Picking The Right Pup!
Are you starting your search for a new puppy for you or your family? If so, you have a very important decision to make. What kind of puppy do you want?
Choosing the right puppy is an incredibly important decision because you will have this puppy for 10 to 15 years.
You need to make sure that you choosepick the right type of dog or the right breed. Here are some things to consider. the right breed for your family, lifestyle and living conditions. This is not something that you want to rush through or it may cause many problems down the road. If you are in a rush to get this decision made, just go with a popular breed like Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Beagles or Bulldogs.
Most people that have a brand new, cute and cuddly puppy have no idea what kind of dog they have brought into their home. Many people do not know that it is crucial to be able to recognize your dogs breed or type.
Here are some fun facts about breeds:
Most dogs can be identified by their breed simply by looking at them.
There are over 200 breeds of dogs recognized by the American Kennel Club. That does not include all of the designer mixes! Breeders can create any type of mix between two different breeds and call it something cute to make money off unsuspecting customers. The AKC also has a list called “Miscellaneous Class” for those types of mixed breeds as well as those from overseas that do not quite fit into any of the recognized breeds. These dogs are not considered to be purebreds or even pure mixes.
A dog’s breed is determined by its looks, behavior and temperament. If you plan on showing your dog in competitions like the Olympics , you must be able to prove that your dog is a purebred (meaning two parents of same breed) for at least three generations. A lot of people will say that their Chihuahua is show quality but can never produce any offspring with that claim! This proves that they cannot prove their claims of what specific “breed” their dogs are since it has been mixed so many times over! Not only do you need solid proof (papers), but really good looking dogs with correct structure, balance, coat, color and temperament.
Dog breeders also need to know what breeds are compatible with each other which is why they get together dogs that are known to be compatible with each other. Sometimes breeders get tricked into buying dogs from puppy mills or back yard breeders who say they have purebreds when in fact they do not even know what breeds they have.
These same breeders do not care about the temperament because they just want to sell their puppies to make a living, so many of these dogs end up in rescues, shelters and given to families that are not prepared for what kind of dog they have.
So how do you know if your dog is purebred or mixed with another breed? Here are some things to consider:
How much does the puppy cost? If it is an expensive high-end designer mix, you can be almost certain it is not a purebred of any kind.
How old is the dog? If you got your purebred or designer mix as a puppy and it’s now over a year, that leads me to believe the dog is at least 50% more than what you paid for. Unless you had papers from the breeder showing it is a purebred, there is no way the breeder would have given you a purebred dog for free!
A lot of times, people give their mixed breeds away to family members or friends who “just want the dog” which it why so many dogs end up at shelters. The sad reality is that most mixed breeds do not survive in shelters because it is difficult to find the right home for them.
Also, if you breed your purebred with another purebred or mix, you will get no idea what the resulting puppy might be like since you never know which traits are going to show up in the puppies! Sometimes certain traits do not come out until the dog matures and this is something many first time dog owners are not prepared for!
Do You Want A Pure Bred Dog?
There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to choosing a pure-bred puppy over a mixed breed or mutt.
The biggest advantage is that you will know exactly what you are getting. Purchasing a pure-bred dog will generally allow you to know what your dog will be like when they grow up.
You will have a good idea about their final size, temperament, and even their personality.
A mixed-breed dog is a mystery. Unless you do genetic testing, you really will not know for sure what your dog will be like when they mature.
The disadvantage of a pure breed dog is mainly the price. Purebred dogs can be expensive which is why you may be considering financing your puppy.
The cost of ownership can be anywhere from $800 to well over $4000, depending on the breed you select. Mixed breed dogs can be adopted for a few hundred dollars or can even be free.
Another potential problem with purebred dogs is health. Pure-bred dogs are generally more susceptible to genetic issues because of the limited gene pool. There is no denying that a mutt is usually healthier.
How Big Of A Dog Do You Want?
Next, you want to consider what size of a dog you want. This will be dependent on a number of factors in your life.
Space is one consideration. Generally speaking, the smaller your living space, the smaller the dog should be. That one-bedroom apartment might get a little tight if you pick up an Irish Wolfhound.
You also have to consider the space that you have in your vehicle. Big dogs require bigger vehicles.
You can fit a puppy in any vehicle now, but they will grow up and will need to be taken to periodic vet visits.
Is your puppy going to be for companionship or protection? If you want a dog that has an intimidating presence, a Great Dane might be a good choice for you.
Someone would certainly think twice about breaking into a home with a Great Dane. When you want a lap dog, however, a small French Bulldog might be a better choice.
How Active Are You?
Some dogs are very chill by nature. An English Bulldog, for example, is not going to be very active and will not require a lot of exercise.
On the other hand, a dog like a German Shepherd will require daily exercise or they may become frustrated and possibly destructive.
You must match the type of dog you get with your activity level. Make a mistake and you will likely have issues in the future.
When matching energy levels, consider what a dog will be like when they are older. Nearly every puppy will be active as a pup but they might not be as active as an adult.
Does Your Dog Need To Be Social?
Generally speaking, your dog is only as social as you train it to be. If you start socializing your puppy early, they will trust and like people and other dogs more.
Certain breeds are more social than others, however. Golden Retrievers are a good example of this, they love everyone. On the flip side, working dogs like German Shepherds tend to be less trusting of strangers.
They are likely to only trust their family no matter how much you train them.