Thinking of adding another pooch to your family?
While every dog is individual when it comes to their personality, different breeds usually have distinct traits that are unique to them. It is always a good idea to keep this in mind when choosing a dog breed, so that you can ensure that the dog you pick is one that will easily fit into your life.
What Sort of Home Do You Have?
This should be one of the first questions you ask yourself when choosing a dog breed...
If you live in a small apartment, then it goes without saying that giant breeds, from the Great Dane to the Great Pyrenees, would not be a good choice. You would be much better off with a smaller breed.
Having said that, terriers are popular small breed dogs, but they are also known for being quite noisy. If you live in a crowded area, you would be best off with a dog that doesn't have that same predisposition to excessive barking.
Yes, many giant breeds can actually be quite sedentary in nature, but they do still need space to move around. Think about when they get excited – you don't want a giant dog racing in circles around your small apartment!
Do you live in a rural area?
This does give you more choice when it comes to choosing a dog breed. However, keep in mind that you may find it harder to keep your dog clean. From dirt to bugs to sticky plants, a long-haired dog can sometimes be a nightmare to care for in a rural environment.
How Big is Your Family?
If you live on your own, and know that your family is not going to be expanding in the future, then this gives you quite a big choice of breeds.
However, if you have a large or growing family, then you need to take this into consideration.
Certain breeds are known for being better with kids than others. Labradors and Golden Retrievers are known for being fantastic family pets, but they do also have quite a bit of energy...
You may want to choose a dog breed that does not require an excessive amount of daily exercise, since your human family will be keeping you pretty busy too. However, if you know that your entire family will be chipping in when it comes to looking after the dog, then you may want a more energetic breed to be able to cope with all of those walks and games!
How Active Are You?
Are you generally quite active?
If so, you need to choose a dog breed that can keep up with this. Border Collies are known for having an endless amount of energy. The same applies to Spaniels, Huskies and Australian Shepherds.
However, even if you are quite active on a daily basis, you do still need quite a large home and garden for a high-energy breed. They require this space through the day to burn off excess energy.
If you are not very active but have enough space at home for a giant breed to roam around, then this may be the dog for you. Breeds such as Mastiffs and Irish Wolfhounds are surprisingly low-energy. Greyhounds are similar in a way – many require a speedy ten minute run before happily curling up on the sofa for the rest of the day.
How Often Do You Travel?
Do you travel frequently?
If you plan on leaving your pooch at a boarding facility, you need a breed that would be happy with this.
Some breeds, such as the Bichon Frise, are more prone to separation anxiety than others.
Alternatively, if you plan on taking your dog with you while you travel, you need to choose a dog breed suitable for this.
Are you and your pooch going to be flying quite regularly?
Make sure that the size and weight of your chosen breed fits in with airline regulations.
How Much Time Do You Have for Grooming?
Those long-haired and ultra-fluffy dogs may look adorable, but they do require quite a lot of upkeep.
Certain breeds, such as Poodles, the Bichon Frise and Cocker Spaniels require daily maintenance when it comes to their coat. You will need to keep them well-brushed to avoid mattes. They also require regular grooming sessions, which is an extra financial investment.
How Much Money Are You Willing to Spend on Your Dog?
Let's face it, health issues can affect just about any dog out there, no matter their breed.
However, some breeds do tend to have more health issues than others.
Fallen in love with a flat-faced breed?
Keep in mind that these breeds often have breathing problems, as well as skin and ear issues.
Other popular breeds, from Boxers to Labrador Retrievers, are also known for their health problems.
If you have an endless amount of funds to put towards veterinary care, then this may not matter. However, if your budget is limited, then look into some of the healthier breeds out there.
Are you willing to spend money on grooming?
As mentioned earlier, grooming costs can quickly mount up over a dog's lifetime.
If you are not willing to spend money on this, then choose a dog with a low-maintenance coat. Alternatively, you could also look into grooming your dog yourself. You will need to invest in some initial supplies, but these should more than pay for themselves over time.
Make a List
As you work your way through these questions, write your answers down in list-form.
You will then have a list of requirements and specifications to help you to choose a dog breed that will suit your lifestyle. You will need to spend quite a bit of time researching various breeds, and also speaking to owners that own dogs of those breeds.
However, all that effort will be worth it, as this is what will ensure you choose the perfect breed for you.