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Are you ready for a dog ?

25 Apr 2012 | by Allwyn Johnson | Posted in: Wag Wiki

A dog will do his best to please you and keep you smiling. He will curl up with you when you are feeling down or need some serious relaxation. He won't hold your mistakes against you or prejudge you for your looks, faults or lack of know-how. He'll be your unconditional friend and will play ball with you as long as you wish. He'll forgive you for all your mistakes, never holding them against you later. Sleeping at your feet and loving to please you, he will enjoy just spending time with you. He'll do his best to protect you, because you will be his master.

However, a dog also relies on you for everything- from his food, water, shelter, leadership, exercise, grooming, to his training, veterinary care, companionship and protection. Know what you are getting into. Are you prepared to spend the next 10-15 years of your life taking care of your dog? That is about how long your dog will live. Can you afford the added expense of a dog? When you get a dog, it is a lifelong commitment, and should not be treated like a piece of furniture that you can just "get rid of" when you get tired of it. After all, this dog will be part of your family. Would you get rid of your children because you were tired of them wetting their beds? Are you prepared to accept the fact that dogs are not little humans and invest some time into learning how to properly treat your dog in order to keep him or her balanced? Before you bring a dog into your home, think long and hard. Are you prepared for the responsibility? Do you understand dog psychology? Do you understand what makes a dog tick and what they instinctually need as the canine animal? Are you willing to invest the time it takes? A dog's temperament is a direct result of the owner’s ability to understand him and give him what he instinctually needs as a canine animal.

The decision to get a dog needs to be carefully thought out. Do you honestly have the time to take care of a dog? Are you prepared to walk them every day? Are you prepared to show the dog consistent leadership, putting your emotions aside and seeing them as a canine? Are you prepared to train them? What kind of dog should you get? Some people think a dog is a dog. I hear them say they don't care what breed of dog they get. There are many different breeds with many different needs. Honestly think about it and do your homework. Think about your family as it is right now, and how it will be in the future. Every family has its own needs, schedule, personality, medical problems, space and time limitations. If you take a good hard look at your family's situation, you can match a dog that will fit into your lives nicely and not just make things more awkward and difficult.

All dogs, regardless of breed, size or energy level need to be taken on a daily pack walk. Within each and every litter there are pups born with different energy and dominancy levels. You need to choose a dog whose energy level matches or is lower than your own. If your family is not very active, do not choose a pup with a higher energy level. If you are a laid back family, do not choose a pup with a higher dominancy level. The degree of exercise varies. Some dogs need daily vigorous exercise and you would need to take them out every day for a run and a nice long walk, while others will get enough exercise with a shorter walk and by running around the inside of your house. Some dogs need a job to do or they will become restless, bored, very destructive, and unruly. Other dogs will settle for just a short walk. Some can be highly obedience-trained, while others cannot. 

Get the point? All dogs are different, and all families are different. Find a dog that fits well into your family, so you and your dog can live in harmony.

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