Adopting a pooch into your home is a big deal for young couples, but it's not as easy as saying "I want this breed because... " or simply liking the way a dog looks. A lot of factors will play into your decision process.
Step back and take a look at how you and your partner spend your time. If you guys are highly active people who enjoy hiking, sports, running or other high-energy activities, you'll want to consider a pooch you can take with you. In general, a few high-energy breeds include border collies, American pit bull terriers and Jack Russell terriers. If you're not quite so active a couple and prefer hanging out at home as opposed to exploring, consider a more laid-back pooch. On the larger side of the scale, mastiffs and bulldogs are relaxed, loving pooches for the more casual lifestyle. On the smaller side, pugs, Chihuahuas and French bulldogs are ideal. For some couples, an older dog may be ideal, especially if you guys are new to owning a pooch. Older dogs are out of the destructive puppy stage, and most adoptable older pooches are trained.
The Home Scene
While you may be in love with the idea of having a huge, slobbering brute to come home to every night, you have to take a look at the size of your home and yard. A mastiff may start breaking things unintentionally in a small studio simply due to his size. On the same note, a high-energy pup may need a bit more room inside and out to run around in. Some high-energy breeds do well in apartment settings if you allow the time to do long walks or runs outside of the house. You guys want a dog that not only fits your emotional needs and activity level, but also one that "fits" in your home and yard.
Some dogs cost more to take care of than others, and a lot of factors go into the amount of money you'll need for your future pooch. One cost is food, and it's one that can seriously put a dent in your budget. Obviously, the larger the dog, the more food he'll consume. All dogs will need food, vet care, toys and treats, so you need to make sure you can afford all of these basic needs. Also, some breeds are more prone to serious illnesses and diseases, so you'll want to make sure you can afford any extra vet care for the duration of his life. Some larger dogs are prone to joint problems, while dogs with squishy faces, like pugs, may have nasal blockages or others. Grooming is another cost to consider. Some breeds need regular grooming, and others are typically groomed with specific haircuts for different purposes. It can get expensive to keep your poodle in that puppy cut. Sit down and write out a puppy budget for you and your spouse before deciding on a pooch.
Time to Decide
After you've taken everything into consideration, it's time to start seriously looking at pooches. If you're interested in a specific breed, there are many purebred pups at shelters and breed-specific rescue groups. Your local shelter also has a variety of pups just waiting to go home with you. If you're looking to go to a breeder, only buy from reputable breeders who have both parents available to meet. A breeder should be more than willing to show you their home and the puppies' living conditions, as well as being discerning about who takes their pups home.
Like children, many dogs may fixate more on one person in your couple than the other. Before adopting a pooch, you and your partner should sit down and make a realistic list of duties each of you will take on with the pooch. Ideally, both of you would share equally in every task including exercise, play, downtime and even feeding, but this isn't realistic. Remember that dogs have individual personalities like humans. A laid-back pup may latch onto the person in your couple who spends the most quiet time with him; an energetic pooch may be more inclined to latch onto the more active of you. "Family" breeds such as beagles or Labrador retrievers are often well-adapted to sharing their love between all members of the family. In some cases, but certainly not all, a male dog will bond with a female human while a female will bond with a human male. There isn't a hard rule about which pup is going to be best for both of you to share, but supplying a good and loving home will help ensure you both get a rewarding relationship with the pup you bring into your lives.
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