Dogs are loyal, friendly, and lovable creatures who are very good at being our companions. It’s no wonder many people love dogs and dedicate their life to caring for one. But getting a dog isn’t as easy as it sounds, it’s a commitment where you have to put in your time, energy and money among other things to make sure that your pet gets the best care he deserves.
Upon deciding that you want a dog, another thing you have to consider is its breed. Currently, there are over 340 dog breeds recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI), although breed recognition varies from country to country. In the USA, the American Kennel Club recognizes only 167 breeds.
Dogs come in all kinds of breeds, and in different shapes and sizes, how do you know which breed is best for you? How can you make sure that you and your canine companion will get along well?
When choosing your dog’s breed, there are lots of things to consider. Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect breed according to your needs and lifestyle.
State your purpose. Why are you getting a dog?
The most important thing to consider before choosing a dog is your purpose for having one. Ask yourself – why do I want a dog? Is it for companionship? For guarding? Hunting?
There are many reasons people own dogs. Some need animal companions to guard their properties, some need hunting partners to catch birds in the field, and there are also some who own dogs just because they like to. When you want a watch or guard dog, experts recommend going for strong big breeds like Rottweilers and Dobermans. If you’re a hunter, you’d want dogs that are bred for field training like pointers and retrievers.
How large is your space?
Before getting a dog, consider your living area. Do you have a big yard or farm where your dogs can run around and be themselves?
Be realistic. If you live in a small-room apartment, for instance, adopting an active dog might not be such a good idea. Dogs like Great Dane and retrievers need a great deal of exercise to be healthy and if you don’t have the space for them to run and be comfortable, you’re better off with small dog breeds like Chihuahuas or Poodles.
Can you groom your dog as often as needed?
Long-haired dogs may need extra care and grooming. This will require you to perform frequent brushing, trimming, and baths on your pet to keep it clean and healthy. If neglected some dog breeds will be more prone to infectious dog skin problems and fleas. Some grooming-intensive dog breeds include the Afghan hound, Shih Tzu, and Alaskan Malamute.
If you are more of a laid back owner and want a low maintenance dog breed that doesn’t require too much grooming time, you’re better off with Chihuahuas , Labradors, and Dachshunds.
Will your lifestyle fit your dogs?
Another important factor that’s often overlooked is your lifestyle – will it suit your dogs? Pets also have emotional needs just like you. They want their owners to spend time with them. If you have a hectic lifestyle and don’t have time to bond with your furry pal, what’s the point of getting one?
Similarly, how active you are as a person should be considered when choosing a dog breed. If you’re a jogger, you would want a dog that’s big and fast enough to run alongside with you. If you work at home and don’t leave the house as much, you’ll want a dog that doesn’t require much exercise.
Should you choose a small or big breed?
When choosing a canine companion, size matters. A large active dog may not be such a good friendly companion for a small toddler. And If you have kids around ages 7 to 12, you want a dog that will have plenty of energy to keep up with them. Also, larger breeds will cost you more in overall expenses because they will also need more food, treats, bigger beds and crates, and higher vet bills and pet insurance cost.