Todays post we will focus on puppies and dogs, both buying and adoption.
There is a lot to do when your about to make that big decision on buying or adopting a new puppy or dog. The most important thing is research, researching your breed is probably the number one most important thing to do. Researching breeds to some may seem pointless or unnecessary. NO, that needs to be the biggest priority. There are so many different breeds of dogs out there that you need to find the right breed that fits your lifestyle. There are seven different groups of dog breeds as classified by the AKC( American Kennel Club) and they are as follows: Sporting dogs, Hound dogs, Working dogs, Terriers, Toys, Non-sporting, and Herding dogs.
Sporting dogs– Sporting dogs are usually natural athletes are active, very alert dogs that make great companions. Sporting dogs are best known for working in and around water, woods and require regular exercise and stimulation. Sporting breeds are becoming a lot more common as the well known family dog but also participate in hunting and field trials. The dogs that make up this group are Retrievers, Setters, Spaniels and Pointers.
Hound dogs– Hound dogs were designed to be used for hunting. Hounds either use their power of scent to track or their stamina to chase whatever it may be. The dogs that make up this group includes the Afghan hound, Foxhound, Beagle, Greyhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dachsunds and Harrier. Not all hounds are used for hunting so it’s hard to generalize all of them as hunters.
Working dogs – The dogs that are in the working group have historically performed various jobs over the years including guarding, rescuing, and sled pulling. Most working dogs are very smart and quick learners and make great companions. But because of their size many of the working breeds aren’t suitable for certain living situations and they do require proper training as a pup. The working dogs are Akita, Boxers, Bernese Mountain dog, Great Dane, Mastiff, Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky.
Terriers- Terriers are best known for being crazy and feisty dogs whose ancestors were bred to kill pests like mice and other rodents. They range in size from the smaller Cairn Terrier to the largest terriers Airedale. Terriers require regular exercise and most need special grooming to maintain their clean look. Terriers are great family pets for families that are ready for a dog with lots of personality. Some dogs that make up the terrier group are American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, wire hair fox terrier, Irish terrier, Scottish Terrier, and Miniature Schnauzer.
Toys- The Toy group are the dogs that are the small breeds that were bred to sit and look pretty. These breeds are popular for people who live in small places and cities. Many individuals and families look for smaller dogs because they are easy to control, have less shedding and lower cost of care. These little guys usually try to act tough to make up for their small size. Some dogs that make up the Toy group would be the Chihuahua, Maltese, Pomeranian, Papillion, Pug, Toy Poodle and Shih Tzu.
Non-sporting Dogs- A smaller and more diverse group in terms of breeds and sizes is non-sporting dogs. The breeds vary in size, look and personality. Some of the dogs that make up the non-sporting group is the Bichon Frise, Boston Terrier, Bulldog, poodle and Keeshond.
Herding- The herding group share the ability to control the movement of animals. Herding dogs make excellent companions and respond well to training. These are the dogs that you usually use with cattle, sheep, pigs really any livestock that need to be worked. The breeds that make up the herding group include the Australian Cattle Dog, Collie, German Shepherd, Old English Sheepdog, Border Collie and Shetland Sheepdog.
When you are trying to decide on a breed, you need to look at the breed itself and not the category the dog falls in. A specific breed may fall under the hunting group, but the breeds traits can’t be evaluated by that category. Also some breeds fall into more than one group because of their size. Like the toy poodle falls into the toy group but standard poodles fall into the non-sporting group. There are also many different breeds with in some breeds. Like the pointer for example there is the German Short Hair pointer, English pointer, or German Wire haired pointer to name a few.
Researching the breeds- When you are researching breeds that seem to be the best fit for you the things you need to think about are their demeanor, their activity, if you have a family how they are with children, and how big they are going to get. If you need help deciding what breed might be best for you or if the breed you are looking into is right for you animal plant.com has a wonderful questionare that you can fill out to see if any of those breeds match with what you are looking for or what breed they think may be right for you. Head on over to http://www.animalplanet.com/breed-selector/dog-breeds.html to see if they can help you.
Behavior and Demeanor-Each dog has an individual quirk, trait and personality that make them unique. A lot of breeds have the same quirks and traits, so when looking into the breeds noting those traits is something you should keep in mind because of those traits or quirks they may react to a situation different then another breed would. Understanding their personalities helps you train your dog better too. To get a better understanding of behavior and demeanor in dogs click the following link to read a little more about it: http://www.dog.com/dog-articles/dog-behavior-and-demeanor/1796/
Activity- There are a large amount of breeds that require a lot of activity, some of them don’t need to go running every day. But if you want a dog that requires a lot of activity so that it won’t be destructive you need to also be willing to put the time into that dog, example an Australian Shepherd being pinned up in an apartment could spell disaster if that dog is not taken outside to run or taken on regular walks. Activity can tie into behavior at times. Most of the time when a dog is being destructive it is because they are bored or have too much energy that they need to burn off. That is something someone needs to keep in mind when looking at your breeds. If you buy or adopt an energetic breed you need to be willing to dedicate time to that characteristic so that bad behaviors don’t sprout from inactivity or lack of enough activity.
Size- Another aspect that needs to be put into consideration is the size the dog either currently is if you are buying or adopting a dog that is an adult or how large that dog is going to be once it is full grown. A lot of people claim that looking at the paws will tell you how large the dog is going to get. I would have to agree with these people. More large breed dogs have very large paws as puppies and those paws can usually give you a good idea of how big the dog is going to be. So lets say you want to get an Irish Wolfhound but live in an apartment complex, not the most ideal living situation. That would be as close to bringing a horse into an apartment that you could get. So remember some common sense when choosing a breed for your living situation. To help with size and how big the puppy may get click the following link to help you : http://www.puppychart.com/
Breeder- I can’t put enough emphasis on this subject. Breeders can be your best friend or worst nightmare. You want to find breeders that are responsible and care for their puppies. Not just the ones who get the puppies the right vaccines when they are supposed to and deworming schedule. You want breeders that are legitmatly caring for these puppies and paying attention to ailements they may have. Like bulldog breeders should be taking the parents in or already have a penn hip certification done to show that the puppy isn’t predisposed to hip dysplasia. The Bitch and Sire should both be healthy dogs that have a blood line of good health. Breeders should have a clean environment for the Bitch to give birth to the puppies in and for them to grow. Common sense goes along way with breeders too. If it looks like it’s clean and a reputable breeder then they are probably decent breeders that put out good dogs. But if it seems iffy and your gut is telling you something isn’t right and they can’t produce papers for some “unknown” reason of the bitch or sires certifications, you are more likely to end up with a dog that has a lot of health issues in the future. Pet stores are hard some times to research as much. You can always ask if they are allowed to give out the information for where they bought the puppies from and then research them, but if that isn’t an option look at the animals around that puppy. Do they have gooby eyes? Do they have crusty noses, is the kennel that they are in look clean or does it put off a this puppy is sick or going to get sick type vibe? Try to be smart and when all else fails and you just aren’t sure ask one of the local veterinary clinics what they suggest or have heard about the breeder. For more ideas on researching your breeders head on over to the Humane Society of the United States web page and look at How to Find a Responsible Breeder article at http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/puppy_mills/tips/finding_responsible_dog_breeder.html
or the AKC website http://www.akc.org/press-center/facts-stats/responsible-breeders/
Please always remember a dog is a responsiblity that needs attention just like a child would. If you don’t have the time to put into the dog please don’t invest in one only to turn around and take it to a shelter. Dogs are very loyal animals and once you call them family they consider you theirs for life. It is a lifetime commitment to take care of them and they return the favor if you do it right. Don’t buy a puppy for children thinking it’s a great birthday present, Christmas present, Valentines present or Easter present because they aren’t always a great decision when they get older and aren’t that cute puppy anymore. Children end up not wanting to take care of them or train them, then that falls back on you as the parent to take the responsibility and if you are not wanting that responsibility than having a dog is not for you at this time. Think of the animals well being please.
Now that we have hit all major points on the consideration of adding a new family member, this one being a dog, have fun looking for that new love in your life, be smart and remember to research every question and concern you may have. Never hesitate to call your local vet either for names of great breeders that they may work with often. Happy searching!
Resources include: dog.com , animalden.com , puppychart.com ,dogtime.com , pinterest.com , yourpurebreedpuppy.com , aytee.co.uk , dianebauman.com , pets4homes.co.uk , impish-iggies.tumblr.com , knowledgebase.lookseek.com , kbmdc.org , dogbreedinfo.com, siberescue.com, 2puppies.com , vetknowledge.com, animalsbreeds.com , allsmalldogbreeds.com , puppyparadise.com, kevinandamanda.com , keeshond.org , marketplace.akc.org , k9rl.com , pawsinmotionkc.com , 2 years of Veterinary Technician schooling with a degree, 3 years in a veterinary practice.