You are never given the dog you want, but the dog you need.

What do you look for?

So, I’ve got a question for all your dog owners and would be dog owners out there. What is it that you look for in your dog? Do you look for one that’s high energy and ready to go out and have a blast whenever the mood strikes or are you more of a laid back couch potato pooch person? Or something in between? Do you look for a dog that doesn’t shed a lot, is hypoallergenic, or does it not matter? I always wonder what people are looking for when they go to adopt a dog from a shelter or are bringing home puppy for the first time.

Do you research your breed intensively if you’re buying a purebred? Personally, I would hope so unless you’ve had that breed multiple times before and from the same breeder each time. No matter what dog you get, purebred or not, you should always do a little bit of background research and asking around beforehand. Doing so would result in less animals being returned to breeders and (hopefully) less animals being sent to shelters because the owners didn’t realize that their cute puppy would grow up to be so big, hairy, or rambunctious.

I always wonder the same thing when I hear that someone gave their pet up because it “just wasn’t what we thought it would be.” What did you expect your pet to be? The miraculous one that was perfectly trained with zero effort and would let itself outside to burn off energy and never bother you except when it wants to be fed? I can understand having to give up your pet for personal reasons, such as moving, health issues, etc. But when I hear that people are giving up their animals because of a misconceived notion that there would be no work involved, I get frustrated.

You wouldn’t expect a child to potty train themselves or learn how to read or write on their own, would you? No. It takes effort. It takes perseverance. Energy. Endless patience and understanding. Owning a pet is never going to be an easy task, but that has to be something you understand when you sign those ownership papers.

Does anyone else out there get a little angry when they hear about this kind of thing happening or is it just me? Sometimes it feels as though people don’t understand why this is so frustrating to me. I can understand the majority of breeder returns. Sometimes a dog just isn’t a good fit with that particular family and that’s fine. I can understand that much. The dog might be higher energy than the others and maybe they can’t keep up with it or maybe something changed suddenly and they don’t have the means to care for that puppy. But then again, most breeders consider it their responsibility to take back those dogs and rehome them. That’s just the nature of the business. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

So returning to my original question-What type of dog do you look for when thinking of bringing a new addition into your life? What do you look for in particular? Any specific breeds, features, activity levels, sizes, etc.? Better yet, what questions do you ask yourself prior to beginning your search in earnest?

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4 responses

  1. Nicole Naasz

    When I brought home my first chihuahua mix, Abby, she was a doll. She was everything I was looking for. Mild tempered, small, cuddly, and got along great with Nat (then 2.) She was easily house trained and loved being held.
    I was expecting the same when I brought home my next chihuahua mix, Goober, and what I got was destruction, biting, chewing, and poop. You would let him out, he would come right back in and pee on the floor, I tried diligently for months to house train him! I got him piddle pads, he used the Christmas tree skirt instead. I got him chew toys, but Nat’s toys must have tasted better. He harassed our older dog, and anytime Nat would try to play with him he would growl and a few times bit her.
    How could this be!? I wanted this puppy so bad, I begged my boyfriend for one, and this is what I got. He ended up going to live with my mother and her terrier mix.
    I’m not ready to invite another dog into my life after the ordeal with Goober. It’s not that I don’t like dogs, I love and miss my Abby dearly.
    I would love to have my collie mix here with me also, (also, at my mom’s, but she was a family dog.) But I know she wouldn’t be happy in my small fenced yard. She has sheepdog in her, and has a thick coat which she gets to hot in inside. It’s in her breed to run and play, and I don’t have the energy or means with a baby to keep up with her. I know she wouldn’t be happy here, and in the end, a happy dog makes a happy dog owner.

    February 1, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    • Very true! One can’t be happy without the other, that’s for sure…I’m sure one day that perfect dog will walk into your life (maybe literally, we’ve had those before!) and will make Goober seem like nothing more than a bad dream. The moment a dog showed aggression towards a child is the moment that something would have to change…I don’t think I could stand for bad behavior towards a person or child, let alone if it was my own.

      February 1, 2012 at 8:21 pm

  2. My last dog that died during my late College days and into my early marriage was my Japanese Spitz.

    It was just three years ago when I decided to get another dog and my choice was a big dog, a golden retriever. Why that breed? I did my research and was glad of the many good behavior that these dogs have…one of the qualities that I am looking for is that this dog should fit into my family and my two teenage girls lifestyles, too. A dog that is patient, friendly and good enough to hug, not aggressive nor bad-tempered.

    I was lucky to have Jack and now that’s he’s three years old, I never regretted having him. I have to search for a very reputable dog breeder and see the environment that he grew in…and also see how his parents look like. I was happy to find such a breeder! Pure breeds cost a lot here in the Philippines so the search for ‘my dog’ took a while, but it was worth it!

    February 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    • A good dog that you can rely on and love for years to come is always worth the search, no matter how long it takes. Pure bred or not, they’re always worth that little bit of extra effort. I’m glad that your searching brought you two together. Your Jack sounds like a wonderfully sweet boy for you and your family 🙂 Goldens are by far one of the friendliest and most even tempered of the breeds that I’ve met over the years.

      February 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm

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