Even before selecting a breed or visiting a shelter or contacting a rescue facility, the question, “why get a dog?” should be answered honestly. Dogs require a great deal of time, money, effort and resources. Are you and everyone involved committed to 12 or more years of providing the necessities a dog needs? Well-behaved dogs are not born; they are the product of proper care, loving attention and training.
If you are steadfast to integrating a dog into your family environment there are a variety of sources to aid you in determining the right match for you. Books, websites, breeders, trainers and your veterinarian can give insight into what dog is right for you. Websites such as Purina.com and dogbreedinfo.com provide questionnaires to get you thinking of logistics, lifestyle, likes and dislikes. AKC.org has an alphabetical listing of breeds and characteristics. Visiting a dog show can help you see the breeds you’re interested in and talking with responsible breeders can answer those questions you can’t find answers for. Your veterinarian can provide information on specific health care and possible genetic problems of a breed. Certified professional dog trainers can lend a hand not only with training your dog but also by providing a temperament test to give you a fairly reliable predicator of a puppy’s personality, sociability and potential trainability at maturity.
Dogs come in all shapes, sizes and colors. With more than 400 breeds developed for specific purposes and with a wide variety of personalities you’ll find the perfect match when making an informed well thought out decision.