Choosing a Dog Breed: What’s Important?
From Old English Sheepdogs and Mastiffs to Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas, dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities! So what are the important things to consider before bringing a new canine companion into your life?
Likely one of the most important considerations is energy level. An energetic dog without an appropriate outlet will soon become destructive. Be realistic about your lifestyle. If you are someone who prefers spending free time lounging and relaxing, there are many wonderful low-energy breeds such as Bassett Hounds, French Bulldogs, and Great Danes -- just to name a few.
If you are someone who loves running or hiking and has dreams of competing with your new pal in activities like agility and fly ball, an energetic dog might be for you! Some of the highest energy breeds include working varieties like Border Collies and Airedale Terriers. But be aware! Exercise for these energetic breeds must be a daily commitment in order to avoid unwanted behavior.
There are three important considerations when choosing dogs with certain coat types:
- maintenance in the form of grooming; and
- if anyone in your household suffers from allergies.
Dogs that shed fur may not be the right breed for those who love keeping their home clean and tidy; unless, of course, they’re ready for a few more hours of operating the vacuum!
Long-coated dogs will naturally require more brushing and grooming to ensure their coats stay free from tangles and debris. A long-coated dog left unattended can form sanitation issues and even develop circulation problems from unkempt fur.
If someone in your home suffers from pet dander allergies, there are dogs known to cause little to no symptoms. Some of these breeds include Poodle, Maltese, and Havanese
Puppies require more time and patience than older dogs. Training for basic obedience is an incredibly important skillset for you and your dog to master in order to enjoy years of pleasant compatibility together. Housebreaking can also be a very frustrating process for some.
Adult dogs allow you to skip the puppy phase and some come already trained with the basics! Additionally, it is sometimes easier to evaluate an adult dog’s demeanor and personality before taking him or her home.
If you have your heart set on a high energy breed but don’t have a high energy lifestyle, a senior dog of that breed might be the right choice for you! Adopting a senior dog can be one of the most compassionate things you can do for these amazing animals.