If you are thinking of having a dog, you must choose one that fits you and your lifestyle. So, what kind of dog will fit your character?
Pedigree, cross, or mongrel?
Did you know that there are more than 200 recognized dog breeds? Add to all those lovely crossbreeds and mongrels, we have hundreds of more types to choose from. If this is the first time you are going to have a dog, perhaps the first thing to consider is whether you want a pedigree, a cross, or a mongrel. So “what dog should I get” is the question. Here we provide some answers that will make your choice easier.
The advantage of choosing a pedigree dog (also called “purebred”) is that there is a certain degree of predictability. You can be practically sure that your four-legged friend will have a certain size, length, and texture of fur, character, and degree of energy, and you will also know some possible ailments that can affect certain breeds.
Even some predictability is possible in the event of a crossover. Crossbreed dogs are the offspring of parents of two different breeds, but it can be difficult to be sure which of the breeds, if only one, will determine the appearance and personality of the dog. For example, a Border Collie / Labrador cross may be lazy, brimming with energy, or neither at all.
The fun begins with the dogs that come from largely non-pedigree ancestry, and although recognizable breed traits can sometimes be seen in them, this is usually more of a guesswork task. One of the many advantages of mestizos is that they tend to be healthier since they have a broader gene pool, that is, they are less likely to have hereditary problems.
Puppy or adult?
There is no talk of “putting on an abandoned puppy face” in vain: there is something about puppies that makes them irresistible. They may be cute, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a puppy is the best option for you and your home.
If you are thinking of having a puppy, you will notice that they are curious by nature and that they are eager to learn, so you must have time for their training. With love, attention, and training you can turn this enthusiastic canvas into a work of art! Training is a lot of fun, but it’s also hard work – you’ll have to teach them everything from potty training to leash walking. If you have the time and patience, you will find that its transformation more than rewards all the effort made and, in addition, it will create a great bond between you and your puppy.
Another option is to give a “teenage” or adult dog a new home. If this is your first dog, perhaps an older dog will suit your lifestyle better.
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Most adult dogs will come to you with some training and socialization. That doesn’t mean the job is done though, there’s still a lot to do, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t bond as strongly as with any puppy. The old saying “Old dog does not learn new tricks” is not true, since all dogs can continue to learn and adapt throughout their lives.
Unfortunately, some of the adult dogs that you will encounter will not have had the luck to enjoy a loving home, so they can come to you with some “emotional baggage”. These dogs need more love, time, and patience, but whatever you give them will be tremendously rewarding for both you and your dog, resulting in a lifelong friendship. Working together on training will help create a special bond and build trust between the two of you. The staff and volunteers of the animal shelters will help you choose the right dog to become your perfect companion.
Male or Female?
Another thing you have to think about before getting a dog is whether you prefer a male or a female. There are mixed opinions and, in the end, the decision will depend on your personal preferences.
Some owners say that female dogs are easier to train and tend to be more affectionate, while others maintain that they are more independent and distant. Males are often said to be more aggressive, although spaying can make them easier to control if they start to get too bold and self-confident (this varies by spaying age and from dog to the dog anyway).
There is no simple answer; Remember that, to a large extent, your dog’s character and behavior will depend on his personality and the amount of time you spend training and socializing him.
Sometimes unsterilized dogs of either sex can be weapons to take. Males can roam in search of females, and unsterilized females can be difficult to control during their heat, as well as suffer psychological pregnancies. If you are thinking about breeding, these are obstacles that will have to be overcome. On the other hand, unwanted pregnancies can cause unnecessary problems for you and your dog, such as possible complications during childbirth and finding a home for the puppies. The cost of sterilizing a female is usually higher than that of sterilizing a male, especially if she is already pregnant.
A breeder or animal shelter?
What breed is my dog? – If you want a pedigree or crossbreed dog, the best thing to do is find a reputable breeder. Contact the secretariat of a breeder club that has a list of available litters or can put you in touch with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder that is part of the list of accredited breeders.
It can be enormously rewarding to adopt a dog from an animal shelter and offer him a second chance at life. Many dogs hope to find the warmth of a permanent home. Each dog has its own story and many of them, who have lost their first home without having done anything to deserve it, would be delighted to be part of yours.
Responsible centers are concerned with choosing the right dog for each person: they do not want you to be rejected again or to take care of a dog that is not suitable for you. The staff carefully studies the dogs they host and will take time to get to know you, your family, and your lifestyle before recommending one of their dogs. They will be happy to advise you and answer all your questions.
Unsurprisingly, there are more adult dogs looking for a new home than puppies, and when puppies are up for adoption, they tend to get adopted quickly. If you are determined to adopt a puppy, you may have to contact several shelters and reception centers or travel far, to find the right one for you.
Whether you buy a dog from a breeder or adopt one from a shelter, you can be sure that a future full of fun adventures awaits you with your new friend!