Choosing the right dog breed for your lifestyle
If you’re considering getting a new dog and are curious about the types of breeds that would be best for you, you’re already doing better than most. Many people don’t stop to consider the dramatic differences in behavior and costs of different dog breeds. Starting your path to pet ownership with research into breed types is a great way to ensure you get the dog that is best suited for you and your family.
Picking The Right Breed
There are a handful of factors that go into the process of selecting the right breed of dog for your life. Things to consider include how well the breed gets along with children, general energy level (working breeds are high energy!) size, grooming, and any special needs of the dog.
A dog’s age plays an incredibly huge part in its overall behavior. If you’re considering getting a puppy, make sure you or another member of your family has the time to play with and exercise the dog. Puppies are not great for households that are empty for 7+ hours of the day.
If you want a dog that already knows how to be a dog, an adult or senior dog is a great choice, no matter the breed.
Shedding and Coat Length
Depending on the type of dog you choose, you can expect a considerable variance in how much they shed. If you have a home with carpets, this is less pronounced. However, if you have wood, tile or laminate floors and you have a dog that is a heavy shedder, you’re going to notice pet hair covering your floor almost constantly.
While some people may be drawn to the beauty of longhaired dogs like a husky or German Shepard, keep in mind that if you choose to adopt one of these breeds, you’re also committing to brushing them daily. If you don’t have carpet, you’re still going to notice pet hair buildup no matter what. You’re also going to likely have to invest in one of the best vacuums for wood floorsif you plan on keeping up with the high levels of fur.
If you can’t commit to cleaning up pet hair, some great dog breeds that either don’t shed, or shed a minimal amount include the Tibetan Terrier, Maltese Terrier, Shih Tzu, Brussels Griffon, and all sizes of poodles.
One of the most important factors when it comes to selecting a dog breed is its overall activity level. If you work an office job, you should always stay away from high energy working breedssuch as the various sheepdogs, Mastiffs, Siberian Huskies, and German Shepards.
However, if you’re home a lot and have time to commit to a working dog breed, owning one can be an incredibly rewarding experience. If you want a dog that you can train and give a job to, the following working dog breeds may be an excellent choice for you: Shetland Sheepdog, Dalmation, Russell Terrier, Siberian Husky, Golden Retriever, or Border Collie.
The crucial last factor to consider when choosing a dog breed for your lifestyle is the dog’s size. How big is your home? Do you have a fenced in yard where the dog can run? Do you have space for a proper kennel in your home? These are all factors to consider if you’re thinking about getting a large dog.
For most families with a decent sized home (3+ bedrooms), you can opt for either a large dog or a small dog. If you have an apartment or a townhome, you don’t want to commit to a large dog breed such as a Labrador Retriever or Pitbull. Instead, if you don’t have a lot of space, consider a smaller dog breed, such a french bulldog or Boston Terrier.
A Dog is a Commitment, No Matter What
Regardless of what dog breed you choose, you’re committing to that dog the second you bring it into your home. If you’re not ready to care for a dog and be its last owner, then you’re not prepared for a dog. Choosing the right breed for your lifestyle can help ensure a good fit and a happy relationship with your and your dog for years to come.