Am I Ready for a Dog?
You may think, Sure! They can't need that much time. But not only do we need time with you to play and to eat and to go outside, we also need many other things. We need you to take time to teach us right from wrong, where to go potty, what can and cannot be chewed, where to find our food, how to greet people when they come to our house, and anything else you will expect from us. We have intuitions, but we can't read your mind.
We also need trained in commands. Not only do these commands make life easier for you, these commands can save our lives. If we get loose, a simple sit or come can mean the difference between coming back safely and getting hit by a car. Please take the time to do this. Obedience classes are a great way to learn how to do this, but that takes time out of your schedule, too.
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Speaking of classes, I loved my puppy kindergarten class. It helped me with socialization. Socialization is a very important part of having a puppy and obedience classes are one of the best ways to socialize. If we are around people of all ages and other animals early on, we are less likely to have problems with them later. If we never see children or other dogs, don't be surprised when we don't know how to react or react badly.
No matter what breed of dog you get, there is some amount of exercise that they will need, especially if you get a puppy. The amount of exercise ranges depending on the breed and the individual dog. French Bulldogs are said to be more on the calm, lethargic side, but I sure surprised my new parents! Dont be surprised if your new dog needs more exercise than what you expected. If you don't give us the exercise we need, we become bored, and a bored dog typically becomes a bad dog, resorting to behaviors like chewing, digging, and destroying anything and everything we can. Hey, what else are we supposed to do?
- Do you have space for a dog?We can't sit inside all daywe need to play!
Now, the answer to this question depends on the type of breed you want to get. Do you live in a one bedroom apartment and want to get a German Shepherd? I wouldn't suggest that. They need room to run. I got run over by a German shepherd before because he didn't have enough room to run. Thats a scary thing.
Research the type of dog you are looking to get. If you have a large fenced in yard, then I would say you have enough room to get just about whatever breed you want, but if you have a small house or apartment, you may want to look into breeds that don't need much room or maybe consider waiting until you have more room until you get a dog.
- Can you afford a dog?
You may be thinking about the price tag that you see on the window at the pet store.
The purchase price of a puppy is usually a few hundred dollars and can go up to $3,000 or more, depending on the breed and background. But the purchase price is minimal compared to the costs that come later.
We need vaccinations, check-ups, sometimes emergency or specialist visits, spaying/neutering, food, treats, grooming, shampoos, medications, toys, beds, crates, and collars/leashes. Do you like to travel? You will either have to board us at a kennel or take us with you. If you take us (please do!), does the hotel or camp site require a deposit for having a dog? If you're flying, you will have to pay for us to fly. Obedience classes can run approximately $100 or more. And don't forget that you may have to replace some of your belongings that may get ruined during our puppy stage!
- Do you really like dogs?
Have you ever had a dog? Have you been around a dog lately? If you've never owned a
dog and you only see happy people with happy dogs at happy dog parks, you may want to do some thinking/observing before you make the commitment.
Read about dogs on websites (like this one!), talk to people that own dogs, visit people that own dogs, take their dog for a walk, volunteer or visit a shelter, and play with a puppy at a pet store. All of these activities will help you learn about dogs, their individual personalities, and all the good and not-so-good things that come with owning a dog.
- Is everyone in your family on board with getting a dog?
I don't mean is everyone excited about getting a dog? Although, that is important, too.
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