Although purchasing a new dog brings with it stress-busting playtime parties and limitless strolls through your neighborhood, the process before the big decision is no walk in the park. Between selecting a breed that matches your lifestyle, settling the adopt versus shop debate, and educating yourself on current training methods, you may be in for a long list of to-do’s before you finalize your decision.
Though it may be tempting to snatch the first furry friend you see to shorten the grueling waiting period, taking it slow and ruminating on all possible factors will ultimately ensure a good fit. If you’re ready to dive deep into pet parenthood, read on for five things you should consider before adopting your canine companion.
Adopting vs. buying from a breeder
The long-standing, controversial “adopt versus shop” debate is a conversation filled to the brim with misconceptions distorting people’s judgment. While adopt-only advocates argue against backyard breeding and puppy mills, they often overlook the benefits of purchasing a well-bread, certifiable dog. On the other hand, many pedigree puppy enthusiasts discount the importance of taking in shelter dogs to reduce overflowing kennels. Ultimately, the decision to adopt or purchase from a breeder depends on what your specific goals and intentions for your canine companion.
Rescuing a senior dog from a jam-packed shelter may be the perfect fit for those adoption advocates. On the other hand, if you’re looking to raise a pup from a young age and are passionate about canine lineage and health tracking, purchasing from a breeder is the better option. Regardless of which route you take, you can begin your journey by searching phrases like “lab puppies for sale” and scouting out reputable breeders and shelters in your area. Remember, Labrador Retrievers’ exceptionally patient disposition and friendly nature make them a perfect match for high-energy families on the hunt for a canine companion.
Before you blindly commit to pet parenthood, you need to take an honest inventory of your lifestyle and available time to ensure you have ample opportunity to fulfill your pet’s needs. While the breed, age, and fitness levels can cause demands to fluctuate, the base level time commitment required to maintain a dog’s health and happiness is undoubtedly extensive. So, instead of jumping the gun and assuming you’ll be able to meet their needs, stop and think how a dog will fit into your daily routine.
Selecting the right age
Another essential aspect to consider when scanning the market for a new pet is what age is right for you. While a new puppy may sound appealing as you daydream about late-night snuggles and mid-day playtime breaks, raising a young dog comes with a long list of responsibilities. Between potty training, chaotic sleeping schedules, and teething-induced destruction, you’ll have your hands full for the first couple of years.
If you’re not ready to commit to a high-energy pup, consider searching for a middle-aged or senior dog who can offer companionship without the hassle of intensive training.
Accounting for energy level and personality
Arguably the most important aspect of dog shopping is selecting the perfect breed to fit your lifestyle and future goals. While an adorable healer mix may draw you in initially, you’ll need to account for their high-drive and noisy tendencies before you say yes to the dog. Consider researching potential breeds extensively before settling on a pup to ensure you’ve adequately prepared to take on their unique challenges.
Proper training techniques
A particularly demanding piece of the puppy puzzle is sifting through different training techniques and learning how to raise a well-mannered dog properly. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all training method, as each course of action depends on your new furry friend’s breed, temperament, and ability. That said, you should do your best to nail down basic commands and general socialization routines before attempting more advanced training procedures.
While the idea of housing an irresistible puppy and raising it to be your ride-or-die companion may sound appealing from the outside, there are several vital aspects to consider before you slap down a deposit. Make sure you thoroughly research breeds, assess your available time, and read up on different training methods to ensure guarantee you’re ready for the commitment.