dog training, dog behavior, dog health

My Dogs Rule

Whether you raise a dog from puppyhood or adopt an adult dog, there is an enormous variety to choose from.  You should consider your lifestyle, your interests and hobbies, your present and future circumstances to find a dog breed that suits your lifestyle.


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Choosing the Right Dog for Your Family

Think about the benefits of male or female and whether you want a pet or a show dog.  Consider the size – small dogs do not necessarily require a big space but may need more exercise than big ones.  Do you want a purebred, a mixed breed, or will you adopt a shelter dog?

Should you get a puppy or an adult dog?
The biggest advantage of getting an adult dog is that it is may be house trained.  You also will not have to guess its final size and personality.  You should spend some time with it away from other dogs to see how it responds to you.  If you are happy with its temperament, bring the rest of your family and see how the dog reacts to them.  Don't expect perfection - after all the animal is meeting new people and may be over-excited or even a bit shy .  (continued below)

Puppies, on the other hand, are still at an impressionable and primary learning stage of life.  You may even notice a difference in behavior of a 10 week old puppy from the rest of its litter.  Each one will have its own distinct personality.  The timid one usually clings to their mother or may cringe in corners, while the outgoing one would march toward you in confidence.  These two examples are the extremes of temperament within the litter.  It is usually best to avoid both extremes and choose from the middle group.

Should you choose a male or a female?
Even before dogs reach puberty, there are six differences between the male and female behavior.  Male puppies have masculine brains due to a surge of testosterone hormone right before birth.  Female dogs are usually neutral in behavior until puberty.

There are some obvious differences in behavior between the sexes. Males are usually more likely to be dominant over their owners and are somewhat more inclined to act in an aggressive manner toward other dogs.  They are generally more active and more likely to protect their territories. 

Male dogs are known to mark their territories and are more likely to wander.  They tend to be more destructive, more playful, and may be more aggressive.  Females are easier to house train and obedience train.  They also often demand more affection from their owners. 

In the end...

Choosing the gender is much like choosing a breed or a color or a size when it comes to dogs.  The perfect dog for you and your family is the one you fall in love with. Truth is, sometimes dogs choose us.  Perhaps that is why we may choose the runt over the outgoing leader of the pack or take home a dog who can't compare in looks to others at the shelter but has something in his eyes we can't resist.