Find the Right Dog for You
Making the choice to adopt a dog into your family is a very large decision. However, perhaps an even bigger choice is the breed you choose, as this can play a major factor in your family’s future lifestyle and habits. It’s best to ask yourself these questions, in order to help pick a breed suitable for you.
What size dog can you accommodate?
When looking to purchase a new dog, size tends to be one of the first considerations people take into account. However despite what you may want, you have to decide what you can actually house. Obviously a Great Dane in a 800 square foot apartment will probably not be best for you or the dog. Factor your current and future living conditions into your decision.
What are the breed’s expenses?
Be practical with your financial situation, and what breed you would like to own. A dog with hair instead of fur requires professional grooming, a large dog eats far more than a small dog, and breeds with a predisposition for medical conditions will need medication as they get older. Owning a purebred is more expensive than owning a mutt. Be sure not to get in over your head with the cost of maintaining your pet.
What is the breed’s natural activity level?
Some dogs are very energetic, to the point where they don’t stop moving until they sleep. Other dogs will barely have the desire to run at all. Figure out what you want in your dog, and then compare it with a breed that attracts you. For example, if you wanted to go jogging with your pet every morning, you may pick a Labrador or German Shepherd.
How much attention does the breed require?
Dogs need attention from their human companions. However, some dogs need far more attention than others. Evaluate how much time you can spend with your animal each day, and compare it to how much is recommended for the breed you are considering. If you would like a dog that simply likes to be in the room with you, and doesn’t require more than the occasional pat on the head, you may consider something like Brittany Spaniel.
Is the breed good with children?
Consider if the breed you are interested in is suitable for children. Don’t just take into account your current situation, but your future as well. Remember, some dogs can live to be near twenty.
How difficult is the breed to train?
For some people, training their dog to do a certain task or job is an important part of owning them. It is no secret that some dogs are easier to train than others. If you have your eyes set on a breed, look them up in a book called ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’. This book is written by Professor Stanely Coren at the University of British Columbia. Professor Coren tests every major breed’s intelligence and lists them in descending order from “Brightest Dogs” to “Lowest Degree of Working/Obedience Intelligence”.