I have a few dogs of different breeds for different purposes. In this article I will not tell you how to choose a dog but how I go about choosing a dog for myself. Let’s talk about the last dog that I got. She is a German shepherd that is now 14 months old and I have had her for a year. She is example one followed by three more examples about choosing a dog and then finding them.
How To Choose A Dog: example 1 (obedience dog)
First I decide what I want in a dog. Temperament is always the number one thing on my list. I am big into obedience so the second thing that I look for is a pup whose parents or at least one of them, does obedience or has obedience titled parents on their papers.
Then I get on the internet and start looking. Step one in this process is German shepherd puppies for sale in “your state here”. I will write down any sites that have obedience trained or titled dogs or titled dogs close up in the pedigree.
Then I will repeat the process without the state and again write down all of the sites that have the type of dog that I am looking for.
After this process is done I will type the name of the kennel or website and start checking into them. I just want to see to see what pops up. That’s pretty much it when looking for a dog that will serve a particular purpose.
After that I will just start eliminating the choices one by one. I am not one of those people that tell you that seeing the parents is a must. If you have done your research, to me seeing the parents is just not that big of a deal.
Besides the chances of you finding what you are looking for close by could be pretty slim. Shipping a pet is pretty reasonable so don’t make it a high priority that the dog be nearby.
How To Choose A Dog: example 2 (herding dog)
When I was looking for a working border collie I went through a similar process. The big thing I was looking for there was a dog that came from a ranch that worked sheep. There is a difference between a border collie that works sheep and one that works cattle. The ones that work sheep are less aggressive.
The first working dog that I got I was looking for a dog that it’s parents went to obedience trials. I was under the impression that a good pup had to come from a dog that had been to herding trials. Trial dogs and working farm dogs are different. The working farm dog does more on their own and is more laid back.
One of the things that I change in my search criteria when searching for a herding dog or an obedience dog is the herding dog has to come from working parents where as the obedience dog has to have obedience dogs close up on his pedigree.
How To Choose A Dog: example 3 (pretty dogs)
We raise a few Yorkie puppies. We liked the breed so much that we decided to try our hand at the dog breeding business. After a couple of litters we were not getting the “look” that people were after and needed to do something about it. To do this we searched for AKC champion sired Yorkies. The criterion for this was they had to have a few AKC champion on the pedigree. Preferably no farther back than the grandparents.
Same thing goes here as in example number one. Do not let distance or the fact that you do not get to see the parents dictate your decision.
How To Choose A Dog: example 4 (the pet)
When choosing a dog for a pet we may do things a little differently. Although using the tactics from example one is the way I usually go, it can be rather expensive. I usually try to start off by “word of mouth”. If I know of anybody who has the type of dog I am looking for I like to ask them a few questions about the breed and where they got their dog and go from there.
If this does not pan out, then I go to the internet, again using the criteria of what I am looking for in a dog as in example number one.
Thirdly I check out the newspaper. As a rule, the quality is not usually there but occasionally some good breeders will advertise in the paper if the market is slow.
Lastly there is the shelter. I mention this last because I have no experience with getting a dog from a shelter. I prefer AKC registered dogs (the working border collie does not have to be AKC) therefore I cannot give an opinion on this. I will say that I am sure that a person can get a very nice pet from a shelter.
These are just a few examples of how I go about choosing a dog. Yes there may be a little bit more to it but not much. You just have to decide what kind of dog that you want. Do a little research to see if that breed will fit into your lifestyle and then let the search begin.
As said at the beginning of this article this is just how I go about choosing a dog and I hope that it will help you, at least in some small way answer your question of how to choose a dog.