Choosing A Dog

No wonder dogs are known as man”s best friend. Dog owners know of no greater joy than knowing and loving a dog. Dogs are loyal companions from the start. If you haven”t yet experienced the special bond that many have with a dog, you”re in for a treat as you get to know your new dog. But before choosing a dog, you should know about certain factors and decisions you will have to make.

Choosing a Dog: Dog Breeds and Canine Health

Before you run out and buy your new pooch, do a little research into different dog breeds. Some dogs are very family oriented while others tend to give their loyalty to only one person. Certain breeds are more tolerant of children than others. Then consider the size issue. That Dalmatian puppy may be cute now, but how well will she fit into your two-bedroom flat when she”s a full-grown dog? Is your house so busy that a very small breed runs the risk of being stepped on? Think carefully before choosing a dog breed.

Canine health is another important consideration when choosing from the many dog breeds. Certain breeds have genetic problems that can affect their health. Some large breed dogs, for instance, develop hip problems later in life. Ask your breeder about any breed-specific health problems.

When you choose your new puppy from the litter or at the local animal shelter, you may be better off choosing a dog who is active, but not overly aggressive and nippy. The puppy should have clear eyes and clean ears. Her nose should be free of discharge. While you want to avoid overly nippy pups, don”t pick the one that flinches or cowers when you approach either. Puppies should be active but not aggressive. If one of the puppies in a litter seems sick, you”d be well advised to avoid choosing a dog from among her littermates.

How Old is Your Dog?

So, how many dog years are there in one human year? In part, that depends on how big your dog is. Larger dogs tend to age more quickly than their smaller cousins. A nine-year-old Yorkshire terrier is in her fifties, in dog years. By comparison, a Saint Bernard of the same human age is in her early seventies. Find out how much your puppy will weigh as an adult, and check out the chart below.

Dog”s Age

Breed”s Adult Weight (lb)

0 20

21 50

51 90

> 90

6 months

12

1 year

16

2

24

24

3

28

29

29

4

32

33

34

34

5

36

38

39

42

6

40

42

45

49

7

44

47

50

56

8

48

51

55

64

9

52

56

61

71

10

56

60

66

78

11

60

65

72

86

12

64

69

77

93

13

68

74

82

101

14

72

78

88

108

15

76

83

93

115

16

80

87

99

123

17

84

92

104

18

88

96

109

19

92

101

115

20

98

105

120

Human Years Equivalent

Choosing a Dog”s Name: Fido? Rover? Augustus?

Dog names are limited only by your imagination. If you want to name your miniature poodle after your favorite basketball player, go for it! Bear in mind that when you”re calling your pooch, lengthy dog names may be a bit of a mouthful. If you”re planning on naming your King Charles spaniel Empress Theodora Vanessa Olivander, you might want to train her to simply respond to Empress!