In case you intend to buy a dog to begin training from scratch, there are certain factors you should put into consideration in order to ensure that both you and your dog are a good match.
These are issues which are related to helping you decide which dog breed is best for you, where to buy them from, the kind of grooming it requires, the age and size of the dog to buy and so on.
Some of the most salient factors to consider include;
If the dog you’ve set your heart on is a large breed like the Great Dane or Golden retriever and you live in a relatively small apartment, you may want reconsider since these dogs may not be happy in a cramped space or being confined to a dog crate most of the time
The appropriate age of puppy or dog to buy is a matter of opinion but it is often advised that training your dog should not begin before the age of eight months.
So whether you’re going home with an older dog, chances are that it has been trained by its previous owner and may not require much re-training unlike the younger pooches.
The older dogs usually have better bladder control, longer attention spans and will require less effort to train than younger puppies as a result of their earlier training. Factor this into your buying decision if possible.
Some dog coats require daily grooming and combing which can be quite a ask depending on your daily schedule. Some breeds shed their coat quite often and this contributes to chore of cleaning up after them.
It’s vital to observe the dog’s behavior around people generally and also around other dogs. Look out for a friendly dog with a good general disposition. If possible, try to observe the parent(s) of the dog to get a clearer picture of the dog’s temperament.
All dogs require veterinary care with regard to vaccinations and annual checkups but another thing to consider is if there anyone within your household that suffers from allergic reactions around the dog.
Also, check the dog’s vital organs like the eyes, ears and nose to see if there is any form of discharge which might be an indicator of an underlying health condition.
If you are buying from a reputable dog breeder (as you should), ask them if they have some form of health care guarantee to see if they will allow you a time interval within which you can return the pooch in case it falls sick.
You should also request to see some form of documented proof of previous inoculation.
This speaks to your intended purpose for owning a dog. Whether to serve as house pets, show dogs or hunting dogs, certain breeds are more suited for some specific types of tasks.
Some dogs are born with natural hunting instincts e.g. the pointer and setter dog breeds and so if their skill aligns closely with your purpose for buying a dog, then those breeds would be more suitable for you.
Your experience level
Some dogs are very strong-willed and will not readily take to instructions. This is where the level of experience of the trainer comes into play because a less experienced dog trainer may become exasperated with the dog’s stubbornness while a more experienced trainer will instantly realize that it only calls for more care and attention in the dog’s training regimen.
So before buying a dog, carefully weigh your options to see if you are experienced and patient enough to deal with the more self-willed dog breeds.
Cost of maintenance
Between the costs of buying the dog, veterinary care, rabies shot, cost of dog accessories like collars, dog crates, dog bowls, ID tags, toys, hair brushes, toothbrushes, combs, nail clippers etc, the cost associated with owning some dogs can be considerable.
So if cost is an issue for you, consider buying a smaller dog as they eat less than bigger ones and require a smaller (cheaper) sized dog crate.
Some dogs require regular walks and steady exercise and if your lifestyles or age do not permit these, you should consider settling for dogs that do not crave either of these activities.
If on the other hand, you lead an active lifestyle, a Border collie or Australian Shepherd might just be right for you as these dogs enjoy regular walks.
Sex of the Dog
This is another consideration if you do not wish for your female dog to go in heat and get impregnated leaving you with a litter of puppies to care for or if it’s a male dog, you should be ready to deal with issues of your dog escaping the premises to go mate outside with other dogs.
This brings to the fore the issue of spaying and neutering which will be an added cost to the owner.
The male dogs are often cheaper to neuter than the spaying their female counterparts.
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Before choosing a pet, consider initial and recurring costs, home environment, size, temperament, and physical characteristics of the dog. Consider his training.
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Will I be Home Enough?
Dogs are pack animals, and while some breeds need less attention than others, all dogs will need you to be around.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dog Breed
Four of the most important factors to consider when choosing a dog breed include temperament, size, cost and the needs and preferences of individual family.
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Do the puppies appear healthy, and happy? Puppies should be alert (though don’t mistake sleepiness for lethargy), have a shiny coat, be free from discharge.
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- Dogs are for life.
- Breed research.
- Lifetime costs.
- Pet healthcare.
- Exercise needs.
How to Choose the Right Dog Breed: Factors to Consider
Activity level. Finding a dog that complements your activity level is important when choosing a dog breed.
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Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog:
- Breed Matters.
- One-On-One Time.
- Suitable Environment.
- Cleanliness is next to Dogliness.
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- What Should I Ask the Seller?
- How Old Are the Puppies?
- Have the Puppies Been Weaned?
- Can I See the Mother?
- How Many Litters has the Mother had?
Things to Consider Before Buying a Dog
- Considering your reasons and intentions.
- Choosing a suitable breed.
- Planning your pet-related budget.
- Training your pup.
Things to Look For When Buying a Dog
The breed of dog you buy should best suit your routine and needs, but you also need to think of the animal’s well-being and ensure that the dog is going to be homed in the correct environment with all the care and attention necessary for that breed.
Once you have carefully weighed all the above factors and decided on the most suitable dog for you, there are a few background inquiries that you should make before taking the plunge;
Ask your veterinarian if your breed of choice is prone to any major health issues.
Get the opinions of people you know who actually own the breed.
Search online for information about the breed. Just do a search for the breed and join some online forums related to the dog breed for information and advice from actual dog owners.
Participate actively in those forums and ask questions about any misgivings you have about buying that breed.
Ask from your local doggy day care center trainers and other breeders.
Where to Purchase the dog
Once you’ve done this, the next issue is where to actually purchase the dog. There are quite a few sources for this purpose:
- From dog rescue organizations.
- Reputable dog breeders.
- Dog shelters/pounds.
- Dog groomers.
- Pet stores.
- Commercial kennels.
- Or from your friends etc.
Making a correct choice at the point of purchase of your dog will go a long way in ensuring a greater degree of success in training your dog. From the outset, you should try to buy a dog with an appreciable level of intelligence and also factor in some of the suggestions outlined below into your buying decision.
A common mistake made by many prospective dog buyers is to buy a dog based on its outward physical appearance of the dog alone.