The desire to buy a dog often arises impulsively, after talking with the animal you like on the street or in the house of friends. But whatever the motivation, first of all, you must first think about why you need a dog: for protection, hunting, or as a companion? Will you be able to devote enough time to your pet, are you able to provide quality food and comfortable maintenance? If you and your family members can responsibly answer “yes” to all these questions, then it’s time to move on to the next step.
Should I choose a purebred pet or a hybrid/mixed breed dog?
The first question to be decided is what breed of dog to choose? If there are children in the family, then the decision should be made collectively and deliberately: to learn as much as possible about the nature and characteristics of the content of the “candidate”, its size in adulthood and socialization abilities.
If you buy a purebred pet, then the task is simplified – such dogs have the appearance and character established by the breed standard. The disadvantages of this choice include the high cost of a puppy (several times more expensive than the cost of hybrid breed dogs), as well as the need for careful compliance with the conditions of detention.
Among pedigreed puppies there is a certain hierarchy:
Show (show) – the cost of show class puppies reaches several thousand, and sometimes hundreds of thousands of euros. These are the best representatives of the breed, which are well known in cynological associations. It is they who become winners of prestigious exhibitions, being an example of the breed standard. It is not easy to buy show-class puppies, sometimes the queue for them is formed long before birth.
Breed (breed) – purebred dogs with minor deviations from the standard. They can take part in exhibitions, but do not represent competition for representatives of the show class. It is difficult for people who are not too versed in cynology to see the differences between Show- and Breed-class pets.
Pet (pet) – dogs that are usually purchased for keeping in a house or apartment. They make excellent companions, but cannot take part in exhibitions, as they do not meet the standard in many respects. As a rule, this does not affect their behavior in dealing with people. Despite the fact that they are many times cheaper than representatives of the classes listed above, such pets are no less beautiful and well-mannered. To obtain offspring, they try not to take them.
With hybrid breed pets, it’s a little more complicated. One way or another, they inherit the breed qualities of their parents, but it is almost impossible to predict which ones. When choosing a mixed breed puppy, you should be prepared for the fact that his physical and emotional development will go according to his own scenario. At the same time, there is no guarantee that the best breed qualities will appear in the character and appearance of the animal. Nevertheless, such dogs are chosen by most dog breeders – because of their good health and unpretentiousness in care.
Mixed breed dogs successfully adapt to life in private homes. They are excellent guards, selflessly protect the territory and, with the right upbringing, are able to socialize without problems. Mongrel pets often show great love and devotion to their owners, but they are more likely than pets with a proven pedigree to experience changes in behavior.
When choosing a rootless pet, one must understand that often the difficult experience of the homeless life of its ancestors is stored in the genetic memory of an animal, therefore, a dog can react instantly and aggressively to a threat to its comfort and safety. If the owner and family members give the dog care and attention, then it will become their friend for life.
What breeds are suitable for keeping in an apartment
Residents of apartment buildings are often advised to choose dogs of small and medium breeds – companion or decorative. Pay attention to animals with a calm character and not too active temperament – they will not spoil the furniture and make noise, trying to “splash out” excess energy. It is better to choose a dog with a thin “summer” coat without undercoat, so that it sheds less and feels comfortable in the microclimate of the apartment. Examples of such breeds include Chihuahua, Maltese, Pug, Yorkshire Terrier, Toy Terrier, Labrador Retriever or Golden Retriever. The last two breeds are generally recognized “empaths”: they are quite large in size, but with the right maintenance (they need long walks in the morning and evening), they give the inhabitants of the apartment only positive emotions.
Dog breeds that are best kept in a private home
Dog breeders living in a private home should be more selective in choosing a pet. First of all, decide whether the dog will be kept in the house or on the street. It happens that the owners, who failed to accustom the animal to the elementary rules of behavior, simply send it to live in the yard – in an aviary or on a chain. This is fundamentally wrong, especially when the breed is not adapted for such conditions.
Indoor, companions, decorative
There are no prohibitions on placing a pet or decorative dog in a private house. For them, the possibility of daily independent walks in the air will be an extra reason to realize the best qualities: sociability, the ability to perform various tricks and entertain children. Companions are the widest group of breeds where a person with disabilities or families raising children with disabilities can choose a friend and assistant for themselves.
Dogs of northern breeds are well adapted to life in the open air: huskies, huskies, samoyeds. At the same time, huskies, for example, categorically do not tolerate captivity, therefore they will not sit quietly either in an aviary or on a chain.
If you choose a pet for protection, take a closer look at German Shepherds, as well as representatives of the Moscow Watchdog breed. If you want the dog to be also a companion, take, for example, a St. Bernard. In dealing with household members, he is friendly, shows aggression extremely rarely and only against those people who pose a real threat.
Hunting Jack Russell Terriers, Russian Greyhounds, Beagles, Spaniels, Dalmatians are distinguished by high intelligence and good manners, so they do not cause trouble if they live in the house. So that they do not strive to realize hunting skills “out of business”, for example, by digging up beds or chasing birds, they will have to walk a lot every day, preferably at least once a season to take them on a hunt. Hunting pets need professional training, because in addition to learning basic commands, they are trained to search, rut or raise game (depending on the purpose). This task is beyond the power of an inexperienced dog breeder.
Puppy or adult dog?
Novice dog breeders are strongly discouraged from buying a pet older than 2 years old. When adult dogs are taken into the house, they need to be provided with the same (or better) living conditions in which they were kept by the previous owners. It is very difficult to re-educate a pet in adulthood. To teach him to obey, and even more so, to “fall in love” with yourself, you will have to spend a lot of time and patience. Rejection of change can be so strong that the animal can get sick. To avoid such a development of events allows constant friendly communication with the dog. If she feels the sincere care and love of a person, then sooner or later she will accept a new owner.
The optimal age of the dog to meet the owner is 2.5-3 months. Pets of small breeds mature earlier, so they are weaned from their mother as early as 8 weeks. It will take about a month for socialization – life without a mother, getting used to food.
It is customary to take purebred puppies from the breeder not earlier than six months after birth. At this age, pedigree traits and marriage are more clearly manifested.
The younger the puppy, the easier and faster it adapts to a new home. At this age, even without experience, you can independently cultivate the skills of correct behavior in your pet in various life situations: on a walk, in communication with loved ones and strangers. A balanced diet from the first months of life allows you to lay the foundation for good health and long life of the animal. Beginning dog breeders should consult with a veterinarian when choosing food.
Adult dogs with already formed character and physical data will require more attention and strength. However, any difficulties can be overcome if the new owner is determined and, in order to make friends with the pet, is ready to sacrifice personal comfort for a while.
Boy or girl?
You have decided to take a four-legged friend into the house, you have chosen a breed, but you cannot decide on the gender. Who is better: a boy or a girl? This question does not have a clear answer. Both those and others have features of behavior that differ depending on gender.
Dogs-girls are more diligent in training, because they are naturally calmer and more accommodating than males. The breed matters: for example, the Maltese does not tolerate rudeness, therefore, in order to achieve obedience from her, you will have to deal with education delicately, slowly.
Outwardly, a girl dog looks neater than a male: as a rule, female pets are lighter in weight, sleeker and more graceful, even if they belong to large breeds.
In relations with people, and especially with children, they show maximum affection and care. But during estrus, which occurs twice a year, their behavior can change dramatically, up to aggression. “Girls” show attention to the opposite sex only at this time.
Males, unlike females, experience sexual desire much brighter, so the owner needs to accustom him to strict obedience from the first days of the appearance of the puppy in the house. Only in this way, as well as prolonged physical exertion, it will be possible to control the behavior of the “boy”, which is driven by sexual instincts.
If you manage to properly educate a dog, then he will show his best qualities: devotion, readiness at any time to stand up for his master and his family.
With age, males become wiser and calmer, demonstrate the ability to feel the mood of the owner. If you are planning to make a show winner out of your pet, it is better to choose a male. Male individuals are valued higher by cynologists, since by nature they have more spectacular external data.
Choosing a pet depending on the lifestyle of the owners
An important role in choosing the breed of a pet is played by the temperament and lifestyle of the owner. Busy people should not take animals that do not tolerate loneliness. Alternatively, you can take two puppies at once, but you need to understand that they will need twice as much attention at a time when the owner is free from business. It is clear that maintenance costs will also increase.
Russian greyhounds live relatively comfortably in a company with busy people. If this breed is not suitable for an apartment in size, you can get a sharpei.
In large families with small children, it is not recommended to take decorative dogs. A child may accidentally injure a miniature animal. It is better to choose from representatives of medium and large breeds, in the nature of which friendliness and non-aggression are combined. In the first place, of course, is the Labrador Retriever, which, in addition to the listed qualities, has an extraordinary mind, and therefore, it is well trainable. St. Bernards are also loyal to children, but due to their large size they are suitable for families where the child has reached adolescence.
A universal solution may be the choice in favor of a Beagle or a Samoyed. The former are cheerful and positive animals, the latter are so responsible that they can even be assigned to look after a baby for a while.
How to choose a pet?
You should buy only healthy puppies, but how to do it, for example, for beginner dog breeders? Once in the room where the animals are kept, pay attention not only to their appearance, but also to the conditions in which they lived. In conscientious breeders, pets are kept clean and warm. If such an atmosphere is not observed, it is better to leave immediately. Even if the puppies look neat on the outside, it is likely that they have hidden diseases. Unfortunately, if the breeder himself does not report possible health problems in the puppies, the new owner will have to treat the pet himself.
In order not to be deceived, pay attention to the following signs:
clean skin, eyes, ears, nose (no inflammation, pus, peeling);
calm reaction to stroking or extraneous noise.
The puppy should be active, curious and generally feel like a healthy, cheerful animal.
It is desirable to see the parents of the future pet. Aggression, too restless behavior should alert, because in purebred dogs these qualities are a sign of marriage.
Be sure to check your vaccination certificate. At the time of moving to a new home, the pet should have its first vaccination.
Breeder or dog shelter?
There is no doubt that you need to take a pet from a breeder, preferably with a proven track record. In this case, there is confidence that the dog or male chosen by you will be healthy and vaccinated on time. If you do not plan to buy a purebred dog, then breeders will select a pet that may not meet the standards of this breed or is a mixed breed.
If you want to find a true friend and do a good deed, take a dog from a shelter. Despite the fact that most of the pets are outbred, in loyalty and devotion they are not inferior to purebred counterparts. The shelter monitors their health, teaches them some basic commands, so when they get to a new home, they quickly get used to home life. Give them time to adapt, show attention and affection more often, provide quality nutrition and care, and the dog will turn out to be a kind and sympathetic pet.
To pick up a dog, use the service that was created as part of the Friend for Friend project . The site contains a large file of pets from shelters located in different regions of Russia. The catalog includes only those shelters that maintain high standards of animal welfare. There are puppies and adult dogs that need education and care. But the main thing they expect from people is protection and good relations.
Shelter curators review applications in detail to find out if the potential owner is ready to provide decent living conditions for the dog. In order not to be rejected, find out in advance the requirements that apply to applicants.
By adopting a pet from a shelter, you teach your children kindness and responsibility. A personal example will show better than any words that neither breed, nor pedigree, nor appearance is important for true friendship.