There are some important things to take into consideration before thinking about getting a puppy, so that once you ‘take the plunge' you and your future four-legged friend will be set up for a lifetime of loveliness.
Bottom line - all breeds are not created equal. Breed history should always be considered and a potential owner should never choose a dog based on looks alone. The more you know about the breed, the better the choice you will make as this information will give you an insight into their behaviour, temperament, personality, trainability and exercise requirements. Working breeds need jobs to do, herding breeds will chase things, guarding breeds will bark and terrier breeds are more likely to be ‘mouthy'.
When choosing a breed, make sure that you don't choose one with a higher demand for energy and exercise that you are willing or able to give. Exercise needs are "hard-wired" into a breed, and it is when these needs are not met that behavioural problems are likely to occur.
Lifestyle and environment
A dog should be suitable to not only your lifestyle, but your surroundings. For example, if you live in a ‘shoebox apartment' a large dog is probably not a good choice. You don't want your dog to develop health issues, be bored, or destroy things. Large dogs really belong in big places with lots of outdoor space.
Inside vs. outside
Dogs are social creatures, and love nothing more than being part of a family. There are many breeds that are unsuited to long periods of social isolation, and when this happens anxiety and behavioural problems can occur. Not all dogs are built for cool outdoor temperatures either.
One or two?
While it may be true that two puppies will keep each other company, they may do so at the cost of your relationship with them. The tendency is for them to "super-bond" with each other, rather than with you. Rearing two puppies successfully takes an enormous amount of work, as you need to be able to give them each individual quality time, space, exercise and training.
There are many great websites and questionnaires available to help you choose, by matching the breed best suited to your lifestyle, and we are here to help and offer as much advice as possible prior to you deciding to add a four-legged friend to your family - to help you gain the ‘greatest friend in the world' for life.