A dog or a puppy will always perform well in pleasing you and making you smile. He will curl up with you when you are feeling down or relax with you whenever you need a company. He won’t judge you because of your mistakes, he won’t criticize your look, faults, intelligence and knowledge. He’ll wiggle his tail when he sees you, he will unconditionally plays with you because playing is his best job. Spending time with you is never a problem and he will always be there to protect the master despite of his size and strength. Sounds awesome?
However, a dog depends on you for food, water supply, shelter, exercising, grooming, veterinary care, companionship and protection at the same time. You have to ask yourself whether or not you have prepare to spend the next 10-15 years of your life taking care of your dog. This duration is about how long your dog will live. The expenses of having a dog, can you afford all of them? It is almost like an eternal commitment, and you can’t easily just get rid of it like you throw away your old toys. It has to be treated like a family member. You wouldn’t throw a newborn baby out just because you found out his/her annoying-ness after knowing he/she is cute and cuddly. Do you know or have you plan on how to treat your dog? Are you mentally prepared for taking up this responsibility? Do you know the natural dog behaviour and are you going to invest both time and money into an animal?
The decision-making part is always the toughest. Not only you have to walk the dog everyday, just like you have to bathe yourself everyday. You have to show your leadership as a master of the dog, train it and tame it as a pet or the other way? What type of dog is most suitable for you and remember that every breed has their respective needs. Honestly, you just have to cater some time to understand them before physically have one. Another thing to think about is whether you would actually put aside your emotions for this animal or treat him like a human companion. Think about your family as it is right now, and how it will be in the future. What would the dog create in the family? Happiness? Trouble or Madness?
I am pretty sure every family members at home has their own principles, needs, schedule, personality, medical issues, space and time limitations. Looking hard at your family’s current situation, would the dog fit into your live and your family lives? Do you think a pet would not make things difficult or readily more awkward?
You might want to check anyone in the family is allergic to dog hair. Would you be bother with dog hair lying around the house from the sofa, carpet to the kitchen plates? Some breeds are heavy shedders, while others hardly shed at all. Do you have children? Are you going to have children in the next 10-15 years? Do you have friends who visit your home who have children? Are you prepared to learn how to teach your child how to display leadership toward the dog? Do you mind holes being dug in your yard? Some dogs like to dig if they hear something moving underground, while others are less likely to dig. Some breeds are more active while some are more passive. Would they be barking every time until you can’t fall asleep at night?
Do you mind if your dog has a tendency to wander away from home, or would you rather have a dog that would be more likely to stick close to home? Some hunting breeds will roam if they catch a scent of another animal; it is in their nature, while others have a strong instinct to stick close to home. When they wander off, they will eventually come straight home.
All dogs, regardless of breed, size or energy level need to be taken out for a daily walk/exercise. Every new-born pups have different energy and dominancy levels. Choose wisely on the energy levels because if your family and yourself are not active, a pup with a higher energy level will most likely to ‘walk’ you rather than you ‘walk’ it. The degree of exercise varies. Some dogs need more daily vigorous exercise and you would have to spend more time to organize his ‘work-out’ to the park, on the footpath and across the bridge, while others will get sufficient exercise with a shorter walk and just by running in and out around the house non-stop. Some dogs need tasks/missions or else they will become restless, bored, very destructive and unruly. Other dogs will settle for just a short walk and a play time Some can be highly obedience-trained, while others can never be trained properly.
After all the talk, you might have got the point? All dogs are different, and all families are different. Therefore, you have to see whether they match- it is almost like a love-match/date in finding a dog that fits well into your family, so you and your dog can live in harmony. It is crucial to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship between the owner and the dog.
While it is important to choose the correct breed for your family’s lifestyle, it is even more imperative to understand whether a dog is a canine, not a human, and treat him accordingly. To have a clear understanding of a dog’s brain check out Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer), you will find which dog is your worst nightmare and which is your best investment. This is able to guide you on communication, understanding and controlling your dog. Afterall, everything depends on the owner and their understanding of the canine and the owner’s willingness in giving what the dog truly needs.
The choice is in your hand. Do your homework and research on the breeds. Look at your current life and always remember that cute puppies will grow up one day and be an adult dog. You can’t always have a small dog and do not expect that they will look the same when you first got them. Therefore, you can’t just have a dog because it looks cute (can’t solely based on looks, seriously…)