You’ve done your research, talked with your family, and have decided to adopt a new dog. Congrats! Now the fun begins! Choosing the right dog breed for you is the next step…
But where to begin?
Dogs were bred for special abilities and to perform specific work, and each breed reflects this. Given this, it makes sense to look at breed personalities and tendencies to make sure they fit into your lifestyle. After all, looks aren’t everything!
So what are the things you should be looking at when choosing the right dog breed for you? Keep reading to find out Mobile Vet MD’s best tips.
Choosing The Right Dog Breed
Breeds share certain characteristics and physical traits. Some breeds are more trainable than others, and some do better in families with children than others. However, all dogs need exercise, training, and socialization (no matter the size!).
Picking a breed of dog should not be taken lightly, and should involve the whole family. Take time to do your research. Most dogs live 10 to 15 years – this is a long term decision that will affect your lifestyle, heart, and pocketbook!
Consider the following:
- How much time can I devote to the care of my dog?
- Is this breed recommended for children?
- Is my entire family on board with having a dog?
- Do I love being active and outdoors as much as possible, or would I rather curl up with a good book on the couch? What if I like to do both?
- How much money can I devote to pet food, medical care, and grooming?
- Are there allergies in my family?
- How much outdoor space I have for a dog?
- How big will the dog be?
Happy Dog, Happy Owner
Working breeds were bred to work farm animals, sight and chase prey, or guard livestock and property. They will often have high levels of energy, drive, and physical prowess (and they can bark a lot!). These dogs – think German Shepherd, Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, Husky – are popular for their joyful energy. They are intelligent and respond well to training. But they require an outlet for their energy, so they will do best living with active families and having large outdoor areas to run in.
Non-working breeds can do well with more moderate exercise, but have other tendencies to be considered. Some breeds can do well in apartments – and size does not necessarily an apartment dog make! You may think that a small dog would do best in an apartment, but some small dogs – like Chihuahuas and Pomeranians – have boundless energy and may bark at everything.
Some larger dogs, however, like Great Danes and Greyhounds, can actually make a better apartment dog as they are generally mellow and happy to lounge around for most of the day (they do need daily exercise, too of course).
A Big Decision
Other tips to researching which breed may be right for you:
- Use a breed selector tool
- Go to the dog park and watch the dogs
- Attend some purebred dog shows
- Contact reputable breeders and ask questions; visit them if possible
- Talk to your veterinarian for recommendations
- Be aware of breed-specific health problems
Best Friends For Life
Once you decide on the breed for you, visit your local shelter. Over 25% of the dogs at shelters are purebred dogs, surrendered by their owners. A shelter dog can be a wonderful companion, and you’ll literally be saving a life.
You may also decide to consider a mixed breed dog. Mixed breeds can offer the best of several different breed characteristics. There may also be a decrease in genetic weaknesses or diseases that are handed down by inbreeding, though a reputable breeder will take great care in this area as well.
If you have any questions about choosing the right dog breed for you, please give us a call. We are happy to help!