CHOOSING THE RIGHT PUPPY / DOG
 
  Choosing the Right Dog
Choosing the right dog for you and your family is important and many elements must be considered to ensure that you make the right choice. When you have considered all of the pros and cons of dog ownership, you can then enjoy the fun of choosing a new dog or puppy!
 
 The Consequences of Choosing the Wrong Dog
Buying a dog on the spur of the moment, without due thought and especially at Christmas has lead to the well known saying "A puppy isn't just for Christmas - it's for Life" The consequences of making the wrong decision are heartbreaking. In the UK, tens of thousands of dogs and cats are abandoned every year. The RSPCA and other pet charities may find new homes for these animals, but many others have to be put to sleep.
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 The Cost of Owning a Dog
Below is a breakdown of the average cost of owning a dog in the UK:

Purchase of Dog: from £0 to £1,000
Pet Healthcare Insurance: £200 per year (85% of dogs visit a vet every year)
Vaccinations: from £30
Passport: £200
Identification Microchip: £20
Food: £100 per year
Collar and Lead: £15
Puppy Training Course £45
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 Process of Elimination
The best method for choosing the right puppy or dog is to adopt a process of elimination. Just consider all of the elements will enable you to create a 'blueprint' for your perfect dog. This process can start by taking the Choosing a Dog Quiz!
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 Self Test to Find the Right Dog for you - Choosing a Dog Quiz
Choosing a Dog Quiz
Why do you want a dog? Pet Hunting Showing Working
Do you want an adult  dog or puppy? Puppy Adult Don't Mind
How much money can you spend on the purchase? $20 $100 $500 $1000
How much money can you spend on weekly feeding? $10 $20 $30 $35+
Male or Female Dog? Male Female Don't mind
Size of dog? Toy Miniature Standard Large
Length of Coat ? Short Medium Long Very Long
How much weekly grooming? None 1 hour 2 hours 3 hours+
How much daily exercise? None 15 mins 30 mins 1 hour+
How active are you? Disabled Not Very Quite Active Extremely
What people live in the family home? Babies Children Teenagers Elderly
Medical Considerations? None Asthma Allergies Back Pain
Important to tolerate? Children Strangers Dogs Small Animals
How much space in the home? Limited Medium Spacious Very Spacious
Environment? City Suburbs Rural
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 Reasons for wanting a dog

The reasons for wanting a dog will help in the process of elimination. Do you want a dog purely as a pet? Would you like the pet to be a good watchdog? Do you want the dog to be involved in any hunting activities? What size quarry will the dog be required to hunt? Do you want the dog to do any work? Your reasons for wanting a dog will already be steering you in the right direction for your choice of dog.
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 Practicalities of Choosing the Right Dog

The practicalities of choosing the right dog must be taken into account, not only your surroundings and environment, but also whether you are experienced with dogs and whether you will be able to easily control the dog. Dog control naturally leads on to the subject of training; a huge subject, which is covered in our section on Puppy Training. Always check out the adult size that the dog will eventually reach.
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 Choosing the Right Dog
Do you want a puppy or an adult dog? Puppies are appealing, but adult dogs have many advantages. Adult dogs are generally house trained, have been immunised against many illnesses and any health or hereditary problems will be quickly evident. A final consideration is that puppies are the first to be chosen at rescue centres. Adult dogs are often left to an inevitable fate if they are not chosen.
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 Budget Available
Our tips on calculating the cost of a dog should have provided you with an understanding of the expense of owning a pet. But you need to assess exactly what your initial budget is. How much are you willing to pay for the dog? How much will need to be spent on necessary equipment for the dog? What can you afford to spend? This is your budget - don't exceed it!
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 Choosing a Pure breed or a mongrel?
Difficult to offer constructive advice on this subject as many people only want a pure breeds. The pure blood dog will have inherited specific traits from that breed, so you will generally know what your are getting. Mongrels make wonderful pets - check out their background and the traits that might be inherited from the sire and dam.
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 Choosing a Pure Breed or a Mongrel?
It is difficult to offer constructive advice on this subject, since many people only want a pure breed. The pure blood dog will have inherited specific traits from that breed, so you will generally know what you are getting. However, mongrels make wonderful pets. Check out their background and the traits that might be inherited from the sire and dam.
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 Choosing the Right Dog: Fitting in with the Family
Which family members will come into immediate everyday contact with the dog? It’s imperative that a dog fits in with the family. Any young children in the family should be a factor in selection. A dog for a growing family must be able to stand rough treatment, such as a Labrador. A small toy dog would be a poor choice as its fragile bones might break if it is handled roughly. Conversely, the small toy dogs would be a great choice for someone who is elderly or disabled. Small dogs need less exercise and control and many have been bred as companion dogs.
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 Grooming Requirements
The length of a dog’s coat is indicative of the grooming requirements. How much time will the grooming take? Will grooming be a daily or weekly requirement? How often will the dog need clipping? Will a professional dog groomer need to be involved? Long haired dogs also make more of a mess in the home with frequent moulting. Dog hairs can be annoying over clothes and furnishings and will therefore require additional cleaning routines. It is also worth considering that a dog whose coat is waterproof, such as a Retriever, will possess a doggy smell due to the waterproofing oils present in the coat.
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 Home Environment
The home environment is extremely important. Are the living quarters suitable to big or small dogs? How big is the yard? Could the dog be securely left alone in a yard? How often would you need to leave your dog on its own?
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 Locality and Area
The locality will suit different types of dog breeds. How would you describe the area that you live in? City, Inner Suburbs, Outer Suburbs or Rural?
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 Exercise requirements of the dog
The exercising requirements of the dog must be taken into consideration. How much exercise will be required on a daily basis? Have you the time and inclination to ensure that your dog obtains the required exercise? For example, large dogs require considerable exercise. Do you have any medical conditions that might prevent you exercising the dog?
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 Temperament and Character
Will the temperament and character of the dog suit the requirements of your family?
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 Tolerance to other animals?
Your dog will come into contact with other animals. How would your dog react to other dogs? How would your dog react to cats or smaller animals? Would your dog be difficult to control? Aggression could be an issue or a natural hunting trait, which will mean that your dog will want to chase after anything that moves. A less active dog, perhaps a scent hound for example, might want to start tracking a scent it has picked up.
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 Choosing the Right Breed
The process of elimination will make choosing the right breed of dog to suit your personal circumstances easy! Take one more check by checking out the Choosing a Dog Quiz for choosing the right dog. You should then know exactly what type of dog you require and how it will fit into your home and family. You now have the pleasure of selecting the breed.
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 Decision made ! Where to purchase a dog or puppy
The decision has been made so where can the dog be purchased? You can find dogs for sale via dog breeders, newspaper or internet advertisements, kennels, pet shops, dog homes and dog rescue centres.
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 Choosing a Dog or Puppy
For the top tips and advice on puppy care in relation to preparing for the arrival of a new puppy, please visit the Puppy Care, Training a Puppy and Puppy Growth and Development sections of the site via the appropriate links. Inspect your home through the eyes of a new puppy and note any potential problems or safety issues - a major consideration in puppy care.
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PUPPY CARE
Puppy First Days
Puppy Dental Pain
When Dog Eats Bad Things
Puppy & Dog Vaccination
Choosing the Right Puppy Dog
Training a Puppy
Puppy Growth & Development
   
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