There are usually two ways of bringing a dog home – Adopting and Buying. This is your decision, and here is some information that can help you make an informed one.
Adopting a Dog
There are many puppies and dogs in shelters who would love to be part of your loving family. Dogs are rehomed and abandoned at all ages, for a variety of reasons, some understandable and some selfish. Given the sheer number of mixed and pure breed dogs up for adoption, adopting seems to be not only moral, but also the practical thing to do. Adopting a dog truly gives them a chance of survival, a family and love. The downside to adopting is that you have no clue about the ancestry. The dog’s genes and growing environment, both extremely important in the development of a well-balanced dog, are a mystery. Perhaps the dog is frisky, perhaps it’s scared of traffic, perhaps it tends to dominate over other dogs, perhaps it hates children. However, more often than not, it is probably the kindest, most gentle dog you have ever met, and you are left wondering why it hasn’t found a home yet.
If you choose to adopt, spend as much time with the dog before making a decision. Visit the dog in the shelter or foster home, and remember to get a vet’s opinion. Interact, observe and allow the both of you to get comfortable with one another. Maybe go on a walk! A visit to the local animal shelter will give you a whole range of mixed and pure breed dogs to choose from. Shelters and organizations usually have a rigorous adoption policy and can help you find a dog most suited to you. I don’t think you will be left disappointed.
Buying a Dog
Buying a dog from breeders usually assures you a standardized height, weight and appearance. But only the best breeders can assure you a good temperament. Buy from a breeder only if you are assured of quality. Some tips for this are:
~ You must visit both the parents of the puppy, and be satisfied with their good health (no genetic diseases).
~ You must be satisfied with the good temperament (sweet, friendly, and not at all aggressive) of both the parents. Aggression can be passed down to the litter. Do not assume a show dog will be smart, or sweet-tempered.
~ You must be allowed to see where the puppy has been brought up. It should a resource-rich environment with toys/stimulation, a variety of food, exercise and play space, and at least two kinds of surfaces. Toilet training starts they are born. Mothers teach the pups the surface they can sleep on, and the surface they can defecate on. Puppies kept on newspaper or confined to a kennel do not learn the difference, and may be harder to toilet train.
~ Avoid breeders who refuse to cooperate with you. Buying dogs is an expensive affair, and you need to be absolutely certain that you are getting your money’s worth.
There are pros and cons to adopting and buying a dog. Whichever way you choose, give your complete 100% to your new furry friend. You are also responsible for raising a happy, confident and healthy dog.