Which Breed is best for you and Your Lifestyle?

Narrated from: Choosing a dog

Once you have decided to bring home a puppy or a dog there will still be many decisions to be made if your intention is to become this animal’s forever home and, if it is not, please take the time to consider another type of pet. You will need all of the dog’s supplies such as a crate, toys, bedding, food, veterinarian care, training tools, treats, special shampoo and other grooming supplies, just to name a few. You will need everything ready before you bring him home. Thoroughly examine your budget to be sure you are financially prepared for commitment that will last ten years or more. Always consider pet insurance too due to the veterinarian bills you will face; it really does help with everything from well visits to unexpected emergencies if you get the right plan. Always read the fine print and make sure you are getting what you are paying for with pet insurance.

Before you try to pick out an animal, take a good long look at your own lifestyle. Are you active enough to take on an active dog? Are you home enough to provide the dog with plenty of attention? Do you have small children to consider? What will you do with your pet when you vacation, can he go with you? How big or how small of a dog will match your space? What adjustments will you be able to make for your new dog? Due to the population boom in dogs are you willing to adopt?

The first thing to consider is the size of the dog you want. Most often very small breeds or mixes will not mix well with an existing pet or with small children. Many people prefer the trainability and intelligence of medium to large breeds. Both tiny and giant breeds are more likely to have health problems as they grow.

While many small dogs need less space they tend to suffer from “Napoleon Syndrome” and can become very feisty even to the point of being nippy. Larger dogs will need more room to move around but tend to be more easy-going. While there are so many things to consider please take your time with this part of the decision making process.

The next thing on the list of considerations is the dog activity level you are ready for. Some breeds are simply more active than others and will need more of your time. You can find very active small dogs just as easily as you can find very active medium and large dogs. The giant breeds almost always tend to be more sedentary as they age but they do go through active times as they grow. Every dog will need exercise but you need to consider what a breed of dog or predominant mixed dog was initially bred to do. If you get a sporting or working breed and try to make him sedentary you will be asking for trouble. As you narrow your own personal list of dogs that may be considered please do some research to learn more about the energy level of the breeds to which you are attracted. If you are considering a mutt or mixed breed dog you should look at the activity level of both main contributors that make up that mix. Keep doing your homework until you find the type of dog that best suits your energy levels.

Another thing to think about as you try to decide which dog is best for you and your family is the maintenance level of the dog. Very short coated dogs will need little grooming while long coated dogs will require lots of brushing and more drying time after a bath. Some dogs have thick undercoats that will need to be brushed out for warmer weather. Still other dogs will need regularly scheduled visits to a professional groomer and that can get very costly. Thicker ears will make your dog more prone to ear infections and will need very costly trips to the veterinarian for antibiotics. There are some breeds that will suffer from excessive drooling such as mastiffs, bloodhounds and Saint Bernards.

Some dogs are simply more trainable than others and this is another consideration before you make your decision. Take your time and consider all possibilities as you work through these decisions and be sure before you bring a dog into your home. The better the fit from the start, the more likely things will work out with your new dog.

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