Dogs have an average lifespan of 14 years of more, and in that period they would become a part of your family. Since it is one of the few chances you get to choose a member of the family, you should choose wisely. Any dog can be a great friend and a good companion, if you give it affection and proper training. But it would be much easier for you and the dog to adjust with each other if your needs and temperaments match.
If you are dog lover, you are in danger of falling in love with just any dog. Puppies are so irresistible that you may give into the urge and bring one home without checking whether it has the traits that you would like to see in a dog. Since you will end up together for a very long time, it’s better to avoid disappointments and nasty surprises.
You have no way of knowing exactly how a puppy would turn out to be when it grows up, but the common characteristics of its breed will give you a fairly good idea. So when you go shopping for a dog to adopt, go armed with a list of the traits you would like to see in your future companion. There is no guarantee that the dog will have all of them, but at least you may escape the traits you cannot live with.
There is no such thing as a perfect dog. What you need to look for is a dog with characteristics that are right for you. Most dogs have a mix of both positive and negative traits, but certain traits are known to be dominant in specific breeds. Mixed breeds inherit characteristics of both parents, but it difficult to predict the final outcome. Pet shops and online breed selectors will help you profile a right match for you if you spell out your requirements. If it is to be a family dog, you have to discuss with other members what they are looking for in a dog.
Here are some of the traits you should look into:
- Affection – Some display affection more openly than others.
- Friendliness – They get along well with other pets, and take to visitors without much trouble.
- Loyalty – They make good, trustworthy companions for older people and those who live alone.
- Playfulness – They like fun and games; they try to please you and demand attention from you.
- Quiet demeanor – They do not bark and cause disturbances. Good match for apartment living.
- Gentleness – These are obedient and docile. They are the best for small kids and senior citizens.
- Athletic – They are ideal for those who love the outdoors.
- Gregariousness – These highly social dogs need lots of space and exercise.
You cannot rule out the possibility of some negative trait appearing in a dog even when you have adopted the right breed, though. Fortunately, most negative personality traits can be corrected with the right kind of training.