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Choosing the right type of dog
For the relationship to work well, you need to pick a dog that will fit in with your lifestyle. As they say different breeds have different needs, and a truer word has not been spoken! Let us take for example a Labrador. These dogs are big and energetic and love their exercise. It can take them up to five years before they even begin to calm down, if at all. If you are a person with limited movement capabilities living in a small apartment, a Labrador is the last dog you want to acquire. You will need to be a fit person that loves the outdoors and have a big enough space for your pet to be able to self exercise on top of the exercise you do together.
Let us look at Cavalier King Charles. These doggies do well in any home environment. Although they love to get out and about, they are as happy to laze around on the sofa the whole day watching the world go by. They are excellent to be paired with someone in a confined space or with mobility issues.
Read and research
Read and research as much as you can about the breed before you buy. Make sure you have researched all the breed traits. Look at what type of grooming is required and if you can afford it. Some breeds needs virtually no grooming while others needs professional grooming as often as every four weeks.
Read up on their temperament and make sure it is compatible with what it is you are wishing for. Do not go for a protective or working type dog if a lap dog is what you require.
When adopting a dog you should always find out why the dog is up for adoption. It could be a most unfortunate situation that has led the pet to be in a homeless position in which case it is just your lucky day that you have found a compatible companion. However, if there are other contributing factors you need to find out before you commit.
- Why is the dog up for adoption?
Try to find out why the dog was put up for adoption and if you can get in contact with the previous owner even better. We have a real problem with overpopulation and with population control. You can read more on population control and all you need to know about sterilization.
- Are there any behavioural issues with this pet?
Sometimes behavioural issues can cause people to give up and surrender an animal. Issues can include anything from excessive barking, destructiveness, resistance to house training etc.
- Does the animal have aggression problems?
If the dog has issues with aggression, either towards animals or towards humans you need to make sure you know what you are committing to. Some dogs can only cohabit in an environment where there are no other pets, children or people around. If this arrangement is what you are looking for then there will be smooth sailing. If you have kids and family or other pets this is not the option for you. You will also need to make sure that if there are any aggression issues, just exactly on what scale it is. Make sure you do not put yourself in harm’s way.
- Does the pet have any medical issues or problems?
Unfortunately pets get sick. Sometimes with chronic medication it can be brought under control, but this does present a constant expense that not everyone can afford. Due to this pets often land up in a homeless situation. Make sure you find out about the dog’s medical history so you know upfront if there are any hidden costs that you will be taking on.
Giving your new dog time to settle in
Even if it is an adult dog, your new pet will need time to feel safe and settle into new surroundings. Give your dog lots of time and patience. It may take two weeks up to a few months for them to feel safe enough to start playing and be happy. They will also need time to see that you mean them no harm and before they start to trust you. Patience is all you need.