A series of dog blogs from the Underwater Dogs Haircare Company. Informative, candid; with a touch of dog-lovin' humour. - Chapter 2
Author: Gayle Walker – Founder of Underwater Dogs Haircare Company.
A massive love for Ralph (the family dog-hooman) and a passion for professional haircare saw the Underwater Dogs Haircare Company evolve from dream to viable concept. In affiliation with Seth Casteel, world renown Photographer and New York Times Best Selling Author of ‘Underwater Dogs,’ Gayle’s aim is to educate dog owners about good skin & hair health in dogs, along with a splash of underwater fun. Find out more about the Underwater Dogs Haircare Company here.
What type of dog is right for you?
I knew we’d made the right decision the day our ‘Duddles’ came home. There was definitely something about this tiny little fella – all squirmy, fluffy, and smelling brand new.
We fell instantly in love, of which he was… blissfully unaware.
Bringing a brand-new puppy home to a farm environment was a fairy-tale beginning. Plenty of room to run amok, nooks and crannies to hide, chooks to chase and rabbit poop to forage.
But there were also challenges, none more so than Dudley’s unbridled passion for adventure.
Diver Ducks in large bodies of water (dams); fences that bit hard (electric); and those long wiggly pieces of twine lurking dangerously in the garden (snakes), among a few.
Keeping this young pup safe was a lesson in letting go.
Dudley blessed us daily with his sense of adventure and un-ending energy. Outside from the crack of dawn and home when the tea bell rang; no boundaries, his love of life as large as the property he commanded.
So, when he didn’t come home one afternoon, and day turned into night, the concern ran deep.
Where could the little bugger be?
Dudley had earned a reputation for blindly following his nose, eventually finding himself kilometres away and enduring the ride of shame home – usually tied up on the back of a neighbour’s Ute.
What had always been quite amusing, was now a nasty reality, one we had blindly, never really given any thought.
What if we lost him?
It was days later that his little body was found, lying in a cool cavern beneath a homestead water tank.
The only explanation given by those who knew the land better than I, was ‘snake.’
“An animal would always find their way home after such an encounter, finding a cool place to rest, close to the ones they loved. “
Dudley was 2.
Although it took months to come to terms with our loss, and just what we might do, an emotionally charged call to Karlene at Royoni set us straight. Without a moments hesitation she said…
“Well I still have Dudley’s brother. Are you prepared to wait?”
Eighteen months later we welcomed Ralphie into our world, and as a family – were blessed for a second time.
“It’s easy to fall love with any dog, no matter its age, breed, size, or sex, but why leave it entirely up to chance? If you hate the thought of exercise, it’s important to know that some breeds won’t be compatible with your lifestyle. Likewise, if you are searching for a family dog that is good with kids, it is helpful to know which breeds are best”
Chapter Two – What type of dog is right for you?
In Chapter One, I introduced you to our first Royoni puppy Dudley, and also to our ‘Life with Dogs’ inspiration Jerry, Royoni-Naughty-on-Arrival.
Close friends of mine loved their rescue Greyhound (a.k.a. The Slug), and our neighbours had very busy Kelpies, but we chose a Cocker Spaniel, because he was perfect for us.
The question is: Which dog is right for you?
Listed here are considerations you should make when choosing the perfect dog.
If you’re a marathon runner, outdoor enthusiast, or live your life by the motto of the post man (neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow…), a dog from the sporting or working group might be right for you.
Siberian Huskies, Australian Shepherds, German Shepherds, German Shorthaired Pointers, Labrador Retrievers, and similar breeds all require a lot of exercise in order to behave in a semi-sane manner.
If you are not active but have your heart set on one of these dogs, consider adopting a senior from the shelter who will have slowed down a bit, or hiring a dog walker and looking into doggy day-care.
Are not active
If being a couch potato is more your style (let’s be real here, whose style isn’t more spud than stud?), there are plenty of dogs for you. Any breed that is Brachycephalic (i.e. has a flat face and short snout) will much prefer chilling on the couch than romping around outdoors.
Examples include Bulldogs, King Charles Cavalier Spaniels, Pekingese, and Pugs.
In fact, many of these dogs are physically incapable of more than 20 – 30 minute exercise bursts, giving you the perfect excuse to get out of long walks.
If you prefer a dog that speaks to your indie heart, consider a Shiba Inu, Afghan Hound, Chow Chow, or Shar Pei. These dogs (among others) are known for being able to spend time both with – and without – their owners comfortably.
If you would prefer a dog that sticks to you like Velcro, consider a small companion breed. The majority of dogs have been bred for a specific purpose such as hunting, guarding, herding, etc.
Small dogs, such as Maltese, Bichon Frise, Chinese Crested, and Yorkshire Terriers have their purpose rooted in providing companionship to people.
As such, they will not enjoy time spent away from their owners and will cling to them like glue.
If small dogs aren’t your jam, consider a German Shorthaired Pointer, Labrador Retriever, or Doberman Pinscher instead.
These dogs strongly prefer the company of their human companions, and dislike being alone.
Are Allergic to Dogs
If you know you are allergic to dog fur (as opposed to saliva or dander), a hypoallergenic dog may be best for you.
Poodles, Chinese Crested (Hairless) Dogs, and Australian Labradoodles, Cavoodles and Moodles are perfect if you are more likely to sneeze than snuggle when a dog walks into the room.
Don’t Mind Noise
Some dogs are more vocal than others. These include Beagles, Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, Retrievers and many toy breeds.
Some apartment complexes even specifically ban hound dogs, as they have a tendency to howl throughout the day.
If the baying of beagles doesn’t make your heart swell, be sure to research quieter dogs instead.
Prefer Peace and Quiet
There are plenty of pets that prefer to keep to themselves and only bark when necessary. According to dogtime.com, quiet dogs do exist. These include the Otterhound, Old English Sheepdog, Miniature Pinscher, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Papillon, among others.
On the downside, these pups may be more likely to lick a burglar to death than alert you to its presence.
Dogs that are good with kids include American Staffordshire Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers, Labrador Retrievers, Brittany Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels, and Golden Retrievers.
As with any animal, the dog must be properly trained and socialized, while the child must be taught appropriate behaviour around dogs. However, these breeds (among others) are especially patient with the unpredictable sounds and movements of small children.
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself” – Josh Billings
Live in an Apartment
Most small breeds are great for apartment living, except for Beagles or Shiba Inus.
Surprisingly, giant breed dogs are also good for living in small quarters. Great Danes, Greyhounds, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Bulldogs are all great roommates (and neighbours) in apartment complexes.
Check your local area, zone or council for apartment living conditions.
Aren’t Sure What You Want?
It’s okay not to know exactly what you want. In this case, it can be beneficial to sit down with an adoption counsellor at your local shelter or rescue and discuss your lifestyle.
Include how often you are away from home, your budget, your exercise preferences, and how affectionate of a dog you would like. Chances are, the perfect dog for your family is already waiting for you!
The Jerry Files
Update – Nine Weeks
“At nine weeks old Jerry sleeps, eats, plays, smells and tastes everything…then he sleeps some more – it’s so very tiring being adorably brand new. We’re absolutely ecstatic with our new pup-child. The best decision we ever made – meant to be, and we are so very grateful to all who helped make this happen.” Ash Sukhwani a.k.a. Mother of Jerry
If you are thinking a purebred puppy is best for you, the next chapter will discuss tips for buying one.
Up next – Chapter Three: Tips for buying a dog.
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