Random Girl asked in PetsDogs · 8 years ago

What is the most important thing you would tell someone who is new to dogs?

If you were talking to someone who did not have very much experience with dogs and was getting a dog, what would be the most important thing you would tell them?

I would have to say not to get a dog for looks, not to get a specific breed for its appearance, because if you get past that you can focus on what dog is best for you. I have known several people that got dogs and really did not pay much attention to temperament and the care requirements.

My neighbors had like 5 Pit Bulls/Staffies (not sure which ones they were, they were not quality bred and they called them Pits) and 1 Rottweiler, the Rottweiler had serious psychological problems and only one of their Pits had a good temperament, and even after their Rottweiler bit a child they still bred her (too often and in old age too), but because they were all good looking dogs people wanted them.

A friend of mine always wanted a chocolate Lab, so eventually he got one, at first it was perfect, but after awhile he stopped exercising her, now she is destructive and BAD on leash, but she is beautiful.

My mother loved German Shepherds, she was raised with them, so my father got her two (this was before I was even born, so I could not have advised them to just get 1), one was wild and mischievous, he was pure puppy, and the other did what his brother did so they both were very wild, but they were both gorgeous dogs.

A friend of the family (a long long time ago) bred American Staffordshire Terriers, the sire got too dog aggressive and eventually had to be rehomed, the b*tch snapped on one of her pups (he was about 4 at the time, the lady who bred them had 2 sons and one of them kept a pup, the one who the b*tch snapped on, the rest were sold), they put her down, one of the pups they sold to someone who they kept in contact with, she is uncontrollably dog aggressive, and the pup that the b*tch attacked is also dog aggressive and is far too hyper and does not get any exercise. They were all beautiful dogs, but really the people did not look into the breed (they called them Pit Bulls but they were registered as AmStaffs and were not quality bred) and got them for their looks and because they pitied the breed.

Another friend got an Anatolian Shepherd, he had stock guarding instincts and started to have problems because he had nothing to guard and was either in a small pen with 1 horse or tied up to a tree on a long rope, she had to rehome him (he has a wonderful home now, so she at least had a good head on her shoulders and knows when it's time to get rid of a dog), but he was stunningly beautiful.

It seems like the main problem I have seen with owners and their dogs is getting dogs for their appearance, because if you look pass that you really get to what the dog IS and how well it will do with you.

What is the most important thing in your opinion?

12 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The two questions that are deceptively simple but sort out those that think they know about a breed and from people have the personality, realistic expectations and lifestyle to successfully own it are:

    Why do you want x breed? In a person doesn't have a good working knowledge of the purpose/history of the breed, level of exercise it requires and have its mind worked to achieve a training goal, type of personality and/or level of experience to take it on and earn the dog's respect to follow their lead in all situations, grooming ect, then it's back to the drawing board.

    What do you plan to do with x breed? Has the person scratched below the surface of the dog's appearance to consider what outlet they are going to provide for the dog's dominant drives, characteristics and temperament in a positive way? Will the dog be worked, trained in serious sport, trained in agility or other activity ect?

    For example the Dobermann is unsuited to a sedentary life, left to twiddle its paws going out of its skull with boredom and/or allowed to gain the upper hand in the dog/owner relationship because the owner had weak authority or lacked consistency, so it was always in the dog's best interest to misbehave because it sometimes worked.

    Know what you are taking on by carefully researching a breed and be prepared to handle the temperament, drives, abilities and characteristics of either breed in a cross because of the unpredictability of its genetic inheritance. Until it mature an owner will not know what aspect of either breed will be dominant in their individual dog.

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  • 4 years ago

    Think about what the owner need for a sound foundation. It makes no difference how well the dog is trained if the owner doesn't know what to do with it. So your job is to train the trainer, not the dog. So start with how to put a collar on a dog properly, where should it be on the neck, how tight should it be. Then how a lead should be held, how to communicate to a dog through the lead. Remember that it is perfectly normal for a person to forget which is their left hand the first time they have a lead in it, so be patient.

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  • Jojo
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Thoroughly research the pros and cons of owning a dog before even considering taking on a dog. Also research the various breeds and their needs.

    Puppy or rescue, take along a friend who is experienced with dogs to advise and help you choose a dog with a temperament which is compatible with you and your family. Never get a dominant natured dog as a first one.

    If getting a puppy, buy from a reputable breeder.

    Join a good dog club to learn more about dogs and training them.

    Be sure you can afford a dog and that you have the time to exercise it properly.

    That's the "basic" advice I would give to a newbie.

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  • Coco
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    I couldn't agree more, people need to look for a breed to fit their lifestyle. I had a foxie cross when I was a little girl. He was adorable, cute little button nose, fuzzy ears and the brightest eyes. He had to be put down when I was 8. He was aggressive towards everyone, near the end of his life you could barely come near him without being snapped at. But my parents had fallen for that little puppy, the fuzzy one that the breeder was so fond of, not realising what he could've become... they never made the same mistake again!

    Another thing I'd tell a new dog owner is to spay and neuter their pup being a first time dog owner they wouldn't have a clue about breeding...

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  • 8 years ago

    I'm not sure I can pick the 1 most important piece of advice I'd give but here's my top 3.

    Make sure you research the breed & be honest with yourself whether you can provide enough daily exercise & mental stimulation & the training needed for the particular dog breeds needs. As bored untrained dogs cause damage & have behaviour issues that end up having them being re homed or worse.

    Make sure you research your breeder, visit more than once & ask the hard question straight up. Talk to previous puppy buyers that have bought from said breeder & ask to see the breeders genetic health testing reports & registration.

    Remember dogs are individuals & have individual needs & temperaments & none are perfect. Be prepared to be tested & ready for the commitment & patience needed to raise a dog sound of mind & body.

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  • 8 years ago

    The most important thing is the owner.. What a dog looks like, or it's value, are not important. A dog is time consuming, and a responsibility. They need training and commitment. All your stories are depressing, because most of them sound like the owners got them as accessories. You seem keen to demonstrate your knowledge of breeds and you seem to know a lot of people who are bad owners. The story of the choc labrador is especially depressing... overfed and underexercised but 'beautiful'... poor animal.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I would say:

    "It probably took you 7 or 8 years until you learned to communicate clearly and effectively with other humans. Don't assume you can communicate with a completely different species after 5 minutes."

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  • Labman
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Above all look at the qualifications and biases of anybody giving you advice. Ask for proof and look for websites of known reliable organizations such as the FDA or the AVMV, not unknowns.

    Source(s): 22 puppies since 1991
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  • 8 years ago

    Crate train

    Obedience train

    And do no-violent dominance training.

    These three things will give you a fantastic dog

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  • 8 years ago


    talk to trainers, vets and groomers

    get books and read how to own and raise a dog

    research breeders that test dogs

    health and needs of that dog

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