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So You Want to Get a Dog? Make sure it Fits into Your Lifestyle.

Awww, they’re so CUTE! Your neighbor’s dog has puppies. Ok, so the mother is a monster, but they think the father was quiet and gentle… and the puppies are adorable and friendly … maybe you should take one home. Maybe you should give it some further thought!

Personally, I wouldn’t want to live in a home without a dog, but it has to be the RIGHT dog! If you decide you are ready to add a dog to your family, make sure it will be one that fits into your lifestyle.

Let’s say you live in a lovely home with imported Oriental carpets, and you have an exquisite Irish crystal collection placed strategically around your home. Do you really want a Saint Bernard shedding both hair and drool on your carpets, wiping out hundreds of dollars worth of crystal with one happy sweep of his tail? Wouldn’t he be happier with a couple kids to watch, and a rumpus room to rumpus in?  Perhaps a small, careful, non-shedding poodle would be better for you.

Or do you spend your weekends backpacking in Banff, climbing rugged mountain trails and sleeping out under the stars? How would a Basset Hound ever keep up? A rough-and-tumble Lab, on the other hand would thrive on that kind of activity.

When choosing a dog, it’s important to consider the size it will be at maturity and the activity level necessary to keep it happy and healthy. Will you have the time to take your retired, ex-racer Greyhound out for long runs? Or do you need a dog that gets as much exercise as it wants just following you around the house? Maybe you want a dog to keep you company and sometimes help you bring the cattle home? A dog with a strong herding instinct and bred-in “bite-inhibition” could be exactly the ticket.

Do you have the time and ability to train your new friend? Picture if you will, an unruly Rottweiler running your household. Don’t get the wrong idea; a Rotty can be a perfect companion animal, but not if it decides it’s more fit to rule the pack than you are!

If you work 12 hours a day and come home exhausted, a puppy might be a poor choice. Perhaps you’d be happier with an older dog that doesn’t mind spending the day sleeping in the sun, with a snuggle on the couch or a quiet walk around the block when you get home.

Whatever your lifestyle, if you choose to include a dog in it, your perfect pet is out there somewhere. Give it some thought; take your time; make the right decision.


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