When it’s time to get a dog one of the first questions you might ask yourself is “what kind of dog should I get?” After all, our canine companions run the gamut from Chihuahua to Great Danes, they’re certainly not lacking for variety.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make sure you have the right breed right off the bat. Read on and we’ll help you find the right breed for your home.
1. Always Take Your Home Into Account
Finding the right dog means that you need to take your environment into account. Dogs have different energy levels, needs for space, and sizes. Finding a breed that’s suitable for your home is great for both of you.
Keep in mind that energy levels matter even more than size. Terriers like Jack Russells actually need more room than you’d think, while greyhounds are actually rather sedentary for the majority of the day.
Walks can help a dog spend some of their energy but if you’re going to be away from home for the majority of the day and aren’t willing to take your dog on multiple walks to wear them out then you should look for a dog that’s not quite as energetic.
Other, little things like having a pool can change what breed is suitable. Some dogs like to swim, for instance, and a full-sized poodle will really enjoy going for the occasional dip.
2. Do You Need a Hypoallergenic Pet?
If you or some of your loved ones are allergic to pet dander you’re still not out of luck.
However, your choice of dogs is going to be quite limited. Not all dogs release dander into the air thankfully, so you can still go with a breed like Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, or Schnauzers.
That said, you need to be wary of mixed breeds. While many breeders will claim that, for instance, anything mixed with a poodle is hypoallergenic that’s not always the case. In some cases, pups from the same litter can actually be mixed in whether or not they release allergenic dander.
Do your research first, then worry about the rest of it, but allergens really aren’t something to mess around with and can often result in premature rehoming of the dog in question.
3. Match Energy Levels With Your Pet
Your energy level needs to match your pets. If you have a hyperactive terrier or pit bull and you’re not willing to walk out all of that extra energy you’ll just end up with a dog that becomes destructive over time.
Find something which is more suited to your energy level if you’re thinking about adopting a high energy breed and you’re not going to be able to keep up.
Likewise, breeds that have lower energy levels aren’t suitable if you want a companion on long hikes.
Working dogs, in particular, have the need for more stimulation and exercise than other breeds. While a dog like a German Shepherd may not seem hyperactive at first glance they need to do more than lay around the house to be truly happy.
4. Find the Right Breeder
Breeders make a huge difference if you’re planning on buying a pure-bred dog. Make sure that whoever you’re working with is approved by the Kennel Club for the best results.
You don’t need to be an expert on canine lineage to buy a dog from a reputable breeder but you should definitely sit down and take the time to figure out who to trust. Breeder lists for every recognized breed of dog are available from places like the AKC and they have to pass rigorous standards to make the list.
5. Know Possible Health Issues
Certain dogs are prone to health issues. Larger dogs, for instance, are very prone to hip dysplasia and arthritis.
Always research your dog’s breed before you settle. You need to know about future health issues, especially since many can be nipped in the bud when you first notice them.
Veterinary care is expensive as well and that means you need to plan ahead. A large dog is a great family companion but they’ll get expensive to properly care for later on in life. It shouldn’t
dissuade you entirely from a breed but it’s best to know what problems may crop up as time goes on.
6. Find Something That Suits Your Family
Different breeds handle people differently. If you have a lot of kids, for instance, you may not want to go with a larger working dog like an Alaskan Malamute. Instead, dogs that are known to be good with children like Labrador Retrievers are probably what you’re looking for.
On the other hand, if you live alone then you may find a dog which is less social more to your taste.
The size of your family can help you figure out which dog breed is best suited to your home.
7. Grooming Needs
Different dogs have varying grooming needs. If you’re not going to be able to regularly get to the groomer, for instance, you may want to ensure that you go with a short-haired breed.
Many dogs can have long, beautiful coats but these require regular maintenance. Investing in a brush isn’t expensive but often professional help is required for dogs with particularly wild coats.
While cheaper than vet costs, groomer costs add up over time.
Get the Right Breed for Your Lifestyle
Not all breeds of dog are the same and if you’re planning on adding a canine to your family then you should put some serious thought into the matter. It’s not just about picking the cutest puppy at the store.
The question you should be asking is “what kind of dog should I get?”
If you put in the research then you’ll end up with a fantastic companion for your home. It just takes a bit of time to make sure that the dog you’re bringing in is right for you and your home.
So, get to it!