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This is a photograph of a Cocker Spaniel, a sh...

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At this point you should have a good idea how you want your dog to fit into your household.  You should also have a good idea of how much it really costs to have a dog and fulfill its needs.

Since you are on to this post, where we are going to discuss the size of dog that might be right for you I feel safe saying that you are serious about not only finding a dog, but finding the right dog.

I’d like for you to dig through your desk and find the paper where you put the activities that you’d like your dog to engage in with you.  Read it over again.  Do you need to add anything?  With me, when I take a second look at things, I find I’ve left out something.

So far, what kind of dog pops into your head?  Do you have any particular breeds or breed mixes that you are seeing yet?  If not, that is totally fine.  If you do, wonderful, but don’t get too stuck on that breed yet.  We still have a lot to consider and the picture in your head may shift when you discover other things about those breeds or mix of breeds.

Size is an important consideration when choosing a new dog or puppy.  For instance small dogs can make great lap-dogs where a large dog would be way to heavy for that.

What size home do you live in?  If you live in a very small home or an apartment it is often wise to look for dogs under 25 lbs.  If you are renting this is especially true.  It is difficult to find a rental home that allows large dogs.  I know this from personal experience.

If you live in a small home, a larger dog may take up too much space.  Look around.  Where will you put the crate?  Where will your dog sleep?  Where will the food and grooming supplies go?  Larger dogs mean larger dog beds and larger crates.

If you live in a larger house that you own space isn’t as much of a concern.  However size still matters.  How active are you?  Do you want to take a long walk or jog every day?  Is your yard fenced?  You will need to be more active to meet the exercise needs of a large dog.  Are you already an active person?  Are you willing to be more active?

How old are the children in your home?  Very small dogs may not be the best choice if you have young children because the dog can get hurt playing with them especially with young children.  No matter what size dog you have, you’ll need to teach your children how to play with your dog, but very small dogs are more easily injured.  If you want a small dog and you have young children go for the stockier breeds or choose a dog that is slightly larger.  A dog about the size of a cocker spaniel might be a wise choice.

These are all questions you will need to ask yourself before you go searching for the perfect new addition to your family.

Has the picture in your head changed at all?  Make notes on your paper and we’ll talk more about other things to think about in our next post.