Size & Activity Level: You have decided that you can afford it, and that a new dog will fit nicely into your lifestyle and family dynamics. Now you need to think about the size and the activity level of your Perfect Dog For Life.
Size: You may have already decided that you want a cute little lap dog that you can carry around and cuddle up with, or, you might have your heart set on a large or even a giant dog breed. Consider that some breeds of small dogs are delicate and vulnerable to injuries from being stepped on or from mishandling. Also, in general, little dogs can be much more sensitive to colder temperatures, so you need to be ready to help keep your pal warm if you live in an area that has colder temperatures. Don’t forget that your dog will need obedience training too. Some small dog breeds like Chihuahuas and Jack Russel’s can develop “tough dog” attitudes, perhaps to compensate for their small size. Be sure you are prepared for this possibility and have a plan to address it if needed.
Very large dogs need a lot more space to move around. Big, happy dogs with long, whip-like tails need "wagging space" to avoid injury to their tails or damage to household objects. Another factor to consider when thinking about size is the expenses related to the care of your dog: the larger the dog, the more expensive things like dog food, dog supplies, and medical treatments become. Some form of dog training classes, private dog training, puppy training or K9 distraction training is also a key factor when considering the breed of dog you would like to adopt. If you decide on a large or giant breed puppy and you allow it to act like a lap dog when young, it just may grow up to think that it can literally walk and jump all over you, fun when they’re 2 months old, not so fun when they are a full grown 150 pound fur-beast!
Activity Level: Some dog breeds have a much higher energy level than others. A dog’s activity level is often determined by breed, but it does not mean you can rely on breed alone to determine how energetic your dog could become. Every dog, regardless of size or breed, needs routine exercise. If you know that you will not be able to commit to more than one or two casual walks per day, then you may be better off with a lower energy dog, such as a Basset Hound. If you really want a dog that can be your jogging partner, be trained as an agility competitor, or a pal to play frisbee with then you should consider a breed like the Border Collie.
You need to be willing to adjust the amount of exercise and attention you give your dog if necessary. You will find that a dog with too much unexpended energy will bark more and may dig up your yard, destroy valuables in your home, or act out in other ways, which often means they are simply in need of more exercise and activities. Many behaviour challenges in dogs are the result of a lack of dog obedience training or are the result of excess energy. It is a sad truth that many dogs are surrendered for adoption, or even euthanized, because of behavior issues that could have easily been avoided with the proper dog training courses and a sufficient amount of exercise and attention. If you can’t decide, then perhaps a medium sized dog is a good choice.
Next we’ll share some tips about the physical maintenance of your new dog.
f you have any questions about choosing your Perfect Dog For Life, or would like more information about our private dog training, e-collar training, K9 distraction training or puppy training please visit us at www.perfectdogforlife.com