As we travel around the country, having conversations with shelters and rescues about the “pit bull” dogs in their care, we find that there are always a few big a-ha! moments that help people understand that all dogs are individuals just a bit better.
One of the more exciting moments typically happens during our Labels & Language presentation where we discuss the role of breed labeling in shelters and the assumptions we make about dogs based on those labels.
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The holidays are a popular time to bring a new dog into your home. They make a wonderful family addition and bring many years of love and fun. Adopting a dog is also a big decision and requires planning and research. Selecting a new pet can also be a very emotional event. Cute puppies with tails wagging and lots of cuddling are often all it takes to win the hearts of a family, but are only part of the criteria used to choose the right pet. We have some ideas on how to choose your match that will bring years of love and companionship to you, and a forever home to a furry friend in need of a loving family.
Whether one chooses a purebred or mix breed dog, pet adoption is available. Approximately 25 to 30 percent of dogs in shelters are purebred, and there are also shelters for specific breeds from which one can adopt. When selecting a dog it is important to understand the general characteristics of the breed. Is the dog very active or is it more of a lap dog? How large will the dog grow and how often will it require grooming? Are their common health traits of the breed that could require special treatment during its life? The answers to these questions will make one more aware of the care required and will help in the selection of a companion who is likely to be a part of a family for a decade or more.
Review your lifestyle to determine the amount of space available for the dog and the environment in which the dog will live. Space is more important to dogs with herding characteristics like Collies or Shetland Sheepdogs that like to run and bark and may nip at people to “gather” them. As a result, an apartment may not be the easiest environment in which to raise dogs with these traits. Older dogs have more mellow personalities and may be easier to introduce and play with children than young puppies.
It is hard to resist a puppy? The young canines are loving, playful and become “forever friends” to their owners. Puppies also offer an opportunity for children to learn responsibility by taking the dog on regular walks or grooming the pet on a regular basis. However, puppies require more time and attention to train and socialize the pet as it adjusts to a new home and family. Housetraining, puppy-proofing a house, and teaching the pet to obey are just some of the tasks of bringing a young dog in to the family. People with full daily schedules may consider adopting an older dog with arrangements for daycare that affords the dog time to walk or run and socialize
There are many other considerations to ponder when bringing a doggie into a family. Dog-Harmony’s “We’re Having a Doggie” program offers consultations on how to select the proper pet and will help find the best match for you. Adopting a dog through Dog-Harmony includes selection consultations, spay/neuter, vaccinations, obedience and crate training, bedding, harness, leash, and socialization for a nominal fee. To encourage a long-lasting relationship, Dog-Harmony will also provide follow-up consultations and training as needed. As you consider a gift for our family this holiday, think about adopting a pet. It will bring many years of happiness to your family and to a dog in search of a loving home.
For more information about adoption services, contact Dog-Harmony at email@example.com or 850-376-4190.