Fundamentals of Selecting a Dog – Part One
Selecting a dog can be tricky business. But making the right selection is crucial. It can make the difference between you experiencing immense joy or immense frustration. Here is our first installment of tips to help you make the right choice the first time.
Evaluating What You Need When Selecting a Dog
Congratulations, you have decided to add a new dog to your family! Now it’s time to decide how to go about selecting a dog that best fits your lifestyle. There are a lot of options out there when it comes to what kind of dog you should get, and where you should get it from. Once you have decided that, you have to actually pick out the dog! In this three-part series, we will look at evaluating what you need in a dog, researching types of dogs and where to find them, and selecting the dog that best fits your family and lifestyle.
Evaluate Your Lifestyle When Selecting a Dog
The first thing you need to do when selecting a dog is to evaluate your lifestyle. Why do you want a dog? Will it be a family pet? Jogging Partner? Therapy Dog? Agility Star? It is important to be clear on your goals for your future dog so that you can select the best dog for the job. If you want your dog to hike 14ers with you every weekend, adopting an elderly Pug may not work so well. How much time do you have to spend with your new dog? You should consider everything in your life that needs your time: family, other pets, work, friends, volunteering, and hobbies. Your schedule does not need to be clear to own a dog, but you do need to be realistic with your time. You may dream of training a Search and Rescue dog someday but rushing out and buying a German Shepherd puppy as a working mom with little time to spare may not be the best idea! Different dogs have different needs in terms of time investment, so it’s important to choose wisely.
Make a List When Selecting a Dog
The next step in selecting a dog is to make a list of everything you and your family are looking for in a dog. Do you envision having a large dog or a small dog, or somewhere in between? Do you want a dog with a short, easy-to-care for coat, or do you like plush, fuzzy coats regardless of maintenance? What sort of activity level are you looking for? Does the dog need to get along with other animals within the home? Start off by making a big list, knowing it might not all be realistic, but dream big. Then highlight the absolute must haves, things that you are unwilling to budge on. Put a circle around things you want but could compromise on. Then underline anything that is just a preference, things like coat color or ear shape might fall into this category.
Research Well When Selecting a Dog
Hold on to your list, because it will guide your research in selecting a dog. In Part 2 of this series, we will discuss how to research types of dogs and where to find a dog. There are so many breeds and mixes, and you should understand how they differ and what they were bred to do in order to select the best type of dog for your family. Once you have decided on a type of dog, you will need to research the best place to get your dog. Stay Tuned for Parts 2 and 3 in this series of Fundamentals of Selecting a Dog.
As usual, if you have any questions, please fill free to contact FetchMasters for expert guidance.