Becoming a dog parent will be an invaluable change in your life. It is going to be too much of elbow grease for you, especially when you’re bringing a pup home for the first time. You have to be sure that you want a dog because being a dog owner is a huge responsibility you won’t be able to escape. And once you’ve made the final decision, you need a lot of research to decide what kind of dog you should bring.
Decide What Things You Want In A Dog
There are about 340 dog breeds recognized by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale). Clearly, not all the dogs are going to fit your requirements and your choice. So it’s better to figure out your preferences beforehand. Maybe you want some cute teacup dogs, or large dogs like Great Dane, maybe you want a high energetic running companion dog or maybe you want a quiet dog which can be a great companion because you live in an apartment. Whatever it is, just write down everything on your mind to see what fits into your preferences the most. Here are some pointers you would like to keep in mind.
Age of the Dog
You do not have to bring a puppy in order to be a dog parent. Senior dogs are also a great choice as companions. When you adopt a dog from a shelter, you may be able to skip the crate and house training. Whereas if you bring a pup from a shelter or from a breeder, you will have to spend a lot of time and effort to shape your dog’s habits and behavior.
Size of the Dog
The larger the dog, the more he eats and, the more difficult it will get to keep him happy in a smaller space. Small dogs (toy breeds) live long but have more health issues compared to large dogs.
Are You Willing to Spend Time and Energy to Take Long Walks and Runs every day?
If you’re looking for a workout partner for hikes, runs, and long walks, you should consider the highly energetic dog breeds. When you filter out the dog breeds based on energy levels, make sure you choose the dog with high energy and high exercise requirements.
If a highly energetic dog doesn’t get enough exercise and mental stimulation, he can be destructive and can develop mental and physical health issues. In a nutshell, you need to be pretty sure about your preference for physical or mental activity you can provide to your dog. If this is not a requirement, you can look for the dog breed which has the minimum physical and mental activity required.
Although, it is important to note that no matter what dog breed you choose, he will need at least some amount of physical activity to stay happy and healthy.
Are you a beginner who is getting a dog for the first time? You might want a dog that is easy to train. When you will filter out the dog breeds, you can find the trainability factor of each breed. Choose the one with high trainability if this is the case.
Do You Need a Dog Which Behaves Well with Children and is Gentle in general?
This is an important factor you want to consider if you have children in your family. The behavior and sociability of a dog are not the same in all the dog breeds. You can look for your preferences in the temperament factor of a dog breed.
Keep refine the list of your preferences until you’re one hundred percent sure about what kind of dog you want. If you’re experienced, you might not have many preferences and that’s good. However, some people have strict needs. It’s quite important that you figure your needs out before you head over to a shelter or a breeder.
Figure Out the Breed That Fits Your Preferences
After figuring out what you’re looking for, you can’t just date the pup or dog of any specific breed to identify whether it will fit into your preferences and priorities. All of these dogs are classified in about 10 groups by FCI based on the common characteristics and features. So it’s quite an easy and wise option to rely on different international kennel clubs and organizations for the data they collected from the decades of research. If not the internet, you can head to a local library to start from.
Even if you have seen and met the dog that has inspired you to want one, research about the breed in its entirety. This will help you understand what you’re most likely in for. If nothing else, you will get to know about what areas will ask for maintenance and what things will be easy for you.
For instance, Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) need to be groomed weekly, but apart from grooming, there is no maintenance that’s going to take more time or effort. Every dog breed has been assigned personality traits. Some dog breeds like Catahoula Leopard Dog are known for their bravery and loyalty, whereas Newfoundland dogs have been known for their love and nurturing sense for children. On the other hand, Newfoundlands are not so good at guarding and protecting.
Getting a mix breed dog is also a good idea. Not that will get you a dog with the mix characteristics of multiple dog breeds but also there are other benefits of a crossbred dog in terms of health. But before you decide which dog to bring, disregarding the fact that it’s purebred or crossbred, research about them in its entirety. For example, if you finally decided to get a Labrador Retriever, but you didn’t decide what color it would be. In fact, chocolate Labs have poor health compared to other Labs. In a nutshell, while choosing the dog, don’t just use your heart, use your brain too!
Welcoming a non-human companion in your life is a big responsibility, and that is definitely going to change your life. When you decide to get a dog, even after knowing all the nitty-gritty of it, you’re supposed to make the right choice on what kind of dog you should bring. If you’re getting help online, ensure that you’re looking at reliable resources. For example, Animal Planet’s dog breed selector is reliable. I hope this article has helped you to direct where and what to look for the choice. Long may canines live!
Clara is a co-founder and the marketing head at PetLovesBest. She happens to be an active animal activist in her town who has done a few notable works for the welfare of animals, especially pets. She loves to enjoy writing about pets and animals.