Are you ready for a puppy? I'm not really sure what some people expect when they decide to get a puppy. My best advice before you splurge on the little fluff ball is to do your homework. Make sure you are equipped for the breed you choose.
The biggest things to consider are:
- Energy level and exercise needs
- Easy or hard to train
- Grooming needs
- Common health issues
Let's use Boxers as an example here. Boxers can be a great addition to a family. They usually love adults, kids, and other pets. On the other hand, they also make the top ten of most "aggressive breeds" lists. Quite the conflict if you do your research, right? So, it is important to match the dog to your lifestyle. Training is always a good idea, regardless of the breed. Boxers and many other similar breeds can be very smart, but equally stubborn. They can also be protective and weary of strangers. Another concern some might have with a Boxer is that they can have very high energy. Some suffer from multiple health issues such as cancer, as Boxers do, too.
Once you've decided that you've made the right choice, remember the following:
- Puppies are not born with bladder control. They need a lot of potty breaks with positive reinforcement.
- There will be accidents.
- They will test your patience. They will whine, cry, bark, and have potty accidents at the most inopportune times.
- They chew things and bite, especially when teething. Just like human babies, they first use only their mouth to explore the world. It's up to you to teach what is acceptable to chew on.
- They need mental and physical stimulation. A bored or anxious pup can be dangerous if left to deal with it on their own.
- They grow. If you get a Great Dane, don't be surprised if they are over a hundred pounds before you know it.
- Some shed like crazy, drool, and have serious gas.
- They cost a lot of money. Between food, toys, grooming, and vet bills, you need to make sure you can provide for a pup.
If you can commit to everything, you should be on your way to a happy companionship. There's bound to be bumps in the road and more surprises. Don't let that stop you from finding you new best friend!