How to Match Your Personality with Your Dog

Find your match from a litany of dog breeds by considering your personality and choosing the dog with behavior and energy that best suit your lifestyle.

How to Match Your Personality with Your Dog
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Overview
Though it might be tempting to select a dog or dog breed based entirely on the appearance, size or reputation, a more successful match will take into consideration your personality as well. When an owner's and dog's personality do not match, the relationship will not be as fulfilling or enjoyable as it should be. It is similar to mismatching an automobile with a potential car buyer. However, our pets usually remain in our lives longer than our automobiles, so it makes sense to make the best match.
Step 1
Determine your personality traits or lifestyle habits. List self-descriptive traits like athletic, active, laid-back, couch potato, high energy, low energy, busy, tired and other possibilities. Seek sincere input from others to help you create an accurate assessment of your personality. Wishful thinking--for instance, imagining yourself high-energy and athletic when in fact you fatigue easily--could lead to the selection of a dog needing longer walks or play time than you can give it comfortably.
Step 2
List the personality traits, purpose and other preferences that you have for your future canine companion. Are you looking for calmness or high energy? A barkless dog or a highly alert one? Will your dog primarily be alone in your home or yard during the work week, or will it be playing with small children most of the time? Do you prefer a particular size? Does anyone in your family need a specific coat type to avoid allergies? Is there a particular breed that you have always favored and need to explore more to see if it is a good fit in all areas?
Step 3
Research information about the particular dog you are considering adding to your family by finding out information on the dog's parents, breed traits, current activity level, and current good and bad habits. Good habits will include being socialized with children, housebroken, and leash trained. Bad habits include chewing, fearfulness or aggression. Spend time with the dog and try to evaluate the traits that are visible. Speak with other dog owners or dog trainers about that particular dog and/or breed to learn more information and evaluate whether you will be able to eliminate any potentially problematic habits.
Step 4
Plan for an experienced dog trainer to spend time observing you and your potential dog. Professional handlers can spot potential problems and suggest immediate appropriate training. Dog trainers can see clearly what is "puppy behavior" and offer insight on which behaviors will be part of a dog's adult or permanent personality.
Step 5
Enroll your dog in obedience and socialization classes; many such opportunities are offered through professional trainers or at larger chain pet stores. Attending training classes with your dog and applying the information will help create a solid owner/dog relationship. What appears to others as a "successful match of your personality with your dog" in fact came from your efforts to build a good foundation.
skill
1
ingredient
Dog breed books
ingredients
Dog breed books
tip
Make sure that you have ample time and energy to devote to raising a puppy for the first year of its life. Puppies need a lot of attention and good clear boundaries.

Devote six to 12 months of active dog training following the adoption of any dog, puppy or adult, to establish the rules in your family and his new "pack."

tips
Make sure that you have ample time and energy to devote to raising a puppy for the first year of its life. Puppies need a lot of attention and good clear boundaries.
tips
Devote six to 12 months of active dog training following the adoption of any dog, puppy or adult, to establish the rules in your family and his new "pack."
warning
Don't believe that selecting the "right dog" or the "right breed" or the "right pedigree" will eliminate the need for consistent, stable dog training.

Don't get a dog that has too much energy or too high a level of maintenance for your family. This can lead to behavior problems in the dog.

Don't expect young children to consistently take care for or train a dog properly. Ownership is a 10- to 15-year commitment, and not one that children are capable of making at four or eight years old.

Don't overestimate your energy level or available time to spend with your future dog. Future life changes, like marriage and children, need to be considered too.

warnings
Don't believe that selecting the "right dog" or the "right breed" or the "right pedigree" will eliminate the need for consistent, stable dog training.
warnings
Don't get a dog that has too much energy or too high a level of maintenance for your family. This can lead to behavior problems in the dog.
warnings
Don't expect young children to consistently take care for or train a dog properly. Ownership is a 10- to 15-year commitment, and not one that children are capable of making at four or eight years old.
warnings
Don't overestimate your energy level or available time to spend with your future dog. Future life changes, like marriage and children, need to be considered too.
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match personality with your dog
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Resources
reference
Finding a puppy: Picking the right breed of dog
reference
Does Your Personality Really Match Up With the Dog You Choose?
reference
Benefits of Professional Dog Training - 10 Reasons Why Your Dog Needs It
resource
Dogtime.com Finding the right dog for you
resource
Are You Ready for a Dog?

Image Reference - How to Match Your Personality with Your Dog