Choosing A Dog Breed
Guest Writer: Rachel Sweet
If you’re thinking about getting a dog, then you should first take some things into consideration in choosing a dog breed that best suits your needs.
If you just choose a dog that you find cute, for example, without taking your circumstances into consideration, you may end up with an unsuitable dog. And as your new dog is likely to be a part of your life for years to come, it’s only fair for both you and the dog that you avoid such a situation, if possible. It’s important that you make the most informed choice you can.
So what factors should you take into account when choosing a dog breed?
Photograph by Tony Alter
Factors You Should To Take Into Account When Choosing a Dog Breed
Consider Your Lifestyle
If you have children, it’s important that you choose a dog breed that gets along well with them. Some breeds can be aggressive towards children. Others may be unsuitable because they’re so small, they may easily be injured by clumsy and/or curious children. For example, young children can easily pick up and drop the toy dog breeds. Or, they may pick the dog up to give it a cuddle, which may startle the dog, causing it to jump out of their arms from too great a height.
Does your job mean you’re going to be away from the house for long periods every day? If so, you may want to avoid dog breeds that are prone to separation anxiety.
And some dog breeds need much more attention and exercise than others. So choosing a dog breed whose needs match your own time availability and levels of energy is very important. Another factor related to this is that some dogs need a lot of grooming, which is another time commitment (and expense, if you opt for professional grooming rather than doing it yourself).
Do you already own other pets? If you do, you may be best choosing a dog breed that’s known to get on well with other animals.
One other lifestyle factor that’s important to consider is, how likely it is that your lifestyle will change in the future? If you expect your circumstances to change, you definitely need to factor this into your choice of breed.
What experience do you have when it comes to dogs?
If you’re going to be getting your first dog, it’s probably best to avoid the more aggressive and domineering breeds.
Larger dogs require more more strength to be able to handle them.
And some breeds are easier to train than others. If you’re inexperienced with dogs, it may be easier for you if you choose an easy-to-train breed.
If you live in a small apartment, you’re not going to want a high-energy dog or one of the bigger breeds.
And if you’re planning on keeping your dog outdoors, you should avoid breeds that suffer from separation anxiety and/or struggle with extremes of temperatures. Some dogs are just not suitable for being kept outdoors.
If you’re house-proud and like a clean and tidy house, you’ll want to avoid the breeds that shed a lot of hair and instead go for one of the non-shedding dog breeds. And if you suffer from allergies, your best option may be one of the so-called hypoallergenic breeds such as the Maltese.
Do you have a beautifully manicured lawn? If so, you won’t want one of the dog breeds that love to dig!
Your Financial Situation
Are you prepared for the financial costs of dog ownership? Grooming, dog food, and vet fees all add to the cost of owning a dog.
Some dogs are more expensive to keep than others. For example, breeds that are prone to hereditary health issues are likely to incur higher vet fees, while larger dogs will cost more to feed, as they’ll obviously eat more than smaller dogs.
Your Reason For Getting A Dog
Think about why you’re getting a dog and choose an appropriate breed.
Are you looking for a lapdog, or a quiet dog, to provide loving companionship? Or do you want an energetic and independent dog to go exploring the great outdoors with you? You’ll want to choose a dog whose personality and temperament matches your own.
Do you want a watch dog or a guard dog? Small dog breeds tend to make great watch dogs, but when it comes to the crunch, they don’t have the size and power to scare away intruders that larger dogs do.
Choosing a dog breed is something that should be given a lot of thought. You’re going to have a long-lasting relationship with your dog, so you want to choose a breed with characteristics that best match your needs.
Rachel Sweet is a dog lover and all-round animal aficionado. She runs her own website SmallFluffyDogBreeds.com dedicated to providing tips and advice for dog owners. She is also on Twitter and Pinterest.
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