Dog Ownership Considerations – Part 1

Humans have been keeping dogs as domesticated pets for thousands of years, and today, people of all ages still enjoy the company and companionship dogs offer. Dogs are known to be loyal, protective and loving of their masters, and many people consider dogs members of the family. If you’re thinking about getting a new canine friend for yourself or your family, here are some things to keep in mind when deciding what type of dog is right for your unique needs:

Your Ability to Provide – One of the most important things to think about before you even get to the point of purchasing or adopting a dog is your ability to provide for it. You need to think about your schedule, your finances and other factors that may make owning a dog difficult. For example, do you have enough room for a dog, both indoors and out? Will you be able to devote enough time and attention to your dog, including during training? Do you have the financial means to provide a dog with enough food or medical care? By considering these things early on, you’ll be less likely to find yourself in a bad situation in the future.

Breed – The breed of your dog can make a big difference in everything from its demeanor to its abilities. Choosing the right breed will take some research, but below is some information that you may find helpful regarding popular breeds:

Large Breeds – While most people assume that larger dogs will be more aggressive, this is not always true. The fact is, most dogs by nature can become aggressive when placed in the right circumstances. Larger breeds will typically require more space, and energetic large breeds, such as the Border Collie, may cause trouble if kept couped up in a house or apartment all day. In general, it’s a good idea to keep larger breeds outdoors, both so they can get more exercise and so that they don’t cause damage to your home. Keep in mind that dogs do not understand their size in proportion to the world around them like humans do.

Small Breeds – Smaller dogs are easier to take care of inside of a home, but this does not mean that small breeds should be kept exclusively indoors. Dogs of all sizes need exercise, so even if you keep your smaller breed inside with you, it’s important for it to get just as much exercise as other breeds. Additionally, dogs do not understand their proportionate size like humans do, and this can lead smaller dogs to put themselves into dangerous situations, including challenging dogs that are much larger or chasing objects such as motor vehicles.

Balancing Discipline – As a dog owner, you will also need to balance the discipline you provide. Many people believe that a dog will be happy as long as it is spoiled rotten, but the truth is that dogs crave discipline. As pack animals, dogs need a leader to follow, and as a dog owner, you are that leader. If you do not provide discipline and training for your dog, it will likely live in confusion and frustration, and some dogs may even live in fear if they do not feel protected by the pack mentality. Therefore, you will need to be able to balance providing love with providing discipline for your dog.

By taking the above into consideration, you’ll be more likely to choose the dog that’s right for you and offer it a happy life while receiving plenty of joy yourself. If you have additional questions, please speak with any of our trainers at Gemini K9. The Internet also provides a number of forums and message boards that can give you helpful information on deciding upon a canine friend that’s right for you.

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