Choosing the Right Dog Breed for You and Your Family

January 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Choosing Your Dog

How To Choose the Right Dog and Dog Breed For Our Family

Family pets are a huge part of family life and sooner or later, every parent is likely to hear: “Please, can I have a puppy?” .

Choosing the Right Dog Breed for You and Your Family

Right Dog For Us?

Firstly you need to consider whether your family is ready for a pet. Experts agree that…. “A pet can teach children responsibility and become a wonderful addition to a family-or it can be a burden.”

These are just a few of things that you need to consider before bringing home your new dog or puppy.

Who will care for the pet? Families should agree beforehand who will be responsible for feeding, walking, bathing and cleaning up after the pet.

“Consult a veterinarian, who can provide useful advice on a breed’s behavior and temperament as well as potential medical problems which are very expensive.

A vet’s opinion is apt to be less biased than that of a breeder, who is trying to sell a particular breed.

By evaluating the dog’s breed and background as well as your home and lifestyle, you can assure your family of a fun and loving companion.”

Do you have space for a pet? Check the library, Internet or ask your local vet to learn more about different types and breeds of pets to determine the one most suitable for your family.

Owning A Dog Is  A Long Term Committment…12 – 15 years

Owning a pet is time consuming and may be expensive….not only for vet bills, but food and for others to care for them when your’e on holidays and can’t take them with you.

It is recommended the whole family meets your new dog before deciding to take it home. Owning a pet is a long-term commitment. Be aware that the average life span of a dog is 12 to 15 years, depending on the breed.

Adopting an adult dog can save you from the surprise of not knowing what the size, appearance and disposition of the dog will be as it gets older….so think carefully before adopting a furry new family member. Checking out the size of their paws is not a real indication of our big they will grow! I know from experience!

Your Dog Is Dependent On You

Dogs seek out people and take obvious pleasure in their company and are dependent in their owners for most of their life. This dependency works both ways and your dog becomes part of your family. It makes sense to try to match your lifestyle and preferences to the temperament and needs of the dog.

Dog Behavioral Characteristics. You may be looking for a dog with behavioral characteristics such as the ability to guard, herd, retrieve, or just sit on your lap. Other questions you’ll need to ask yourself are what age? size? sex? pure breed or not. For most pet parents, the age is considered first.

What age of dog? Of course, a puppy is delightful, especially if you’ve got children in the house, but there may be reasons why an older dog is better. If you’re looking for a good companion right from the start, a young adult dog may be best.

Choosing the Right Dog Breed for You and Your Family

I Want A Puppy!

A puppy requires someone around all day to properly house train and to develop a good relationship as well as having to eat more often as it’s growing. An older dog that has been kenneled for a long time may not be house-trained.

Size is an important consideration. Large breeds are both expensive to buy and feed, they need a lot of space and exercise and aren’t well suited to city living in an apartment. Small and toy breeds need far less space and exercise, they eat less too!

Do you have young children?
Toy breeds bones are fine and fragile and children can accidentally hurt them seriously. Large breeds also age quicker than smaller breeds and most don’t live beyond 14 years, while the smaller breeds can live to be 20 years old.

Male or Female dog? Females are usually more demanding of attention, but are easier to train and develop a more solid attachment to their owners. Male dogs are usually more consistent in their temperament, but are more difficult to train due to their independent nature.

Male’s may become so aggressive or wander so much that neutering is called for but can change your dog’s character.

Pedigree or not? Non pedigree dogs have a lot in their favor. While they aren’t as predictable in terms of looks and temperament, they are much less afflicted by inherited diseases than pedigree dogs and seem to avoid some of the more common ailments.

Pedigree dogs can develop ailments that are common to their breed that gets passed to each new generation. You should look into the “hereditary defects” of any pedigree you are considering. Most of these ailments don’t occur until the animal is old, but they will occur.

No matter what type, breed, age, size, color, or other choice of dog you make, just remember, they will all need part of your time and space. Owning a pet and becoming a good pet parent is a commitment, but it can be one of the best and happiest commitments you can make, for both of you.