Choose the Right Dog
Dogs range in size from several pounds to almost two hundred pounds. They can range in height from 8 inches to over 3 feet. If you are planning to bring your new pet to the office each day, your best choice may be a toy breed. However, if you love to jog, you may want to get a larger, sturdier breed of dog.
A small or medium-sized dog is the most practical choice for many people. It is big enough to play and romp with, it is neither too powerful or too fragile, and is still small enough to be able to transport easily.
Puppies under six months of age can be quite labor intensive. Pups over 6 months and young dogs under 18 months are far sturdier than young puppies, and their personality is more apparent. They can pay attention long enough to learn quickly, and are full of energy and enthusiasm.
It is important to remember that a dog is a living thing, so you will want to do your best to make sure the dog you select is in good health.
Even though a dog's temperament is partially inherited and partially shaped by his mother and littermates, it is also very much affected by early experiences, including treatment by people. Dog temperaments can range from timid to bold, placid to excitable, submissive to aggressive, and from people-oriented to aloof and independent. It is common for dogs to display different behaviors in different situations and with different people. You should look for a dog that fits the "emotional climate" of your family.
Some dogs have a great deal of difficulty being alone. They may become "bored" and get into mischief. You should either choose a dog that has already demonstrated that it can be left alone or resolve to teach it to a puppy.
It is important for your new pet to be under your control, which means that you will have to train him. She needs to be trained to walk on a leash, not to bite, and to come when called. A dog who will sit, lie down, not jump, and stop barking, is much easier to live with than one that raises a ruckus. Some dogs are easier to train because they are "people pleasers" and less easily distracted by sights, sounds and smells.
All dogs bark, however, some breeds tend to bark more than others. Barking is a dog's way to communicate - they bark for a reason, whether it be someone at the door, or even the ringing of your telephone - barking is your pet's way of letting you know he's paying attention.
Excessive barking, however, can be objectionable to not only your neighbors, but to you as well. Dogs CAN be trained not to bark!
Certain working and herding breeds of dogs may be more likely than others to become protective of people and their territory. However, aggressiveness can and does occur in all breeds and even in mixed-breeds. It is easy to prevent through early socialization, sterilization, and training. Trying to correct this behavior later on can be difficult.
There are dogs that may be very people friendly, but aggressive towards other dogs. Dog to dog aggression seems to be most common between dogs of the same sex and is more prevalent amoung terriers and working breeds such as Dobermans, Rottweilers, Akitas, and Great Danes. Dog to dog aggression is less likely among hounds and sporting dogs such as retreivers, setters, and spaniels.
Early and ongoing socialization with other dogs, as well as spaying and neutering can prevent a lot of dog-to-dog aggression.