Many of the problems and pitfalls of dog ownership can be avoided by selecting a dog to suit your needs. Here are some things to consider when getting a dog or puppy.

  • Fencing – adequate to contain the dog.
  • Size of your property – should be large enough for the size of the dog.
  • Exercise – certain breeds require considerable daily exercise.
  • Accommodation – a quality kennel is essential if the dog is to live outside.
  • Feeding – you need to be able to afford the food requirements for your dog.
  • Purchase prices can vary.
  • Some breeds are more prone to medical problems.
  • Some breeds have high maintenance requirements like grooming.
  • Some dogs will moult, others may dribble.

Some breeds may be prone to traits which if not controlled, can lead the owner into issues with other residents and the Council, such as:

  • Jumping – containment issue.
  • Digging – containment issue and damaged gardens.
  • Howling – disturbing neighbours.
  • Aggression – containment issue and possibly enforcement issues.
  • Intelligence – some dogs may be more difficult to train and control.

Puppies

Acquiring a puppy at the right age and providing it with the proper atmosphere during the critical periods of its life – when character and personality are being formed.

This is the best way that the person/dog relationship, character traits, and trainability can be predicted.

Pros Cons
  • Extremely rewarding
  • Their character can be moulded
  • Training can be consistent - the first 8 to 12 weeks is important
  • Initial veterinary costs can be considerable
  • Caring for puppies can be time-consuming initially
  • If a crossbreed, you can't be sure what they will look like as they grow up
  • Difficult to determine the temperament
  • You will need to puppy-proof your property

Adults

Pros Cons
  • Cheaper initial costs if vet history known
  • Often already toilet trained
  • Temperament and character may be well established
  • Can be harder to train
  • Bad habits may be established
  • For an older dog, vet costs associated with old age may come sooner
  • You may have their company a shorter time

The advantage of picking a pure bred puppy is that you can predict it's adult appearance and behaviour. With many crossbreeds, that is more difficult. 

With adult dogs this is less of a problem.

Crossbreeds are just as lovable, usually less expensive to buy and you may be able to offer a second chance to a dog that needs one.

 

Male Female
  • May be more aggressive
  • More difficult to control
  • Prone to wandering
  • Easier to train
  • More submissive than males
  • Easier to train
  • Better with children
  • Prone to mood swings during heat cycles

De‐sexing helps both male and female dogs

Male Female
  • Less wandering
  • Less aggressive
  • More placid
  • Reduced future medical problems
  • Elimination of unwanted pregnancies
  • No heat-cycle-related issues
  • No visiting suitors
  • Possibly reduced future medical problems

Remember

When you are tempted by the cuddly little puppy sitting at your feet, in twelve months time, it may look and act quite differently.

Council libraries have a selection of books that provide excellent information to guide you with your choice. Breed clubs offer information on specific breeds you may be interested in.

Dog shows can offer an excellent chance to see various breeds and give the opportunity to talk to the different owners and breeders.

The Council often has dogs available for rehoming at the Animal Shelter at 10 Metro Place in Bromley. The Council encourages prospective dog owners to adopt rather than to shop to give a good home to current dogs rather than add to the population.

Remember, choose well, you could have your dog for up to 12 years.