Buying a dog
Owning a dog can be a very rewarding experience and dogs make excellent companion animals. However, it is important that people fully understand the implications and responsibilities of dog ownership prior to making a commitment.
When Buying a Dog
There are many breeds of dog and each one has different behavioural traits and may therefore, be suited to different circumstances. You should be prepared to change your lifestyle to accommodate the needs of a dog, and not expect the dog to fit in with your current routine. Regardless of size or breed, all dogs require adequate exercise and basic training otherwise they are likely to develop behavioural problems
Border Collies, Springer Spaniels, Terriers etc
Working Breeds are very demanding and require a huge amount of physical and mental exercise. If you are planning to get one of the working breeds, make sure that you are able to give the dog around 2hrs exercise per day. As well as walking, they benefit from mental stimulation such as training as they are generally very intelligent and will find something to entertain themselves if you don’t!
Pomeranians, Yorkshire Terriers, Shih Tzus etc
Toy breeds are often chosen due to their small size. Small breeds can be a great choice if you are limited for space.
Greyhounds, Lurchers, Terriers etc
All dogs will have a chasing/hunting instinct, but it is very strong in some breeds and this has to be considered when taken one on as a pet. A reliable recall is a must to ensure that your dog can exercise safely off lead. In dogs which have a strong desire to chase, this can be more difficult to achieve and more time and different techniques may be needed to train the dog.
When Buying a Dog
Is your home and garden big enough for a dog?
Will there be someone at home for the dog? Dogs are companion animals and do not like to be left alone for long periods.
How many hours per day will the dog be left alone?
Are you prepared to walk the dog for at least 1 hour a day, in all weathers/early in the morning? Regardless of the conditions outside, dogs need daily exercise.
Do you have the time to groom, train, and generally care for the dog?
Can you make all of these commitments for the entire life of the dog? – The average lifespan of a dog is 12 years.
What size/type of dog are you physically capable of controlling? If the dog were to be out of control would you be able to get it back under control?
What will you do with the dog when you go on holiday?
Is everyone in the household prepared to take on the responsibility and share the work involved?
Have you considered the cost of insurance, boarding kennels, veterinary care, vaccinations, food etc?
What would you do if the dog developed behavioural problems? Consider the time and cost of professional help.
Is your household a suitable one for a dog? Do you have an enclosed garden, is your house busy and noisy, or quiet etc?
Is anyone in your household allergic to dogs? Make sure your children have been around dogs at least a few times with no adverse effects before you take one into your home-it is distressing for all if a much loved family pet has to be rehomed due to allergies
Getting a Dog
For futher information on how to choose a puppy
Rearing a Dog
Further advice on rearing /socialising and training