The decision to get a dog requires a serious and responsible approach. It cannot be accepted spontaneously, obeying a momentary inner impulse. Before taking any specific actions in this matter, you need to carefully consider all the nuances associated with choosing and acquiring a puppy, and soberly assess your own capabilities and strengths.
It is important to understand that this step puts the burden of responsibility on the person for 10-15 years. What to consider when planning to get a dog, how to decide on the breed and gender of a puppy, how to choose a healthy animal – the answers to these and other questions are further in the article.
Deciding on the breed
If the decision to get a dog is finally made, the next step for the potential owner should be to choose the right breed. One of the main mistakes at this stage, which many inexperienced breeders make, is the choice of a “fashionable” breed that is in demand. Observations show that at certain intervals of time there is a demand for dogs of a particular breed, most often due to the influence of the media industry.
It has been noticed that after the release of movie premieres on the big screens with the participation of dogs of a certain breed, a fashion trend arises in society. So, at one time, St. Bernard puppies began to be in demand (the film “Beethoven”), at another – Labradors (“Marley and Me”). After the premiere of the feature film “White Captivity”, husky dogs began to enjoy dizzying popularity.
According to cinematographers, following fashion trends in choosing a dog breed usually leads to disastrous results. The newly-made owner of a fashionable breed very quickly comes to the conclusion that the character and habits of the pet do not suit him and even annoy him. For this reason the priority aspect in choosing a breed should be the personal preferences of a person, his temperament, hobbies and lifestyle
Each breed has its own individual characteristics and behavior patterns. In this regard, some dogs are distinguished by phlegm, inertia, poise, while others are characterized by increased excitability, activity, and energy. Among dogs, as among people, there are choleric and sanguine, phlegmatic and even melancholic.
The coincidence of the temperaments of the owner and his pet largely determines the emergence of a stable relationship between them and complete mutual understanding. It is natural that energetic and mobile pets are suitable for people leading an active lifestyle, and phlegmatic and unflappable dogs are suitable for those who prefer calmness and a measured pace of life.
When choosing a dog of a particular breed, you should take into account the features of its maintenance and care requirements. So, long-haired dogs (Yorkshire terriers, lapdogs, Samoyeds, South Russian Shepherds) require increased attention in terms of care. Without regular and thorough hair care, these animals quickly lose their presentable appearance, and in advanced cases they begin to suffer from skin diseases.
For some breeds of dogs, such a specific feature as increased salivation is characteristic. In particular, this is inherent in St. Bernards, Bloodhounds, Bordeaux and Great Danes, mastino-Neapolitano.
Practice shows that not all owners agree to put up with such a feature of their animals.
Shedding is another significant aspect in the maintenance of a dog of a particular breed that requires attention.. Seasonal hair loss is characteristic of absolutely all animals, including short-haired ones. If a person is not ready to regularly care for a dog and pay due attention to the condition of its coat, it is better for him to wait a little with the purchase of a pet.
The purpose of acquiring a dog is a separate and very important criterion that must be considered when choosing a puppy of a particular breed. The potential owner must clearly understand the purpose for which the animal is being acquired. Some people see a formidable security guard in the future pet, others see it as a reliable friend and an excellent companion, others see it as a hunting assistant, and others see it as an undisputed winner at exhibitions and competitions.
In each individual case, certain qualities of the dog come to the fore, which will influence not only the choice of breed, but also the choice of a puppy.
Thus, when choosing a particular breed, it is important to consider:
- personal individual characteristics, lifestyle and rhythm of life, temperament and preferences;
- the purpose of acquiring the animal;
- the amount of free time that will be devoted to raising a dog and caring for it.
Special attention is required to the conditions of detention, which the potential owner is able to provide to the future pet. It is problematic to keep large or very active dogs in a small city apartment, where they will not only create inconvenience, but also experience severe discomfort themselves.
The best options for an apartment
Cynologists say that not only indoor-decorative breeds of dogs feel good in apartment conditions, but also some of their larger counterparts. However, here it should be borne in mind that if a miniature dog can be taught to relieve himself in a diaper, then a large dog will have to be walked regularly and for a long time.
Choosing a dog for keeping in an apartment, it is worth focusing on the features of the breed, which involve not only the size and complexion of the animal, but also its temperament, the ability to endure loneliness and get along with other pets. Potential owners with children should also pay attention to the predisposition of a particular breed of dog to friendly communication with the smallest members of the family.
Here is a short overview of breeds that are popular for apartment maintenance.
The oldest breed of burrowing dogs, whose ancestors, according to a number of sources, lived in the days of Ancient Egypt. Initially, dogs of this breed were bred for hunting, but since the time of the Russian Empire, they began to start mainly as family animals (companion dogs).
Depending on the variety (rabbit, miniature or standard), the weight of the dachshund can vary from 3.5 to 9 kilograms. According to the type of wool, it is customary to distinguish between smooth, long and wire-haired dachshunds.
Dogs of this breed have a stable psyche, friendly and cheerful disposition. They are smart, devoted, independent, get along well with children. Dachshunds are not only good companions, but also reliable guards.
A popular decorative breed bred in China. Primary Purpose: Companion Dog. The average weight of an adult animal varies from 6 to 8 kilograms. The height at the withers is about 30 centimeters.
Pugs are very friendly, agile, devoted to their owner. With a cheerful and gentle disposition, these dogs easily find a common language with children and pets. A feature of animals of this breed is night snoring, due to the characteristic structure and shape of the muzzle.
Shepherd dog breed originating in Wales. The average weight of adult animals is 9-12 kilograms, height at the withers is about 30 centimeters.
The Welsh Corgi is characterized by a cheerful and playful disposition, they are very mobile, energetic, hardy. Friendly nature allows them to easily find a common language with children, get along with cats and other pets.
These dogs have a balanced and stable psyche. They are able to subtly feel the mood of their master, keeping a distance when necessary. This breed is easy to train, quickly learns the necessary commands.
Maltese dog (maltese)
A popular decorative breed, the history of which is usually associated with the island of Malta. The main purpose is a companion dog.
Maltese are very elegant, graceful dogs with long snow-white hair. The average weight of adult animals is about 2-3 kilograms, height at the withers is 20-25 centimeters.
These are very sociable, intelligent and mobile animals, loving games and movement. They need an owner who leads an active lifestyle. Distinctive character traits of the Maltese are good nature, tenderness, sociability. They easily find contact with children, willingly play on walks with other animals. However, Maltese are wary of strangers.
A popular breed of dog, originally bred as a hunting dog. Currently, dogs of this breed are used as guides, rescuers and companions.
The average height at the withers in adult animals ranges from 55 to 58 centimeters, weight can reach 40 kilograms. The relatively large dimensions of Labradors suggest appropriate conditions of detention. A small and cramped city apartment is not suitable for keeping this breed.
Labradors have a kind, calm, complaisant and affectionate character. They are great with children and get along well with other pets. These are quite mobile and active dogs, requiring regular and long walks.
A breed of very active and friendly dogs, bred in France. Depending on the growth variety, the height of adult animals can vary from 28 to 60 centimeters.
Animals of this breed are considered very smart and quick-witted. They quickly master and memorize commands, easily learn new skills. With children, poodles easily find a common language. They are non-conflict and non-aggressive, devoted and faithful. When getting a dog of this breed, the owner must take into account that poodles require careful grooming, which, without shearing and combing, can fall into tangles.
Dogs for a private home
Most often, the owners of private houses are important in the dog security qualities. To protect the house, large, strong and independent animals are usually purchased, which easily endure loneliness. For the maintenance of such pets, it is necessary durable aviary with insulated booth (if the dog is not planned to be kept in the house).
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
One of the most ancient breeds of dogs, bred in the USSR. The average height of adults can be 75-80 centimeters, weight – 45-50 kilograms.
These are very large animals with thick hair. The abundant coat of Caucasian Shepherd Dogs allows them to easily endure bad weather and cold, making it easy to keep dogs in enclosures with a warm booth.
Caucasian Shepherd Dogs are fearless and determined. They are brave, assertive and even aggressive. When purchasing such a dog, the owner must take into account that rigidity, confidence and literacy are important in its upbringing. Possessing excellent security qualities, dogs of this breed show distrust and often aggression towards strangers.
A popular dog breed originating in Germany. The height of adults is 55-65 centimeters, weight can reach 40 kilograms.
These animals are characterized stable psyche, endurance, the ability to endure adverse weather conditions. They are easy to train and quickly learn new commands. With proper upbringing, German Shepherds become not only reliable guards, but also faithful companions and even nanny dogs.
Working breed of dog, bred in Germany. These animals are characterized by impressive dimensions. So, the average weight of adult dogs is about 45 kilograms, height is about 60-70 centimeters.
These are energetic, strong and loyal dogs that need proper upbringing and competent socialization. In the absence of these factors, animals often grow up aggressive.
Rottweilers are serious and formidable dogs with excellent guard qualities. They are able to become firmly attached to their master, becoming for him a reliable protector and true friend.
Central asian shepherd dog
Quite an ancient breed of dogs bred in Central Asia. The main purpose of the breed is protection and guard duty..
These dogs have a fearless and determined character, they lend themselves well to training and education. They are characterized by phlegm and some inertia.
Animals of this breed are great for home protection. The weight of adult Central Asian Shepherd Dogs can reach 80 kilograms, height – 65-70 centimeters.
Boy or girl: which is better?
The gender of a puppy is one of the important aspects to consider when choosing a pet. It is generally accepted that puppies-girls have a more friendly character, more often show affection and tenderness towards the owner. Male puppies, on the other hand, tend to be more active and curious.
Usually, females are chosen in the case when the owner is not embarrassed by the prospect of further estrus and pregnancies of the animal. To avoid situations associated with these factors, you should resort to sterilization of the pet.
Females are considered more faithful, males are more aggressive, strong, hardy and energetic. Despite the fact that males do not have periods in which they must be knitted, they can run away from home or on a walk, smelling a female in heat. In addition, many males can mark their territory, which is not always acceptable for residents of city apartments.
How to choose a healthy puppy?
In order to select a healthy puppy from a litter, all candidates must be carefully examined and studied. A healthy animal must have a normal development and physique corresponding to its age, breed and other parameters. The coat should be clean, shiny and thick. Bald spots, matted mats are not allowed.
During the examination, attention should be paid to the condition of the puppy’s skin. It should not have traces of scratching, bites, spots, strange formations. Eyes, ears and groin area should also be clean, without any traces of discharge. The look of a healthy animal is clear and meaningful.
Healthy puppies willingly play with each other, show interest in unfamiliar people and objects. Lethargy is often indicative of an animal’s illness.
In male puppies, both testicles should be lowered into the scrotum. Therefore, when examining a baby, it must be carefully probed.
Having finally decided to purchase a dog of a certain breed, it is advisable to study as much thematic information as possible in advance. You should also get acquainted with the breed standard, study the criteria for choosing the right pet.
Experienced breeders do not recommend buying a dog from dubious sellers, “from hands”, in the markets. It is safer and most reliable to apply for a puppy in a kennel or a specialized club.
The price of a puppy deserves special attention. A thoroughbred animal cannot cost suspiciously cheap. Often unscrupulous sellers who want to get rid of unhealthy and unpromising, and often completely outbred puppies, resort to such a trick.
For information on how to choose a dog, see the video below.