Choosing a Dog Breed

Choosing a Dog Breed

When planning to bring a new dog into your home, there are many factors to consider when choosing a dog breed. Sure, some breeds are adorable, but you have to consider much more than how a dog looks when making such an important decision.

Dog Breed Size

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The size of the dog is important for a number of reasons. This is especially true if you live in a small home or apartment. A Great Dane might not be the best choice for someone who lives in tiny studio apartment or who only has a postage stamp size yard.You also must consider size as it related to your ability to handle the dog. For example, will you be able to lift the dog in and out of the car if necessary? Good dog training can allow anyone to handle a big dog, but there may be times when you’ll need to lift the dog, so keep that in mind.

Activity Level

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Some dog breeds require much more exercise than others. When choosing a dog breed, it is a good idea to find a breed whose exercise requirements match your own activity level. If you run each day, choose a dog that will be able to keep up. Some good choices include labs, dobermans and Australian shepherds. If your idea of an ideal day is practicing for your role as couch potato, then choose a dog breed that will be happy just lounging next to you on the couch. Some of the best couch potato dogs are French bulldogs, Japanese chins and Dachshunds. That is not to say that these dogs do not need exercise, but they will be happier with much less activity than some of the other breeds.

Socialization

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If you are gone from the home all day then it would best to choose a dog breed that may not mind being alone. Some dogs are much needier when it comes to having time with their humans and may not fare as well if left alone all day. Of course, no dog WANTS to be home alone, but some breeds are more prone to separation anxiety than others.

Cost

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If money is an issue, you may want to look for a smaller dog that does not require a lot of grooming. This dog is going to cost less to maintain because he will eat less and will not require constant grooming. You should also consider any medical conditions that are very common among certain breeds. These breed-specific conditions are often not covered by insurance, so those medical expenses would be something you would have to pay out of pocket.

Dog Breed Restrictions

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This consideration, although based on biases that are often untrue and very unfair to the impacted breeds, must be part of your decision making process. Many locations either have a dog breed ban in place or are considering such a ban in the near future.

If you rent, most apartment buildings that allow pets have breed restrictions. The breeds most often included are pit bulls, Doberman pinschers, Rottweilers, certain types of bull dogs and German shepherds.

That is not to say that you should not get one these wonderful dogs. If, however, you rent, consider the possibility that it may be more difficult to find housing that will allow your pet.

Other Pets

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If you have another pet, you will have to be careful when choosing a dog breed, particularly if you plan to bring an adult dog into your home rather than a puppy. In general, there is not one breed that has less of a chance of getting along with pets that you already have, but if you have, for example, a teacup chihuahua, you may want to give it some thought before you bring a full-grown great dane home.

Grooming Requirements

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Some dogs, such as pit bulls, require very little grooming. Others, such as Huskys and Poodles require a LOT of grooming in order to maintain their coats. If you plan to do the grooming, it can be quite time consuming. If you plan to have a professional do the grooming, it can be quite expensive.

Your Lifestyle

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As you can tell by reading some of the considerations above, your lifestyle is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a dog breed. Someone who works from home and goes on daily runs is going to be a good fit with a different breed than someone who works from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and then crashes in front the television for the rest of the night.

Choosing a dog breed that is a good match for your lifestyle is one of the best ways to ensure that you and your new pet will get along well.

Pound Puppies

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No matter which breed of dog that you choose, start your search at your local animal rescues. You would be surprised at how many purebred dogs are dropped off at shelters by their owners. If you want a specific breed, call the local shelters and ask them to call you if that type of dog comes in.

You can also do an internet search for rescue groups that specialize in rehoming the specific breed of dog that you want.

How About No Breed?

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Many people feel that the best breed is no breed. Mixed breed dogs make fabulous pets, and shelters and animal rescue groups always have more than they can handle. You can adopt a puppy, and adult or a senior dog.

There are many benefits to adoption including the fact that most of the dogs are housebroken, have been checked for serious medical issues and have passed a series of temperament testing. Best of all, you will be saving a life and giving a homeless dog a second chance.

Choosing a dog breed is a big decision, but with a little research and an honest evaluation of your own lifestyle, you will be able to find the perfect fit for your family. Remember, you are going to have this four-legged family member for up to 15 years, so choose wisely!