Choosing The Right Dog Breed For You
Choosing the right dog breed for you is never an easy task. Of course, if you know exactly what kind of dog you want or what you expect in a dog, then the choice is much less daunting.
Perhaps you’re just not that sure what sort of dog you want. Maybe you’re someone who falls in love with the first cute puppy and wagging tail at the shelter. But, knowing what you’re getting is key. After all, your happiness as a dog parent and the dog’s future depends on your choice.
There are so many kinds of dogs―and not just breeds, but types as well! According to the AKC, there are currently 193 U.S. recognized breeds and at least 340 known breeds worldwide. And, there are 8 AKC dog types or groups―9, if you count the miscellaneous group.
This article will give you some tips to help you find the perfect dog for you. So, please read on to learn more about choosing a dog breed that’s right for you!
Important Questions To Consider When Choosing A Dog
- Is there a specific breed that you want and if so will you look for a breed-specific rescue or breeder?
- Size matters! If the dog is a puppy, how big will it get?
- If you choose a dog with longer hair are you okay with shedding or regular grooming needs?
- Has the dog had any training or will it need training?
- If the dog needs training who will train it? You or will you hire a dog trainer?
- Will it be compatible with other pets in our home and or your children?
- Will your new dog stay indoors, outdoors, or both?
- Are you looking for a puppy or an older dog?
- What about health or special needs pets, would you be interested in adopting a dog with special needs?
- If you are certain of a specific breed have you done your research about their life span, temperament, health history, and other related topics pertaining to that breed?
Breaking It Down Further
- Compatibility―You need to know that your breed of dog will play well with others. This means other pets and people at your home and in public. Ask yourself:
- Do you plan to take your dog to public places like sidewalks, beaches, dog parks, etc.?
- Is the breed known to be friendly or is it aggressive?
- Will your new dog be safe with kids―yours or anyone else’s?
- How will the dog behave around other adults or other pets?
- Size―Way too many would-be dog parents give up, abandon, or euthanize their grown dogs simply because the dog grew too big. It’s imperative that folks know how big their mature dog will be. Giant breeds like Great Danes or big crossbreeds are wonderful dogs but they aren’t a great fit for everyone. Some people and homes are far better suited to the medium, small, or toy breeds.
- Trainability―You need to know whether your breed choice will be easy or hard to train. Will you be able to give the dog basic training or will you need to hire a trainer? Does your breed of choice need intense training for a specific job (i.e., working or sporting breeds)?
- Breed―The importance of breed selection can’t be overstated. This is true even if you’re thinking about a mixed breed. You need to know the dog’s dominant physical traits, breed characteristics, general demeanor, etc. in order to determine if a pup or adult dog is a good fit for you. Remember, what is an adorable puppy will soon become a full-sized adult dog. Get a dog that will fit well into your life and home.
- Maintenance―Some breeds, like Shih Tzu’s, can be high maintenance due to their coat and grooming needs, while others and some like Labradors are not. If you don’t want the extra work and expense of a dog that requires constant grooming and attention, then go for a short-hair breed.
- Health or Special Needs―No one likes bad surprises so you need to know as much as you can about the dog’s health and/or their special needs ( i.e. diabetes, special diet, medications, vaccinations, dysplasia, deafness, etc.). This means asking the right questions at the shelter or the breeder before bringing it home. Ask for health papers, vaccination records, before paying a fee and agreeing to take the dog. Do this for your protection as well as for the dog’s future wellbeing.
There are a lot of things to consider before getting a dog. Know what kind of dog you want in terms of age, size, and type before investing your time and resources. Do your research. If you are still uncertain about the breed or type of dog you want, then using a breed selector like the one on the AKC website can help you find the perfect breed for you.
We hope this post has helped in your search for the perfect best bud for you. If you need more help please feel free to ask us―your questions and comments are always welcome.
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