Firstly, consider the expense. A dog is for life and he will rely on you totally for his every need. For instance, he will need a good quality, comfortable dog bed to sleep in. He may require a dog cage for training purposes. You may want to consider an outdoor dog kennel or a dog run so that he can spend some time outdoors. He will of course need a collar and lead and you should have him micro chipped in case he runs off. Will he be travelling in the car with you? If yes, then you should consider a dog guard to keep him contained in the back of the car. That way, he will not distract you from your driving or be able to leap around in the car unsecured. Then there’s the cost of neutering, the cost of vaccinations etc. Although this is another expense, it is well worth considering insuring your dog as this can take the worry out of paying expensive vet bills should your pet be taken ill or have an accident.
Secondly, do you consider yourself to be an active and lively person or more of a couch-potato? Do you want your dog to be a loving companion who will sit on your knee when you sit and watch TV or do you prefer a dog with boundless energy who will run over the moors and fields with you at any given opportunity.
You should always ask yourself these things because good match between the dog and his owner are essential if you want to have a happy, loving relationship with your dog.
Take some of the following examples into consideration before making your final decision.
Some dogs are friendly with humans whether the humans are part of the family group or strangers. Other dogs are fine within the family group but are reserved or uneasy with strangers. Some dogs love to play with toys and others show no interest in toys at all but love a good, long walk. Some dogs love to make friends with other dogs whilst others are totally uninterested or downright aggressive with other dogs. Some dogs will get on fine with cats and other family pets, others may not give them the time of day and there are some dogs who will not tolerate another pets in the house. Some dogs are particularly affectionate and want stroking whenever possible and others will be aloof and only give you their time when they wants to share it!!
ideas-4-pets would advise you to find out as much information as you can about the different breeds of pedigree dogs there are, together with lists of reputable breeders. Find out if there is a canine welfare organisation or rescue society in your area as they always have dogs and puppies available that need good homes. Pedigree and crossbred dogs can be obtained in this way from organisations such as The Dogs Trust, The Blue Cross and all the other different breed rescue societies. Your local Veterinary surgery is also an excellent source of information and the staff there will give you general guidance on what you should do once you have made your choice.
What to look for:
A pedigree puppy is usually more predictable with regards to its future character and size than a crossbreed, but pedigree pups can be expensive. If you do buy a pedigree then make sure that the puppy is registered with the Kennel Club and ask the breeder for the Kennel Club registration certificate. If they do not have one ready for you, ensure that the breeder undertakes in writing to forward it to you as soon as it is received from the Kennel Club. You will then be able to transfer your puppy into your name from that of the breeder and receive all the benefits associated with Kennel Club registration.
A crossbreed dog is not as expensive to buy and can a loving pet, but try to find out as much as you can about its parents so that you can gauge what type of dog you have purchased. Whether you decide on a pedigree or a crossbreed, always ask which vaccinations your puppy has had and which ones are still required.
Remember to register your new puppy with your local vet as soon as possible and ask advice on health, micro chipping, vaccinations, diet etc. Certain breeds of dog can suffer from inherited conditions but your local vet should be able to advise you on these conditions and will help you to detect and monitor them. It is really important that you are aware of these conditions and know the right questions to ask before buying a puppy. There are also some DNA tests available which you may want to take advantage of.
Always buy direct from the breeder and ask to see the mother of the puppy as she will provide a good indication as to how the puppy will develop. If buying a pedigree dog always go to a specialist breeder, never go to a dealer as they usually advertise several breeds of dog and these dogs may have been obtained from various sources so their health and condition may be difficult to determine. Some new owners agree the right to return the puppy to the breeder if things do not work out but this can sometimes be hard to do as you tend to build up a strong bond with the pup immediately
It is wise to arrange for a veterinary inspection of the puppy soon after you have purchased him. Make sure you receive full care instructions from the breeder (dietary requirements, pedigree, a copy of any health screening certificates for the parents if applicable etc.) and the Kennel Club registration certificate if this is applicable.
What to look for if you intend to purchase an adult dog:
If you are buying from a breeder, find out why this particular dog is for sale. Go and see the dog in its home environment before making a final decision. If you buy your dog from a welfare or rescue organisation, be prepared to be questioned and possibly expect a home inspection.
Dogs in welfare or rescue organisations have very often suffered from neglect and ill treatment in their early lives so it is the first priority of these organisations to ensure that the dogs in their care will spend the remainder of their lives in good, caring and suitable homes.
Each breed of dog has its own characteristics, but if you match these characteristics with your own personality and lifestyle it is much more likely that you will have a happy and fulfilling relationship with your dog that will bring you both joy for many years.