Adopting a dog should not be taken lightly. Dog ownership is a lifelong commitment.
Although it can never be a certainty that you will find the perfect dog for you, it is
important to exercise sound judgment to improve the odds of success.
After years of addressing behavioral problems in dogs, it has become my conclusion that many dog/owner problems are rooted in the initial selection process.
In other words, the owner acted on impulse or without the proper knowledge needed in
making such a significant commitment. I list below the things to be considered in
picking a great dog for YOU.
1. Select from your dog from a reputable and caring establishment.
Whether you rescue a dog, purchase from a breeder or find your dog from a private
home, it is important to learn about them. Are they reputable with all appropriate
licensing? Do the dog quarters appear clean and without stomach-churning odors?
Do the breeders/owners seem knowledgeable about dogs? Do the dogs available
seem healthy and happy? What is the online reputation of the provider?
2. Select a dog to fit your lifestyle. This is the number one cause of
problems that I encounter as a dog trainer, and there is no fix available. If you are a
couch potato, you DO NOT want a high energy dog. Likewise, if you are high energy
and want a dog to jog along with you for miles, DO NOT get a doggy coach potato.
Do some research on breeds and determine various breeds of dogs that fit your
energy level. If there are small children in your life, be cautious about high strung
dogs that were bred to guard. You could potentially be inviting tragedy into your
home. Consult an experienced trainer for suggestions on a good breed that fits your
3. Recognize your strengths and limitations. If you are physically limited, or
have had little experience handling dogs, it may be advantageous to avoid large,
intelligent breeds that require skills beyond your competence level to master.
4. Finally, do separate the real world of dog ownership from the world of
television and fictional dog stories. You will spend considerable time picking up
poop, cleaning up vomit, walking in inclement weather, going to vets and changing
your world to accommodate your dog. I believe that the benefits
of dog ownership outweigh the work involved. However, carefully consider that
responsible dog ownership means a lot of time and money.
5. If the dog has not been trained, then begin the process, as soon as you
bring him home.If you carefully consider the pros and cons and feel a dog belongs in your life, then
please go for it. A good dog in a good home is one of life’s great joys.
Perfect Manners Dog Training
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