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Dog Breeds Training
When considering adopting a dog, there are several aspects of ownership that you'll need to bear in mind: what kind of lifestyle do you have? How much spare time do you have? Are you an active person or a couch potato? Do you have a garden? Are there small children in your household? ..... and so on.
Once you've made a solid decision to adopt a dog, you are to be congratulated - a dog is a fantastic addition to your life and will make an excellent companion. Now it's time to sit down and really think about what kind of dog you'd like to have, and whether your preferences match your abilities to care for your preferred breed.
Contrary to popular belief, there's a great deal more to choosing a dog than simply taking home the first puppy that catches your eye. A responsible owner will spend time researching dog breeds, finding reputable breeders, speaking to them and collating first-hand information, and looking at puppies (it's generally not a good idea to succumb to the charms of the very first puppy you see - the aim is to get a good idea of what's out there in order to make an informed final decision).
Popular Dog Breeds
There are many, many dog breeds available. You'll need to set some time aside to consider your living situation and what sort of companion would realistically suit your temperament and lifestyle.
There two main things that you should be considering above all others are the size and energy levels of the breed.
Energy Levels. The dog that you choose should match your energy levels as closely as possible. This is more important than you think - if your dog can't keep up with you, it'll either cramp your style, or result in the poor dog spending a lot of time at home on his own (which is no kind of life to have). On the other hand, for someone with a sedentary lifestyle, having an under-exercised hyperactive dog charging about can make sharing a house very difficult.
Size is deceptive, and does NOT dictate the amount of exercise that any given dog will require. A lot of people think that the bigger the dog the higher the exercise requirements; this is decidedly not true. As a general rule of thumb, the small-to-medium and large breeds are the ones with the really high exercise requirements; very small dogs and giant breeds generally need less exercise (although of course there are exceptions to every rule).
Size is pretty important, too. If your house or apartment is small, it's really not fair to confine a large dog to cramped surrounds. It'll be pretty hard on you, too - sharing a small space with a large animal is not particularly easy. And then there are the practical considerations, too, such as toilet calls. Large dogs can't use litter trays; if you live in a condominium, for example, it's not going to be easy for you to take your dog outside to relieve himself every few hours.
Health and Nutrition
A lot of purebred dogs have special diet requirements: years of selective inbreeding, necessary to achieve the desired 'look' of some breeds, have resulted in terrifically unhealthy dogs that are prone to a variety of debilitating and painful diseases. Some veterinarians will recommend that you put your dog on a diet of high-grade food from puppy-hood in an attempt to prevent the onset of illness. Before you decide on a particular breed, do some research and talk to breeders about what type of food your dog will do best on.
Also remember that as your dog gets older, various medical conditions may arise, meaning more treatments, special diets and medicines.
Dog Breed Temperament
The temperament of any dog is mostly dependent upon your treatment of him: contrary to popular belief, there are NO 'bad' breeds - just bad owners. Before selecting your dog, be honest with yourself about your experience with dogs and the likelihood of you being able to deal effectively with the challenges presented by particular breeds. Many breeds are not recommended for novice owners purely because they're recognised as being more challenging to deal with. For example, Border Collies are hugely popular dogs, due to their high intelligence and attractive appearance, but many Borders end up in rescue shelters because their owners didn't realise how incredibly demanding such an active, intelligent dog would be. If you haven't had much experience with dogs, your best bet is to choose a 'companion dog' that hasn't been bred to work. Any kind of working dog (for example, hunting dogs, shepherds, guard dogs) can be an impossible handful when in inexperienced hands. The reason that Rottweilers and Dobermans, for example, have such a 'bad reputation' is because a lot of ignorant people, drawn to their 'tough' image, go ahead and adopt one without the faintest idea of the amount of work necessary to handle such intelligent, strong dogs.
Breed is not everything. A purebred dog is still first and foremost a DOG - he's just wearing a fancy costume. Ownership of any dog, from expensive purebred showdogs to mongrels, is a huge responsibility which you must make sure you're really up for - you'll find that the rewards of a loyal lifetime companion are enough to offset the amount of work involved.
The best thing that you can do for yourself and your potential dog is to spend time researching dogs and dog breeds. All dogs have basic requirements that have to be met; most breeds have additional requirements specific to that breed which also must be met. Most of the time, the popular conception of a dog's 'breed characteristics' is wildly inaccurate. Bear this in mind when choosing a dog, and DO YOUR HOMEWORK. It will be worth it.
For indepth information on choosing, rearing, handling and training your dog - from housetraining to preventing and dealing with problem behaviors to obedience work - have a look at Secrets to Dog Training. It's the ultimate owner's compendium, and is written by an experienced dog trainer; it's packed with all the information necessary for owning a dog.
You can Download Secrets to Dog Training from http://dogobedienceadvice.com/sitstay
Dog Breeds | What To Look For
Make informed choices about what breed of dog to adopt. What to think about before visiting the dog shelter, which dog will suit your lifestyle?
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