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Puppies conjure up lovely images. We sit on the sofa running our hands through their coat, take leisurely walks in the park, and laugh at how clumsy and funny they are. Seldom does a puppy conjure up images of poop and wee in our living room, holes all over the lawn, and destroyed objects. Before acquiring a puppy, we need to consider the entire package.
First, it’s a good idea, if you can, to learn as much as
possible about your favourite breed before purchasing. Time
and again, people buy a puppy because a breed looks gorgeous,
but pay little attention to whether the dog’s temperament and
needs are compatible with their own personality and lifestyle.
Best to decide first whether the breed you like stands a
chance of being compatible with your lifestyle. Search the
internet for information on your favourite breed; visit dog
shows and talk to breeders and owners of your favourite breed,
or read books on specific dog breeds. Do your research before
buying a puppy.
Through repeated exposure to other animals, people, objects and situations, and through proper training, your dog can be a fine companion but his inherited characteristics will still dictate much of what he does.
Exercise - If you’re a sporty type by all means buy yourself the Weimaraner, Dalmatian, or Labrador you have been dreaming of. However, if you are a couch potato, you might be better off with a breed with lower exercise needs such as the English Bulldog or Yorkshire Terrier.
Coat texture and shedding - will you be comfortable living with dog hair on the carpet and furniture, or will the sight of it drive you into a cleaning frenzy? If you don’t mind the hair, get the German Shepherd you’ve been longing for. If you worry about the hair, look for breeds that don’t shed much, such as the Poodle, Schnauzer (any of the three sizes – miniature, standard or giant), or Chinese Crested Dog. As a guide, curly-coated and wire-haired breeds are a wise choice if you are worried about shedding.
Brushing and Combing - Do you have the time to brush and comb your Afghan
Hound’s coat every day, or will you feel more comfortable
brushing your Boxer’s coat once a week?
Chlidren - Are you prepared to have your Border Collie chase your
children and friends, and nip ankles as it attempts to round
them up? Would you, perhaps, be happier with a Golden
Retriever that’s less likely to be obsessed with herding
everything that moves? I’m not saying that if you have small children you shouldn’t get a certain breed, although some breeds are better with children than others. Regardless of the breed you choose, children and dogs should never be left alone
together without supervision