Picking a Dog is Nothing To Sniff At!
Searching for your first dog is an exciting time! Finding your new best friend and forever pal is exhilarating. Day dreaming of afternoons in the park, playing in the yard and sharing adventures. It is going to be perfect! But there’s one thing you haven’t considered; what dog will work best for you? There are almost 200 registered breeds in the US and over 340 worldwide. That’s a LOT of pups! Not to mention, that’s just the purebreds; what about all those adorable mixed breeds? How do you choose?!
Fear not, future dog parent! When looking for a new dog, consider these factors.
Let’s start with the basics of appearance. What size do you want and what size environment will they live in? The place where your pet lives will be their entire world for the majority of the next 10 to 15 years. For example, having a St. Bernard sounds like great idea, except you only have one bedroom, no yard and one couch. Think about what spaces you will be sharing because sometimes, a smaller pet might be a better match. Big dogs are also going to eat more food than smaller ones. If you are tight on money, a smaller pooch might be a cheaper choice.
Finally, decide on who your dog will be spending time with. Is it only you and your pooch or are there other pets, roommates, kids, or strangers they will be encountering daily?
For example, a Bullmastiff might not be good for new parents because it accidentally could knock a child over. A Shih Tzu, while small, loves to be under foot and can trip seniors or children. The Akita and Chow are protective breeds, and might not react well to strangers. Some breeds, like the Golden Retriever, are notorious for being great with new people.
Every Dog Is Different
They will not react the same way to every situation, no matter what their breed and training is. Training and socialization are important for creating a good temperament. But as an owner you should always be aware of how your pet reacts to strangers, other animals and children. No matter the breed or age, training is imperative when your pet will be around other people and animals.
Mix It Up
We have mentioned several breeds that are great, but a purebred isn’t always an option. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a well behaved, calm pup. Tons of mixed breeds are perfect for single people and families alike. As someone with three adopted mixed breeds, I can assure you they will love you the same!
If you want to adopt, check out your local shelters and humane societies. You may decide that instead of a puppy, a senior dog might be a better fit. Most shelters have profiles on each of their pets and have a good idea of who might be right for you. If you are going to buy a purebred, make sure you do research on what you are buying and where you are buying it from. Another option is to check with rescues to see if they have any surrendered purebreds.
No matter the breed, mixed or pure, take time to carefully consider your lifestyle and how a pet may fit into it. Try taking this quiz from the American Kennel Club to find out what dog breeds might be best for you!
Looking for more information on picking a dog? Read more here: