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DOG / new pets

So, You Want a Dog?

An intelligent, loyal, friend-for-life requires love and commitment

Overview

4 things to know about dogs

  • Humans have kept dogs as pets since prehistoric times
  • Dogs are highly intelligent and intuitive
  • Some dogs can be trained to aid people with disabilities, to provide therapy or to fight crime
  • Dogs can smell and hear better than humans but can’t see the same colors

Dogs aren’t called “man’s best friend” for nothing. These active, loving pets can quickly come to feel like members of the family. They also need a great deal of love, attention and gentle discipline.

“Notice me!”

Dogs crave lots of quality time with their people — especially young dogs, who require lots of play, handling and training. If you’re considering adopting a puppy, it’s worth asking yourself, “Do I have enough time?” You may decide an adult dog fits better into your lifestyle and schedule. All dogs need exercise, love and attention, but a mature pooch may be a little lower-maintenance.

The breed for your needs

Looking for a jogging, hiking and camping companion? Do you have a big backyard? An active setter, pointer, retriever or hound might be your perfect match. If you’re in the market for a lapdog or don’t have a lot of space, a less active and smaller pet makes more sense. Keep in mind that little dogs aren’t necessarily lower-energy than big ones. It depends on the breed.

When the fur flies

Big, small, old, young, purebred or mixed, all dogs benefit from regular grooming. Long-haired dogs shed more and need brushing more often. If shedding is a deal-breaker, consider a wire-haired or short-haired breed.

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Training is a must

Your dog wasn’t born knowing the rules of your house — or of society — so be patient. Consistent training is one of your most important responsibilities as a dog parent. Dogs want your love and praise so much and a properly trained pooch knows what’s expected and will happily show off good behavior.

It won’t happen overnight, but with consistent training, your canine and human family members will become one big, happy pack.