The correct answer to whether should you get a dog or not is
YES you should.
You should also remember getting a dog is a 10-16 years long commitment.
Trust me when I say as much as having the right dog improves your life in countless ways, having the wrong dog will make your life quite miserable.
Let’s not forget the shelters are full with dogs living miserable captive lives for years to come because people didn’t really think through what having a dog really means. In order to find the best dog for you and your family start by considering
In the dog-human relationship you the human are the only one with “an agenda.”
So, be clear about why you want to get the dog. Make me happy, protect my family, be my exercise partner, help me find a mate. etc etc. etc.
If you’re looking for a dog to run trails with, play frisbee, you’d want to lean towards more athletic breeds vs if you’re a retired empty nester who is looking for a companion you want sitting on your lap, you may want lean towards smaller, more chilled dogs.
Thinking about your expectations from your dog will help you at least leave out some breeds out of consideration.
Next consideration is size.
When it comes to dogs SIZE MATTERS.
As in “fully grown” size.
Once I was called for an aggressive English Mastiff.
The owners said the dog busted the entire frame of their sliding french door to attack their guest.
When I arrived I couldn’t believe my eyes. They were a young couple who lived in a tiny studio apartment on 8th floor. Because their dog didn’t fit in their apartment they were keeping the dog in their balcony… Which was also too small for the Mastiff.
So The dog wasn’t aggressive as much as she was frustrated. Being separated from her people, unable to even walk around, spending most of her days trapped and unable to move. I certainly could understand their dog’s frustration.
They said when they were looking for a puppy they thought she looked rather large puppy, but they didn’t assume that adorable puppy would be Sooo big…
Consider size of your house, and yard is important.
Also consider the size of your car for those trips to vet and remember as your dog gets older you will need to help him physically move around, even lift him in and out of your car. So the ratio of your size to your dog’s size needs to be considered.
Another thing overlooked by people who are eager to get a dog is their
Not just your lifestyle today, But for the next decade.
Lots of people decided to get a dog during the C-19 locked down while they were working from home for a year. When the world goes back to usual-way of doing business I expect a large segment of those people will have to face the tough decision of can they keep the dog…
You maybe a single guy who thinks you can get with the ladies easier with a handsome GSD as your wingman, and that’s true.
But if you end up forming a family with one of the hotties. Fast forward 2-3 years. About to have your first child, and you have a 5-6 years old adult GSD
who has to deal with your toddler who loves to pull his tail.
I know.. Life happens. But remember.
Whenever dog-human relationship goes sour the dog always end up losing.
So. Pretty please with sugar on top. Think and have a game plan before you get the dog.
and Finally. The PERSONALITY.
Hopefully now you have some idea about the dog you’re looking for.
I think the personality of a dog will have more impact on your relationship than the breed characteristics.
Yes the genetics of the dog will have an impact on their behavior. Put 5 chickens in front of a Border Collie and she’s likely to want to organize them.
By personality I mean the personality of the individual dog.
Just like us humans dogs have personalities too. Sure I can dig holes, plant and grow things, but given the choice, 99.9% of the time I will choose doing something related to dogs over working in my yard.
When we got my Vizsla Zilli my goal was to use her as my demo dog. Knowing how athletic Vizslas are I expected her to go to work with me, play fetch, perhaps do some dock diving, do some crazy tricks.
She on the other hand wanted to chill out on the couch, and relax when she was not playing with her brothers. Of course she was trained and could do all the things I asked her to do…… But her personality was in such way that working all day with me training dogs wouldn’t make her happy.
I think better to pay more attention to a dog’s personality than what you read about the breed. And you can do that simply by spending 10-15 minutes with the dog.
If you want a lap dog, pick the dog up and put him on your lap. See how long before he jumps off, If you’re planning to play fetch with the dog take 5-6 tennis balls and throw them 1 at a time and see how many times she will run after it; If she goes after a ball once then looks at you like you’re crazy after the 2nd ball. Well there is your answers.
yes you CAN train your dog to do pretty much anything… But that doesn’t mean he is enjoying what you’re asking him to do. Being the owner your dog deserves mean working and collaborating with your dogs to enhance both of your lives and your dogs lives.
Many reputable professional dog trainers can assist you finding a good match for you. Most trainers have contacts with many rescue organizations and reputable breeders. I know we did.
So if someone called and said “I’m looking for a under 35lbs, Female dog for my daughter who is 7, and have some learning disability.” We could suggest 2-3 places where they could go and look.