North Country Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Essex County, New York
CHOOSING THE RIGHT DOG
Dogs are delightful. They come in many different shapes, sizes, colors, and temperaments, so you’re sure to find a dog that’s perfect for you. The right dog will be a joy, enhancing your life in both expected and unexpected ways.
Size is often the first concern of potential dog owners. Many people try to find a dog that fits the size of their home and yard. While size is certainly one considerations, remember that a small dog’s energy and barking might be more disruptive than a mellow larger breed. Also remember that all dogs need exercise whether they tip the scales at 5 or 50 pounds.
If you like relaxing at home or have minimal time for outdoor exercise, you should probably avoid getting an extremely active dog. On the other hand, an athletic person may prefer an energetic dog to go with their active lifestyle. If you are unsure about a dog’s temperament and need for exercise, it’s best to consult the shelter staff.
Another thing you may want to consider is the dog’s coat. A thicker coat will provide more warmth during the winter, which is helpful for a dog that will be spending time outdoors. While all dogs should be groomed, it’s especially important to keep longer haired dogs brushed and clean.
Like humans, older dogs tend to be mellower than dogs under the age of two. Also, older dogs have already been trained how to behave around people and other animals. Mature dogs make wonderful companions for people without the time and interest to train a puppy.
Still, many people enjoy getting a puppy they can raise and train themselves. This training period allows for special bonding between pet and owner. If you have young children, adopting a puppy requires extra care. When romping on the floor, it’s easy for a child to unintentionally injure a puppy. Adults need to monitor their play until the puppy has matured.
Older dogs should also be carefully observed before you adopt them into a home with kids. Consult the shelter staff to find out more about the dog’s history.
A dog will bring great joy into your life. But remember that you are inviting the dog to share your life for many years. Choose the dog that is best for you and your lifestyle, and you will enjoy a loving and devoted friendship.