How can anyone not fall in love with that face?! The wrinkles, the green eye, the floppy ears, it sends any dog lover’s cute-o-meter into the red. And therein lies the mistake that many new dog owner’s make when picking out a puppy! Our 5th worst mistake is choosing their new furbaby with their heart and not their head.
My choice to use a picture of a french mastiff had a purpose. These dogs are, arguably, the cutest puppies on earth, but they also grow into YUGE adult dogs, with males reaching well over 150lbs and females tipping the scales at 130+! If a person were swayed by how cute this little girl is and made a snap decision to take her home from the shelter, imagine their surprise when she grows into a 130 lb fluffmonster!
This specific breed is a good example to use when discussing how important it is to do your research before choosing the right puppy for your lifestyle. French Mastiffs size alone makes them unfit for certain owners. Things like a small apartment, a tight budget–they eat a ton–, or very small children/other dogs (big dogs can cause injury to smaller dogs and children with their size alone), are all major considerations when choosing a breed that gets as big as this one does.
But it’s so easy to fall into the cuteness trap! I know that when I see a french mastiff puppy my heart turns to instant soup, the level of adorable just melts it straightaway.
But lets talk about some facts. A disproportionate amount of “owner surrenders” in shelters across the country are dogs that somehow didn’t fit what the owner’s wanted when the dog got older. Size isn’t the only consideration , many dog’s were bread to be high energy working dogs, and therefore require a lot of exercise, walks, playing, etc. When a person doesn’t research the breed characteristics beforehand, they end up with a dog that is bouncing off the walls of their 1 bedroom loft. They are left at their wits end because the only way to keep a happy and healthy working breed is a ton of exercise! If the person is unable to provide that, then the dog will, most likely, end up surrendered to animal services, through no fault of his own.
The problem is expounded by the fact that adult dogs have a tougher time getting adopted. Many stigmatize older dogs in shelters because they think that there must be something wrong with the dog for it to have ended up there. This simply isn’t true, and a large majority of these dogs were surrendered because their owner’s didn’t do their research before choosing the puppy that they took home.
A google search for the term “Dog Breed Information” returned almost 4 million results. In the age of the internet, research on dog breeds is, literally, at our fingertips. If you are interested in getting a new puppy, or you know someone who is thinking about it, make sure you do your homework and recommend that they do the same! Picking the right dog for your lifestyle will ensure many years of happiness for both you and your pup!