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Choosing a Dog
Similar Pages:
 Where to Get a Dog From
 Preparing for a Dog
 Getting your New Dog Home
 Breeds of Dog

Chocolate Labrador Puppy at 12 weeks old
Chocolate Labrador Puppy at 12 weeks Old.
Photographer: Rob Hanson


English Springer Spaniel
English Springer Spaniel
Photographer: Eric Carruthers
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Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute

There are a lot of factors that you need to take into consideration when choosing a dog. Consider each one carefully to ensure you make the correct decision for yourself, your family and your new pet.

Personal Circumstances

Your own personal circumstances are a very important consideration and they will determine or narrow down other factors in your choice of dog. Things you need to consider are:
  Do you live in an urban or country area.
  Do you live in a flat or a house with a garden.
  Will your pet be left on its own for long periods     of time due to work commitments.
  Do you have children.
  Do you have other pets.
  Your finances.
  Would you prefer a dog to live indoors or     outside.
  What is the climate like where you live, very hot     or very cold.
  Are you prepare to spend a lot of time     grooming a dog.
  Are you able to give the dog the exercise it     requires.

A Puppy or an Adult Dog

While puppies are very cute and appealing, they also require a lot or work until they have grown up a bit. When you first bring a puppy home they will require feeding several times a day so they should either have someone at home with them all day, or someone should be able to be at home periodically throughout the day. They will also need to relieve themselves often during the day and night and they will need to be house trained. Puppies will also chew things as their teeth develop (so watch your furniture!) and they will be lively and playful. Sometimes an older, house trained, adult dog is more appropriate for some people/families.

Pedigree or Mixed

The characteristics of pedigree dogs are generally known, so it is easier to select a breed that will suit your needs, however there are a lot of mixed breed dogs that require homes too and if their parents are known it is possible to make an educated guess on their adult size and temperament.


Your personal circumstances will play an important part in your decision on what breed of dog to buy. Larger dogs require space, they are more costly to look after on a daily basis and they may not be suitable with small children. Some dogs may require a lot of physical exercise, be difficult to train or are more suited to outdoor living, and some dogs may need a lot of attention and grooming. You should research the many different breeds of dog to ensure you choose the correct one for you and your family.

Male or Female

Whether to get a dog (male) or a bitch (female) is also another point that should be taken into consideration. There are advantages and disadvantages to both sexes, but if you don't really have a preference it doesn't really matter, the main thing is that you develop and enjoy a happy bond with your dog.

Selecting a Dog

When you have taken all of the factors into consideration and you have decided what your new pet will be and where you are going to get it from, then all you need to do is choose it!

If you are choosing a puppy you should look at all of the puppies in the litter and check that they all look healthy and see how they interact with each other. You should make sure they are alert, bright eyed and show no signs of aggression. A puppy should be avoided if it shows any signs of ill health such as sticky eyes, a runny nose, a dirty back end or is inactive.

If you have decided on an adult dog choose one that shows no signs of aggression, is active and friendly and has a healthy coat and bright eyes.

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