What kind of dog will suit me [behaviorist recommendations
Which dog will suit me
Today I would like to discuss an issue that seems to be extremely important for future dog owners. How to choose the right dog for yourself so that there is no disappointment later and the cooperation between dogs and humans goes well.
- A deliberate decision
- The appearance of the dog
- A purebred dog and a mongrel
- The nature of the dog
- An active dog or a homebody?
A deliberate decisionWhich dog to choose?
Many questions arise when it is decided at home that we want a dog to join the family. What breed to choose? Should the dog come from a kennel or from a shelter? Won't a big dog get tired in a small apartment?? Should it be an adult dog, or maybe a puppy? What if we have a baby and the dog has a problem with it? Where will we leave him when going abroad on vacation? Should we take him to dog training? How much does it cost to keep a dog and a dog vet? There are many questions. And good!
Honestly, the more such questions we ask and work on the subject in our head before the dog actually appears, the better our future life together will be. It goes without saying that many people make decisions about adopting / buying a dog compulsively. They saw an advertisement for a nice puppy and the next day the dog lands at their house. And it begins. The puppy squirts on everything, destroys it, barking and won't let you sleep at night. Well, it's a little canine baby after all, so no wonder. But the new maintainers are frustrated, irritated and surprised that he has so many problems. The common journey did not start too well, because they were not prepared for what could await them and they made the decision on the spur of the moment.
It also happens that we want to help the senior dog and this is a very noble motive. Such dogs spend the end of their lives in shelters and hardly anyone is interested in them. But here, too, it is worth asking yourself a few questions before making this decision to keep her accountable. Older dogs often have joint problems, so climbing stairs 3-4 times a day after walking can be a challenge for them. So do we have an elevator? A kind of stupid question, but as a consequence, the lack of it may mean that we will carry a dog on our hands, and not all dogs weigh as much as a chihuahua, unfortunately ?
The second issue with older dogs is intensified veterinary care. Our dog can be as healthy as a red dog for the rest of his canine life, but he can also suffer from diseases of the senior age, and then he will require medication, rehabilitation and more frequent visits to the vet. It is a cost and often quite a lot, so it is also worth preparing for it mentally and financially, so that we will not be surprised later.
The appearance of the dog
This is one of the most common pitfalls for new dog handlers. They decide on a dog of a specific breed because they like the appearance, or their neighbor has a similar one, or they have read on the Internet that this breed is good for children, or the dog is commonly believed to be a good companion for long mountain trips.
Here, I strongly urge you to explore the topic, and not stop at rudimentary information, stereotypical knowledge from the Internet or advice from a neighbor.
If we are keeping an eye on a particular breed of dog, let's first consult experts - breeders, behaviorists, dog trainers or shelter employees. We will learn from them reliable information about what the breed is really like, what it is predisposed to, how is it worth working with such a dog, what are the advantages and disadvantages of having a dog, what space it needs to live, how active it will be and so on.
But here I will also make an important caveat - dogs of the same breed can be completely different, just like people! We are all human, but each of us has his own character, preferences, history and behaves in a specific way. Therefore, for example, the common opinion that Goldens love children does not mean that every Golden World will love children, but there is a greater chance that they will like each other than with other breeds that are not, for example, so cooperative.
Or suppose we decide to buy a German Shepherd or a Border Collie. These are extremely smart pets, but also working dogs that like to have tasks. So if we run a home that is not very active, where we spend every free moment on the couch and go out with the dog for 5-minute walks, and then we hope that the dog will take care of itself, hmmm…
let's rethink this decision! Dogs that like to work for humans when they get bored will be frustrated and not very happy. And because of this, we will also get tired. Here, of course, again, the reservation that the sheepdog is unequal to the sheepdog and depending on the specific pooch it will look a bit different, but still a dog of this breed will have its own needs.
A purebred dog and a mongrel
There are many wonderful and valuable dogs in the shelters, just waiting for their chance. And it's true that they may not all look like show sheepdogs or Maltese dogs, but that doesn't mean deep down they aren't! Appearance can be very deceiving. There are dogs that look like frankfurters with four legs, but have a hunting instinct no worse than beautiful, purebred tracking dogs. Or there are dogs that are large as oak but are extremely gentle with children and love them very much. Or dogs with bulging eyes and not too bright appearance, but it turns out that they are not inferior to chess masters in intelligence ?
That is why I always strongly encourage you not to be guided by the dog's appearance, but by its character and personality. And these are best during joint pre-adoption meetings or conversations with volunteers of a given dog in a shelter. After all, appearance is not everything!
SpaceHow much space does the dog need?
This is also one of the common questions my clients ask me. If they buy a large or medium dog for a studio, the dog will get tired? For me it depends. Because what is crucial for every dog is to provide him with appropriate walks (I mean a thorough walk with sniffing, playing, socialization, practicing simple commands), which will be more than just a few minutes' round around the block along the path that the dog has already seen. and sniffed a million times. After such a walk, the dog returns home, goes to the dog's lair and rests. Because a home should be a place of peace and relaxation for every dog. A place where he can calm down. So if we have enough time to devote it to our dog, we can discharge his energy during walks, joint trips, activities for dogs, training, etc.
From a technical point of view, of course, I would not recommend a 70-kilo dog for a 20-meter studio. In such a small space, the dog will not have its corner to rest, or it will have to lie in the aisle, everyone will pass it, so it will have nowhere to calm down or play when it feels like it.
The nature of the dog
Another "parameter " worth considering is the character and past of our dog. For example, if a dog has had a hard time, is a fearful dog, takes time, work and peace, then adopting such a dog to a home where a lot is going on may not be a good idea. If we have a house full of children, guests, other animals, noise and stimuli, a fearful dog may be too overwhelmed by this and will not be able to overcome its anxiety behavior, and may even intensify. Therefore, I would rather offer such a dog a quiet, peaceful home, where he has space to leave when he wants, and calm, adult carers who will respect his needs. In such conditions, it will be much easier for the dog to work through his previous fears and flourish.
But it also works the other way around. If our future dog has no problems with anxiety, he is brave, curious about the world, he would stick his nose everywhere to check if there is something cool waiting for him there, then the lack of stimuli at home and complete boredom can also be difficult for him to bear.
An active dog or a homebody?An active dog or a homebody?
Here comes another question that you should ask yourself before adopting a dog. Will the dog fit our lifestyle?. If, for example, we are very active, we spend every free moment in the mountains, or running marathons or riding a bike, then adopting an older dog that can barely walk will probably not make us a dog companion for crazy adventures. An active, young dog that loves sport and movement, just like us, will be much better off here. He will be physically fit and he will treat our joint trips to the mountains or Masuria as great entertainment, not punishment and pain. After all, the point is that joy should be mutual.
And the other side of the coin. An active dog will not find his place in a home where life goes on on the couch. But such, for example, an older pooch who loves the couch and falling asleep on it next to the owner will be very happy when he turns a cold shelter stall for such a house.
To sum up: the dog is a fantastic companion that brings a lot of good to our lives, but the dog is also a responsibility for many years. Therefore, for a harmonious cooperation, it is a good idea to spend some time preparing to welcome a new family member on board. The more information about the dog, its breed, behavior, activity or potential problems we get in advance, the better we will prepare for what may happen to us. This will avoid many stressful situations for the dog and us. Good luck!
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