SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

December 13, 2013

Ask Dog Lady: After breakup, will dog adjust to two homes?

(Continued)

The dog breeds I’m most interested in, in this order, are: 1: Samoyed 2: Siberian husky 3: Collie (not border) 4: Newfoundland 5: Labrador retriever 6: Golden retriever. Which of these dog breeds are best for a first-time dog owner who is generally great with animals? Most dogs tend to love me. I’m also looking for the most affectionate type of dog. I’m really interested in the first three breed options due to their aesthetic quality and beauty. I’d like to stay away from Newfoundlands, golden retrievers, and Labrador retrievers if at all possible as I do not find them as aesthetically pleasing.

A: Dogs are not supermodels. Do not select a dog for looks. Choose for temperament. You must consider how the creature will blend with your lifestyle. From the details you provide, any of the breeds you mention would be a very bad fit. A Samoyed trapped in a one-bedroom apartment would be stifled by the lack of outdoor space to sprawl. Samoyeds and Siberian huskies need cool air, cold water, and epic walks across the tundra. Collies require romps in fields of green. Newfoundlands crave the outdoors. Even in a blizzard, a Newfie can park itself under a tree and refuse to budge. You have not done your research about the needs of these large breeds — and let’s not even mention how your apartment will become a den of dander and fluff if you insist on grooming by yourself.

Great you want a dog but you need to do more homework. Visit a local shelter and look for a smaller dog requiring less maintenance. And, please, toss all that annoying “aesthetically pleasing” snobbery when choosing a dog.

Dear Dog Lady,

This guy I’ve been seeing for a few months surprised me and gave me a live dog for my birthday, a Pomeranian he named Scooter. I was very annoyed he handed me this responsibility. I never asked for a dog and I’m still deciding whether I want to keep it. I know I want to dump the guy. Surprising someone with a dog is not a nice thing to do. Right?

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