Best dog for me
Which dog breed should you choose? If you are set on a specific dog breed, learn all you can about the dog's temperament, the breed's energy level and the dog breed's exercise requirements. Take into consideration your living conditions. If you live in a small apartment and do not have much time to exercise your dog then getting a very active dog breed that needs to spend hours exercising each day is not the best idea for you and for the dog. Underexercised dogs and dogs that do not receive much mental stimulation tend to engage in destructive behaviors such as barking, digging, chewing and so on to keep themselves busy when you are at work.
Consider your financial situation, because dogs require food, dog supplies, and there will be veterinary expenses which may be hefty in case your dog gets seriously sick. You will spend many years with your four legged friend and selecting the breed that can fit into your family is crucial. If you have small kids, a family friendly dog breed can fit right in. Not all breeds are created equal. Some breeds are great for families and for first time dog owners. Other dog breeds may need an experienced dog owner who will know how to handle a stubborn dog or a dog that is dominant in nature. Does anyone in your family suffer from pet related allergy? Some dog breeds shed less and produce less dander, and may be a better choice for your family. There are so many dog shelters and dog rescue centers full of wonderful dogs that ended up there because the owners did not take the time to educate themselves about the specifics of the breed before they got that adorable puppy.
The information below will help you to pick that special puppy from a litter that will be a part of your life for many years to come. Though you may be surprised to notice how similar all puppies appear in a litter, their personalities may have striking differences that will only get more prominent as the puppy is maturing. Take the time to observe the puppies, notice how they interact with one another and use the puppy personality tests described below to select the puppy that will be the right fit for you and for your family.
Once you decided on the breed of your future best friend, you may be presented with a choice of several puppies to pick from. Some dog breeds may have eight or even more puppies in a litter. How do you decide which dog is best for me if all of the puppies are so adorable? Even though the puppies may look so much alike, their personalities are unique. Before you even go to see the puppies, it is important to think about what personality traits you want to see in your dog as it matures. Ask yourself the following questions:
"What will be the main purpose of the dog in my family?"
"Will my next puppy be a companion dog that will be spending time with the family, playing with the kids and be a part of the family?"
"Will the dog have a job such as a watch dog or a guard dog who will be more than a family friend, but will also have to protect the property and the family?"
Asking yourself all these questions will help you to understand better what personality traits you need to look for in your future puppy. For example, if you need a companion dog that will mostly spend the time playing with the kids or keeping you company then your goal is to look for a puppy that features a less dominant demeanor and a more laid back personality. Another example is if you are looking for a puppy that will live with older adults, then it is important to select a calmer and mellower puppy from the litter. If you are planning to enter your puppy in competition events down the road, select a puppy that displays more drive, curious, bold and most persistent in the litter. These are the qualities that are needed for creating a future performer. Keep in mind that these same personality qualities may not work well in a family setting as the dominant dog will need an owner who will have to have some experience in handling a dog with a strong and persistent personality. You may appreciate the puppy's strong and assertive personality but will you have the time to make the best of the strong drive that the dog has and provide the environment for the animal that will make the best use of its personality traits? Be mindful of the role of the dog in your life, and select the puppy that fits that role best.
At five weeks of age most puppies already display their temperament and you can learn a lot about the type of personality the puppy will grow up to have by observing the dog.
If you are asking yourself "How do I know which puppy has a more curious personality, and which puppy is more dominant, etc?" The answers to these questions can be found by observing the way the puppies interact with one another. Some puppies will show more dominant behavior while others will act more submissive. Be sure to learn about canine behavior to distinguish the various ways dogs show dominance to other dogs.
Puppy temperament tests
To a novice dog enthusiast all puppies in a litter may appear to have identical temperaments. By the time a puppy is eight weeks old, his inborn temperament is already showing. Some puppies may be more inclined to be leaders, other puppies may have a more laid back demeanor. Puppy temperament tests will help you to understand each puppy's personality in a short period of time. A simple puppy temperament test that would help to to quickly assess the temperament of all the puppies in the litter is to put a large object in a room where the puppies are located. You can use any object, even an open cardboard box. Observe the way the puppies are reacting to the new object. Some puppies will run away and hide, others may show curiosity and boldness and run towards the object to explore it. Some puppies may wait and see what happens before deciding what's the best course of action. This puppy personality test can really tell you a lot about the temperament of each puppy. Now imagine a grown dog displaying the same temperament as each puppy did during the cardboard box test. This will help you to decide which puppy would best fit your needs.
There are many different ways to test puppies' temperaments. Try this temperament test. Lift a puppy up and hold the puppy. Is the dog comfortable being handled? Does the puppy allow you to gently roll it on the back and let you pat it's belly? If the puppy looks relaxed in your arms and is not trying to escape, there's a good chance the dog has a "willing to please" type of personality. If the puppy is wiggling in your arms, be prepared for a challenge as the puppy will most likely not be easily trainable and may be more independent as an older dog. Pay attention to how the dog is reacting to other dogs around. A properly socialized puppy with a friendly personality will not display aggression towards other people or dogs.
Here's another puppy temperament test. Take the puppy to an unfamiliar room, place it on the floor and see how the puppy reacts. If the puppy is staying close to you in the new environment, the puppy will need more of your attention and is looking for more security in an owner as the dog is more on the timid side. An independent puppy will move around freely in the new space and will show a more independent personality this way. Leave the puppy alone for a minute or two in the room (not longer) and see how the puppy reacts. A dog that may have a separation anxiety may start whining immediately once you leave the room. Pay attention to these signs and you will be able to quickly assess the personality of the puppy and decide whether you are right for one another.
There's an easy puppy temperament test to see if a puppy wants control or if it is more laid back. Gently grab the puppy's paw for a moment and see how the puppy is reacting. If the puppy is not letting you hold his paw even for a second, pulls the paw away or is starting to bite your hand, that means the dog likes to be in control. A more laid back puppy will let you hold the paw for a moment and will not try to bite you right away.
This puppy personality test involves food. Bring a bowl of puppy food and once the puppy starts to eat, see if the dog will let you take away the bowl. A territorial dog that has strong guarding instinct will start growling and may even try to bite you - BE CAREFUL as some puppies may have a strong bite. Food guarding may be an issue in a household with small children.
To test a puppy for a predatory instinct, take a toy and play with the puppy. If the puppy is trying to pull on the toy - that shows his strong predatory instinct and he may go after small animals as he matures. If the puppy is just chasing the toy without trying to pull on it, the predatory instinct is not very strong.
These puppy temperament tests will help you to understand the temperament differences between all the puppies in a litter. When you are going to the breeder to get your puppy from a litter, bring a pen and paper with you so that you can quickly write down the results from each test. The results will help you to select the best puppy for you and for your family.
What to look for in puppy's parents
If the parents of the litter are available, ask to see them. Puppies tend to grow up and resemble their parents' character and physical traits. If you are looking to get a dog that you will be entering into competition events, then it is important to select a puppy from parents that are accomplished in the same competition events. Be sure to ask about the medical history of both parents so that you are aware of any genetic diseases that the puppy may be predisposed to.
Best dog breed for me
Today there are over 400 dog breeds. There are some important questions that a future dog owner needs to ask him/herself before deciding on which dog breed to get. To narrow down your choices ask yourself the following questions and you will have a clearer picture of which dog breed will be best for you:
What will be the dog's purpose in my life? Are you looking for a four-legged friend and companion such as Shih Tzu or a Poodle or are you looking for a guard dog such as the Rottweiler or German Shepherd who will be able to protect you and your family?
How much time can I spend every day on exercising, walking, training, playing with my future dog? High energy dog breeds such as the Labrador Retriever breed
need more exercise and your attention every day and other dog breeds may be more independent and do not need as much exercise.
Which breed is suitable for the living conditions that I can offer? Some dog breeds are great for even small apartments, for example the Maltese and other breeds such as the Border Collie breed need a lot of space to run around and will not be happy if confined in a small apartment.
When you know what role the dog will take in your household, selecting the right breed becomes much easier. For example, getting a friendly and sociable Labrador Retriever for the role of guarding your home is a big mistake. Though Labs are large dogs, they do not have it in their temperament to be aggressive towards people nor do they have a high drive to guard a territory. In case a burglar shows up, you can count on your Labrador to entertain the bad guy and maybe even keep him company and walk the bad guy to the room with the family jewels. Labradors do not make great property guards but they do make wonderful family dogs that are great with kids, playful and enjoy being around people. A better choice of breed for home protection would be other breeds, such as the Rottweiler or the Doberman as these are specific breeds that do very well in the role of guarding a home. Neither the Rottweiler nor the Doberman will get playful with the burglar, instead these dogs will do their very best to guard and keep your home safe from any potential intruders. Do decide what role the dog will have in your family and based on that look for the best breed that can do the job right.
Are you planning to adopt a dog from your local animal shelter? There are many wonderful dogs waiting to be adopted and some animal rescue centers can even be breed specific. Getting a dog from a shelter may save you a lot of money. The reason why there are so many animal rescue centers and animal shelters is because many people did not take the time to learn enough about the dog breed that they got before they got the puppy. All puppies are so adorable and many people just decide to get one without getting into details about how big the dog will grow or whether the breed is appropriate for their family and also how much care and attention the little adorable puppy will require. Once the new puppy is home, the new inexperienced dog owners may get overwhelmed with how much time the cute puppy actually needs. Getting a dog is in many ways similar to bringing home a new baby. The puppy needs to be fed, potty trained and cared for every day and sometimes many nights especially at the very beginning. Do you know that November and December are often the busiest months for dog shelters? And that is because many families just decide that they have to prepare for the holidays ahead and there's no time to take care of the dog. A perfectly fine dog or puppy may end up in a rescue center only because the owner did not want to spend the time to learn about what it takes to own a dog and about the specifics of the breed that they got. That is why we stress the importance of learning as much as you can about being a dog owner and also educate yourself about the breed that you're planning to get BEFORE you get a dog. This way you will never have to be the kind of dog owner that we described above.
Getting a puppy from a pet store can be risky as not all pet stores take good care of their animals. The puppy from the pet store may have health issues. In some cases these puppies are kept in conditions that are not acceptable. The puppy may have experienced a lot of stress while the dog lived in the pet store and this will have a negative effect on the dog's developing temperament. Of course some pet stores do a good job with their dogs, but there are many that do not. Pay attention to the way dogs are cared for in the pet store that you are getting the puppy from. It is also difficult to find out much about the puppy's parents and genetic diseases that his parents or grandparents had.
When you are getting a dog from a friend or from a neighbor, you can find out a lot about the puppy's parents, health history, ask plenty of questions about the puppy and his parents. These are all good things. In case you are looking for a purebred puppy, it can be difficult to determine whether the puppy is a purebred puppy when acquiring the puppy this way.
When you are getting a puppy from a breeder, it is your responsibility to learn as much as you can about the breeder's reputation, speak to other dog owners that own dogs that they got from this specific breeder and be observant and see whether the breeder truly cares about the breed as only a source of income or is the breeder someone that cares about the wellbeing of his dogs and who will make sure that his dogs are balanced in all ways from conformation to temperament and health of the breed. A good breeder will make sure that his puppy is going to a family where the dog will be a good fit. The breeder will ask you questions and will patiently answer any questions you may have.
If you are considering getting a dog for yourself or for someone close to you, it is very important to do a thorough research and learn as much as you can about the dog breed that you are interested in getting. Read all the information about the dog breed of your choice, speak to other people who own the dog breed and be sure that the location where you will be keeping the dog is suitable for the breed that you selected. For example, if you are planning to get a Border Collie breed, you need to take into account whether you can provide the dog with enough running space and whether you have the time to be with the dog most of the time every day as this breed is very active and needs plenty of exercise to stay in the best mental and physical shape. Inadequate exercise may result in destructive dog behavior. Learn about the daily exercise needs for the breed that you are considering.
Take into consideration the ages of the people that will live with the dog as some dog breeds are not suitable for families with young children. Another important factor to consider is the breed's overall health. Some breeds will require more veterinary visits than others. Also keep in mind that if you have any other pets at home, be sure to find out whether the breed that you are considering can get along with the other pets in the household. Some dog breeds may have a strong hunting instinct that makes it difficult to ensure the safety of your other pets around the new dog.
A dog needs regular walks to ensure that it can relieve itself. If you are at work all day long, is there someone else that can take the dog outside so that the dog can do what it needs to do or will the dog have to wait for hours for your return without being walked? Keep in mind that dogs need to use the toilet several times a day and young puppies as often as several times an hour to stay healthy. If your dog has to hold it in every day, then it has a very high chance of getting kidney disease due to infrequent urination. Some dog owners can create an indoor toilet for their pet and train the dog to use it while the owner is away. This is a lot more humane and kind to your animal and your dog will have a better chance to live a long and healthy life with you.
All dog breeds from Pugs to Labrador Retrievers can trace their roots back to the wolf. Most scientists agree that humans started to domesticate wolfs more than 12,000 years ago during the last Ice Age. Bones of these first domesticated dogs are sometimes found on archeological sites. By first century B.C. most of the different shapes and sizes of dogs known today were already in existence. Many works of art portray the animals in marvelous detail. Dogs had many important roles throughout history, and were often kept not only for companionship but also for hunting, herding, protection and sport. The people of ancient Egypt and western Asia were the first to begin breeding distinct kinds of dogs including mastiffs and greyhounds. Some of the dogs reverted back to life in the wild and dingo of Australia is a good example of such dogs. These dogs are called "feral" dogs and these dogs hunt for their own food. Many populations of these dogs live without any human contact for many generations. There are many dog breeds that are hundreds of years old. Examples include spaniels, greyhounds and terriers. A new breed can be developed by crossing two or more different breeds. It is also possible to reconstitute or to "remake" a breed that has become extinct by crossing the same breeds as were used for creating the original extinct breed. Prior to the first dog show in England in 1859, there was a considerable variation in the size, shape and color of dogs within the same breed. Today, however, the dogs of the same breed all look very similar because of the required standards for showing. Standardizing can be harmful to breeds, as the dogs lose their individual characteristics. It can also lead to inherited ailments. For example, German shepherds are prone to dislocated hips.