Choosing a Dog

Choosing a Guard Dog

September 25, 20120 Comments

You may be thinking about choosing a guard dog for you and your family, but is it really a guard dog you want or a watch dog? Just about all dogs will at least let you know if a stranger is around by barking, so you need to be clear about what it is you are wanting from the start.

Choosing a Guard Dog

Guard dogs need to be very trainable, intelligent, strong and have a strong protective instinct.  You do not want an overly aggressive dog or one that is hard to control – especially if you also have small children in the home.  So be sure to talk to local vets and breeders, while also researching different breeds online or in the library.

If you decide to get a puppy, be sure that you select a reputable breeder that will not release the puppy to you until it is about 8 weeks old and ready to leave its mother.  A test you can use to check the puppy’s temperament is to ask the owner to allow you to watch them being fed.  The more aggressive puppies will push through to get the food first.

If you are choosing a guard dog from a shelter or it is a mixed breed dog, you can ask to take the dog home so that you can observe it to see if it is the right fit for you.

Be sure to LIKE this post and let us know if you have any other suggestions for what to look for in a watch dog.

The Best Dog For Me | Video

September 10, 20120 Comments

Ha! This video is all about a visit to a dog shelter and what the dogs there would like you to know about them.  You may be thinking “Which is the best dog for me?” but they are thinking, “Pick me! I’ll show you why if you let me!”

This is a great look into the mind of a dog and you will see what we are talking about when you see this quick video.

The Best Dog For Me – From the Dog’s Perspective!

Wasn’t that great?  But all joking aside, you should have a good grasp of the size and age of the dog you are looking for.  Once you have that decided, then you can start to look for a dog that fits your lifestyle.  If you are very active, then you can steer toward more high energy dogs.  If you are a bit more of a calm personality, then you will want to ask to see some calm dogs in your size and age range.  When looking for ‘the best dog for me‘ you do want to pay attention to dogs that you feel a connection with.  Don’t let your eyes fool you though!  Go with how you feel above how cute a dog looks.

Choosing a Dog…or Cat? Which is Cheaper? | Video

September 7, 20120 Comments

When you are deciding to get a pet for your family, the choice may be about choosing a dog…or cat…  Which is cheaper, do you think?  The ASPCA conducted a study and compared the average costs for owning a dog and for owning a cat.

Cats are fairly well known for their ability to be a bit more independent than dogs – but they still need to see a vet regularly and have plenty of toys, right? What do you think? Is a dog less expensive to keep or is a cat less expensive?

Choosing a Dog…or Cat? Which is Cheaper?

Well, there you have it. Dog expenses range in price from about $580 – $875 per year and cats are about $670 per year.  Smaller dogs may end up costing about the same amount as a cat, but neither is ‘cheap’!  When you add up the first year costs of spaying or neutering your animal, you are already well on your way to out of pocket expenses.  You need to think about collars and leashes, litter boxes for cats and perhaps crates for dogs, food, toys and treats as well as the regular medical bills.

Before you know it, it all starts to add up and the question of choosing a dog or cat & which is cheaper is not really the issue.  The issue is that you need to be prepared and understand how much a pet really costs before you commit to getting one.  Some people really love dogs and some people are committed to their feline friends and either way, that’s great.  But being prepared for the financial responsibility is a requirement before you take the next step and select the pet for you.

 

 

The Best Dog For Me – High Energy Dogs | Video

September 3, 20120 Comments

You’ve got to take a look at this American Staffordshire Terrier and the wonderful energy it has.  By the end of the video you may be asking, “What is the best dog for me?” High energy dogs are not for everyone, however. This dog craves daily runs and clearly requires an owner with plenty of energy and time.  It should be clear that to keep this kind of dog cooped up or strictly stuck in a back yard would be cruel.  Running free and being allowed to jump is what enlivens the dog and brings owner and dog closer together.

While this video is bound to make you smile, it serves as a good example of making sure that you are a good match to your dog and that you really evaluate your own lifestyle and needs before selecting a dog to become part of your family.

The Best Dog For Me – High Energy Dogs

If you are someone who lives a very active lifestyle, then you may want to consider the American Stafforshire Terrier as a breed.  If you bike, run or hike, this just might be a good companion dog to take along with you on your adventures.  What a sweet heart this dog is!

When trying to determine “what is the best dog for me”? high energy dogs might be a good fit, or they might be the opposite of what you are looking for.  Be true to who you are and know that you will need to make some kind of commitment to exercise your dog – even if it is a rather sedate or calm dog or breed.  A daily walk will still do you both good!

 

Choosing a Dog Breed is One Step in the Process

August 30, 20120 Comments

Learn what kind of dog would be best for the whole family

It is certainly true that certain breeds exhibit certain traits and that there are some generalizations that can be made to a breed as a whole.  But choosing a dog breed is one step in the process and should never constitute the bulk of the decision making effort.  There are many things that need to be considered and that should collectively help you to make the right choice for your family in which dog should join it.

If there is a particular breed that you are interested in then the first thing you should do is talk to people that work with or own that kind of dog.  This could mean attending dog shows or speaking with a local veterinarian or visiting a dog shelter and speaking with the staff there etc. You also want to think about where you plan to get your dog.  If you will be getting a puppy, you will also want to learn about what to look for when selecting a puppy from a litter.

Choosing a Dog Breed is One Step in the Process

When you visualize the type of dog you picture yourself living with for the next 15 years the dog’s breed is just one of the many factors you need to consider. It is a vital piece of the puzzle but merely because you pick out a breed with some qualities you desire does not automatically mean you will end up with your “perfect dog”. What it does mean is that you will probably discover a breed of dog which is compatible to you and has the potential to be everything you had hoped for. (Read more)

The personality of any dog is more important that its pedigree and should be a top decision making factor in your choice.  But you also want to think about the general size of the breed, how much it might shed, any medical issues the breed is prone to, the energy level, will the dog be okay if left alone for long periods, and is it an inside or an outside kind of dog?  Really, there are more things to think about, but hopefully you are starting to get an idea of the kinds of questions you and your family need to consider.

Selecting a dog is not a decision that should be rushed.  When you do not take the time to properly research your choices, you take the chance that you will regret your selection and then it is likely that you will end up wanting to get rid of the dog.  And when this happens, it is not the fault of the dog.  Choosing a dog breed is one step in the process and can be a very good place to start. But it really is only the beginning of what could be a very rewarding addition to your family.

Choosing a Dog…Or Two?

August 29, 20120 Comments

In an article on SierraSun.com, a couple recently lost their 13 year old dog and are considering getting a puppy.  The question raised by the husband is whether to get one puppy or two.  His thinking is that if they get two puppies, they they will have company when he and his wife are at work.  This seems to make sense, but when choosing a dog (or two!) there are other issues that you want to consider.  See what a veterinarian has to say about this issue.

Choosing a Dog…Or Two?

As a rule, most training professionals recommend against adopting two puppies at one time. Puppies raised together tend to bond very strongly to each other at the expense of the dog-human relationship. This strong bond can also lead to extreme stress when they inevitably have to be separated due to medical problems or when one dies before the other. Another major concern is that owners tend to underestimate the amount of time is takes to properly socialize and train a puppy. Even raising one puppy can seem overwhelming at times. Two puppies raised together are often under socialized and inadequately trained. (Read More)

No one should leave a puppy alone for more than a couple of hours at a time. This means employing someone that could come to play with the puppy or walk it during the day.  A doggie day care kind of establishment is also something to consider, but if you have two dogs that could be quite a regular fee! That kind of thinking should also be employed when considering the costs for two dogs overall; adoption costs, vet fees, training classes, dog food, supplies etc. Doubling all that could make the decision a rather expensive one.

IF the decision to get two dogs still seems like something you want to do, then be sure you crate them at night separately and that you train and play with them separately as well.  It is so important to really help them learn to be independent of each other and establish their own confidence.  So when choosing a dog or two, be sure you have the time and money available to really devote to them.

Want to weigh in on this topic?  Give us your experience or advice on our Facebook page.

 

Good Puppy, Good Dog | Video

August 22, 20120 Comments

So much of a dog’s development occurs in the first four weeks of life.  This is a great video that will show you how much the puppy can change and grow and outlines how a good puppy = good dog.  Knowing some of this information can help you in understanding what to look for from a breeder.  You should ask questions about those early weeks and be sure that the puppies were treated well.

Good Puppy, Good Dog – A Journey of Four Weeks

What did you think about the veterinary behaviorist saying that a puppy’s features are meant to win us over?  Are they really designed so that we will fall in love with them?  That would certainly explain a lot!  Do you have anything to say about how to help a good puppy = good dog? What other types of care help to enrich the puppy’s life so that it does better later in life? Share with us!

Tips on Selecting a Puppy | Video

August 20, 20120 Comments

All puppies are truly adorable and all deserve good homes. But there are some really important things to think about and decide before you head out to get a dog.  The video below has some great tips on selecting a puppy. A young dog has its own specific set of challenges. It’s best to know what you may be getting you and your family into with the decision to get a puppy.  For many, the extra work is not a deal breaker at all but it is always a good idea to get as much information as possible before committing to the time and care a puppy takes.

Consider things like; your family’s lifestyle, the size of the dog breed, if you already have pets, the time required in grooming, exercising and training of the puppy. Also be sure to brush up on the characteristics of a specific breed. You want to be sure that if it is a breed that barks a lot, or is very intelligent and requires professional training that you know up front and are ready to handle that kind of thing.

Tips on Selecting a Puppy

Another tip would be to try as best you can to determine the breed of a mutt or mixed-breed dog.  It could be quite disconcerting if you took home an adorable little puppy only to have it grow up to be about Great Dane size!  Get the opinion of a veterinarian as to breed and eventual size of the puppy.

Have any other tips on selecting a puppy? Please share with us on our Facebook page or in the comments section below – we love hearing from you!

What to Know About Shelters Before Choosing a Dog

August 16, 20120 Comments

When you have made the decision to bring a dog into the family, you may be filled with questions about the dog; what breed, what size etc.  But before you do that you may want to take a step back – your first questions should be about where to get your dog.  A great place is from a shelter, as discussed in an article by Pat Miller on PetFinder.com  After speaking with a trainer, some very good points are covered regarding what to know about shelters before choosing a dog.

All shelters are not created equal but they are usually a great place to find a pet that will fit into your lifestyle and budget.  These dogs need homes and there are many pure breed as well as mixed breed varieties available.  That said, you should start by making a list of your local shelters and don’t be afraid about traveling a bit to get to one.  If it is run properly and if the staff can help you make the right choice, a bit of a drive is worth it!  Before you even set foot in a shelter, you can often look online at the shelter’s website to see the kinds of breeds they have available.  Take a good look at their listings, though, that will also tell you a lot!

What to Know About Shelters Before Choosing a Dog

Choosing a dog from a shelter - do the research on the shelter first!

Caution: If all dogs on a particular shelter’s website are described the same way (sweet, friendly, loving) then the shelter probably doesn’t know the personalities of their dogs very well, or chooses not to be forthcoming with the information. This would be a good shelter to avoid.

Contact the shelters on your list and ask about their return policy. A good shelter will always accept any dog as a return that they have adopted out at any time in his life, for whatever reason the owner may be unable to keep him. You should not expect a refund if you must return your dog, but shelters that refuse to take a dog back after 30 days (or whatever time limit) are not accepting full responsibility for the lives that pass through their hands.
Ask the shelters about their adoption procedures. You will want to be able to visit with your prospective new family member outside of the kennel. If that is not allowed by a shelter, cross that one off your list.  (Full article here)

Another good idea is to sit in on some local training classes to get an idea about the trainers available in your area.  Not only can you ask about recommendations for shelters, if you find one that you are comfortable with you can ask them to help you select a dog from the shelter as well. They will likely require a fee for this help – but again, the extra guidance could save you so much in the long run.

An additional item on your ‘what to know about shelters before choosing a dog‘ has to do with the impression you get about the building and grounds themselves.  All that sparkles doesn’t necessarily shine.  You are really mainly looking at the cleanliness of the facility and the behavior of the staff.  There are plenty of run down looking facilities that have great and caring staffs that take proper care of the animals as well as gorgeous buildings that  contain nothing but indifferent caretakers and protocol that is not followed as it should be.

Have any other tips about what to look for in shelters? Let us know on our DOGeTV Facebook page or in the comments section below – we’d love to hear from you!

The Dog Whisperer on Choosing a Dog

August 8, 20120 Comments

With hundreds and hundreds of breeds available, how do you ever even begin to know which dog is right for you?  Well, here is the Dog Whisperer on choosing a dog and you may be surprised about some of what he notices about the 2 dogs in question.  Cesar Milan assists a young boy in the selection of a companion dog to a family’s current dog.  There needs to be a match and it isn’t between the owner and pet, but between the two dogs.  You’ll see that even though the two male dogs seem to get along and are not fighting in any way, there are some tell-tale signs that could spell trouble later.

"Cute" does not mean 'Well-behaved!'

The Dog Whisperer on Choosing a Dog

***UPDATE*** The National Geographic Channel has removed the video of Cesar Milan from their archives. This is a fairly common occurrence – but we do apologize that you cannot see the video! I’ll do what I can to relate to you what the video was about.***

In the video you were introduced to a mother and her son that were wanting to get a second dog. This second dog was to be a companion for the boy (who looked to be about 8-10 years old) but also for the family’s current dog as well.  Cesar instructed the young man that it was the dog’s energy and temperament that was important, not the way the dog looked.  Basing a decision on the fact that the dog was really cute was not going to help the family select a dog that was right for them.

With the help of a local shelter, the boy was able to look at a handful of dogs that were about the right size and age range to match with the current male dog already in the family.  The boy chose two dogs to look at, one male and another female.  Cesar pointed out immediately that the female dog had a nice calm demeanor.  The boy loved the happy energy and look of the male dog.

As they brought both dogs into the family’s back yard, Cesar began to point out behaviors that each dog was exhibiting that would give indications as to their personality.  The male dog that the boy liked so much, began to assert itself on the current pet’s bed.  He also pushed past the family dog to get to the water dish and also interrupted the mother petting the other dog.  Cesar warned that this dog was perhaps too aggressive and would begin to fight with the current dog for dominance.

The female dog, on the other hand, showed some submissive behavior and backed off when the family dog came to check out Cesar and other parts of the yard.  Again – Cesar pointed out that the female dog was a good match for the current male dog and that she had a calm nature and seemed to not be interested in picking any fights.

Do you agree with the Dog Whisperer on choosing a dog?  Did you learn something about what to look for in terms of behavior regarding the new dog coming in?  Let us know below in our comments section and keep an eye out for our new Facebook page.  We’d love to hear your advice and tips, too!

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