Choosing the Right Dog
A Step By Step Guide
Did you know that there are several hundred dog breeds? With that large number of breeds to choose from, how do people manage to decide which breed is right for them? Luckily, you can narrow down the choices and find the right dog breed by following a few simple steps.
First, consider your available space. Do you live in an apartment? If so, you will want to rule out large dogs. Look for dogs in the Toy group, such as Yorkshire Terriers, or some of the smaller dogs in the Terrier group, like the Miniature Schnauzer.
If you have children, you will want to consider the size of your dog, as well. Very small dogs, such as Chihuahuas or Maltese, can be very delicate and are often accidentally injured by young children. On the other hand, very large dogs, such as Boxers or Saint Bernards, can be overly boisterous as puppies and can accidentally turn your child into a human bowling pin. Consider medium sized breeds, such as Fox Terriers or Lhasa Apsos, instead.
Next, consider how much exercise you can give your dog. If you have a home with a fenced yard, your dog will be able to get some exercise on his own. However, dog breeds in the Sporting, Hound, and Herding groups are very high energy animals and you will need to have enough time to provide them with more intensive exercise. Plan to take a lot of long walks with your dog or go for a daily romp in the park. After all, these dog breeds were bred to work hard and don't do well unless they have a job to do or a way to burn off excess energy.
Finally, don't forget to consider grooming needs. Some dog breeds only need a half hour or so of grooming a week, while others need to be groomed for an hour a day. If you are short on time, don't buy a Standard Poodle or a Maltese, unless, of course, you plan to take your dog to a groom. Breeds like Boston Terriers or Whippets are good choices for people who don't have time to do a lot of grooming.
Once you decide which breed of dog you want, you will need to consider the age of the dog. Many people opt to buy a cuddly little puppy instead of an older dog. While puppies have not developed any bad habits, it will be up to the new owner to be sure that the puppy becomes housebroken and obedience trained. Older dogs are frequently already housebroken and usually have some obedience training. They are also more likely to be less hyper and less destructive. However, they can have behavioral problems or health problems that prompted the former owner to find them a new home.
Do you want to buy a puppy? If so, you will need to find a reputable dog breeder who has a litter of the breed you are interested in. Often, a good breeder will have a waiting list for puppies. If you aren't the patient sort, you may be tempted to buy a puppy from a pet store. However, many pet store puppies come from puppy mills and have genetic health defects, bad temperaments, or other problems. It is usually safest to buy a puppy directly from the breeder.
If you are interested in an older dog, you may want to visit your local animal shelter or call a breed rescue. These groups evaluate the dogs' health and temperament before adopting them out.
Once you've narrowed down the breed choices and have decided which dog is right for you, don't get too relaxed. After all, you still have one more important decision to make, what to name your new companion!
- Basset Hound
If you want a dog whose sole purpose is to please his owners, then a Basset Hound may be the perfect choice for you and your family.
If you want a dog who is a happy, well mannered little companion, then a Beagle may be the right dog for you.
- Bichon Frise
If you want a sweet and affectionate pet, a Bichon Frise may be for you.
If you want a breed that has withstood the test of time and that has a wonderful personality, a bloodhound may be right for you...
- Boston Terrier
The Boston Terrier can be a bit overwhelming for some people, but if you don't mind a little noise and rowdy behavior, why not let this dog charm you with his loving, affectionate nature.
Iif you want a dog who will be a devoted friend and companion, then a Boxer may be the perfect choice for you.
A Bulldog's appearance is a major reason for its popularity. The other reason these dogs are so popular is that they have a sweet and gentle nature.
- Bull Terrier
The Bull Terrier is a good dog that has developed a bad reputation. With proper care and training, a Bull Terrier puppy can grow up to be a sweet and loving dog.
If you want a dog who is small enough to tuck into your pocket, but has the heart of a much bigger dog, then a Chihuahua may be the right dog for you.
- Chow Chow
The Chow Chow originated in China, where it was used as a hunting dog.While Chow Chows are devoted to their families and usually love children, they do not often do well with other pets.
- Cocker Spaniel
If you want a small family dog with a playful spirit, then a Cocker Spaniel just may be the right breed for you.
The Collie is an intelligent family dog. If you want a dog who will protect your family and will play with the kids, the Collie may just be the perfect pet for you.
If you love the look of the Dalmatian's spotted coat and enjoy living an active lifestyle, then the Dalmatian may just be the perfect breed for you.
- Doberman Pinscher
If you want a dog that will protect your home but still loves to snuggle up beside you at night, then a Doberman Pinscher may be the right breed for you.
- German Shepherd
If you want a dog who will be protective and loyal, then a German Shepherd may be the right dog for you and your family.
- Golden Retriever
A healthy, good tempered Golden Retriever makes a wonderful, intelligent companion.
A Greyhound can make a wonderful, devoted family pet for many years to come.
- Jack Russell Terrier
A Jack Russell Terrier is a feisty, energetic dog and as long as your family isn't filled with couch potatoes, the Jack Russell Terrier may be the perfect breed for you.
- Labrador Retriever
If you want a dog that has a bubbly personality and a strong desire to make you happy, you may want to consider buying a Labrador Retriever.
- Miniature Pinscher
The Miniature Pinscher is not for everyone, but if you want a dog who is completely loyal to you, you may want to consider this breed.
If you are looking for a family dog that will devote himself to keeping your children from getting into trouble, you may want to buy a Newfoundland.
If you want a dog breed that is all heart and you don't mind him snoring and snorting in your ear all night, then a Pug may be the perfect choice for you.
A Rottweiler is a protective dog that is intelligent and devoted to its owner.
- Saint Bernard
The Saint Bernard is a wonderful companion dog as long as you don't mind having a dog who is bigger than most people.
- Siberian Husky
If you don't mind owning a dog who will constantly keep you on your toes, then you may want to consider the beautiful Siberian Husky.
- Standard Poodle
The Standard Poodle is a fun loving, intelligent dog.
- Yorkshire Terrier
If you want a pocket sized dog with plenty of spunk, then a Yorkshire Terrier may be the perfect breed for you.