Getting Started on the Road to Dog Ownership

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You still want a dog, you are ready to open your arms, heart and home to a new furry family member. Now what do you do? Where do you start?

Choosing the Dog that's Right for You
The first thing to do, is decide what type of dog you are looking for. Be sure that any breed, or mix of breeds will fit your needs and your home. You don't want a dog who prefers to hang about on the sofa if you really want a running partner.

Adult Dog or Puppy?
You can find dogs of all breeds, and all ages if you look hard enough. There are definite advantages to both, it will up to you to decide which will be more to your liking. Adopting or buying a puppy will give you the assurance of knowing exactly how your dog as raised, and let you start with a clean slate, without having to undo any bad habits or undesirable trained responses. Adult dogs come with their own numerous advantages, most notably the ability to be left for longer periods of time during the day if you work outside the home or have other time-consuming commitments.

Adopting/Rescuing a Dog
Whether you've settled on a mixed breed or a purebred dog, a great place to find the soul you're looking for is in rescues and shelters. Local animal shelters often have purebreed dogs, even puppies come in. If you have a specific breed in mind, try the breed rescues. They will have a wide range of ages for you to choose from, and will take extra care in matching you up to the dog who will fit in with your home life.

Contacting Breeders
If you've decided to buy from a breeder, the best place to start is with your chosen breed's official breed clubs. You'll find a list of Code of Ethics (COE) breeders/members on each club's website. You can email individual breeders to inquire about their dogs and breeding regimen. Most breeders welcome these inquiries. A good breeder will be open and honest about their dogs and how they might fit into your family. However be wary of the breeder who seems eager to sell their dogs. If you feel uncomfortable or notice these signs, that should be your cue to take your search elsewhere.

Brandy, a Vizsla at 4 months. Photo Courtesy of Joseph & Barbara Zahnle

You still want a dog, you are ready to open your arms, heart and home to a new furry family member. Now what do you do? Where do you start?

Choosing the Dog that's Right for You
The first thing to do, is decide what type of dog you are looking for. Be sure that any breed, or mix of breeds will fit your needs and your home. You don't want a dog who prefers to hang about on the sofa if you really want a running partner.

Adult Dog or Puppy?
You can find dogs of all breeds, and all ages if you look hard enough. There are definite advantages to both, it will up to you to decide which will be more to your liking. Adopting or buying a puppy will give you the assurance of knowing exactly how your dog as raised, and let you start with a clean slate, without having to undo any bad habits or undesirable trained responses. Adult dogs come with their own numerous advantages, most notably the ability to be left for longer periods of time during the day if you work outside the home or have other time-consuming commitments.

Adopting/Rescuing a Dog
Whether you've settled on a mixed breed or a purebred dog, a great place to find the soul you're looking for is in rescues and shelters. Local animal shelters often have purebreed dogs, even puppies come in. If you have a specific breed in mind, try the breed rescues. They will have a wide range of ages for you to choose from, and will take extra care in matching you up to the dog who will fit in with your home life.

Contacting Breeders
If you've decided to buy from a breeder, the best place to start is with your chosen breed's official breed clubs. You'll find a list of Code of Ethics (COE) breeders/members on each club's website. You can email individual breeders to inquire about their dogs and breeding regimen. Most breeders welcome these inquiries. A good breeder will be open and honest about their dogs and how they might fit into your family. However be wary of the breeder who seems eager to sell their dogs. If you feel uncomfortable or notice these signs, that should be your cue to take your search elsewhere.

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