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Having a dog is great fun. Dogs are like family members to the people that own them. They become loyal companions. However, they are also a responsibility, and some dog breeds are harder to train and take care of than others.

When choosing a dog, there are several steps you must go through. First, make sure that you are ready for a dog in all aspects of your life. Analyze how much time a day you will be able to devote to him as well as your monetary situation.

Dogs take money between vet bills, toys, food, emergencies, etc and if you cannot afford these then you do not need to purchase a dog at the moment. Once you decide a dog is right for you, it is time to determine which breed best fits your lifestyle.

If breeding is not important to you, one of the most important decisions you could make is to adopt a dog from the pound. Pounds are overrun by homeless dogs and puppies every year that are put to sleep for no reason. This is also a cheaper means to getting your very own dog, and they usually turn out to be the most grateful!

Where you live will definitely play into your decision about what type of dog to get. If you live in an apartment, for example, then your first step should be making sure that you are even permitted to have a dog at all. Many apartment complexes do not permit dogs or they have certain stipulations about the size of dogs that they allow.

If you are allowed to have dogs, you still have to be realistic about narrowing down your search. Chances are, your neighbors are not going to be happy about having to listen to a dog that barks loudly day and night, so you should look for dog breeds that are not big barkers.

How much time to you have to devote to our dog? If your lifestyle or career means that you are away from your home most of the day, you should look for a dog breed that is happy to be independent and without its owner for several hours at a time.

There are several dog breeds that get very depressed and lonely when they are left alone, and it is not fair to your prospective puppy to bring him or her into a home that cannot provide adequate attention. There are also some dog breeds that become agitated and destructive when they are left alone for long periods of time. If you don’t have any time to spend with a pet then you really shouldn’t get one.

If you have children or may be having children, or have people who visit you with children, you should look only at dog breeds that have a reputation for being good with kids. Not only should you consider that a dog could hurt one of your children, but also, your children could hurt a dog.

Is your family ready for a dog? Knowing if your family is ready to bring any pet into the household is your first step. Consider the dynamics of your family; work and school schedules, is anyone home full time, who will mainly be responsible for feeding and care, are your children old enough to be partially responsible for the newest member of the family?

Do you have other pets in your family already. If you already have other dogs or non-canine pets in your home, you have to be sure that you get a breed of dog that is not known for being aggressive towards other dogs and animals.

Do you want a purebred or mixed breed? While purebreds may be born from regal bloodlines, it is commonly known there are certain breeds that often have specific health problems. Some have issues with eyes, others with hips, and others with lungs and heart. Buying a purebred is not a guarantee that the dog will have these health problems.

Although it is tempting, resist the urge to bring your child with to pick out a puppy. Choosing a puppy means you are choosing a companion for your family that could be with you the next 8-10 years. This decision is best left to the parents and should be made in a level-headed manner.

Puppies are a great addition to any family and can provide many years of companionship to its members. Just remember to do the proper research regarding your choice of puppy to ensure you’ll make the best decision!

Most important of all, make certain you can commit to this adventure for the next 15 years or so. Bringing a dog into your home is a major commitment, both monetarily and emotionally.

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