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Choosing the right fur-mily member

I recently had a family member ask me what type of dog they should purchase or adopt. My main point was to tell them to research, research, research. It took me 12 years to research and finally decide I was ready to get a dog myself. I strongly believe getting a dog should never be a fast and easy decision, sure maybe not a 12 year decision, but take your time to figure out what type of dog is the right fit for you.

It is important to consider things like breed, age, size etc. But you should also evaluate dogs as individuals. I have worked with incredibly sweet, mellow, pit bulls and intense, aggressive golden retrievers. Yes, there are documented traits for each specific breed, there is no denying that, but every breed can range across the spectrum.

I always encourage people to consider energy level first. Many problems arise from too little mental and physical stimulation. Be honest when assessing your energy level and your day-to-day lifestyle. Are you a home body? Are you an avid hiker/runner? Find a dog that fits your ACTUAL lifestyle, not the one you aspire to have.

Then I encourage people to consider size. Will the dog be successful in a house or an apartment? Does the dog need 5 acres? Will it fit in your car to go to the vet? Can you lift the dog yourself if you have an accident while out hiking? It is easy to forget large breed puppies become big very quickly. Always consider the size of an adult dog.

Temperament is another thing to consider. Some dogs are couch potatoes, some are easy going, some are intense, or sensitive, or fearful. Do your research, take the time to find someone that owns the breed you are interested in and spend as much time with as many dogs of that breed as possible.

Then consider breed, every breed is designed for something different (herding, prey drive, independence, social) Research potential breeds throughly.

Lastly, ANY breed of dog requires a lot of work. Owning, training, caring for a dog is time consuming and requires dedication. Always have patience and set your dog up for success. Ask questions, get support, and be a responsible dog owner. ♥️🐾


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