Dogs can suffer from a whole host of diseases and other serious health problems. Some of these conditions are inherited, while others are caused by viruses; still others are related to lifestyle and environmental influences.
So you have made the decision to get a dog. Perhaps you had a bad experience once before with a dog who you thought was cute or friendly, but then when you got him home he turned out to be a holy terror, and the whole thing turned into a nightmare. Even if you have never had such a bad experience, the fact remains that choosing a pet is a life-changing decision, and it is one that takes a lot of thought and research.
You may have felt that choosing a breed was the biggest decision you had to make before getting a dog. But now that you have made that choice, you are now faced with a more basic decision: do you want a male dog, or a female?