Before you decide to get a puppy, you need to think things through. Pet ownership is a serious responsibility. It can be expensive. It can be frustrating. It involves adjustment to your life style. It is a life-long commitment.
The first thing you need to do, after the initial decision, is to research. You need to take your time and discover what breed, if any, you want. Compile a list of what you want or expect in a dog. Remember, all puppies are cute, but there are different degrees and varieties of cute. Consider the following questions to ask yourself.
• Consider appearance. Is this and important factor in your decision? If so, what color do you prefer? What do you want for size and shape? Do you prefer long hair, silky hair, short hair or wiry hair?
• Temperament. What type of temperament are you looking for in your dog? There are various breeds who tend to be of a specific nature. Look them up. Decide whether this is a priority.
• Shedding. Let’s face it. All but the hairless dogs shed. It is the degree of shedding that people consider. Longhaired dogs have more hair to lose with the seasons. Some dogs shed all the time, or seem to do so. Shorthaired pets lose less hair. They may be easier to maintain their counterpart long hairs.
• Maintenance. Do you like to spend hours primping your pet? Do you love grooming? Some owners are happy to run a slicker brush through their dog’s hair once or twice a week. They rejoice that the dog dries quickly after a bath. Other people love to spend time on their dog’s coat. They find it therapeutic and rewarding. Add your preference to your list.
• Purpose. What is the purpose of getting a pet? Do you want a herding dog? Do you want a dog to be a companion animal? Are you looking for a protective animal? Is the dog to share in your favorite sports? Is he or she to be an active dog or do you want a couch potato? Maybe you are hoping for some where in between. Do your research.
• Above all, make sure the dog is a good fit. He or she has to match your requirements, your temperament and your needs. Your pet has its own demands. Do not choose a breed or dog that conflict with your requirements unless you are willing to change and adapt to the needs of the dog.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want in your dog, you can proceed with the next step. A great place to start is the Classified Ads at CattleToday.com. This is the actual search. If you are after a purebred, look up breeders. Remember to have questions on the type of dog. A good breeder will want references. He or she will be forthright and want you to be so as well. A breeder will know all about the feeding, grooming, classes and history of their breed.
Visit the kennels and look at the dogs. Make sure the mother, father and puppies are all healthy. Be sure the living conditions are sanitary. Do not be surprised if you end up on a waiting list. This is the sign of a good breeder.
If you decide you want a purebred, you can also check into rescue groups. Some shelters have purebred dogs arriving for one reason or another. A shelter is also a good place to find a mixed breed. Check the internet sites of shelters and rescue groups. Make the rounds and look carefully before you decide. Remember, during all phases of the process, you are purchasing a living being. The dog will have his or her own personality. Owning a dog involves a lifelong commitment. Make sure you are totally up for it. Do not be half-engaged.