Because there are so many dog breeds out there, it can get overwhelming to pick and choose the one dog breed that fits your family’s lifestyle and expectations.
Many people go with their gut feeling and get a breed that they find visually appealing. Sometimes this method works out, but it is a risky way. It can lead to frustration, unexpected surprises and in worst cases, once the dog reaches an adult stage – abandonment.
Although each dog has a unique personality, originally dog traits were selected for specific tasks, with certain characteristics in mind to make them excel.
Choosing a breed means that you have the advantage of predicting the dog’s size, temperament, energy level, and key personality traits.
For example, some breeds have higher energy levels than others, which should match your family’s lifestyle. While some are known to have a calmer temperament. This is an important thing to consider when selecting a patient companion for your kids.
This is no doubt, a big decision to make and it requires careful consideration and research. In case you’re not sure where to start, we will give you some tips in choosing the right dog breed for your family.
What to Consider Before You Start Researching Various Breeds
First of all, you have to be scrupulously honest about why you want a dog, and what sort of activities you will share with him. Therefore, it’s a good idea to assess your family’s lifestyle. So why not make a list?
Are you an outdoorsy family? Are you generally occupied with work and indoor hobbies? What will change once you get a dog?
When that is done, it should become clearer which canine traits will suit your family the most.
Getting a dog with a high energy level is great if your family loves to spend
However, if relaxing weekends mostly mean going out with your friends or staying in, be prepared that high energy dog breeds will not be easily calmed.
Just like children, high energy dogs need to be provided with mental stimulation and
So, if you skip the play sessions, don’t be surprised if you come home from a long day out and find your favorite slippers peculiarly moist. Or if your comfy couch pillows have been turned into feathery confetti.
On the other hand, if you have energetic kids, dogs such as terriers and sporting breeds can keep them entertained and occupied for hours, and vice versa. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Just as important as his energy level, is the dog’s temperament. That is his general attitude toward people and other animals. Some dogs are happy to socialize with strangers and each family member. While some are more reserved in their reactions and feelings towards the people they meet each day.
Although the temperament can reflect the way the dog was raised, it also comes down to his genes.
It’s especially important to choose a patient breed since kids aren’t always gentle. A patient dog can form strong bonds, as well as become a great companion for your kids.
If you’d love a constant company of a big, fluffy Alaskan malamute but you live in a house you pride to keep neat and shiny, be ready to tackle regular brushing and grooming sessions. Or be prepared for battle against the fur on pieces of furniture and carpets.
The size of your home or apartment should also be taken into consideration when choosing the right dog breed for your family.
Many of the breeds require a huge amount of exercise. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a big yard, but you have to make sure your companion stays busy.
If you’re living small, perhaps it’s best to choose one of the smaller breeds.
Remember, it doesn’t matter if your dog is tiny and can be easily carried around, all dogs need to be trained. Small dogs are known for barking to assert leadership, to socialize or when they’re scared. If a dog is trained, they will stop on the command.
Small dogs are capable of learning basic and advanced training behaviors as big dogs, and it’s just as important for their long-term well being and safety. Your neighbors will be thankful too.
Types of Breeds
After carefully assessing your living environment and making a list of the qualities you want in your pooch, you should be ready to decide which type of dog breed is right for your family.
Purebreds are usually selected with a specific skill set in mind, such as herding, hunting or sporting. They are also bred to have certain personality traits. There are working dogs, toy dogs, terrier dogs, and non-sporting dog breeds. The non-sporting dogs come in all shapes and sizes and today are used for one main function that of top-notch companion dogs.
The advantage of getting a purebred dog is that the dog’s title comes with an informative list of traits. You can be certain about his size, behavior, and possible health issues.
However, if you decide to adopt from the shelter, most dogs you’ll encounter will be mixed breeds or mutts. With a mutt from a shelter, you have the choice of meeting and adopting a grown dog.
In these cases, the dog’s appearance and personality will be set, and your family can make a well-thought-out decision before adopting.
Another advantage of getting a mixed breed is that each dog looks quite unique and the chances of hereditary abnormalities have little effect on them.
Distinctive Health Problems
As a dog owner, you will become fully responsible for the well-being of your dog. You must be aware of the health issues of a specific dog breed. In order to ensure that the dog won’t suffer, be healthy and happy.
There are several dog breeds that have common widespread health problems.
One of the most common health issues that are faced by every fifth dog is arthritis. It is a progressive and usually
permanentjoint disease that causes pain and loss of mobility.
For instance, breeds as Labrador Retrievers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Rottweilers and others are predisposed to elbow osteochondrosis and dysplasia.
Hip dysplasia usually is faced by larger dogs, including Bulldogs, Mastiffs, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, American Staffordshire terriers, Great Danes, St. Bernards, and Rottweilers. As well as cranial cruciate ligament tear or rupture.
However, also smaller breeds as Pugs and French bulldogs can face above mentioned problems. Plus, patellar luxation which is more common for small toy breeds.
The average lifespan of a dog is 10-13 years they are high maintenance pets and need a lot of attention, and care from their owners to be well behaved and healthy.
It’s your responsibility to do as much research as you can before getting a certain breed or adopting a fully grown mutt.
Remember, all dogs have individual personality traits. But each dog, young or old, purebreds or mutts can be trained and their behavior corrected.
Training and socialization play an important role in their development and happiness.
It’s a good idea to spend some time with the particular dog breed before bringing one home, to determine if the breed is right for your family.
Write those lists of activities and traits, and be honest; that dog may be the most heart-melting thing you’ve ever seen. But Huskies won’t chill quietly in an apartment, and Yorkshire terriers won’t exactly be thrilled to go on hikes.