As humans we are instinctively drawn to things that are appealing to the eye. Would you carry on flicking the channel on the TV when you see Channing Tatum/Scarlett Johanssen? Would you walk by a beautiful pair of shoes without at least taking a double glance?
I am regularly talking to people who want to add a dog to their family. Just the other day when I was looking after a boxer dog I had a friend come over with her partner. They immediately fell in love with Bo the Boxer (who wouldn’t?!) and within 15 minutes they were looking online to see if they could find one for sale. I was completely taken aback.
They had spent 15 minutes cooing over what a peaceful boy he was, curled up in his bed letting out a gentle snore every now and again. I have to admit, this did look like the perfect dog laying there, like butter wouldn’t melt!
…What they didn’t see was the dubious smell coming from his behind when they left. They didn’t come down in the morning to an excited dog, frantically wagging his tail, knocking a vase off the coffee table, followed by my toast (butter side down!) and orange juice. They didn’t see the two huge walks we went on that day, trying to control his over-excitement of every human, dog, duck, ball or leaf in sight. They didn’t see me trying to bath him after he managed to scout out the muddiest puddle in Milton Keynes to play in.
All these things, whilst exhausting at times, I found so endearing about Bo (perhaps not the flatulence!), but how would that work with this couple who worked 9-5 jobs with an hour commute either side, who had a hectic social life and who probably hadn’t gone a week without a manicure and spray tan. How would they cope when this utterly beautiful boy snuck into the kitchen and stole their dinner off the counter and got a poorly stomach??
This made me really think about how many people go out and pick a dog from a website photo, without having the faintest clue of whether the dog would really suit their lifestyle. Without really knowing anything about the breed, what to look for from the breeders and just going on looks alone, no wonder behaviourists and adoption centres are in such high demand now.
Whilst there are so many things to think about when purchasing a new dog, here are a few things to think about when you begin your search:
- The fully grown size of the dog (even the cutest of puppies do grow!)
- Coat length and type
- Do you have hours to spend grooming?
- Have you thought about muddy walks and cleaning both your dog and house?
- Breed health issues
- Vet bills
- Food / treats / toys / grooming
- Pet sitting services
- Breed temperament
- Daily exercise
- Working hours – how long are you leaving the dog alone during the day?
We are always more than happy to help if you have any questions regarding bringing a new dog into your home, but it’s REALLY important to spend time researching breeds, talking to breed owners and vets, researching breeders and making sure that you are aware of everything you are taking on with a dog!
P.S. I got the spray-tanned couple to come over the next day to see Bo the Boxer in full swing. I took them out on our first walk of the day, I think their idealistic image of a doggy companion faded away when I handed over the poo bags…