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The perfect dog

So, does it exist? Well, like everything in this world, nothing or no one is perfect but with us all being so different, you can get very close to a perfect dog for you!

I regularly see clients turn up with a puppy or dog and my heart sinks. Generally, they’re the ones asking me why their dog doesn’t behave or listen to them and it can be very hard to say, because you didn’t think through your dog’s history or breed and they’re bored senseless with the life they’ve found themselves in. In my eyes, it’s quite simple, don’t get a brachycephalic type breed (Frenchie, Pug etc.) if you like climbing mountains and jogging, equally don’t get a Springer spaniel if you like the sedate life most of the time.

As someone who likes the outdoors, I need to have a dog who is active however I must remember, active dogs are active most of the time, so it’s a lifetime commitment to being active with them. I have had conversations with people who have got an active puppy in the hope it will get them running or walking lots and I wish I could turn the clock back and say, take up the running and walking first, you may hate it so please don’t ruin a dog’s life because you’ve not thought through your choices. Luckily there is a massive scale of different types of dogs with different activity and mental stimulation requirements so even you hate jogging after you’ve tried it, there are a lot of dogs out there for you!

One of the hardest dog breeds I’ve dealt with for clients, is Collie breed type dogs. They’re the smartest dogs on the planet so why are they so hard for some people? Imagine putting an 8-year old intelligent child in a room with 10 books for 2-year olds, what would happen? Chances are they’d whizz through all the books in an hour then get extremely frustrated as they’re bored, they might be destructive, and you can guarantee they’ll probably be unhappy. You’d never do this to a child so why do the same with dogs. Intelligent active breeds need a lot of mental stimulation as well as an active life. People will often say they’ve walked them for an hour each day and can’t understand why they tear up the home, nip, bark etc. It’s simple, they need a lot of interaction, jobs to do, walks, training, play and even dog sports like agility, most of the time and even then, some days are still hard. Not to put anyone off getting a Collie, they can be ideal for some people and having owned a Collie type rescue, I would highly recommend it if you can tick all those boxes above to help them be as happy as you are.

I consistently see rescue homes saying the dog has come to them because the family don’t have the time for them and sometimes this happens for unseen, genuine reasons. Family situations change unexpectedly and job’s change etc. but I know that a most are simply because the owner has not thought realistically about the future requirements of their “perfect” dog. That cute tiny puppy has turned into a barky, nipping dog because they’re bored and frustrated, the family didn’t have the time in the first place to put the time and effort into training or exercising and now that dog is left homeless and heartbroken.

So, my advice is, really get to know yourself and decide what you can and can’t do and be brutally honest with yourself. There will be a near perfect dog out there for you if you have the time, love patience and money for one but get past the looks or cool breed and base your decision on how the two of you are going to live harmoniously together. Speak with doggy people, ask their advice, use google (there are millions of articles out there) and ask people with the type of dog you're interested in, about the good and the bad stuff of their dog. Rescues can make the most perfect dog, they’re already forming their requirements for activity and personality (this can obviously be developed greatly too) so you know what you’re getting. You can work with them to be a happy, balanced companion so please always check your local rescue homes first, that perfect dog could be out there just waiting for a loving home with you.

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