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Vail pets: What dog is best for you?

Nadine Lober
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado “-Buying or adopting a new pet in Colorado’s Vail Valley is a big decision.

We sometimes choose the same kind of dog that we were raised with because we are so used to it and attached to it, but there are other things to consider.

First, you must consider your living arrangements and the members of your family. If you travel a lot then a cat or maybe two cats (they can entertain each other), might be a better choice. Get these cats, preferably at a younger age so they can grow up together.



If the pet is for an older person, then you may consider a smaller breed that doesn’t require as much exercise (Maltese, shih tzu, pug). If a member of the household is allergic to dogs than a non-shedding dog, like a poodle or bichon frise, would be appropriate. There are, however products for the dog and house to prevent allergies.

If you have kids than you need to choose a breed that is gentle with children, such as goldens, Labs, and many other breeds. Some breeds ” Dalmatians, some akitas and some cockers spaniels ” are known to be more aggressive around small children, but most dogs if trained correctly will be kind around kids.



If you travel and want to take your dog with you, then a smaller lap breed, like a Yorkshire terrier or Maltese, would work out great. If you live in the mountains and want a companion to enjoy the outdoor activities, than choose a larger breed with hair, such as a husky, Lab, golden or malamute. But if you live in a place like Florida, then a hairy dog such as a malamute won’t be too happy.

Some of you are looking for sports dogs for hunting, sledding and other activities. In England, hounds are popular for hunting but in the Vail Valley, Labs and spaniels are very popular with hunters.

When choosing a dog, training and dependable blood lines become very important. You need to do the research into the ancestors, and check out the parents. This is all available to you. Also, training should start the day you get your new puppy if you want to end up with a well-mannered dog and companion.



As for mutts, you always take a chance when you get a mutt puppy. It can be difficult or impossible, to determine the breeds that went into making the dog. Overall, mutts are usually healthier and great pets while some purebred dogs, due to inbreeding, can end up with severe medical problems.

When choosing a mutt, try to pick out one with the most obvious breed you like. Sometimes you might go to a rescue service for a specific breed and find a good pet that needs a home. These services are in most large cities and can also be found online. If you adopt an older pet, then try to get as much info about his past and his behavior to see if he will adapt to your environment.

There is a breed for everyone and sometimes they say that the owner resembles their dog, so keep that in mind when choosing your dog.

Veterinarian Nadine Lober can be reached at 970-949-7972. E-mail comments about this column to cschnell@vaildaily.com.


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