I've had dogs my entire life and have been around several people that also have had dogs. A few things I would like to add to this article:
First of all...please, please, please do not get a dog if you are gone a lot. Dogs are pack animals and most do not like being left home alone. That's when they get destructive. I can't believe how many shows I've seen on tv where people complain about their dog getting into the trash, tearing up pillows, etc. only come to find out the dog spends 12 hours a day alone. And usually without any toys or anything to entertain it. Being locked in a kennel/cage all day isn't enjoyable for them, either.
Also, I've been to people's houses where they only talk to their dog to tell it to "go lay down" or some other dismissive command. I always felt so bad for the poor dogs! Dogs are not decorations or yard ornaments. If you really don't have time or care to pet them, talk to them, enjoy them, then please don't get one!!
And lastly, if you are high strung, loud, impatient or tend to fight or argue a lot with your spouse, family, etc., please do not get a dog. Dogs respond better to calm, peaceful tones and environments than chaos. Screaming at a dog is not going to get you your desired results. And screaming around one all the time is going to make it timid and uneasy, which could lead to other issues, like aggression, which nobody wants and really, shouldn't be blamed on the dog, since it was the people that made it that way.
Seeing a dog that is well behaved and smart and perfect at someone else's house does not mean you can go get one somewhere and it will come that way also. It takes time, patience and training to get a dog that way and if you aren't able to provide that, please skip the dog and get a goldfish or a plant, instead.
In conclusion, dogs are like kids. Just because you CAN have/get/buy one, doesn't mean that you should. Please do your homework and make sure you and/or your family are ready for the huge commitment that a dog (or any pet, really) brings with it.
My wife and I currently live in an apartment and have a mini schnauzer (small space, small dog). We love dogs and are ready for another, but are waiting until we can get a house. After seeing several articles on here and reading through comments I'm really going to look into adopting a greyhound.
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I love all pets. I wouldn’t be a veterinarian if I didn’t, and I celebrate the human-animal bond every day. I do look forward, though, to the day when these five breeds aren’t as popular. The reasons vary, but in many cases the problems are health-related, and overbreeding by puppy mills and other less-than-ideal operations has a lot to do with that. What would help these breeds is for there to be a lot less of them. A couple of them need many more adopters and far less breeding, and all would benefit from people who are well-prepared for the challenges of owning a dog, and who make sure to look to rescue, shelters and reputable breeders for their pets. As always, whatever pet you choose, we veterinarians are here to help you make healthy choices for life.
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