When you decide that it is time for you to go out and find yourself that perfect dog, that perfect companion, you'll probably realize that with all the different dog breeds out there, it may not be as easy of a task as you thought. Getting the right dog to bring home is extremely important as well as understanding what it will take to be a good dog owner.
There are a variety of different things you need to think about before you go out and choose the dog you want to bring home. One of the most important things you should consider is what kind of lifestyle you have and what kinds of adjustments that you might be able to make for the new member of your family. First off if you have a family you will need to see what their needs are, especially if you have kids or maybe already have some other pets in the home. You will also need to consider what size dog you will be able to accommodate, how energetic of a dog you can handle and whether you are looking for a puppy or an older dog. Adding a dog to your life will take a lot of commitment.
First thing to consider with regards to the dog of your choice is the size. If you can't figure out whether you want a little lap dog or a big dog, then you might want to consider a more medium ranged dog. When considering size, understand that smaller dogs are more delicate and can be more vulnerable to injury, like being stepped or handled incorrectly which could cause major injury to the little dog. They also seem to be far more sensitive to cold weather so you will need to be willing to keep them warm. Don't think that because a dog is small that it won't need training. Just like a bigger dog, a small dog needs the same kind of training, because a lot of small dogs will take up a tough guy kind of attitude to try and make up for their size difference.
If you are thinking about getting a big dog, understand that this type of dog needs a lot of space inside and outside. When you have a big and happy dog around their happiness in their tail a lone can cause damage to objects in your home. You also need to remember that the bigger your dog is the more expensive it is going to be for food and other dog supplies.
If you don't already know, all dog breeds have different levels of energy. The breed of the dog actually dictates the activity and energy level of the dog. So it's always a good idea to find out what the traits are of any breeds you might be interested int. No matter what though, all dogs need some sort of daily exercise plan, no matter what their size or what their breed might be. So if you don't think that you can commit yourself to more than a couple of walks a day with your dog then you more than likely better find yourself a dog that has a very low energy level, an example would be a Basset Hound.
You should also be willing to adjust how much exercise as well as attention you can give your dog. For instance if you have a dog that is barking a lot, seems to be digging holes everywhere, tearing up inside the house or doing something else to get your attention, you need to figure out how you can curb this with more activities and attention for your dog.
All dogs need some sort of grooming but depending upon how much time you want to give for it's grooming should also be a factor in deciding what kind of dog you want. If you are wanting a dog with a long coat, be prepared for a lot of extra grooming as compared to a dog that has a short haired coat. Also, there are several breeds that slobber a lot more than others and you may want to take that into consideration as well.
You will also need to take into consideration what age group you are looking for. Remember that if you want a puppy, you are going to be in for the most work and will have to commit a lot more time to a puppy. You will need time to house train them as well as teach them not to chew on things that don't belong to them like your furniture and personal belongings. Young adult dogs are probably the better choice. This will also give you an idea of their true level of energy, what their attitude is like and what kind of temperament they really have. However; even with a young adult dog you will still need to give it some personalized training. But it should be a lot easier to train because they will probably already have some training and dogs are intelligent enough to adjust to what you want them to adjust to quite easily.
When adopting a dog, never overlook the older dog. Bringing home an older dog will be a great way to bring happiness to the last years of an aging dog. Sad to say however; most people overlook the older dog and the poor things end up spending their last years in a shelter or are put to sleep. Should you find it in your heart to give a home to a senior dog you do need to remember that you will not have as much time together with them as with a puppy or young adult.