Dogs are beautiful, loyal and a lot of fun! But when it comes to actually getting a dog, they can be great for different reasons, and finding the right one for you could come down to which breed you choose. Dogs are for life, so make sure you’re compatible and do your research on dog breeds.
DOES A DOG FIT YOUR LIFESTYLE?
And likewise, does your lifestyle fit a dog? You have to consider whether your home is appropriate to accommodate a dog and its needs. Most breeds will require a decent outside space, whether that’s a garden or a nearby park. It’s also important to have inside space for them to move about in. Also think about the size of the dog. If you want a big dog, you need a big space.
Are you active? If you find it difficult to walk for long periods of time, find a dog breed that doesn’t need to be walked too often or too far at a time. Examples of less active dog breeds are French Bulldogs and Basset Hounds. Or, consider adopting an older dog that has less energy, rather than a puppy who requires constant attention and a lot of walking. If you are an avid runner or walker, there are definitely dogs which will happily keep you company while outdoors, such as Border Collies, Whippets and Labradors.
IS ANYONE ALLERGIC? WHAT TYPE OF HAIR DOES IT HAVE?
Dogs often shed hair, which can pose another question on how it will fit your lifestyle. It may require you to vacuum up hairs daily. Ask yourself if you are willing to spend the time cleaning up after a dog every day. If not, there are certain breeds that shed less, and some that don’t shed at all. Bear in mind that short haired dogs also shed hair, so don’t assume they’ll be less cleaning hassle.
Also, are you or anyone you live with allergic to the hairs of certain breeds? The best thing to do is to spend some time with a dog of the same breed, and see whether anyone has a reaction. It is known that poodles are hypo-allergenic, so consider a poodle or a poodle mix if someone is allergic, like a cockapoo or labradoodle.
WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM YOUR DOG?
Certain breeds are more skilled or prone to behaviours than others. Every dog has their own personality of course, but dogs of one breed will share characteristics – especially how quick they can be trained!
If you want a dog that is more trainable to do tricks or jobs, research into which can do that. For example, German Shepherds are used as security guards, while Golden Retrievers are great as guide dogs. There are many more jobs different breeds can do so it is worth reading up on it. On the other hand, if you want a trainable dog to take part in shows and to groom, a spaniel might be what you want – they are extremely intelligent and obedient.
If you want a dog for cuddles or companionship, some breeds are more willing to get cosy than others. Greyhounds, Springer Spaniels and Beagles are among some of the breeds that will more likely be snuggling up to you on the couch. Families with young children will want a patient dog, such as a Labrador or Pug.
WHAT ABOUT THE COSTS?
If you are buying a dog, you will find some breeds to be far more expensive than others. The most expensive breeds in the US are for example, English Bulldogs, Chow Chows and Rottweilers. If you are looking to spend less money, there are less expensive breeds to buy. Or, have you considered adopting a rescue dog, or a mixed-breed mongrel?
Not only is there the initial cost, but there is the question of pet insurance, the health problems that the dog may have, and how much food it needs. Some breeds are more susceptible to illnesses or joint problems, such as Labradors, German Shepherds and Dachshunds, while some might lose their hearing more easily, such as Dalmatians and Jack Russell Terriers. It is actually the case that mixed-breeds tend to have less health issues!
Every dog deserves a loving home that can provide it with the best love and care, so researching what dog will fit into your lifestyle is incredibly important. Dogs will bring you and your family so much joy, but practicalities come into play every day with a dog. Choose your companion wisely, and have a great, long lasting relationship with your new best friend!