A dog can be one of the most loyal and rewarding of pets however getting a dog is a big decision and large commitment therefore it is wise to take some time to contemplate if it is right for you (the family) and the dog before embarking on the exciting time of bringing a dog into your home.
Once you are certain and sure you can provide a safe and secure home and offer the time it takes to exercise and train your dog (in all weathers) then you are going to need to contemplate what dog is right for you including what age, sex and breed is going to fit into your home and lifestyle.
Male or Female, Puppy or Adult dog
Dogs of all ages can be very appealing and it can be very easy to get carried away with taking a dog home without considering the consequences. A dog may last 15+ years so it’s worthwhile considering the time and money required.
Choosing an adult dog may be a better option over a puppy depending on your lifestyle and circumstances. As much as having a puppy and seeing them grow can be very adorable and rewarding, puppy training can be very time and energy consuming. An Adult dog will more than likely be house trained and a lot more settled meaning it will have passed the chewing and destructive stages of growth and development. A typical smaller dog matures faster and lives longer than a larger breed however on average adult hood begins from the years of 2-3.
Size and coat length
Before deciding on a breed it can be helpful to decide on a size of dog. Large dogs do require a bit more living space and therefore the size of dog and if it would be suitable for your home is something you should consider, it can also help you choose the right breed for you.
Coat length is another important factor and whether a non moulting breed might be a better option for you and your family.
When selecting the right breed of dog it can be far too easy to be influenced by appearance and as much as your decision will be made on personal choice and how they look do not forget the temperament of the dog and importantly the dog’s history, especially if you are choosing a rescue dog, it is very likely they will come with some behavioural issues.
Many dogs are bred specifically for looks, known as designer breeds; others are bred for their working prowess resulting in a whole range of different breeds and temperaments to choose from. Which breed and temperament depends on you and your circumstances, it might be helpful to speak to breeders especially if you are contemplating a pedigree breed. The kennel club www.thekennelclub.org.uk is an excellent resource and can be very helpful to anyone thinking of getting a dog for the first time.