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 >> Choosing the Right Dog for your Family

There are is a large variety of dog breeds to choose from when getting a new family dog. Some important factors to consider before picking a breed are your lifestyle, your interests, and your present living environment. Are any big changes coming up such as a baby or a big move? You should also consider the difference between raising a dog from puppy hood and getting a dog as an adult.

There are things to consider when picking either a male or female dog that will depend upon your preferences. Also do you want a family pet or a show dog? The size of dog is also another big consideration – small dogs do not necessary require a big space but they do need more exercise than bigger breeds. Then you also need to decide if you want to get a purebred, a crossbreed, or a random breed and will you get your new dog from a local shelter or a dog breeder. Lastly, if you choose to go with a dog breeder, be sure and do your research to make sure that you are getting your new dog from a very good source.

>> Should I get an Adult Dog or a new Puppy?

One of the biggest advantages to getting an adult dog is that it is usually potty trained and the owner can tell you about his or her characteristics and habits. Also you can see the dog’s final size without guessing. Many dogs are either smaller or larger than the owner initially expected. Although the dog acts friendly around you, it is still possible that he has some hidden behavioral problems such as chewing or barking. If you are considering an adult dog, try a small test in to evaluate more about its temperament and personality firsthand Closely observe the dog's behavior as you approach him whether he is just lying around or eating a bowl of food. This is a big consideration if you have small children in the house. A dog should never growl when he is eating, even if disturbed by a child. Then try walking him past another dog or a child that he has not met before so you can see his reaction.

Puppies on the other hand are still at an impressionable and primary learning stage of life, there will be a lot of guess work involved until he develops his personality. You may notice a difference in behavior of a 10 week old puppy from the rest of its litter. Each one will have its own distinct personality - some puppies are more hyper than others while some are docile. The timid one usually clings to their mother or may cower in corner, while the outgoing one would march toward you in confidence. These are two examples of temperament difference within the litter.

>> Should you pick a male or a female dog breed?

Prior to any dog reaching puberty, there are six differences between the male and female behavior. Male puppies have masculine brains due to a surge of testosterone hormone right before birth. Female dogs are usually neutral in behavior until puberty. Many families feel that a female dog will be more nurturing and mother like with small children while a male dog will be more protective.

There are some notable differences in behavior between female and male breeds. Males are usually more likely to be dominant over their owners and act in an aggressive manner over other dogs. They are generally more active and more likely to protect their territories. Male dogs are also known to urine mark their territories and to wander. They tend to be more destructive, more playful, and are more likely snappy with kids. Keep in mind this is not all male dogs, but some so it will depend on the other pets and ages of any children in the home.

Females on the other hand are easier to house train and obedience train. They also usually require more love and affection from their owners. They have two heat cycles twice a year that comes with blood–tinged discharges that last about one week. A dog in heat can be problematic for you, if you don’t plan to have any puppies; you should definitely consider having her spayed. Not only will it keep her safe from puppies you most likely don’t want but it’s good for her health as well.

There are no differences between males and females when it comes to defensive barking, nervous barking, or excitability, this will actually be determined more by age and breed. Neutering or spaying your dog will reduce and even eliminate many of these behavioral differences.

These are just a few things to consider, obviously there are many more factors to consider when choosing a suitable dog but we have covered the major ones today. It is important to carefully look into every aspect of making the best choice before you get your new family pet family.

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*Please Note: The information provided above is solely for the purpose of informing and educating our visitors and should not be used to replace the advice or care of a professional, qualified veterinarian.*

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