What To Con­sider

201 Family - - PETS -

AKC Ca­nine Good Cit­i­zen pro­gram.

Leanna Deshe­plo, board mem­ber and vol­un­teer at CLAWS, says that Roxi found a for­ever home thanks to the com­mit­ment of her new fam­ily. “I think one of the big­gest mis­takes that fam­i­lies make is think­ing that be­cause a pup is so lit­tle and so cute, it will know ex­actly how to be­have in the home,” says Deshe­plo. “Adding a puppy to the fam­ily can be a very re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence as long as that puppy re­ceives the nec­es­sary ex­er­cise and train­ing.”

Once the fam­ily un­der­stands that re­spon­si­bil­ity, then the next step is to choose a breed or breed mix with char­ac­ter­is­tics that match those of the fam­ily, says Burch.

This dog is go­ing to be part of the fam­ily for a long time, so you need to make sure that he or she has a “per­son­al­ity” you can live with.

Toy breeds are not a good match for small chil­dren. Young chil­dren may be too rough for the tiny breeds, and those lit­tle ca­nines can be nippy. On the other hand, even large breeds can be small as pup­pies, so con­sider the likely size of the adult dog be­fore pick­ing a pup.

Dogs need to be groomed reg­u­larly. Some dogs shed more than oth­ers. Make sure that you are com­fort­able with your pup’s coat type.

In gen­eral, there is no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in tem­per­a­ment be­tween male and fe­male dogs. If you are get­ting a dog for a pet, you will want to have your dog spayed or neutered, which will elim­i­nate most mi­nor dif­fer­ences any­way.

Be­sides the cute­ness fac­tor, the ad­van­tage of get­ting a pup is that you can par­tic­i­pate in its train­ing and so­cial­iza­tion ev­ery step of the way. The dis­ad­van­tage is that train­ing a puppy re­quires a great deal of time and pa­tience.

Some breeds may be prone to hered­i­tary dis­eases or con­di­tions.

WRIT­TEN BY VERA LAWLOR

TEM­PER­A­MENT

SIZE

COAT/GROOM­ING NEEDS

MALE OR FE­MALE

PUPPY OR ADULT

HEALTH

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