Pure-bred dog, mixed breed dog, rescue dog, shelter dog, or the one that finds you?
Are you picking a dog from the looks, size, what the children want, or for another reason?
Choosing a dog for the way it looks can be risky, unless you are familiar with the temperament of the breed you are wanting. And mixed bred dogs, will be just that, a combination of several dogs characteristics, which can make for interesting dog!
When it comes to choosing a dog, make sure that the temperament and personality of that dog suits your lifestyle and will mesh with your personality. If you choose a terrier, be ready for a high energy dog, they are adorable, but don’t be fooled by those doe eyes, they soon might be ransacking the garbage can!
The size of a dog is not so important when they are a puppy. But when that Great Dane puppy is growing by leaps and bounds and eating you out of house and home, it will become extremely important. Not only from a standpoint of the cost of feeding a large growing dog, which is especially critical to their proper development, but they will also require plenty of room to exercise. These breeds many times end up in rescues and/or shelters, when the owners are unable to afford the expense of raising a large breed dog.
Many times when the children of the family pick the dog, it is usually a short term love affair, until the novelty wears off, and then Mom and Dad are left with the responsibility of caring for the new family pet. This sometimes works out for the better, but many times can cause problems within the family, and the dog is the one left forgotten.
A dog called a cockapoo, schnoodle, yorkipoo, puggle, labradoodle, goldendoodle, or any other made up name for two pure bred dogs that produced a litter of puppies, they all can be classified as mixed breed dogs. And there is nothing wrong with that. But the rescues and shelters are already full of those exact dogs looking for homes, all there for an array of reasons and at the fraction of the cost of the “designer breeders” asking price.
Some of the most wonderful dogs ever, are the dogs that other people have thrown away.
But if you want a pure bred dog, do your research and visit AKC.org. Every pure bred dog is listed, with a complete breed description and referrals to reputable breeders. There are very few pure bred breeds that do not have some health testing requirements to ensure that you will be getting a genetically sound and healthy puppy. All pure bred breeds have a National Breed Club, designed to help educate general public about their breed and will also have a breeder referral listing to put you in contact with a member breeder.
And the best dog can be the one that just shows up one day, or you find abandoned. You may have just hit the lottery with the most grateful dog you will ever have. Now that you have found each other, a visit with your veterinarian will be required. Expect heartworm prevention, vaccines if needed, dental hygiene discussion and reminders to follow for annual checkups. Visit AVMA.org and Hemopet.org for continuing educational information on the care of your new best friend.
But the one thing I would like to emphasize is that dog ownership is a commitment, just like a marriage or children. Being a responsible dog and/or cat owner, is more than just filling up the food bowl. So before you decide to commit to a new dog, make sure you have looked at the expense and time required for your new family member. This dog will be a part of your family, hopefully for the next 10, 12, 15 or more years. The time you spend with your dog is invaluable to him or her, every minute you spend with your dog; you will be rewarded by having the love and devotion of a perfect best friend.