Which dog is right for me

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Dogs come in all colors, shapes, sizes and temperaments
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Do some research before you adopt a dog. Make sure he's the right one for you.

Picking the right dog is nearly as important as picking the right spouse. If an unwise choice is made there is going to be some biting, snapping, growling and snarling.

Are you asking, "Which dog is right for me?"

Dogs are like people in that they have distinctive personalities, likes, dislikes, quirks and idiosyncrasies. Different breeds possess different characteristics. If the pet owner is laid-back and finds himself with a high strung yipping dog that requires attention around-the-clock this isnít going to be a match made in heaven.

Do some research before you decide on a particular breed of dog. Even though you may be drawn to the appearance of a certain breed you may find that this breed isnít the one for you after your delve into the dog's nature and disposition.

Energy Level

Decide beforehand if you want an active or passive dog. Do you want a friendly dog or one that is cool toward strangers? If the dog is going to be left alone for long periods of time, choose one that can tolerate this. Some dogs are neurotic and suffer from all kinds of issues, including separation anxiety.

Amount of Room

Consider the size of your home. If you are an apartment dweller or live in a small house you may not want to get a dog that is going to get as big as Godzilla. Not only will there not be enough space in the house for a big dog, but itís going to cost youíre an arm and a leg to feed him.

Health and Exercise

Some breeds have lots of health issues and diseases. Find out if the breed that you are interested in is one of these. If he is, consider the time and expense of owning a dog that is probably going to have inherited medical problems.

Some dogs require more exercise than others. Do you have the time or inclination to take the dog on daily walks? 

More considerations

If you are already a dog owner and are thinking about adopting or buying another dog, be prepared for some inter-dog aggression in your home. Sometimes dogs hit it off right off the bat; other times they hate each other on sight, which is a huge problem. It could be that the dogs havenít managed to form the right pack order or because the human that is their master is not serving as the pack leader, which he must do.

For example, if there is an older dog who has lived in the home for years and a younger dog is introduced into the home, the owner must show the younger dog that the older dog is the pack leader. If the dogs fight, scold the younger dog, even if he is not the initiator. Feed and walk the older dog before you do the same with the younger dog. Once the dogs understand the arrangement the fighting should stop. However, when the younger dog gets older, he may get very full of himself and want to assert himself as the leader. 

If there are small children in the home, you must be very careful about the type of dog that is introduced into the home. Golden Retrievers are very friendly dogs, but they can be overzealous and can knock over little kids. These dogs are very smart and frequently work as service dogs. Golden Retrievers are easy to train. Collies get along well with children. They are gentle and non-aggressive.

Larger dogs are going to fare better when it comes to the enthusiasm and energetic play a group of kids can dole out. If a child falls on a miniature breed, it can hurt the animal. Large dogs are sturdier and wonít be fazed by a bunch of roughneck kids. 

A healthy dog is often a good-tempered dog. Pick the one that appears to be healthiest and who is self-confident. Watch the pups for a while. Their distinct personalities do emerge quickly. 

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