Chris Shaughness

author, speaker, animal lover

Getting a Dog?,  All Articles

The Right Dog Doesn’t Get Left Behind

If you want to do something to help people and their pets, it’s this: print this article and give it to as many people as possible who are considering getting a dog! So many of the behavior problems I encounter are because people have purchased the wrong dog for their lifestyle or personalities. For example, did you know that Labrador Retrievers are one of the most surrendered dogs to shelters because of so-called behavior problems? Labs are sporting dogs, originally bred to run in the fields all day with their hunting masters. If they do not get enough exercise and mental challenge, they will find their own outlets for the energy and can turn into uncontrollable beasts. Of course, not all Labs are the same; some may not require as much exercise as others.

All dogs are not alike. Dogs are classified into breed groups for a reason. When considering getting a dog, you need to understand the dog’s breed group, the origins of the breed, and why they were bred that way. And then more importantly, determine if this breed is a good match for you. There are 7 major breed groups: working, sporting, non-sporting, terrier, herding, hound and toy. Each breed group comes with its particular attributes that potential owners need to understand. Some attributes make the dogs very lovable, and other attributes can make the dog a very wrong choice for some lifestyles. Please remember that I am talking in generalities about breed characteristics. Just like humans, dogs are a combination of their genetics and how they are raised. Do your research before making the 10-15 year average commitment for a dog. Go to the American Kennel Club’s web site to check out all you need to know about pure bred dogs – www.akc.org.

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