Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Choosing a Breed that's Right for You

Before you go out and adopt the first dog you see, or buy that cute little puppy, you just might want to research breeds a little bit, especially if you don't know anything about your "favorite" breed. Many people choose a pet based on the "cuteness factor". This can lead to all sorts of personality conflicts, as well as behavior and training difficulties. Some breeds aim to please, however, others can be very stubborn, and much more work is involved when trying to change undesirable behavior.

Your first decision should be whether or not you wish to go through puppy potty-training, which can test the patience of even the most forgiving human! If that is not for you, consider adopting an adolescent or adult dog, and be sure to ask all of the right questions. If you have pet peeves, you should make a list of them and ask about all of them, this involves "choosing" a member of the family, so choose wisely.

Be mindful of the personality traits that are common to certain breeds, and match that with your personality and habits. If you are an active person, who enjoys walking (a lot), then you may do well with a working breed. However, if you lack the gumption to get outside and get a little exercise, you'll definitely want to look for a less active breed. All dogs should be walked daily, or least several times a week. But some breeds will tear your apart the house, your things, or the garbage, and even could display other negative or aggressive behavior if you don't give him enough exercise. Some breeds are particular to certain types of weather, and can become sick in weather that's too hot or too cold. Others don't like water, and refuse to potty in the rain. Some breeds are extremely stubborn and hard to train, others display a desire to do anything you wish. These may sound like simple personality quirks, but some quirks are more prevalent in certain breeds than in others.