It's been over ten years since I started Grouchy Puppy and began sharing all things dog online. From my personal experiences to other people's incredible and inspiring stories, I have focused on education, empathy, and compassion mixed with a bit of entertainment. I care about dogs and their people positively influencing each other. I believe in the power of the dog-human bond and how important it is.
As we move through the holidays, this seemed like a good time to share an essential list centered around matchmaking and relationships! From my experiences, I have learned that a key to successful new relationships is the stuff you have in common and realistic expectations. If you have those, your odds of a long and beautiful time together are enormous! This philosophy applies to our relationships with people too.
Set yourself and your dog up for success!
When you are looking at bringing a new dog into your life, there is a lot to consider. Do you want a dog to go jogging with you? How much do you like to go on road trips and excursions, and would you love a co-pilot? Maybe you're a couch potato, and you want a furry couch potato to join you there? Any successful relationship needs to have matching expectations or something in the ballpark.
The following are ten areas to consider before, during, and after you get a dog. You will not only find yourself much more likely with a well-matched dog, but you will also go into the relationship better prepared. You will be able to set yourself and your dog up for success because your expectations will be more in line with the dog you're bringing into your life. Being honest with yourself about your habits and your personal goals early is a good idea.
Consider These Ten Helpful Matchmaking and Relationship Components (in no particular order):
Activity level: High or low? Do you like to sit a lot, or are you always running around? Do you want to read or do a crossword alone quietly, or are you making plans constantly to go out?
Playtime: Are you athletic and like to play lots of sports, or do you get bored and tire quickly? Some dogs are Energizer bunnies who never quit or won't unless you stop first.
Brushing party: How do you feel about grooming? Are you soothed from the rhythm of brushing hair? Does the thought of possible tumbleweeds of dog hair rolling across your floor bother you?
Run or walk: Do you like to go for a long run before or after work? Does a short brisk walk around the block satisfy you? Some types of dogs need more physical exercise to stay healthy and at their optimal weight than others.
Intelligence: Love puzzles? How about learning new gadgets or maybe a foreign language? Similar to people, many dogs thrive when challenged to learn something new.
Curiosity: Are you naturally curious? Do you ask why a lot? Some dogs are just like this too! Dogs "ask" questions with a wag of their tail or with a sniff of their nose.
Snacks between meals: It is easy to add weight when we eat between meals. If snacking is a habit for you, it can be easy to pass on to a dog. Acknowledging behavior we want to change in ourselves can benefit our relationship with a dog.
Sleeping: Do you like to stay up late? Some dogs can nap like a boss, but they also need regular hours to rest, just like humans.
Carsick: We didn't believe it until we saw it but not all dogs like being in cars. They can experience everything from heavy stress panting to getting sick and throwing up.
Separation: Dogs can vary from enjoying your company and hardly noticing when you leave to run an errand to feeling desperate when not attached to your hip.
Did we missing anything important? Do you now or have you had a perfect match with a dog? What was your secret? I’d love to read your comments and stories below!