Ever since a mutation in the stress hormone of ancient wolves led some of them to stop being afraid of interacting with humans, dogs and men have become inseparable. Long ago, dogs have accepted the comfort of steady human-provided meals and shelter in exchange for unwavering devotion, friendship, and security. In fact, every dog breed in the world is a direct descendant of this friendlier breed of wolf.
This bond between dogs and humans lives on to this day. While dogs are one of the most reliable home security systems, in our modern society, an average family may not be in as much of a need for the security a dog provides, but they will – especially if they have kids – hear questions like “Daddy/Mommy, when are we bringing a puppy home?”, when you drive by any four-legged animal. Specifically in our country; no “American Dream” dream is complete without a dog.
So, whether you are a seasoned homeowner or a recent homeowner considering bringing a puppy home, here are a few things to know and consider.
Just like choosing the make and model of a car, choosing the breed of your pet, is instrumental. The wrong choice might make you regret bringing a puppy home. The Husky, for example, is a very popular breed because of their gorgeous looks; however, the breed is kind of like a sports car… very pretty but also very hard to handle, very energetic and high-maintenance. Not the best indoor dog. Not to mention the weather aspect: if you live in a hot state, it’s just mean to the poor dog, so used to living in the cold snow.
First-time dog owners may want to start with friendlier, more obedient and easier-to-train dog breeds. The Golden Retriever and Labrador, for instance, are both extremely easy going breeds, loyal, easy to train, and really good with kids, because they are kids themselves. The silliest!
But what if you don’t live in a house with backyard space; if you live in an apartment? Then, the dog’s size becomes an issue and the Golden Retriever and the Labrador, with their beautiful fur shedding all over, can become a problem. The best apartment dogs are the ones from smaller breeds. Even if you can train your big dog to become a great indoor dog, it’s just not fair to him/her. Dogs need space to play and roam. So, best apartment dogs? Chiuauas, Pugs, French Bulldogs, Yorkshires, Shih Tzus… you get the gist, right?
Lastly, if you need a four-legged friend as a therapy dog, here are the best therapy dog breeds: Labrador, Golden Retriever – always those two – French Bulldogs, Greyhound and Pomeranian. Their personality and physique are well suited for giving comfort and soothing the soul, as a therapy dog should.
Yes, though rarer than cat allergy, there are people who have allergies to dogs and even specific breeds of dogs. Different breeds have different concentrations of hormones and fur oils; just because you may not be allergic to one breed, doesn’t mean you are not allergic to another one. So, when bringing a puppy home, you should first make sure no one in the family has allergies to the specific dog you’re planning on getting. You can take everyone to play a little with the dog and see if any allergic reaction happens, but a better way is reaching out to a doctor and making tests. This is extra important if your plan is to make it an indoor dog. Allergy wise, hypoallergenic Poodles, Labradoodles, and Samoyeds are the best apartment dogs.
One other major thing… we know it’s not exactly allergies, but they do also make you scratch your skin: fleas and ticks. If you live in a house, you might want to take a look at the Natural Grass vs. Artificial Grass debate and consider joining the artificial grass team, as a natural grass – however beautiful and nice – will be much more appealing to the propagation of garden pests on your lawn. Don’t worry, your puppy will still like the artificial grass and pee on it.
Well, sorry to break it to you, but regardless of yours being an indoor dog or outdoor, regardless of the breed… you’re in for a treat: a lot of work awaits you when you decide on bringing a puppy home. Training a dog requires a cooperative environment and a lot of patience. You must assign tasks and duties so that everyone in the family is involved in the care of the new puppy.
Interestingly, the indoor dogs are usually harder to train. Big ones like the Labrador and the Golden Retriever, Doberman, Shetland Sheepdog and German Shepherd are the easiest dogs to educate. But, from the list of best apartment dogs, some of the easiest to train are the Havanese, the Poodle, and the Miniature Schnauzer.
But training aside, even the best apartment dogs need to go for a walk, even the most indoor dog needs some exercise. So, please, don’t be one of those owners that get a dog, play a little with it and then leave it alone all the time. Dogs need attention. They need to get their twice-a-day walks, their little fetch plays etc. If you don’t have time to care for them like that, better to rethink if you both aren’t’ better off without each other.
When bringing a puppy home, you need to make your house is ready for the dog beforehand, because the first moments are crucial and, also, who are we kidding? You will not want to leave the house to get any supplies; you will want to just play with that cutie. So, be sure to have stain and odor remover in case the pet pees somewhere he’s not supposed to. And even more: be sure to have some pee pads close by so, when the dog pees, you start the house training really early, showing him/her the correct way for indoor dogs to use the bathroom.
Also, have some chew toys around so the dog never even thinks about chewing on your table or your chairs! Food, of course, and, this will get people mad, but, buy a dog crate too. Dog crates seem like puppy jail cells, however, the Humane Society actually recommends getting a crate when bringing a puppy home. Dogs, going by their deeply-ingrained wolf instincts, love dens. The crate can act like a den, and make them feel safe, simultaneously acting like your dog’s home and transportation box.
Do More Research
To put it mildly, the information contained here is not nearly enough. Bringing a puppy home is bringing a new life to your family. And being responsible for another living being. So, read up on the best apartment dogs and how to train them, research and get as much information as possible prior to adopting a pet. With knowledge and patience, adding a four-legged friend into your home will be an extremely rewarding experience. Without it, going on a whim, could turn into a nightmare for everyone involved.