Dogs have been our friends since the stone age, literally. This partnership developed with the human need for an alarm system, help with hearing, hunting and possibly just for companionship.
As dogs became domesticated we began controlling breeding which in turn created breeds, which have been genetically selected for certain traits, looks and abilities.
Though I do not have "working" dogs, my dogs play an important role in our family's daily life. They are our alarm system which helps keep us and our other animals safe, they bark at intruders and they are our buddies!
Meet,"Lucy" the pure bred border collie, "Dora" the big pound pup and "Taj" the small mix breed. I have rescued dogs, bought dogs, had muts, mixes, gotten dogs as adults and even had a couple litters of puppies. I don't know the prefect dog for you, but I do have some things which I think are important to be aware of before making this big commitment.
When considering getting a dog there are a few things to research and really think about. I think the main things to consider are: puppy vs. adult....mix vs. pure bred....rescue vs. buy.
If you are attracted to a certain kind of breed, I would recommend really researching the history of the breed and looking at all the different traits that type of dog has been bred for. You may like the look of the dog, but it might not be the right dog for your situation. For example if you have a small space, think about a small, mellow breed like a shitzu. If you have a large yard and will be exercising your dog, often a lab or retriever might be good for you.
I am a big fan of rescuing dogs that need a home, though I have purchased dogs as well. I am always shocked at the pure bred dogs I see at the humane society. I would highly recommend at least looking at your local shelter before purchasing a dog - the breed you want may be right there and need a home!. And also considering a mix breed, mixes usually are healthier and live longer than pure bred dogs due to inbreeding.
We all know puppies are adorable but destructive, so it's always good to be aware of how much work getting a pup is! Consider getting an adult dog if you want to skip the potty trainmen, chewing step!
When deciding to get a dog, one of the most important things is to make sure you understand the depth and length of the commitment.
I hope these tips help you in considering what dog is right for you and your family. I feel lucky to have my little pack!