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?