For me, the more important question is “WHY do you want a dog?”, because the answer to this will highlight some of the traits you’re looking for in a new dog. Do you want the sleepy dog, that just chills around the house, or are you after a running partner on the beach? Do you need a dog that’s cool with cats and kids, or quite happy with one that cares about you, and you alone?
Obviously getting a specific breed can make it easier, as you know the breed traits in advance (to a degree) - you don’t get a Beagle if you want the sleepy dog that just chills around the house all day, and if you want a running partner, you don’t get a Pug. Nothing wrong with either breed, but if they aren’t going to fit into your lifestyle, you’re going to have issues sooner rather than later.
Heading to a local shelter to adopt a loveable street dog makes life a little bit more fun, as you’re never entirely sure ‘what you’re going to get’. There’s a number of shelter organisations here in Phuket, such as Bodhi Clinic, who have a bundle of gorgeous dogs of all ages, looking for a solid, forever home and there are simple aptitude and attitude tests that you can do with dogs to give you a gauge of what their traits and drives are generally like.
Simple things like their drive and determination to play with a toy – do they chase it, or hunt for it, or not care? How do they react to new people in their sphere, are they confident, or more apprehensive and if it’s the latter, what is their response to mild increases in pressure?
An assessment such as the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test will answer a number of these, and other key questions, giving you a more rounded idea of what that cute, adorable dog is actually like – increasing the chances of the right dog, going to the right home.
I know it sounds a bit ‘scientific’ but bear with me. Lots of people end up adopting the shelter dog that ‘looks the cutest’ or ‘seems the saddest’ – and we want to help, for all the obvious reasons. It’s admirable, but ultimately, if the dog isn’t going to fit into your home, family or lifestyle, chances are, they end up back at the shelter, or worse.
So it’s worth investing the time to identify what you’re after, assessing a variety of the dogs to see which one fits, so you get the right one from the start. Better for the dog, and better for the shelter.
A final point on answering the “WHY get a dog” question. If the answer revolves around “because my children want one”, I’d strongly advise thinking long and hard about it.
Whilst certainly not always the case, there’s a strong chance that you will end up being the principal care giver, and the one responsible for the new dog’s general well being, and you need to know yourself if you’re truly up to it, or even if you have the time for a new puppy in your life.
If you would like some more information on canine training, or behavioural issues, then please contact us on: 091 654 1960, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or check our website www.k9pointacademy.com.
CPA is the only K9 organisation in Thailand accredited with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), and as an American Kennel Club