Choosing a dog should never be a spur of the moment decision. If you're thinking of getting a new addition to your family, it's important to consider what traits, characteristics and so forth that you're looking for in a dog.
How to Choose the Right Dog for You
When choosing a dog, there are many factors to consider: energy levels, temperament, intelligence, health, size, grooming, costs and so forth. Overall, choosing a dog is more important than just what's "cute" as a puppy.
Choosing a Dog – Size, Grooming and Costs
Size and grooming are important to consider when choosing a dog. Whether you're looking to supersize or go teacup, dogs come in every shape and size; and they also come in every style of fur – long, short, medium, wire, soft, rough, and so forth. There really is no end to the choices.
Size also pertains to how much you will spend on the dog over the course of it's life. For example, larger dogs require more food and large bags of dog food can cost upwards of 40 dollars or more.
Of course, little dogs are not without their expenses either. Extremely small dogs, such as "teacup" breeds often suffer from many health concerns because they are not meant to be bred so small.
You'll also need to consider how much time you're willing to spend grooming your dog. If you're looking for low maintenance fur, it's best to avoid breeds with longer fur.
Choosing a Dog – Energy Level, Intelligence and Temperament
The energy level of a dog should also be one of your more important factors. If you want a laid back, couch-potato apartment dog; then a high energy Jack Russell Terrier may not be the right dog for you.
Dog owners also tend to believe their dog is the smartest, most gentle dog in the world. Eventually, you may feel the same way about your chosen dog. However, before you gain a bias, now is a great time to research and look into the more intelligent dog breeds. Often, many of these dogs are easy to train. For a first time dog owner, this may be the way to go.
It's also important to look into the normal temperament of the breeds you've narrowed down. Of course, keep in mind that not all dogs follow the "norm." For example, Jack Russell Terriers are known to be extremely active; but yours may turn out to be a couch potato.
Choosing a Dog – Understanding the Health of Certain Dog Breeds
Once you've settled on a few breeds, it's important to research the overall health of the breed. Many breeds are prone to conditions such as hip dysplasia, kidney failure, diabetes gastroenteritis, and so forth. It's important to know a breed's background to give yourself an idea of what the future may, or may not hold. Remember, just because the breed is prone to it, does not necessarily mean every dog in that breed will develop the issue.
Overall, owning a dog is a rewarding experience – you just have to choose the right dog to fit your lifestyle.