Choosing a dog breed is not an easy task. Often, people get drawn to a dog breed for all the wrong reasons. Some dogs are so cute that it is difficult not to fall for their charms. However, it is important not to let looks blind you when choosing a dog. It’s crucial that you choose a dog based on their temperament and needs rather than how they look. If you having trouble deciding what breed of dog to get then this guide should help you. If you are set on one particular breed of dog then read on and you might just change your mind. Here are some of the main things you need to think about when deciding on a dog breed.
Research different breeds of dog
If you have a few different breeds of dog in mind then make sure you do your research. Find out the breed traits and characteristics and what sort of owner they will be best suited to. You can find this information in a number of ways:
- Researching online. Try breed specific rescue clubs as they will know the breed temperament extremely well.
- Spending time with the breed yourself to see what they are like. You can meet different breeds of dog at events such as Crufts and Discover Dogs.
- Speak to breeders about the temperament of the dogs they breed.
- Buy a book that has a profile on every type of dog breed.
- Ask friends and family about their dogs.
The first thing you need to think about is your lifestyle. What sort of dog would fit in with your family? Are your household members active, extremely busy, very loud and or very relaxed? For example, if you get a high energy dog and you are very busy then you might not have the time to commit to their training. You need to pick a dog that will suit your lifestyle. Where you live will also have a big impact on what sort of dog you get. Some dogs are not suited to living in flats or small apartments and other prefer to be in the countryside rather than living in a city.
What sort of dogs appeal to you
Have a think about what sort of dogs you like and naturally gravitate towards. If you saw a group of lots of different dogs, which ones would you choose to go and stroke? Looking at the different groups of dogs can often help you narrow things down. For example, do you like gun dogs, toy dogs or pastoral breeds? Spend as much time as you can with lots of different dogs to get a feel for which ones you really like.
What size dog are you looking for?
Dog breeds come in all different shapes and sizes. From tiny teacup Chihuahuas to enormous Great Dane’s. How big is your house and how much space do you have for a dog to run around in? You might also want to consider your strength and fitness levels as a few dog breeds can be too strong for some dog owners.
What qualities do you want your dog to have?
All dogs are different, but dogs that are the same breed will often have similar characteristics and qualities. For example, Greyhounds tend to be very laid back and calm whereas Cocker Spaniels have a lot of energy and often have big personalities. Do you want a chilled out, energetic, active, overly loving or slightly aloof dog? Your dog needs to have qualities that will fit with your needs and personality.
Do you need a dog to do a specific job?
Some people choose a particular breed of dog because they need their dog to do a specific job. For example, Border Collies are used to herd sheep and German Shepherds are often used as security dogs. If you are looking for a working dog then this will obviously influence what breed you need to get.
How much are you willing to spend?
Another important thing to think about is how much you are willing to spend on a dog. The price of buying a dog can vary a lot depending on the breeds. Some breeds are far more expensive than others. You also need to think about the cost of owning a particular breed. How much will they cost to insure, how much will you spend on food and are they likely to develop certain health issues? Breed such as Bulldogs are very expensive to insure and are prone to health problems.
Some breeds of dogs can shed a lot of hair, which means you will end up with dog hair all over your house. Is this something you are happy to deal with? Remember dog breeds with shorter coats can still shed a lot of hair. Think about the type of coat you would prefer before deciding on a particular breed of dog.
How long can you walk your dog for per day?
How much time do you have to walk your dog each day? Some breeds of dogs need more than a few hours walk per day and this isn’t something every dog owner can provide. If you are too busy to do this or not an active person then get a dog breed that has lower exercise requirements.
Do you have any allergies?
The last thing you want to do is decide on a breed of dog, get a puppy and then find out someone in your family is allergic to them. Once you know what breed of dog you want make sure all the family has spent time with this type of dog to check they aren’t allergic. Some dog breeds such as Poodles are believed to be hypoallergenic and might be a better option for people with allergies.
Other things to consider:
- Some breeds of dog are not suited to first time dog owners
- How long do you want a dog for? Some breeds can live up to 20 years, whereas other only live to eight or ten years of age.
- Don’t rule out getting a rescue dog, you can get to know them at the rescue shelter to see if they are a good fit for your family. The rescue centre can also advise you on the right breed based on your circumstances
- Don’t forget crossbreeds, they often have less health issues and can have a mix of traits from different breeds.