There are too many PUREBRED dogs in rescues and even purebred rescues. And guess what? A MUTT is one of the best dogs you will ever own. I don't know the breed of my dog, so what? Do you honestly know your entire heritage? Not everyone does.
(From my old 1977 Minolta. The weird colored section to the left of her head? Bad light leak. Fixed by duct tape.)
My first dog, Maggie, was a one and a half year old mutt we adopted from a rescue group outside of a pet store. I searched through books and figured out she was probably a Belgian Malinois. I didn't realize how special she was until I got older but she was amazing. She didn't fetch, or chase balls but she listened so well. She was so obedient. She loved to run and we played chase around my backyard. She also loved to jump and I made many obstacle courses for her. We had an electric fence for a good part of her life but she probably would have stayed in our yard regardless. Every once in a while she would get out and go on an adventure but she always ended up back in her dog house or asleep by the front porch the next day. She was so good. My parents never spent too much on her, just got her the necessary shots and food that she liked. She lived outside, except during thunderstorms and cold weather when we brought her into the basement. She lived such a long healthy life. And she was ADOPTED.
Moral of the story - Before you get a dog, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Google dogs (especially cesar millan!) and learn some extremely simple tips for being a responsible dog owner. If you have a breed in mind, RESEARCH it. Every dog is different but breeds do have certain characteristics. Go see the dog before you decide you will take them home. Don't make a spontaneous decision especially if you are a first time dog owner. If the dog has a problem, google it. If you can't seem to figure it out, take some dog training classes. A lot of the time the trainer can show you how to solve it in the first class. And most of all, ADOPT.
Tips to being a succesful dog owner, by Sarah.
- Feed the best food you can afford. Always look for meat (NO meals) as the first ingredient. A meal is okay but you don't want it as the FIRST ingredient. Try to avoid corn in the first 5 ingredients. This website http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/ is awesome. I currently feed a 4 star food that I can afford. Perfect.
- Exercise your dog at least 30 min a day. 30 min twice a day is preferred especially for larger dogs.
- Socialize your dog. READ carefully - not every dog enjoys social interaction. Some dogs prefer people. Some dogs just prefer you. But if your dog likes other dogs, go to the dog park or have play dates!
- Love your dog. Every day, as much as possible. That is what they live for :)