During our family "negotiation" to get a dog, my beautiful wife gave a me a list of qualifications required to even consider getting one , at the moment we had 3 daughters and I decided to add some testosterone to the table, my only request , a male.
My better half finally agreed with a list...
Her list consisted on an non - existent creature with the following qualifications:
- No barking
- No shedding
- No chewing
- Good with the kids
- Friendly but when needed Fierce
- Not to big, not too small
- Good with other dogs
- Easy to groom
- Good with winter and summer
- Good looking
I did research for almost a year, I considered rescue dogs, lots of different breeds, and finally I found the one, an amazing puppy located near Georgetown ONT ... I still remember the day we picked him up, I prepared for the event for weeks, the night before I put everything on the table , the leash, plates, collar and I even took a picture, I knew it was the beginning of a great adventure.
Today our dog is almost five years old and including him in our lives has been one of the best decisions as a family, he is our loyal friend, sometimes he works as the "nanny" entertaining our kids (specially when everybody demands something from the kitchen), we can always tell the kids "go and check on the dog"... anyways, NOW he is great.... and i say now because it required dedication and patience... as a puppy he was hard work, we tried many tricks to stop him chewing the corner of the stairs (recently renovated) or avoid jumping when someone rang the bell of our house... , but now we finally we achieved the goal, it was team work, but we got it.
So as a dog owner, I would like to leave here a couple of important ideas if you want a healthy, happy pet, please consider a couple of factors:
a) Puppies: Yes!, all puppies are cute, all of them, their faces, their actions, their size!!! everybody loves them, but they grow, and sometimes we forget about this fact... whatever you allow them to do now, it will have consequences in the future... for us jumping on furniture or beds was unacceptable, but again that is us... stealing food from plates (even left on the floor) also not good.. so it took a few sessions to make him understand what it is good and whats not ... you choose!
b) Training: Some people affirm that all dogs can be trained, however for the majority of the families, the dog whisperer talents sometimes are hidden, very hidden, and frustration during training can affect family life which should be #1 priority on the list. It is important that before you decide about your dog, consider your family life... are you active? are you single? do you have young children? do you have enough space? are you committed to take walks on the winter? do you have time to groom? (among many other factors) ..
c) Research: About the dog that you want in your life, read about their behaviors, their "triggers" the history of the breed (in case you acquire an specific breed), for example it is fun to understand why beagles behave different that bulldogs, even though both are great with kids. Research will help also with training, you will know if your dog reacts better to smells, food, or a kind word.
The experience of a new member of the family is fantastic, do it!