5 Essential Tips On How To Choose A Dog

Most people love dogs. We love dogs of all kinds, sizes and breeds and we all have favorites of course but before deciding on a dog to have with you for their lifetime, there are so many things to consider. Getting a dog should never be a quick decision. It should be looked at as a major commitment and life altering choice. Most dogs live on average between 10 to 12 years and once you make that commitment it should be with intention of the lifetime of the dog whatevever that may be. In some ways dogs are like humans. They have specific personalities, care needs and health and wellness needs. So it's a good idea to do your research and weigh the pros and cons making sure you find the right match for you and the dog you choose. Here are 5 essential tips on how to choose a dog.


1. Space

Space in your home matters more than you might think. Some small dogs require more space than certain medium to large dogs. Its not always bigger dog more space needed. A small dog such as a Jack Russell terrier needs more room as they have a great deal of energy and need room to run.  Ironically Greyhounds do well even in apartments as they have a very calm nature and are happy with daily walks or exploring a small backyard. Now these are exceptions but good examples of how the size of dog doesn't always equal what's needed for living space. 

jack russell


2. Temperament

The temperament of a dog is discribed as "individual behaviors that are biologically based". To be clear we are not talking learned behaviors such as following commands but the predisposed tendancies of the dog. Looking into the temperament of the type of dog you are considering is essential.  For example some dogs are predisposed as guardian dogs and will have a natural protective nature such as Rottweilers or German Shepherds and some dogs need a lot of stimulation due to high intellect such as Border Collies. The temperament of your dog matters and is an important trait to look at while choosing your companion.

Beautiful border collie, with brown, white and black colors laying on the floor but looking alert



3. History

Whether you are getting a puppy or rescuing an adult dog, the history of the dog matters. Knowing where the dog is coming from is so very important for many reasons. One of the main reasons of course being health (vaccinations etc.)

Essential questions to ask when you buy or adopt may include:

  • Is the dog socialized
  • Are vaccinations up to date
  • Checked for worms
  • Vet checked
  • Knowledge about parents and breeding (family history)
  • Type of food they have been eating


4. Health

When deciding on getting a dog you need to be aware of the health needs that may come up during the dogs lifetime. This could be very important especially with purebreds as there could be predisposed common health issues that present in  specific breeds. Knowing about the possibilities beforehand allow you to prepare and care for your dog properly. Be aware of course that any dog could become ill and having insurance or a back up funds just in case is wise. Feeding your dog a healthy diet and making sure they get the exercise they require will certainly help them live their best life and save your wallet as well.

A black and white boston terrier gets a check up


 5. Training 

All puppies require training and it is the owner's responsibility to make sure they always have their dog under control for the benifit of all. When getting a new puppy many don't know where to begin. Of course some dogs are easier to train than others and some are very food motivated, but then some are not. So what do you do? There are many options. You may be able to learn how to train your puppy on your own or you may prefer to seek out profesional assistance. No matter which avenue you choose, training and socialization early on is essential and will affect everyday life with your pup on a positive level. 

You have of course heard the saying "you can't teach an old dog new tricks". Though it is definitely easier to train a dog when they are young, teaching a dog new behaviors is absolutely possible.  Start simple at first and be consistant, it will be worth it.

Australian Shepherd sitting with a graduation cap on his head

There you have it ! 5 Essential tips on how to choose a dog.

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