How to Select a Dog Breed Part 1

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Dog Breed Selector

Choosing the Right Dog

Owning a dog is an incomparable joy that many people are fortunate to experience. According to the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey, 63 percent of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 71.1 million homes throughout the country. There are also approximately 5 million dogs in Canada.

Thus, many people in North America are familiar with the benefits and responsibilities of dog ownership. If you’re thinking about adopting or purchasing a puppy or dog as a cuddly confidant for you and your family, there are several things to consider.

How to Choose the Right Dog Breed

Before considering which breed, size and age your new dog should be, you should first determine if you can reasonably provide for a pet. If you’re on the fence, a professional animal trainer can help you make an informed decision. To begin, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Can you afford the necessary maintenance for a dog?

The cost of having a dog includes paying for plenty of food and treats, dog obedience classes, supplies (collars, leashes, toys, bedding, crates, etc.), veterinary bills (for immunizations, spaying/neutering, routine checkups and potential emergencies), grooming (especially for dogs with fancy-trimmed coats) and anything else that may arise in the dog’s lifetime.

2. Realistically, do you have sufficient time to devote to your new dog?

You must allot time for animal training sessions, exercise (going for walks, playing ball and visiting the park) and general care.

RELATED: Exercise is the Best Medicine for Dogs & People

3. Do you have sufficient energy to do all of the above?

4. Do you live in a place where you’re allowed and able to have a dog?

Some apartments, condos and rented houses have a no pets policy.

5. Do you have a yard? Is your yard secure enough where your new canine will not be able to escape? Do you have a pool and is it gated?

6. Is there a safe place where he can be kept or anyone who could watch him while you’re gone?

If you take frequent vacations or have to travel for work, do you have somebody to watch after the dog while you’re away?

7. If your dog has or develops a behavioral issue, will you have the persistence to fix it?

The most common reason why dogs are relinquished to shelters is due to unresolved behavioral issues. Dog training is essential and crucial for every dog and his owner.

If you answered “yes” to all of the above questions, then you’re a good candidate for dog ownership.

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