I Want To Buy A Dog | What’s The Perfect Breed?

Why do they have a dog?  What they are doing is just neglectful

I often get asked ‘I want to buy a dog – what’s the perfect breed’?  Well there is no such thing as a perfect breed.  All dogs have some drawbacks, one way or another.  And all people are different so what suits you doesn’t suit your neighbour.  My perfect breed is a greyhound, but yours will probably be different, because dogs are as wonderful and unique as you are!  Plus if you get a good match, life (and dog training) should be easier!

I want to tell you a story

I want to tell you a quick story about people who bought a dog without thinking so you understand my point.  It’s a true story, but I have not mentioned any names or places because this is the perfect example of what not to do. 

It’s also the perfect example of what makes me mad.

A couple went and bought a dog without doing their research.  They freely admitted that other people had told them they did all the wrong things.  They came home with a beautiful puppy who started to grow like a weed and needed a lot of time.  All puppies do this, no matter what breed!

Well this couple have their own business.  It’s a VERY busy business.  It requires long hours and a lot of commitment.  Taking on a puppy which also requires long hours and a lot of commitment was a big mistake.

The puppy was left too long on its own.  It became stressed.  The poor little thing didn’t have enough bladder or bowel control for the hours it was being shut up in the flat.  It soiled the carpets.  Not the dog’s fault but did the owners accept that and do something positive about it?  No. 

What they did instead was have a dog kennel built and kept the dog outside on it’s own.  The kennel is too small.  It is unheated.  Very caring.

Once the dog was out of sight it was out of mind.  No need to worry about doing much other than feed or water it.  No proper warm bedding and not enough space to run around.  The owners don’t walk the dog themselves – instead they rely on local people and guests who take pity on it and borrow it for a while.

This is a beautiful dog which is very, very sad and in totally the wrong home.

My partner Robin remarked

Why do they have a dog?  What they are doing is just neglectful

The dog also requires more time for walks than they can handle.  It doesn’t have a decent, properly fitted collar.  It doesn’t have the right equipment and most importantly…

It doesn’t have LOVE

These aren’t stupid people either.  They are intelligent, articulate and well educated people who can’t or WON’T deal with the problem they have created.

Unless this poor dog can be extracted from the situation, it will spend the next 10 or more years living a sad, lonely and stressed-out life.

Most of all what makes me mad is that sane, sensible people spend less time choosing a dog (a 10 or more year commitment) than they do considering what TV programme to watch.  Then everyone wonders why rescues are overflowing.

So when people ask me “I want to buy a dog – what’s the perfect breed”  I tell them there is no such thing.  I tell them all dogs have some drawbacks – every dog gets injured occasionally, many develop health conditions later in life, some never learn to come back when called and so on.  But what you can do is choose the one which is the best fit for you with those drawbacks at the lowest possible level.  

I tell them it depends on a whole heap of factors that most people don’t even think about such as where you live, what climate you have and most importantly your TIME commitment.  And I tell them that if they TRULY care about dogs, they should spend a lot of time doing their homework.  Properly. 

That means spending time considering their lifestyle and what really works for them, not buying the first cute thing which crops up.  It means spending quite a bit of time making sure you really understand what you’re getting.  Not using an online dog quiz which will get you the wrong answer 75% of the time.

Think of it like finding the perfect life partner – because it is!  Wouldn’t you spend a lot of time working out who you were going to live with or marry?  Well most dogs live longer than most human relationships.  Food for thought when you’re choosing.

However, it’s far better and cheaper to adopt from a rescue place than go and buy a dog.  Puppies aren’t cheap.  You can get adult pure breeds from rescue if it’s a specific dog breed you need.  Please make that your first choice.

But if you want to buy a dog and get the perfect breed, my advice is simple.  Get the best advice you can well before you take the plunge.  You can get that advice here.    Send article as PDF   

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