, May 22, 2024

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Picking the Right Dog to be your Pet

  •   4 min reads
Picking the Right Dog to be your Pet
by Mariana Burgos

If you have not had a pet dog and you are planning to have one, you will surely need these tips in choosing the right one for yourself.

Choosing a pet dog that would best suit you is not like in the movies where they usually show the “love at first sight” kind of thing or the “true love” way, or even the “kindred spirit” style. Nope, that is not how it is in real life. It is not even based on the kind of breed alone. I, myself, learned this only recently. Again, I thank the internet and Google for this. I must say, I know now why we had our difficulties with our past pet dogs during my childhood and even with our pet dogs now.

Shih tzus are sweet dogs but they can be bossy too if you will let them. In photo are mother Summer (red and white stripes) and daughter Louse (blue polka dress) of the Salgadawgs. Both are leaders but Louise knows Summer is the alpha and follows her lead.

I used to think that there are only certain breeds of dogs that you will not have any problems with because it is built in their genes to be easily trained. I thought wrong. Because, then, we saw a lot of aspins acting more intelligent than those with breed.

I also thought that, maybe, it depends on how the human takes care and trains the dog that makes it a good, reliable pet. Well, at one hand, yes, it is true that how the human does it matters. It is also true that the breed adds in the equation of a good pet. But there is more to it than just those two things we have mentioned.

According to Ceasar Millan, in one of his Youtube posts, in picking the best pet dog for yourself, you have to consider three things:

1. the energy of the dog;
2. your lifestyle; and
3. the breed of the dog.

You must also take note of the dog’s place or its position in the pack that it is with. There are three positions in the pack:

1. front of the pack;
2. middle of the pack; and

Ceasar says that when you get a dog for a pet, you must know if its energy matches your own. A hyperactive puppy will certainly be a handful for a person who is used to gentleness and calmness in his life. Considering your lifestyle is also very important because you most definitely will have a hard time with a dog that is used to running in wide open spaces while you live in a tiny, cramped apartment in the city with no front or back yard.

The breed of the dog matters because the culture of each breed is imbedded in their genes. Farm dog-breeds like the Airedale Terrier, Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Dachshund, Dutch Shepherd, Great Pyrenees, German Shepherd, and the Jack Russel Terrier are dog breeds that are able to show off their best if they live in farms because they were bred for that kind of environment. It is innate for those breeds to do farm work like herding livestock, protecting the farm and its inhabitants, exterminating vermins, helping in hunting, and many more farm work. (10 Best Dog Breeds for Farms, Gemma Johnstone, 12/12/21).

The three positions in the pack is most important to know when choosing a pet dog. The breeders have different terms for the three positions. For breeders, the front of the pack is what they call the “pick of the litter”; the middle of the pack is what they call the “pet quality”; and the back of the pack is the “runt of the litter”. If you are the person who intends to train a dog as to how police officers do to their canine partners, you should pick the dog who is the front of the pack. If you are only looking for a happy-go-lucky dog or a dog who is friendly to most both human and animals, then, you would want the one who is in the middle of the pack. But if you need a dog that needs to know you need them, then, pick the most sensitive one and that is the one in the back of the pack. The back of the pack dogs would make a very good guard dog with proper protection and direction. How would you know what position in the pack the dog is in?

You must observe how the dog acts within the pack. Front-of-the-pack dogs easily show confidence through their eyes. They have an observant expression, and a calm energy. Middle-of-the-pack dogs are often very friendly and attention seekers. They are easy to approach. Back-of-the-pack dogs are mostly quiet and has a very cautious expression on their faces. These three positions can also be easily seen even with very young puppies. As Ceasar says, you will know based on which approaches their mother first, second, and last.

Author Mariana with one of their pups, Doogie.

Now you know what to look for in a dog for your pet. I bet, if you take in mind everything that is said above when you choose your pet dog, you will not have a hard time taking care of and training your dog when you finally bring him or her home.

About the Author: Mariana Burgos is a freelance artist. She is a solo parent for 14 years now because she is wife to a desaparacido. She and her daughter are animal lovers and are active in advocating not only human rights but the rights of animals as well.

This article also appears in the Manila Standard

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