Dogs are wonderful companions and can quickly become your best friend soon after you bring them home. It is important, however, to select a dog that best fits your personality and lifestyle. When bringing a new dog into your life, it is crucial to understand the needs of the particular canine. Dogs need a lot of attention, exercise, and of course, food, water, and health care. Once you have decided that you are ready, you should begin the selection process.
When selecting your new pet, you will want to consider a few different variables. The first item to research is the energy level of the dog. Are you looking for a dog that has a high energy level to match yours? Perhaps you enjoy hiking often and running every day. In this situation, you will want to opt for a high energy breed like a Terrier mix, Boxer, Retriever, or Shepherd. If you’re looking for something on the opposite end of the spectrum, consider a low energy breed like a Saint Bernard, English Bulldog, or Shih-Tzu. If your lifestyle is somewhere in the middle, take a look at a Weimaraner, Maltese, or even a Boston Terrier.
The next category that you will want to consider is the dog’s willingness to engage in training. When you meet your new potential dog, how does it react to direct eye contact? If he/she looks you in the eye and is comfortable, you are off to a great start! Try also to determine if they are food motivated. See if you’re allowed to offer food/treats to them, and observe his or her reaction. If they are very interested in the food that you have, this is another great sign. You can then imagine how easy it would be to use food as a training tool!
Additionally, you will want to find out if the dog has already received any basic training. If the dog is already house trained and leash trained, this is a big plus! Remember to ask yourself how much time and effort you are looking to put into your new companion. Will you have the ability to leave your dog off leash for exercise or will the area you live in require you to take your dog for leashed walks? Do you have the time for the proper training this pet will require?
There is a lot consider when deciding what dog is right for you. The best piece of advice that I can give you is to take your time and select your dog carefully. Check out local shelters near you and spend some time with different breeds. Each dog is different, regardless of breed, and they all come from varying backgrounds. Have fun during your search for your new companion, and enjoy one of the greatest gifts of all; unconditional love and companionship!