Are you thinking of getting a dog? Choosing to bring a new dog into your life is a major decision. Be sure you are ready for a dog before you start the process. It is also essential that you understand the cost of dog ownership. If you have decided that the time is right, congratulations! Now it is time to figure out what type of dog is right for you. There are several factors to consider before choosing a dog. Most importantly, examine your current lifestyle and consider what adjustments you are willing to make for a dog. Look at the needs of your family – especially if you have children or other pets. People with allergies, or those who prefer low-shedding dogs, might want to look into hypoallergenic dog breeds. Next, think about the ideal size, energy level and age of your new dog. Then, determine where to get your new dog. Just remember that getting a dog requires a firm commitment to responsible dog ownership.

 

Dog breeds

A dog breed is defined by a breed standard which describes the dog's physical characteristics in detail. However, there are more characteristics than color, pattern, or hair length to define a dog breed. Many breeds can be seen as real pet dogs while others fulfill important tasks in supporting and facilitating human life, such as guide dogs, guard dogs, hunting dogs, herding dogs, sled dogs, racing dogs.

 

In a sense, these dog breeds are real partners for their owners. But all – pets and partners – have one thing in common: they are

companions for humans.

 

Dog Breeds - examples:

Afghan hound | Fox terrier |Basset hound | German shepherd | Beagle | Greyhound | Bobtail | Griffon terrier | Boxer | Husky | Bull terrier | Irish setter | Bulldog | Labrador retriever | Chihuahua | Münsterländer | Chow chow | Newfoundland | Cocker spaniel | Pekingese | Collie | Pit bull terrier | Dalmatian | Poodle | Dingo | Rottweiler | Doberman | Tyroler Bracke

Foxhound | Yorkshire terrier

 

Activity Level

You probably already know that some dogs have more energy than others. A dog’s activity level is often determined by breed, but it does not mean you can rely on breed alone to determine how energetic your dog could become. Every dog needs routine exercise, regardless of breed or size, so make sure you can to provide this. If you know you can not commit to more than one or two casual walks per day, then you will probably be better off with a lower energy dog, such as a Basset Hound. If you are looking for a dog that can be a jogging partner, agilitycompetitor or “disc dog,” consider a breed like the Border Collie.

 

Be willing to adjust the amount of exercise and attention you give your dog if necessary. A dog that is barking constantly, digging up your yard, destroying your home, or acting out in some other way is most likely in need of extra activities. Many behavior problems are the result of excess energy. Unfortunately, many dogs are given up or even euthanized because of a behavior problem that could have easily been avoided with the proper amount of exercise and attention.

 

Physical Maintenance

Your dog’s appearance has a lot to do with his maintenance needs. All dogs need basic grooming, but certain types need more based on the type of hair coat. If you get a dog with hair that keeps growing, then advanced routine grooming is essential. Most short haired, smooth-coated dogs are major shedders, so be prepared to do some extra cleaning up. Some grooming tools can help reduce shedding. Be aware that dogs with long, floppy ears are more prone to ear infections and require frequent thorough ear cleanings. In addition, certain types of dogs can do a lot of drooling. Many owners of Mastiffs, Bloodhounds and similar dogs actually carry a “slobber cloth” with them to wipe the drool. If they shake their heads – watch out!

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