Adding A Dog To Your Family?

dakota-puppy

Are the kids now at an age where you feel a new addition to the family is a viable option?  Perhaps you’ve been thinking of getting a puppy or dog eventually anyway.  There is quite a lot of information out there about choosing the right canine for your family, and it should be heeded.

When adopting a dog, I’d always recommend trying a shelter first.  These are the animals that need the homes the most, and if you are dead set on getting a puppy, they sometimes have these too.  Be sure to check with your local.  The thought of a shelter dog can be intimidating to most.  You don’t know their temperament or how they have been treated previously.  Generally, discussing this with one of the shelter workers will give you the answers you need, depending on how long the dog has been there.  You may also wish to discuss if you can visit with the dog for a few days to get a feel of it’s temperament yourself.  Bear in mind that an older shelter dog can be more work, so you have to be willing to set aside more time than usual, especially in the rehabilitating side of things.

Alternatively to shelters, some families prefer to purchase a dog from a reputable, licensed breeder. This is a popular choice among households with small children or existing pets, enabling them to train a puppy before they grow up. Many breeders these days have online websites to showcase their available puppies and different breeds. For example, Fox Creek Farm Goldendoodles & Bernedoodles provide useful information such as medical history, and other useful information that would be beneficial if you were considering adopting one of the Available Goldendoodle Puppies. However, thorough research is essential before making a decision.

The next issue, is which dog is right?  One of the first things you should find out is if there are any restricted breeds in your area.  Some governments will not allow a certain breed at all within the community, whereas others may require permits for certain dogs.  Some have no restrictions at all.

Now you can move on to consideration of which dog will fit with your family.  Dog breeds vary in attitude, health issues and training ability.  A Labrador is going to have different attitude issues and health issues than what a boxer does and so on.  If you get a mixed breed, knowing if these issues could crop up is a bit more difficult.

Bobby Dakota dog bed

If you have young children, you will want a dog that welcomes training, doesn’t generally have aggression issues, and has a longer life span.  You may also want a mid sized dog (like a labrador) as opposed to a big dog (like a dane).  Just remember, if you go for a larger dog breed, you will need to give them more space to run, and take them on daily walks.  A small courtyard as a backyard is just not suitable.

If you have smaller pets already, such as cats or poultry, you may also want to avoid hunting breed dogs, such as wolfhounds.  Unless you are comfortable with the extra training you will need to do, it is best to avoid known bird or small animal predators.

Don’t let cute looks be the only thing that sways you.  Getting a dog is not like buying a coffee.  They will (hopefully) be with you for the rest of their lives, so they deserve consideration so they don’t end up in a shelter if you realize you can’t handle them.

So, if you’re getting a dog, take a checklist with you, to discuss with the owner or carer, or to research yourself.

  • What breed(s) is the dog?
  • Has it interacted with other animals? If so, how did it act.
  • Does this animal have any health issues?  Does this breed?
  • Has this animal shown any aggressive tendencies?
  • Has it ever attacked or killed another animal, or person?
  • Has it ever been around children?
  • Does it require any rehabilitation or extra training?
  • Does it leash-walk well?
  • Any dietary concerns?

Hopefully, at the end of your discussion or research you will have a new member to add to your family!

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