Question one is of course – male or female?  
I watch young male dogs together – and the similarities to young humans is fascinating. The main behavior is to keep finding a tree or flowerpot to pee on, marking their scent and territory – only for the next male dog to line up behind them and cover it straightaway.  They’ll do it to a female as well who has just peed – cover her smell with theirs.  
Life for a dog is one long journey of marking territory and leaving their scent trail.
Another big issue is the coat to consider, non-shedding breeds being highly desirable now. Not just for those with a sensitivity to animal fur (allergies) but the myth that it is less work and mess. 
Er…No. It is not. It requires spending more money on professional grooming services than you probably do at the hairdressers.  Because they don’t shed, the hair as it grows will matt into lumps unless you keep brushing and combing. 
I have had cockapoos with ears of great weight thickly covered with silky hair which tiny seeds and twigs easily get entwined into. These have to be eased out with fingers or if the dog will let you, a fine brush – but that’s unlikely. If you start grooming early though (ie.when they are a puppy), your dog will get used it.
What about a bull breed eg a French bulldog…an expensive and popular choice? Short-coated but they will definitely shed. Most bull breed dogs are packed with character and fun. Wonderful companions too but with a few genetic problems, mainly to do with a short nose that limits breathing and bulbous eyes that require daily dry eye drops.

‘Dolly’ named after Dolly Parton.

Why do people spend a small fortune buying a dog only then to leave them alone all day whilst at work? It is selfish and unkind for these wonderful creatures with underrated intelligence and character. Some are left crated or trapped in a small space to stop damage caused by their boredom.  It chills me to think of the daily torture inflicted especially with high intellect dog breeds that need stimulation and should be working.
 Just don’t adopt a dog UNLESS you’re prepared to take them daily to a dog carer or have a dog walker come and take them out twice a day.  You wouldn’t do it to a human toddler…there’s little difference.
Use the Borrow My Doggy App or ask your local shelter if you can take a dog out for walks at the weekends. That way you and your family can temporarily have the joy of a dog and be doing something valuable and worthwhile.

About The Author

Julia C Parsons, mother of two living in the UK, has come late to life as a dog person although she owned her own 3 dogs for 16 years. Having begun a new career as a successful home dog boarder 5 years ago to help cover the costs of her empty nest home, she realised how much misinformation there was generally about understanding dog behaviour, their food and nutritional needs as well as the many conflict of interests of the veterinary profession, that may be shortening and not enhancing a dog’s life. Feeling a strong, instinctive empathy with our four-legged friends, she wants to do what she can to be their voice and dispel the many myths surrounding our special companions. @theuksdogblogger

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