Bringing a dog into the house can be a big step for any relationship. Dogs are social creatures and much like children they need time, attention, space, exercise and to be cared for. With this responsibility also comes the burden of what happens to the dog if you guys don’t stay together. Most breeds live for 12+ years and most relationships and marriages unfortunately do not have the same track record. In fact pet custody battles are more common than ever these days. So if you are still not deterred ask yourself the following questions before you even entertain the idea of pet ownership with your significant other.
• What kind of dog do we want? – There are hundreds of different breeds out there of different size, energy levels and temperaments. Make sure and do your research on what breeds will fit into both of your lifestyles.
• How much time do you have to spend with a dog? – Dogs are pack animals and most breeds do not like to be left alone for hours on end. Some are even down right destructive if left by themselves for too long. So if you and your girl both work all day and don’t want to return to a ransacked house you might want to reconsider.
• Who will watch the dog when you go out or on vacation? When you bring in a dog you give up some of your freedom. A night out or a vacation will now require advanced thought and a sitter or boarding.
• Who will be responsible for walking the dog? All dogs need to be exercised to some extent. Some more than others. There should be a mutual agreement between both of you where the walking and other responsibilities lie.
No matter which type of dog you choose it is very important to train them properly. They are not humans and they do not understand English as much as you may think they do. If you do not take control of them they will take over the leadership role. If you are up for the challenge, dog ownership can be very rewarding however it is a big step in your relationship and anyone considering should think long and hard before taking the leap.