Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dog Days of Summer Part 3: How to Choose the Right Dog for You

Not only are dogs pets for people, they are also seen as best friends. If ever deciding whether a dog is the right choice in pet for you, ask yourself...do I really want a dog? Do I have time to care for a dog? Can I afford a dog? If the answer is yes to all of these questions then the next step would be to decide what breed of dog is best for you.

If you have not yet determined which breed you like then attending a dog show is an excellent place to start. Thumbing through books at you local library and browsing the Internet are also great resources. Once you know what breed you like, then you need to find the right breeder or go to a dog shelter.

An experienced, responsible breeder is the best source for a healthy puppy. They pick the perfect parents to highlight all the good attributes in a dog and to minimize faults. Getting a dog from a breeder also means that you will be able to meet its parents and get an idea of what the dog will look like when its older. Breeders have extensive knowledge of the dog and the breed. They will always be willing to help deal with any problems or questions that may arise when owning your new dog.

Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. They are without a doubt cute and snuggly but they need care, attention and love for years to come. http://petfinder.com/ is a great website displaying dogs that can be adopted at shelters near you who need a loving family. The Brockton Blue Dog Animal Shelter is located in Brockton, Ma. You can visit their website or stop by their tent they will have set up at our Dog Days of Summer drop-in this Thursday. http://www.akc.org/ offers a lot of information about breeders and all breeds of dogs. If you are interested in seeing a dog, go to http://www.infodog.com/ for a show near you.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dog Days of Summer Part 2: My Visit to a Dog Show

In early July, the Hockamock Kennel Club, Inc. ( a member of the American Kennel Club) held a dog show at the Crackerbarrel Fairgrounds in Wrentham, MA, where over 600 dogs competed. In preparation for our Dog Days of Summer drop-in, I decided to take a trip there to experience a dog show for myself. There were many trailers and cars set up along the grassy field where dog owners prepped their pooch for show time. As I walked towards the gigantic tent and fenced in areas where the dogs would be shown, I was greeted by a woman named Wendy. Wendy, is the Show Chairman and has over 40 years familiarity with dog shows.

Wendy gave me a tour around the fairgrounds, explaining all the ins and outs of the operation of a dog show. I saw so many different types of dogs. They all ranged in height and weight. Some had long hair while others had short hair. Most of the breeds I recognized but for some I needed to refer to my dog show guide to figure out which breed they were.

While there, I was fortunate to have met some very interesting folks. First, there was Mila. She is formerly from the Czech Republic but now lives in Plainville. Mila was showing her Rhodesian ridgeback, Lexi and brough along her two young boys to enjoy the show. Then I talked with Katie; a 14-year-old girl who has been showing dogs for 5 years. Katie was showing her Cardigan Welsh Corgi that day. Lastly, I spoke to Susan who has been showing dogs for 15 years and was attending the show with her Havanese, Renny.

The AKC website (http://www.akc.org/) offers a lot of information about breeders, all breeds of dogs as well as dog show registration. If you are interested in seeing a dog show, visit http://www.infodog.com/ for a show near you. Next...how to choose the best dog for you!