Dogs make loyal and fun companions, whether you live alone,or you have a family, they’re a great addition to a household. However, if you’re thinking of getting a dog it is important to think carefully about which breed will suit you, as each one has very different qualities.
Choosing the right breed helps you to avoid starting a relationship with a dog which doesn’t benefit either yourself or them. Here, we take a look at the environmental and personal factors to consider when making your decision.
Your home is the first place you need to look when deciding which dog breed to choose. Firstly, the size of your home needs to reflect the size of your dog, so if you only have a small flat it’s best to choose a smaller dog as a large dog would feel claustrophobic in such a confined space. If you have a long-haired dog you would need a bath so that you can wash them, and an area like a utility room or conservatory where they can dry off when wet.
Dogs ideally need a garden to spend time in, unless you live near fields or other rural areas where you can exercise them regularly. The bigger the dog, the bigger the garden needs to be so that they can have a run around, play, and cool down without damaging your home. If you leave your dog at home alone, you can have a dog flap installed which allows them to go in and out as they please. If possible, it is great if you can provide your pet with the best dog house you can find.
Dogs of all kinds need fresh air and exercise, some more so than others, usually depending on their size. Ideally, they will need two long walks every day if they are a larger dog, or at least 30 minutes in total for a smaller dog. If you live in the countryside, you’re ideally placed to have a larger dog, as you can offer it plenty of space to run around and exercise and do things like exploring and chasing. Whereas if you live in an urban area, a smaller dog would be more appropriate as they require less of this kind of stimulation.
The equipment you need in order to exercise your dog also depends on the breed, for example you’d need to choose the best dog harness for more boisterous and curious breeds, whereas breeds like the Boxer are clingy and may not need any kind of restraint during a walk.
Dogs, just like humans, need interaction, not only with other dogs but also with their owners. Certain breeds such as Border Collies and Huskies need plenty of attention, and if they are neglected in this way, they will be unhappy. Therefore, if you have a full-time job you should choose a more independent breed. If you do have a full-time job, then it might even be a better idea for you to get an older dog as well, rather then a puppy that has a lot of energy.
The care routine you will need to administer differs dependingon the breed. For example, long haired dogs like the Pekingese need plenty of grooming to make sure their fur doesn’t become matted, and they will also shed a lot of their fur so you will need to clean your home more often. For more information on this, take a look at dog shedding 101.
If you have allergies it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t own a dog, as some dogs such as the Bichon Frise are hypoallergenic. Another thing to consider is how much money you’ll be able to spend on their food as larger dogs get through far more than smaller dogs, and if you have kids you need to be careful that you choose a gentler breed like a Labrador.
There are a number of factors to consider, from what your home environment is like and the region in which you live, to how often you’ll be able to exercise and spend time with your dog when it comes to choosing a breed, but approaching your decision sensibly will make for a far more enjoyable relationship; a happy owner and a happy dog.