this situation as well.)
- Do you prefer a dog you can cuddle, or a dog with a more independent personality? (I am currently fostering a dog that follows me everywhere I go, and requires excessive amounts of attention. In contrast, there are many breeds that are known to have very aloof personalities.)
- Are you willing to take on a dog with behavioral issues? (Find out what they are, and consider whether or not you have the capability to help a dog in need. But only take on the challenge if you are willing to give it your all. Dogs are returned to shelters all the time for having issues more challenging than the owner had anticipated, so be sure! A dog that is returned to the shelter for behavioral issues will be harder to adopt out.)
- Do you want a puppy, or an adult dog? (Puppies are cute, but require loads of work! Remember, you’ll have to house train, deal with chewing and puppy biting, and possible late-night wake ups!)
- What is your age? (Not to be bleak, but you don’t want to outlive your pet. Senior pets can be a great option as they are beyond those active, hyper puppy years, and are most likely fully trained and housebroken.)
- Are you intent on a particular breed? (Be sure to research the breed to see if the general traits match up to what you are looking for. The temperament may be different than you expected.)
- How much time are you willing to give? (ALL dogs will require a significant amount of your time, but some more than others, with puppies requiring the most. But, other than that, consider if it is a dog that will require a lot of training, has a needy vs aloof personality, or has behavioral challenges. All of these things would require larger amounts of your time.)
- Do you have kids? (Some dogs are great with kids! Some are not. Be sure to check.)
- Are you ready to spend the extra money? (Dogs require food, toys, veterinarian care, etc., and it all adds up. In addition, be prepared for a potential “surprise” cost such as a medical emergency.)
- Are you getting a pet because your child said they would care for it? (I will stifle my laugh here, but usually the child starts out strong, then tires out after awhile. So, be prepared to deal with that! I already fell for that one with a hamster.)
- Are you okay with the restrictions on your free time? (If you plan a long day away from home, or a vacation, you’ll either need to bring your dog with you, or make arrangements for care.)
This list should have you well on your way to thought-provoking things to consider! It may be a long list, but well worth thinking about versus making an impulsive purchase you will regret. After all, it’s a purchase that will result in a new family member for a life-time! 🙂