Which Dog is Right for You?

Many times when considering the adoption or purchase of a dog, people will only consider the breed of dog rather than the individual dog itself. Dogs can be as individual as people are. You must take the specific dog into consideration just as much as the breed. Some factors to consider are how social the dog is, does the dog like children, does it seem nervous or on edge and how attentive is the dog? All of these will need to be explored before you make your final decision.

If you want the dog to be an indoor dog then you want a dog that is social. He must be comfortable with people and like being around people. Try and spend some time with the dog in a quiet area and see how he reacts. If the dog wants attention he will approach you while wagging his tail. Sometimes he will attempt to lick you or nudge you with his nose to get more attention. If you have a child, then the child's interaction with the dog should also be tested at this time. See how the dog reacts to the child. If he backs up and becomes uncomfortable he may not be the right dog for you.

Try to find out how much physical attention the dog requires or likes. Pet him numerous times and then stop. If the dog moves closer for more attention then that is a good sign. If, however, he moves away while you are petting him, he may have limits to his social graces.

How excitable does the dog get? Stand up and get excited about something or move around quickly. Observe the dog's reaction to this behavior. Does he tend to jump up on you at this point? Is his tail wagging? After you stop this activity, how long does it take him to calm down? If he gets overly excited or does not calm down quickly, then he may require additional training. This could also be an indication that he may have an aggressive nature. Try this activity several times and then do an evaluation.

Does the dog have separation anxiety? This can be a very dangerous ailment. Try to leave the dog alone for awhile. When you return observe how the dog reacts. Is he listless or panting from no apparent activity? Does he seem stressed? Separation anxiety can make a dog very ill depending upon the level of the ailment. If you see that this is an obvious problem, you may want to move on to another dog or invest in training to help rid him of this ailment.

Take the dog outside and take him for a walk. How does he react to external stimulants like traffic, people walking down the street, the weather and just general ambient noise? Does he want to chase cars or go after people as they walk by? If so, he needs additional social training. If, however, he is calm and collected, then this is a very good sign of a content dog.

Taking these few steps to check out your new dog can save you many problems before you actually commit yourself to this specific pet.

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