by: Mary Reid
Before rushing out to buy or adopt a puppy it is recommended that you seriously consider the impact this will have on your life. Examine the reasons of your decision. Why do you want a dog? Are there young children in your family? Do you live in a house with a yard or an apartment? How much time do you have to devote to your new puppy? There are many questions to ask yourself before jumping into this decision. Puppies need to be fed, walked, played with and loved. They need a great deal of constant attention. If you don't have the time, please wait until you can devote much of your day to him. As he ages, he will not need as much attention, but like a newborn, your pup needs you. Anyone who thinks they want a dog should step back for awhile and truly understand the impact he will have on their lives.
Not everyone should have a dog! Some people, for whatever reasons, simply do not have the time or the ability to care for a dog. Caring for a dog is a lot of hard work. A dog cannot take care of himself. From the minute he enters your family, you will be responsible for feeding, watering, exercising, training, playing, and sheltering him. A dog is a very social animal.
There are many different breeds of dogs and it is extremely important to choose the correct breed for you and your family. If you choose incorrectly, the dog will be in the SPCA before you know it. After all, there are over 130 breeds officially registered with the AKC. There are sporting dogs, working dogs, hounds, terriers, toy dogs, and nonsporting dogs.
So how do you decide which breed of dog is right for you? Some veterinarians feel that mixed breeds make better family pets because they have calmer temperaments and are less expensive. Others feel that purebreds are much more predictable as far as future temperament and size. A purebred pup allows you predict what he will be like as an adult.
Choose a puppy that reflects your personality. Are you active? Do you like staying at home? Do you like the outdoors? Are you hyper? Are you laid back? Do you work all day? You must choose a breed that will compliment your personality. Also consider your lifestyle. Are you flexible enough to work around your pup's needs? An example: Our family goes on vacation each year to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We have two Labrador Retrievers that we leave behind for the week. Our two dogs must be kennelled or stay with friends. This can be very expensive and stressful.
In conclusion: Please take time to consider your decision. Choose your breed carefully. Above all else - enjoy the new member of your family.