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Choosing A Dog
First decide how much time you have to give your new friend and whether you enjoy long walks or are a fair weather walker!
How big is your house? Just like your home, dogs come in all sizes. Generally, the bigger the dog the more space he'll need. Consider how much space you have both inside your home and outside. If you don't have a garden or only a small courtyard, then you should focus on one of the small or miniature breeds.
If you work consider how to arrange for him not to be on his own for long periods, no more than four hours, and even less when he's a puppy. If you don’t provide company and entertainment he will find his own and then everyone will be unhappy. Dogs are social creatures designed to live in packs, so you now have to become his family.
When you have two or three breeds in mind find out what they were originally bred to do. It will give you an insight into what you need to provide to keep him happy. Working breeds need plenty to do, not just an hours walk but mind-stretching exercise. The shepherding breeds are highly intelligent and tend to be busy. Try to find a breed that will fit the life you have to offer. Some breeds shed more fur than others. How tolerant you are of fur in your home will need to taken into account.
If you decide on a puppy remember you will need to set aside time to train him. Training starts with basic obedience but can go all the way to special tricks and possibly competition. First thing though is to make sure you see it with its mother and siblings. They should look plump and bonnie. The breeder should help you with feeding and worming regimes and be able to answer your questions. They will probably want to know about you to check you have thought about your new baby and the work involved.
If you decide to rehome an older dog remember he will take time to settle in, probably 3 to 4 months to understand that this is his new life. Give him time and don’t expect too much, his life has changed completely and he needs to find his way in a new world. Keep him on a lead, even round the house to start with. Until you feel confident that he will come to you. Having to go under the furniture to catch him will frighten him and may make him snap out of fear.
Finally, enjoy your new best friend, he will bring you great pleasure.