If you are
considering adopting a dog for yourself, first determine whether you want a puppy or an
adult dog. Adopting a puppy has certain advantages–you will be able to choose
one with the best temperament for you and ensure it gets a proper education
before behavioral problems or bad habits develop. But puppies bring added
responsibilities, too. During the first few months, a puppy requires more of
your time than an older dog, for housebreaking, training, and supervision. If you do not have
the time required for a puppy, consider adopting a full-grown dog that has
already gone through the puppy stage.
Usually an older dog will be housebroken and less likely to
chew anything. Before adopting an
older dog, learn as much as you can about its background,
The dog’s temperament is something
innate in a dog that has nothing to do with its breed or age. A dog’s temperament has a lot to do with how easily it can be
trained and, while good training can improve certain traits in a dog, training
cannot change the dog’s temperament.
Nervous dogs might be uncomfortable with strangers, so if you are a social person, do not choose the dog that backs away from you, or circles and barks. Timid dogs, the ones that tend to roll on their backs, squirm, or have their tails between their legs when you meet them, are often easy to train. Beware of the dog that seems too confident and assertive, as it will need a committed and consistent effort to train the dog. Dogs that seem eager to please and friendly are the easiest to train and are wonderful companions.
Be sure to get the puppy or dog alone with you to observe it away from other distractions. A well-adjusted
puppy or dog will follow you freely when you lead it. If you drop a glove or other soft item on the ground, the dog should be startled but then approach it to investigate.
In addition to
recognizing an individual dog’s temperament, you would do well to investigate
the breed that best suits your needs. While some breeds do have tendencies
toward a certain temperament, keep in mind that this is not absolute.
Sociable dogs with soft, even temperaments are good choices for elderly people and families with small children. These breeds include the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Golden Retrievers, Lhasa Apsos, Poodles, and West Highland Terriers.
great for people with lots of energy. Their loyal, loving natures still make
them wonderful family pets, such as Boxers, Bull Terriers, Dachshunds, Dalmations, Dobermans, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers.
Breeds that tend to be one-person dogs are good for people who live alone. They are less suitable for families. These include Akitas, Chow Chows, Pekingese, and Shih Tzus.
Mixed breeds are generally
hardier and less prone to hereditary faults. The so-called Designer Dogs, Hybrids, or CrossBreeds, were developed to create a mix of the best characteristics of each breed. For example, the Goldendoodle is a combination of the family-friendly traits of the Golden Retriever with the non-shedding hypoallergenic traits of the Poodle. Others include Puggle (Pug / Beagle), Schnoodle (Schnauzer
/ Poodle), Labradoodle (Labrador
/ Poodle) and
Chorkie (Chihuahua /
like people, dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments. A dog’s breed
and temperament, combined with your lifestyle and personality all play an
important role in determining what kind of dog is best for you. Do a bit of
research first, then visit your local shelter. There is a dog with the perfect
temperament for everyone.