You already know that owning a dog is a big responsibility. But, it’s not just about being able to take care of your new furry friend. You also want to make sure that you are choosing a dog that will be just as happy with you as you hope to be with it. Here are some questions to ask when choosing your next dog. 

1. How old is it?

If you’re not getting a puppy, you’ll want to know how old the dog is. While it is admirable to want to adopt an older dog, there could be some imminent health issues that would require more of your attention and added medical costs. You just want to make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into. 

2. How big will it get?

Puppies are adorable, but it can be amazing how much a cute, little fur ball can grow in just a few months. With purebreds, it’s easier to determine exactly how big they’ll get. But, if you are looking at a mixed-breed cutie, you’ll have to make your best guess with what you can see. You will usually see some characteristics of certain breeds that will help you figure it out. The size of the paws can also sometimes indicate how big they’ll get. 

3. How much exercise does it need?

You want to make sure that you have enough space for your new “forever-friend.” While bigger dogs need more exercise, smaller breeds still need their fair share. Make sure that you have an adequate area for whatever their individual exercise needs are. 

4. Is it trained?

Maybe you plan on training your new dog yourself, or maybe you are looking for one that is already trained. Either way, it’s the biggest key to a dog’s happiness and safety. Their sole purpose in life is to please you. And, nothing makes them happier than when you are happy. Training them and rewarding them for their good behavior is a great way to keep them both happy and safe. Here are just a few ways that they should be trained. 

  • House trained: This one is imperative. They have to be trained to potty outside. While it can be more of a chore with smaller dogs, it can be done. Hopefully, your new dog is already house trained. But, if not, there are several methods that will work. It just takes some diligence and time on your part.
  • Leash trained: Dogs need plenty of exercise. Having them leash trained will not only enable you to enjoy your walks with them, it will keep them safe, and you’ll be able to use it with other training.
  • Commands: They may understand more than we think that they do. If we can teach them to understand the words like sit, stay, and roll over, who’s to say that they aren’t listening to our every word?

5. How is the dog’s temperament towards children?

Whether you have children of your own or live in an area with a lot of youngsters, you’ll want to know how the dog acts around children. Some breeds are calmer and more tolerant of the playfulness of kids, and some are just too nervous to be comfortable around them. 

6. Does it bark a lot?

Of course, they’ll bark. Usually, it’s when they’re playing, trying to tell you something, or when they get really excited about something. But, if they bark a lot, or are easily excited, it could be a nuisance for your neighbors, depending on where you live. They’ll be happiest in a rural environment where they have the room to burn off all of that extra energy that’s keeping them hyped up. 

There are plenty of dogs out there looking for their “forever homes.” Unfortunately, many of them are available because their former owners didn’t take the time to make sure that they were a good fit for them. Taking the time to choose the right dog for you will enable you and your new friend to fully enjoy your time together.

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