People need to do a lot of research into the breed they want before they get one. Not all breeds are right for all people. Some breeds are definitely not right except for a specific type of person. Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, to name a few, are all wonderful dogs. But they need a specific type of person to be able to handle them successfully. A lot of small dogs are the same way. Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, most terriers for that matter, and other breeds need the right type of person.
So do a lot of research before buying a puppy. Are you willing to put at least 2 years into housebreaking and other training? And to continue the training throughout their lives?
Don't buy a dog because he's a cute puppy. "Cute puppyhood" only lasts a few months. And don't buy him because he looks like a good watch dog or because someone else has one and he looks like a good dog. Each person is different and so is each dog.
Research the different breeds a lot before deciding which one would be good for you and your family. Research online, but also talk to respectable breeders, too, and not just breeders who are in the business to make money. If a breeder will sell you a puppy without learning about you and your family as people, then they aren't the ones to ask. A good breeder cares about who gets their dogs and will ask a lot of questions before allowing you to buy one. Those are the ones to talk to when researching.
Once you've done all this, and had a good talk with yourself about the type of person you are, then you'll be able to make an informed decision on the type of dog that is best for you and your family. There are plenty of breeds (and mixes) out there, so there is one for everybody. Once you've decided and have gotten one, please realize that the training (housebreaking and obedience) doesn't happen overnight. Training must be kept up throughout his life. You will have a friend for life, and there is no better relationship than that between a person and his pet.
Source: Many many years of pet ownership.
By Cricket from NC
If someone gives you a puppy, check him out first. Generally puppies are healthy, but recently a puppy was given to my grandson. It was a cute pup, but not very active and slept all through the first night. Something didn't seem right.
This poor puppy and the whole litter were sick. Someone unknowingly gave away a box of several puppies. My daughter checked in his mouth and his gums were white. The puppy died before he got to the vet. Very sad, but definitely something to be aware of.
By Irene M.
Do your homework! Its obvious from some of the questions on Thrifty Fun that new dog owners, while caring and loving of their pups, have no idea what is normal dog behaviour, how puppies react to being separated from their mothers/introduced to a new environment and how and when to start training.
All this information is available in books and on the net. So before you get your dog do some research. Know what to expect and how to deal with the little puddles and problems that arise with a new dog! This will prevent unprepared owners from deciding they cannot deal with the realities of dog ownership and leaving dogs ignored and locked in the yard, or the dogs ending up in an animal shelter.
Firstly look at what you have to offer the dog. There is no point in getting a large hound, bred to run, if you live in an inner city apartment and don't like walking. Likewise, the larger breed of guarding or fighting dog may turn out to be the sweetest, gentlest dog you know - but statistically it is more likely to attack visitors and new additions to your family. A dog attack can disfigure a child for life and most owners say their dog had never shown signs of aggression before it turned on a child. Cut the odds of this happening by choosing your breed carefully. If you don't need a guard dog why buy one?
Where will you get your dog? Look for reputable breeders who care about their dogs and are not breeding for show characteristics at the expense of the dogs natural conformation. If the breed of dog is prone to congenital abnormalities be aware of this and have it vet checked before purchase. If you are looking for a companion animal a friendly mut from the local animal shelter may be the ideal way to go.
Be prepared to spend money, even if the puppy is free. Besides food, your dog will need annual immunisations, and veterinary care is expensive, especially as the dog gets older. Unless you are buying a pure bred dog for breeding purposes have your dog neutered early - allowing a dog to have 'just one litter' is not necessary and allowing more unwanted puppies to be brought into the world to fill up more animal shelters/be put to sleep is just irresponsible.