Many of the problems and pitfalls of dog ownership can be avoided by selecting a dog to suit your needs. Here are some things to consider when getting a dog or puppy.

  • Fencing – adequate to contain the dog.
  • Size of your property – should be large enough for the size of the dog.
  • Exercise – certain breeds require considerable daily exercise.
  • Accommodation – a quality kennel is essential if the dog is to live outside.
  • Feeding – you need to be able to afford the food requirements for your dog.
  • Purchase prices vary.
  • Some breeds are prone to medical problems.
  • Some breeds have high maintenance requirements with grooming and husbandry care.
  • Some will moult, others will dribble.

 

Some breeds may be prone to traits which if not controlled, can lead the owner into issues with other residents and the Council, such as:

  • Jumping – containment issue.
  • Digging – containment issue and damaged gardens.
  • Howling – disturbing neighbours.
  • Aggression – containment issue and possibly enforcement issues.
  • Intelligence – a dog of perhaps lower intelligence may be difficult to train and control.

Puppies

Acquiring a puppy at the right age and providing it with the proper atmosphere during the critical periods of its life (when character and personality are being formed) is the best way that the person/dog relationship, character traits, and trainability can be predicted.

Pros Cons
  • Extremely rewarding
  • Their character can be moulded
  • Training can be consistent - first 8 to 12 weeks is important
  • Initial veterinary costs can be considerable
  • Can be time-consuming initially
  • If a crossbreed, you can't be sure what they will look like as they grow up
  • Not able to determine the temperament
  • You will need to puppy-proof your property.

Adults

Pros Cons
  • Cheaper initial costs if vet history is known
  • Often already toilet trained
  • Temperament and character established
  • Can be harder to train
  • Bad habits are established
  • Vet costs associated with old age may come sooner
  • For an older dog, you may have their company a shorter time 

The advantage of picking a pure bred dog is that you can predict it's adult appearance and behaviour. With many crossbreeds, that is more difficult. 

Crossbreeds are just as lovable, usually less expensive to buy and you may be able to offer a second chance to a dog that needs one.

So it comes down to personal choice.

Male Female
  • May be more aggressive
  • More difficult to control
  • Prone to wandering
  • Easier to train
  • More submissive than males
  • Easier to train
  • Better with children
  • Prone to mood swings during heat cycles

De‐sexing helps both male and female dogs

Male Female
  • Less wandering
  • Less aggressive
  • More placid
  • Reduced future medical problems
  • Elimination of unwanted pregnancies
  • Elimination of heat cycle mess
  • No visiting suitors
  • Reduced future medical problems

Remember

When you are tempted by the cuddly little puppy sitting at your feet, in twelve months time, it may look and act quite differently.

Council libraries have a selection of books that provide excellent information to guide you with your choice. Breed clubs offer information on specific breeds you may be interested in.

Breed shows offer an excellent chance to see all the various breeds at one time for comparison and the opportunity to talk to the different breeders. Local breeders can be approached for information.

The Council often has dogs available for rehoming at the Animal Shelter at 10 Metro Place in Bromley. The Council encourages prospective dog owners to adopt rather than to shop to give a good home to current dogs rather than add to the population.

Remember, choose well, you could have your dog for up to 12 years.