Will a dog suit me? Everything you need to ask yourself before you buy.

You want a dog because it will make your life easier. At least, that is what you hope and what you assume. It is therefore important that you seriously ask yourself: "Does a dog fit me? Can you give him what he needs and does his disposition and character fit with yours and your family's? This is what you have to consider when choosing a dog.

Living conditions and family composition

It sounds very logical and yet it still happens far too little: choosing a dog that suits your living conditions and family composition. Here are some of the many questions you might ask yourself:

  • How much coat care do I want to do?
  • Can my dog guard?
  • Do I have children under 12?
  • How much money do I want to spend on my dog per year?
  • Do I want to be active with my dog?

Let us take a closer look at the questions.

How much coat care do I want to do?

If you fill in "little" at question 1, it will not surprise you that a dog with a lot of hair is not suitable for you. By the way, do not think that a short-haired dog does not need any coat care because that is incorrect. However, most short-haired dogs They only need a good brushing when they are moulting. And hairless dogs do need coat care to protect them from sun and cold.

Lots of coat care: Yorkshire terrier, Schapendoes
Little fur careDalmatian, Bullterrier

Can my dog guard?

Maybe you like it when your dog keeps watch. But do your neighbours? And what is your definition of a watchdog? Should the dog chase people away, should he be reserved or should he be allowed to pounce when the bell rings and then greet them kindly? How should he behave towards your children's friends? Can they just walk in and out the back door?

Very vigilantMaltese, Rottweiler
Not watchful: Alaskan malamuteCavalier King Charles Spaniel

Do I have children under 12?

The age limit is an average. There are girls of 7 who are very quiet and responsible and there are boys of 14 who are very rough and nonchalant. But in general, there is a difference between children under and over 12. Very busy, boorish dogs are just not suitable for small children.

Good with small children: Clumber spaniel, Golden retriever
Less good from small children: Boxer, French bulldog

How much money do I want to spend on my dog per year?

This is, of course, a very difficult one. After all, you never know if your dog will get sick and what it will cost you. But it is of course logical that a large dog costs more than a small one. For the simple reason that he eats more. He needs a wide collar, a firm leash and a large basket.

Do I want to be active with my dog?

How sporty are you? And how much time are you prepared to spend on your dog when it comes to activities? The smaller the dog, the more need for exercise (with some exceptions). People often make that mistake. A Jack Russell terrier needs a lot of exercise whereas a Bullmastiff is satisfied with little.

High activity level: Border collieSiberian Husky
Low activity level: Cane Corso, Pekingese

What is the dog's disposition?

What is potentially present in a dog has a direct connection with its original purpose. A shepherd likes to stop movement and will chase cyclists, joggers and mopeds if he cannot fulfil this need, for example by chasing a ball or a stick.

Keeping a Labrador out of the water is a lot harder than forbidding an English bulldog from swimming (most bulldogs can't even swim). A Bouvier is a floater and will want to make everything that stands still move. This can manifest itself in biting the heels of family members or circling around a group during the walk.

Dachshunds (hunters underground) like to dig, while the Alaskan malamute (sledge dog) likes to pull. Pyrenean mountain dogs (flock guards) do not hunt but chase with loud barking and Basenjis cannot even bark. Beagles like to run with their nose over the ground (tracking) while greyhounds mainly track by sight.

In short, an enormous variety of aptitudes. And although most purebred dogs today no longer do their original work, the predisposition has certainly not disappeared. Some breeds adapt better than others when it comes to fewer activities.

Will a dog suit me?

If everyone asked themselves this question, there would be far fewer unwanted dogs. You can ask yourself whether a dog will suit you if he has to be at home alone for whole days. As well as exercise, he also needs social interaction. Is an hour with a neighbour or a dog walking service enough?

If you have a travelling profession or spend a lot of time at home (pilot or soldier), the dog is more with the sitter than with you. Or when you don't have much to offer him because your life is too busy, you can ask yourself if a dog is right for you.

Of course, everyone must draw this conclusion for themselves and take responsibility. Moreover, the fact "what do you have to offer a dog" is very subjective. There are homeless people who can offer a dog more than a family with children in a residential area!

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