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There have been quite a few sayings attributed to dog ownership over the years, such as ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’, and ‘dogs are man’s best friend’. Anyone who has owned a dog, will tell you just how much truth there is in these much quoted words. Dogs are lovable characters, with a lot of personality, so owning one can be very rewarding and enjoyable, but should never be taken lightly.

Before you buy a dog, it’s always important to consider all that is involved in looking after them, in terms of time, money, and responsibility. You need to think about how a dog will fit into your life, if your practical living arrangements are suitable (a dog likes space to explore and play), and ultimately, what breed of dog you will choose to buy.

One of the most well-known organisations connected with the welfare and wellbeing of dogs, is the Kennel Club of Great Britain. They are primarily concerned with pedigree dogs, which are dogs born from parents of the same breed. There is a breed standard, for each of the 2010 breeds of dog that they recognise, which include hounds, working dogs, gundogs, terriers, utility dogs, and toy dogs. Each breed of dog will have different traits, behaviour patterns, dietary needs, and illnesses they may be susceptible to.  You may want to consider whether you want a moulting or non-moulting dog, a lively noisy animal or quiet lap dog. Researching the right breed is very important, especially if you decide to opt for a crossbreed rather than a pedigree.  You need to find out what traits are likely to be inherited for each breed, along with other useful information. Then there’s one final choice to make, will you opt for a puppy or an older dog.

Bringing your dog home for the first time can be exciting; then the real fun of being a dog owner starts. If you choose a puppy, then you’ll be training him to wee and poo in the right place, respond to commands, and you’ll be socialising your new friend with other people and other dogs.  Puppy training classes can help a dog owner a lot with all of these things, helping to build up confidence with handling and disciplining, and also helping with separation anxiety. Although every dog needs a lot of care and attention, they may need to be left alone sometimes, and could easily get stressed.

There are pages on this site dedicated to dog health, behaviour, toys, and diet. You’ll learn how things change as your puppy grows up, and the different types of toys and food suitable for each stage of their development.  Also look out for hints and tips, such as what poisonous plants to look out for when you walk your dog, the fact that they can’t have chocolate or pork, and the importance of regular flea and worm treatments.  A happy, healthy dog, can make an ideal pet and companion for people of all ages, so if you plan on buying one anytime soon, enjoy!