Are you thinking of getting a new pet or buying a new pet for someone? If you’re thinking of buying a pet, either for a gift, for yourself or your family, here are some tips.
Rule 1: be wanted and ready!
It is extremely important to know that the receiver(s) wants a pet. Though it seems obvious, this is a common mistake. A pet does not have a happy life in the hands of someone who really didn’t want one. It is also very important you do your research on what breeds match the receiver’s lifestyle the best. The right pet for the right person ensures that the receivers will be ready. There is a lot of good information on the internet to help with this decision.
Do the research
In the case of dogs, is the prospective pet owner looking for an animal to relax with or to hike with or maybe they are not home a lot and the owner needs a pet that can take care of him or herself while away from home? Is it a family with small kids or no kids at all? Is the owner a jogger and needs a running partner? Maybe the owner is looking for a dog that can help around the ranch or farm with livestock or servicing a disabled family member.
Do you want to get a pet from a specific breed rescue or shelter or a reputable breeder? There are many things to consider….mixed breeds vs. purebreds….rescuing an animal that doesn’t always have a positive past history vs. getting a puppy to develop from the beginning. Maybe an animal that is already housebroken would be a better fit.
We have included some links to help you with this decision.
While the debate is age-old, it actually misses the point. What we should be discussing are the assumptions hiding behind the dispute.
To Work or Not to Work?
First, is this a working dog or a pet? A working dog could be for a ranch, but also a guard dog, hunting dog and/or intended for showing and breeding. Because working dogs serve a specific function, a purebred may be the best choice. That said, here we’ll focus on a dog as a pet and companion. So which dog makes a better pet?
With a purebred, factors like size, body type, coat and activity level are mostly known, and each breed has a general demeanor. Labs are sociable, Akita’s protective, while Huskies and Greyhounds just gotta run. Therefore, a couch potato is mismatched with an energetic breed, while an athlete shouldn’t select a Basset Hound for a jogging partner. Still, all should be aware that these tendencies do not guarantee a good pet! A mistreated purebred can display the same negative qualities as any similarly treated mixed-breed.
The next assumption: puppy, adolescent or adult dog? If you get a puppy, then how you raise and train her will greatly shape her qualities as a pet. The same may be said of dogs adopted from present owners, but only if you can meet the existing family, talk to them and see how they interact with the dog.
What about a Rescue?
Ask most people and they’ll probably simplify the math. In other words, rescues=mutts. But that’s not so! Many rescue societies specialize in specific pure breeds. However, because that dog’s past may be muddled or even unknown, predicting how he’ll react in certain situations is risky. On the other hand, welcoming a rescue into your family means saving a dog that might otherwise be destroyed.
The right dog for the right family
In the end, the better dog is one who’s better for you! Whether you’re considering a mixed or pure breed, a rescue, a puppy or adult, what holds in all cases is this: knowing yourself and your family, knowing what you want, and learning about your candidates are all vital so that the dog you choose will enrich your life for years to come.