In working at a prominent shelter in the Orlando area and advising many dog owners in private lessons, I find that there are a lot of mistakes being made when people choose a dog or a puppy. So here is a list of a few things you might want to consider before getting a dog or puppy.
CONSIDER BREED: Too many people choose breeds for their looks when actually what they should be doing is choosing the temperament of a breed and whether it fits into their lifestyle. For instance, if you want a lap dog and you aren’t much into training, you don’t want a hyper breed such as an Australian Shepherd. Conversely, if you are an active person and want your dog to train easily, a dachshund would not be right for you.
CONSIDER COST: Dogs cost a lot both when you first adopt and throughout the 10-14 years of their lives in medical costs. This is one reason why you should never get two dogs at the same time. Not only is training a bear but medical costs easily double. It is best to get only one canine and get a mental picture as to how much it costs in food and medical costs. Having said that, don’t skimp on the cost of adopting a full breed puppy. See last week’s article on how to get a full breed puppy.
DON’T GIVE A PUPPY AS A GIFT: We are coming into the holiday season and many people decide to give a puppy as a gift to their friend or family member. This is not a good idea. A puppy is not an object but a living thing. Decisions on breed, costs, medicines, vets and lifestyle should not be taken lightly. Dogs take an enormous amount of daily work which doesn’t stop until they leave us in 10 to 14 years. A puppy can change a person’s life instantly in a good way but also overly burden someone if they are unable or unprepared to do the work.