Everything in life has a beginning, whether it is a new job, a new home or a new relationship. It is difficult to change the outcome of anything if you start off on the wrong foot (or paw). Before adding a dog to your lifestyle and home save yourself grief, time, money and heartbreak by doing your research FIRST. Impulse additions of dogs or puppies are probably the least wise decision of all - especially in breed, age, size or sex selection.
The wrong breed for your lifestyle eventually will result in failure. Afghans are gorgeous dogs, but they require at least an hour a day to be groomed. Beagles are friendly, family-oriented dogs but they require tons of interactions EVERY day – day in and day out. Bassets are notorious deep barkers and have caused many neighbors to become less friendly. Chihuahuas do not make good family pets for homes with infants, toddlers or small children. While Mastiffs are great dogs to have around children, you have to be prepared for occasional bumps (and potential falls) as children and huge dogs collide. Border collies tend to herd because it is their nature and job – children don’t always like to be herded as they play. And the list goes on…
When doing your research in this endeavor, sit down and first make a list of your lifestyle’s criteria. Include items such as how many hours the dog will be alone; if you don’t have children, do you have children who visit on occasion?; how much time can you devote to grooming?; can you afford the increased vet bills due to hereditary issues of some breeds?
Honest appraisal of your lifestyle then matched with a breed’s propensities will insure a better, long-term furever addition!
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|Sheri Ann Richerson|