WHAT DOG?

SO YOU WANT TO GET A DOG? STOP!

What sort of dog? A puppy or an adult? Where will it sleep? What will you feed it? Who is going to walk it? Where will you go training?

Too many questions? Then you’re not ready to look for a dog! Rehoming centres are full to bursting because people don’t put enough time into planning before they get a dog. Let’s help you start planning…

CAN YOU AFFORD A DOG?

Once you’ve put money aside for the initial costs; purchase price/donation, equipment (bowls, beds, toys, leads), and initial healthcare (vaccinations, neutering, microchipping), there are numerous ongoing costs. You will need to budget for regular parasite control, annual health checks (and vaccinations as recommended by your vet), training classes, grooming and of course FOOD!

DO YOU HAVE TIME FOR A DOG?

Dogs need exercise every day. Some breeds need more than others so even if you have limited time to go out walking there may be a dog for you, but dogs also need other quality time with their humans.

ARE YOU WILLING TO MAKE LIFESTYLE CHANGES?

Daily dog walks come rain or shine? A less than pristine home? Holidays where your dog can come too? Cleaning up pee and poo? A dog will change your life…we think for the better in most cases but if you like long foreign holidays and the ‘show home ‘ look….maybe a dog isn’t for you.

WHAT BREED?

Don’t choose on size or looks alone, do plenty of research. Do you want an active dog which will enjoy lots of activities such as agilty and tracking or a calmer companion for walks and cuddles? Do you want a long coated dog which will need lots of grooming or a short coasted low maintenance look? A few breeds don’t shed but they may still cause allergies in some people. Pedigree or corssbreed? With a pedigree you should have a good idea what shape, size, coat type and temperament your dog should have (though remember they are all individuals), crossbreeds can be more variable. Most pedigree breeds have known health problems but you can look for a breeder who does tests to minimise the risks. Crossbreeds are not free from health issues so again look for a well bred, health screened litter.

It’s a good idea to talk to lots of dog owners about their dogs before narrowing down your choice of breeds. Then go to the breed club websites or even to Discover Dogs to meet real live examples!

PUPPY OR ADULT?

With a  puppy you are getting a blank slate, almost. If you decide on a puppy look for a breeder who is doing the relevant health testing, avoiding in-breeding and who is giving the pups the best chance in life by getting them used to the sights and sounds they will encounter as an adult dog. Plan ahead so you are booked into training classes as soon as possible. Puppies are hard work to start with, and expensive in their first year but most of their behaviour is quite predictable.

An adult dog could come from a number of sources including a private rehoming or a rescue centre. When taking on an adult dog find out as much about it as you can. Rehoming centres should assess the dogs and work on any behavioural problems they have before you take the dog home, and they should be around to support you afterwards. Rehomed adult dogs can very easily slot into your life, or they can present you with challenging behaviour so most rescues still need a big commitment in the first year.

SO YOU WANT TO GET A DOG? GO!

We’re always happy to chat to families about choosing the right dog for them. Proper planning makes for perfect pooches!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *