Battersea Q&A: Finding the right dog for you
To get that match just right you need to do a bit of self-evaluation first. Make a list of what you are prepared and want to do, and what you won't be able to compromise on.
(Q) I've always yearned to find my dream partner. How can I meet the right dog?
(A) Battersea canine welfare trainer Nathalie Ingham says: To get that match just right you need to do a bit of self-evaluation first. Make a list of what you are prepared and want to do, and what you won't be able to compromise on.
Is this the right time in your life to get a dog? Planning a family, climbing the career ladder, and travelling, can all have an impact on how you care for your pet.
Do you have lots of experience of owning dogs or are you new to the canine world? This, together with how much you plan on putting into training, really determines whether you go for an easier and more straightforward dog, or take on a challenging dog who needs more help and support.
Size matters - of your house, and your car! Are you house-proud? All dogs involve a bit of dirt but some can certainly leave more of an impact than others, depending on coat type and what sort of fun they like to have on their walks. Should you get a puppy, juvenile, adult, or golden oldie?
- Puppies are certainly cute and hard to resist but they also require lots of patience and work.
- Juvenile dogs are often in rescues because their owners didn't realise what was involved in owning a dog and the cute stage has been and gone. They can be a bit more of a challenge but the rewards are endless.
- Adults are generally calmer and their personalities are more established.
- Golden oldies are often looking for a comfy quiet retirement home where they can enjoy the rest of their life and while their days away.
Finally, you must consider breed so you can understand what they were originally bred to do and therefore what their behavioural traits are likely to be.