Research by University College Dublin (UCD) from 2009 found that 36 percent of homes in Ireland have a dog. And now you want to join this special dog owning group? Maybe you have children who have been begging for a puppy for years, and you decided finally to give in. So what next?
PUPPIES!!!! I want a puppy!!! OK, so a puppy it is. Have you researched what breed would suit you, your family and your life style best? Do not be seduced by the appearance of the dog alone, you need to consider what the dog was bred for. For example if you live in an apartment a lively border collie needing a good bit of exercise and mental stimulation might not be the way to go. Maybe a better choice would be one of the companion breeds like Cavalier King Charles or Shih Tzu, who both are smaller in size and do not require the same amount of exercise as a border collie.
Breed of puppy decided it is time to find a reputable breeder. You can check with national kennel club and also local breed clubs to find a breeder. Once you find one, please visit them to find out what environment the puppies are brought up in. The new puppy will be a part of your family living in the house with you, so getting a puppy that has been brought up in a shed away from normal home sounds, smells and experiences, means you will have much more work to do in getting the new family member used to and happy with the normal family life. It is also important to see the parents of your puppy,especially the mother. If the mother of the puppies is nervous / fearful / reactive, chances are that the puppy will have inherited at least some of the behaviour.
A good read to help you with things to get sorted before you get your fourlegged family member is Ian Dunbar’s book “BEFORE_You_Get_Your_Puppy“
Puppies are great fun, but also need a lot of work. So if this is your first ever dog, have you considered getting an older dog? As a first dog, a mature dog can be so much easier, and still give you tons of enjoyment, fun and love.
Here are top ten reasons to adopt a senior dog (by Pets N More, http://www.petsnmore.org):
1. THEY ARE PROBABLY HOUSE TRAINED
Older dogs do need to toilet more often than their younger colleagues do—but at least they know that they’re supposed to do their business only at certain times and places. By adopting a senior dog, you’re bypassing the tedium of house training.
2. THEY WON’T DESTROY YOUR POSSESSIONS
The mature dog has probably lived for many years in one or more human homes, so he knows that he’s not supposed to get into your stuff. In other words, you need not fear coming home to find that your dog has trashed your home in a fit of boredom, loneliness, or panic.
3. THERE’S NO MYSTERY
Puppies—even purebred puppies—are a little bit of a mystery. A person can’t know for sure if that little dog butterball will grow up to be undersized, over sized, light in color, or darker in color. (Coat colors can vary widely even within a litter)
A dogs temperament is not always predictable either; the puppy who was a shy little darling may grow up to be Mr. Hell on Wheels, especially if he doesn’t have appropriate training.
A senior pet is exactly who he appears to be, which means that you don’t need to worry about unwelcome surprises.
4. THEY WILL ALREADY KNOW HOW TO BEHAVE
Even if he hasn’t had all that much training, a senior isn’t likely to indulge in very many antics, if any. He’s too dignified to jump up on people, and counter-surfing may be too much of an effort for him.
5. THEY WILL LIKE BEING WITH YOU
Adolescent and young adult pets certainly love their people, but they have additional priorities. After all, there’s a whole world out there for them to explore! Consequently, if you let a younger dog off leash in an unprotected area, that dog may decide to take off on an exploratory expedition.
Youthful dogs are surprisingly speedy—they have no problem outrunning their humans.
However, the older pet not only doesn’t possess such speed, but he isn’t at all unhappy about it. He’s no longer beset with wanderlust; his idea of a good time is to hang out with you.
6. THEY WILL GIVE YOU A REST
The counter-surfing, garbage-raiding, paper-shredding, sock-stealing young adult or puppy is a total hoot—but boy, he’ll keep you busy dealing with such antics. The senior pet is way beyond such mischief; it’s beneath his dignity—and the more dignity he has, the more rest you get.
7. THEY WILL KNOW WHEN TO LEAVE YOU ALONE
Although an older dog will tend to stick closer to you than a youngster will, that doesn’t mean that the oldster is a pest. As long as he knows where you are, he’ll be cool with whatever you’re doing. If, for example, you’re playing around on your computer, a senior will be perfectly happy just taking a snooze at your side.
Such discretion can be a welcome alternative to dealing with a puppy who relentlessly tries to get you to play, gets himself into trouble when you won’t play, or just can’t settle down while you update your Facebook or Twitter page.
8. THEY WILL PAY ATTENTION
Adolescent and young adult dogs don’t always appear to hear what you’re asking them to do. They may be guilty of a kind of selective deafness: They don’t seem to hear you tell them to get off the couch or to come when called, but they magically appear before you if they hear words like “cookie” or “treat.”
With seniors, such hijinks are a thing of the past. They’re happy to hang onto your every word and, if possible, do what you’ve asked. If a senior dog appears not to hear what you’re saying, the reason may be real deafness, not the selective kind.
9. THEY WILL APPRECIATE YOU
Puppies and young adults are the cutest, most infectious beings to grace the planet, hands down. That said, their cuteness doesn’t always extend to being affectionate. Instead, they entertain us with their playful behavior and their unabashed joie de vivre.
They are too busy enjoying life in general to pay a whole lot of attention to you in particular (although spending time training and socializing a young pet can help change that). But a senior is different—especially if you’ve adopted him as a senior from a Shelter or Rescue Group. He knows how good his life is with you.
He’s grateful for cuddle time, an extra treat, and—most of all—extra attention. Many adopters of rescued or shelter pets strongly believe that their dogs know how fortunate they are and that they greatly appreciate the second chance at happiness that their adopters have given them.
10. THEY WILL TEACH YOU WHAT REALLY MATTERS
Milan Kundera wrote “Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring—it was peace.”
Crazy, active youngsters certainly contribute to the glory of an afternoon; there are few things more beautiful than seeing a dog run with the afternoon sun shining on his coat.
But real peace and joy come from sitting down in that afternoon sun with a senior pet. The older dog is much more likely to settle down enough to enjoy that activity (or more accurately, inactivity) than his younger counterpart is.