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Think Twice Before You Buy a Dog

Before you buy a dog, there are a few things to consider carefully. These are just a few things best to understand in advance of actually buying a dog. It's important to get this right.

The first question to consider for yourself is: Why are you going to buy a dog? For companionship, maybe. Add a new member to the family, perhaps, as a dog is your friend even if people let you down? Or, are you getting a dog because of a practical purpose, such as guarding the house, or to help you around because you're blind, or so you can catch rabbits, etc? Or, are you buying a dog as a fashion accessory to boost your self-esteem. If it's a matter of being a collector of nice things, you might consider antiques or stamps, as they don't require feeding or going for walks whatever the weather.

Having established the fact that you're hoping to get a dog for the right reasons, there is something you should consider first of all, and especially before committing any money to the dog acquisition. Visit the dog sanctuary, dogs' home, dog rescue, the place where dogs without owners are kept for a period of probation before the lucky dogs find a new home and the unlucky dogs are destroyed.

Even some good honest well-meaning charitable organisations such as the RSPCA have to destroy dogs. There's nothing wrong with the dogs; It's just a matter that the supply of dogs is higher than the demand.

Dogs in the dogs' home are a wide selection of dogs, of a wide variety of breeds and variations. As a potential dog owner you'll have a lot of choice.

Notice I'm not saying "get your dog from the dogs' home!". I'm saying "have a look at what's on offer at the dogs' home before you look elsewhere!".

You can choose a dog as you would choose a friend, on their own merits, individually, rather than by racial means. Dogs have personalities, and each has their own qualities. Each individual dog has its own personality.

It's difficult to summarise the whole "advice on getting a dog" as it's different for different people, but here are a few guidelines:

* Dogs of mixed breeding are usually more intelligent than pure-bred dogs.

* Large dogs eat more food than small dogs, and you should make sure you'll be able to afford the money to feed your dog and the time to exercise your dog!

* Dogs make good pets if you like dogs. It's a relationship. Your dog should regard you as the pack leader. If you'd prefer a less hierarchical arrangement, you're probably better off with a cat!

* If you are thinking about getting a puppy because it's "cute", then this does not bode well for the future relationship. If you're serious about the "cute" idea, then a stuffed dog would be more suitable, or you should at least get a fully-grown cute dog and hope that it's still going to be ok even in several years as a cute old dog.

* Don't judge a book by the cover.

* Choose a dog that will fit comfortably into your house and your lifestyle. You can't keep a dog locked up in the house, or it will smell. And so will the house!

If you still feel like spending a lot of money to buy a fancy pedigree dog from a dog breeder, after you've had a look at the dog rescue, then that's fair enough. Supporting the dog breeding business is surely no worse than buying eggs and therefore supporting the chicken farming business? Plus, it's a free choice.

Whatever you decide to do in choosing your dog, I hope you get the dog you deserve!

Other references: Dogs, Pictures of Dogs, Advice, cats, and How to Hypnotise a Chicken