If you're thinking about getting a dog, here are some things to consider before purchasing a dog by RSPCA Victoria.
Where should I purchase my new dog?
It is important to buy your dog from a reputable source. Purchase your dog from a reputable dog breeder, visit an RSPCA Adoption Centre or a local animal welfare shelter such as the RSPCA where lots of happy and healthy dogs are looking for loving new homes. If you are looking to adopt a dog from a breeder, make sure you read our Smart Puppy Buyers Guide.
The RSPCA recommends that you do not purchase a dog from markets or places where large numbers of dogs are kept for sale. Dogs sold from these establishments are very rarely examined by a veterinarian, and therefore may not be entirely healthy. Never purchase a puppy that looks unwell and if you are concerned about the welfare of the animal, contact the RSPCA Inspectorate.
Large dog or small
Based on their size, dogs will require different needs to be met by their owner. It is important therefore to carefully consider which size will best suit the needs of both you and your future dog based on your lifestyle and circumstances.
While all dogs need daily exercise, larger dogs will generally require more. However, certain breeds of smaller dogs require just as much exercise as their larger cousins, and in some cases even more. For example, while the small Jack Russell is bursting with energy, the massive Great Dane is as lazy as they get!
As a rule of thumb, large dogs need plenty of space and are generally unsuitable as household dogs. Again though, this depends on the breed, and it is important to note that all dogs, regardless of their size, will enjoy some time indoors with the family.
Purebred or crossbred
Pedigree or purebred dogs are more expensive to buy if purchased from a breeder and their nature and appearance is generally predictable (as they should conform to a breed standard). Crossbreeds (or 'designer dogs') are dogs of mixed ancestry. They are robust and often make great pets. Keep in mind though, that when you purchase a crossbred puppy it might be difficult to accurately predict how these puppies will develop. Both purebred and crossbred puppies and adult dogs are available at RSPCA Adoption Centres.
Male or female
Male dogs are often quite independent and can be a little more difficult to train and control. Males also tend to wander and fight other dogs. Female dogs are more popular as family pets and may cost a little more. By nature females are affectionate and companionable, but unless desexed, will attract male dogs when in season and may reproduce every six months.
Once dogs are desexed though, little differentiates the male from the female. If you already have a dog, it is suggested to opt for the opposite gender from your own, as they will generally get along better with each other.
Short or long coat
Long coated dogs require grooming daily . If grooming is neglected, hair knots and mats will form and this can lead to skin ailments and other problems.
If you suffer from allergies, then a good option for you would be to adopt a dog which doesn't shed much, such as a Poodle, Schnauzer or Maltese. However, keep in mind that these dogs require regular trips to the groomers for washing and clipping.