Things to Know Before Adopting A Dog

 Thursday Jun 02,2016
By  Lancaster Puppies

As any dog owner will tell you, dogs are awesome! They don't judge you if you quit running on the treadmill five minutes before you're supposed to. They don't roll their eyes when you reach for your second donut. They are willing yes-men who make you feel good about yourself. They are loyal, fun-loving, and generally great to have around. However, dogs also come with responsibility. For the sake of both you and your future best friend, you should do some homework on deciding which type of dog to buy. Here are some dog guidelines to think about before purchasing your pooch...

1. You Can't Hit "Pause" on Dog Ownership

Person holding a Whippet dogYour little pooch is awesome, no doubt, but you can't just hit pause and leave your little doggie friend suspended in time until you want to interact with him. You have to make sure you have food on hand, feed him multiple times daily, and keep him healthy with vet checkups. Owning a dog isn't like owning an iPad where you can put it on a shelf when you're not using it. It takes dedication and responsibility. Also, consider who is going to take care of your dog when you travel. Do you have friends or family who can do it? If so, it's important that your pooch learns to know them as well so it's less stressful on Fido when he stays at Aunt Gertrude's house for the week.

2. They Will Chew on Stuff

It happens. You bought your new pair of running shoes because you found them irresistible. Fido agrees. He shreds them with his sharp little teeth only to find that when you come you don't share his enthusiasm. Just know that this is part of training and raising a dog. They will make mistakes. They will chew on stuff. Be consistent, fair, and kind in your discipline.

3. They Will Have Accidents

And you may step in it. It's happened to everyone who has a dog in their family. Potty training will take work, discipline, and consistency but is entirely possible to do. Just know that mistakes happen and you, most likely, won't be exempt from them during the learning process.

4. Puppies Grow Up

We were all cuter when we were younger. Puppies will grow to be dogs. As simple as that seems to understand, a lot of people make impulsive decisions based on the cuteness of the puppy. Cuteness is hard to resist so do research on what type of dog the puppy will grow into before going to look at puppies. This way you know what you're looking for before you have to put down the cute puppy and walk away without it. A cute, adorable Rottweiler puppy that looks like a Teddy Bear will grow into a muscled guard dog who drools a lot. If you live in a tiny apartment, maybe a big, drooling dog isn't what you're looking for. Maybe it is. You should decide what you want before you go look at puppies. Once you're looking a puppy in the eye, it's hard to say no!

5. Different Dogs Do Better with Different Lifestyles

Do you go hiking a lot? A dog is a fantastic hiking companion! But if you have a Chihuahua and you are hiking in Denali, Alaska, your Chihuahua is going to become winded and tired. Unless you are carrying your Chihuahua, don't take it hiking in remote mountain ranges. There are 7 different groups of dogs:

Herding Dogs: Herding dogs herd things. Breeds such as Border Collies and Australian Shepherds fall under this category. They are very active, medium-sized dogs who are tough and full of energy. They have been bred to have herding tendencies so they may nip at the heels of running children but generally will not hurt them. These dogs require lots of space and exercise but are very intelligent (Border Collies are arguably the most intelligent dog breed) and have lots of stamina.

Golden Retriever puppy lying in grassSporting Dogs: Sporting dogs are used for hunting and other field activities. They are typically very adept at tracking or retrieving. Breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Brittanies, and Pointers are some examples. Highly intelligent & active dogs who need lots of exercise.

Non-Sporting Dogs: These are dogs that aren't good for sporting activities. French Bulldogs, for example, would be useless as retrievers in the field but make very good companions full of personality! These dogs can vary quite a bit in personality and size.

Hounds: These dogs are known for their tracking ability and stamina. Examples of hound breeds are Beagles, Bassets, and Norwegian Elkhounds. Generally not as high-strung as the Herding group.

Terriers: Terriers are dogs that dig into the ground to capture their prey. It is not uncommon for pest control companies to use Jack Russels to extract groundhogs, gophers, or other burrowing animals from the ground. Terriers can be very friendly towards humans but sometimes have little tolerance for other dogs. Very energetic but generally smaller dogs. Irish Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers, and Fox Terriers are some examples of the Terrier group.

Toy: Breeds in the Toy group are usually anywhere from 4 - 16 lbs in size. They tend to live longer than bigger dogs and are easier to manage because of their small size. Pugs, Mini Poodles, and Pomeranians are examples of this group.

Don't get me wrong! I'm not trying to convince you that you shouldn't buy a dog. I just feel that a lot of people go into the adventure of dog ownership impulsively. We want pups to have great homes and prepare people for the reality that goes with having a sweet little pup. We want everyone, dogs included, to live in happy homes. Your dog will become your best friend and will be a very rewarding responsibility.

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