by: JR Rich
You've decided that it's time for your family to get thatdog that everyone has been clamoring for. Maybe you've donea little research - looked at a few web sites - but you'restill not sure.
Picking a family dog is an important decision in the life ofmost every family. Every member has his or her own visionsof what the Perfect Dog should be. But, personal preferencesaside, there are 'reality-check' questions that must bedealt with first.
What sort of companion are you looking for? What size isbest? What breed?
Before you pack everyone into the van and head over to themall, ask yourself these 7 questions:
Do you and your family actually have the time necessary tocare for a new puppy? If both adults are working all day(and sometimes, well into the night), will the dog be leftalone for long stretches? Dogs are social animals and, likemany people, can get very lonely if left by themselves. And,when dogs get lonely, they can get very destructive!
Do you live in an apartment? Or do you have a nice house inthe suburbs? You don't want a Mastiff if you live on thethird floor in a one-bedroom "Efficiency" apartment! Dogsneed exercise and, the larger they are, the more room theyneed.
-- Maintenance Costs
Can you afford it? When picking a family dog, you have toconsider what the animal will cost. Not just the purchaseprice from the breeder but ALL the costs. You'll have food(A large breed can eat five pounds of food per day!), Vetbills, vaccinations, registration, dog crate, grooming,insurance and more. Make sure that you're ready for theseadditional costs.
-- Destruction Potential
This falls right in line with maintenance costs - if yournew puppy decides to become destructive, replacement ofclothes, shoes, furniture and carpets can get very largeindeed! To keep destruction to a minimum, seriously considerthat you will need to devote the time necessary toproperly train the puppy.
-- Which Breed
Large or small? Long-haired or short? Frisky or calm? You'llwant to pick a breed that's suitable to your home size andyour family's temperament. Large dogs need lots of room andexercise. Small dogs are happy anywhere.
-- Where to Buy
Pet store, neighbor or professional breeder? This one iseasy! Always go to a professional breeder. Pet stores aregenerally manned by hourly workers who couldn't care lessabout their charges!
Getting a dog from your neighbor or friend is probablyunwise. You don't know about any vaccinations the dog hashad and diseases can be common in an unprofessionalhousehold.
The professional breeder, on the other hand, knows how tocare for pups, knows how to properly breed their dogs, andcan point you in the right 'selection direction'! Definitelygo with a professional dog breeder!
-- Family Involvement
When picking a family dog, it should go without saying -"Involve The Family!" Make sure that everyone has a buy-into the final decision.
Dole out responsibilities according to each members'capabilities, desires and agreement. For example, the soncan take care of making sure the water dish is clean andfull. The daughter can measure out the daily food. Mom mighttake on the bathing. Dad supervises (just kidding!)
When everyone has a part to play, the daily maintenanceroutine will be a lot more fun!
This list is not "All-Encompassing" by any means. There willbe seemingly endless questions. However, this 'quick-list'will get you started.
The most important point to remember when picking a familydog is to get the entire family involved. Have everyone'buy-in' to the questions above - making sure that theindividual responsibilities are agreed to beforehand. A"Letter of Agreement", signed by each family member willhelp everyone remember the part(s) they agreed to play.
After all, this decision isn't really about just choosing adog - it's about adding a new member to your family!
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JR Rich is the author and creator of the popular puppytraining website, "Puppy Training Made Easy!"Learn the quickest and easiest methods the experts use tomake puppy training a breeze!Click Here Now => .puppy-training-made-easy.com