Getting to Know Your Dog
No matter how much time you put into learning about the breed you have chosen, there is an additional point which you should consider: while there are many factors common to a particular breed, each dog is still an individual. You can gain a fair amount of understanding of what the breed is like, but getting to know your own dog means going a little further.
The best way to get to know your dog is with in-person visits before you make your final decision to adopt him. If the breeder you have chosen lives fairly close to you, or if you are able to travel, the time you put into this will be invaluable. When you can meet, visit, and spend time with a dog, you will be able to determine if he is the right “fit” for you.
Spending just a small amount of time in your dog’s company will help you to see what his personality and behavior are like. You may find that you and he are a good match immediately, that you grow to adore each other, or that there are clashes which prod you to decide that this is not the right dog for you. If you have the opportunity to do so, meeting and spending time with the dog before you adopt will be very beneficial to you both.
You may be considering a breeder who lives too far away to visit in person. In this situation, spending time with your dog before you adopt him may not be possible. You will have to rely on the breeder to supply the information you need. Although dog breeders are busy, a good breeder will be more than willing to communicate with you, and answer all of your questions. His goal is not only to find a good home for his dog, but to have a satisfied customer as well.
Asking questions about the dog’s habits and lifestyle helps you to see whether he is a good match for you. One example is to ask whether the dog has been raised in his breeder’s home, outdoors, or in a kennel. This will let you know what kind of everyday environment the dog is familiar with, and whether the environment you plan for him is similar or different.
Another question to ask the breeder is how the dog interacts with people and other pets. A dog who has been taken care of in his breeder’s home may be used to being around children, adults, and other animals, while the dog who has been outdoors or in a kennel may not. The purpose of knowing these facts in advance is to help you in deciding whether the dog you are thinking about can easily adjust to your home situation, or whether it may produce undue difficulties.
The breeder should also be willing to discuss the dog’s habits with you. You may be planning to adopt a puppy, or an adult dog. Each of these age groups, or stages, come with assets and special concerns. For example, while a puppy can be expected to have “accidents” on the floor, the adult-aged dog should be completely trained. On the other hand, an adult-aged dog is already impacted by years of experiences which can affect his attitude and behavior, while a small puppy is waiting for experiences to shape his attitudes, behavior, and personality.
You want to know what your dog is really like before you bring him home. If there are negative aspects to your dog’s behavior and habits, knowing about them in advance helps you to prepare to cope with them. You may decide that this is the dog you have been looking for, or you could change your mind and continue your search elsewhere. Either way, the best time to learn about your dog is before you actually adopt him.
If you are able to make a choice, it is better to choose a breeder and dog whom you can meet prior to adopting. While it is possible to gain a great deal of information over the phone, through letters, or by communicating over the internet with the breeder, it is no match for spending time with your prospective new pet in person. This will give you the opportunity to see him in the environment he is familiar with, watch how he interacts with people, and observe him at play.
Whichever method is appropriate for your situation, the most essential point to keep in mind is to learn as much as you can about the dog you want to adopt before you agree to purchase him. It can help you to avoid making the mistake of getting a dog that is all wrong for you, and make the chances very good that you will find the dog who is the perfect match for you.