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Dogs, Which Breed To Choose For Your Pet?

Updated on August 10, 2014

Will Your Dog Fit Into Your Lifestyle?

Ideally, when a dog joins your family you’ve made a commitment of “til death do us part”. Sadly, because they aren't a good match, many dogs end up in the local pound or abandoned. “Oh, isn’t he cute!” is about as far as some people get when researching dogs for a family pet. All puppies are cute and cuddly when they are little. However, they do grow up and there is much more to consider when determining if a dog is a good fit for your family.

Start by looking at your options from a financial standpoint. The initial cost, if purchasing a pet, is a drop in the bucket compared to what you may be putting out in having ears clipped, grooming, doggy day care, dog food, flea and tick medication, veterinarian bills for neutering, shots, worming, etc. Some dog breeds are easier kept than others.

Over a lifetime, this writer and family have owned dogs from several different breeds. The following information is based on personal experience with each of the breeds named.

Personality may not be readily apparent as a six week old puppy, but the breed can certainly be researched to get some insight on how a particular breed may adapt into your lifestyle.

Blue Heeler
Blue Heeler

Behaviors To Consider

For instance, Australian Shepherds are cute as a button. They also nip at your heels. They are herding dogs and nipping is simply their nature. Smart, athletic and playful, they make good pets, however, it is highly irritating to have to change your stockings when dressed for church or work because the dog has torn them.

A Great Dane would not be a good choice for the elderly. Although we think of them as a gentle giant, they can be rambunctious when playing and their size makes it hard to walk them on a leash unless very well mannered. Great Danes normally have their ears clipped and may need a supplement added to their food because they grow so fast. They consume more food than a regular sized dog and what goes in must come out, so don’t forget what is entailed in cleaning up after them.

Chihuahuas are small and short haired, making them a good house pet, but their nature can be quite testy. Often nervous dogs, they are not a great choice for a house full of children. They can be great companion dogs for the house bound. Special care must be taken with the tiny teacup size Chihuahua so that it isn’t stepped on.

Hair, hair everywhere is what you get with a Corgi. Excellent pets, Corgis are also a herding dog, but do not nip at your heels like the Blue Heeler. They are great family pets, however, their short legs put them at a height that may cause the elderly to be easily tripped when they are underfoot. Like the Dachshund, Corgis should not be allowed to become overweight due to problems that can develop with their long spine.

If it is a guard dog you want, the German Shepherd is an intelligent, protective dog and makes an excellent guard dog. They are known to bite on occasion. Personal experience with this breed has been from wonderful pets for the family to nervous and slightly unpredictable. When researching the breed, also inquire specifically about the parents and bloodline. This is not a dog that should be allowed to run loose in the community. In pairs or in a pack, they can easily take down a calf or other dogs.

The Black Mouth Cur is a short haired, energetic dog used for hunting or herding. They can be a little standoffish at first, but are loyal and protective of their family. Though easy keepers as regards health, the Black Mouth Cur needs room to exercise and you may find they can easily jump the average yard fence.

When you are adding a new canine member to your family, weigh your decision carefully, considering the financial aspect and the match of environment and breed temperament. Do family members have allergies? Does it have to be a puppy or might you consider a dog that has outgrown the puppy stages? If so, the local pound is a good place to begin your search. Examine your situation and decide which animal will make the best addition to your family.


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    • Karen Ray profile image

      Karen Ray 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for your comment. I know what you mean about the car chasing. We've had dogs that do that and it's a hard habit to break them from.

    • cpaldridge profile image

      Christy Aldridge 3 years ago from MS

      Great hub! Thanks! We have a Australian Shepherd mix dog, and she is very high energy and jumps up on you a lot. Definitely can mess up your clothes! She is very loving though and the best dog I have ever had for playing fetch! We had one when I was a child and lived out in the country that loved to chase cars...which sadly did not serve it well.

    • ladyjane1 profile image

      ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas

      Great hub with so much great information. Thanks for sharing this well written hub and keep on writing. Cheers.

    • Karen Ray profile image

      Karen Ray 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for commenting and for your example of what German Shepherds are capable of doing. Great pets, but like a rambunctious child - one has to know where they are and what they are doing. I'm new to hubpages, so your comment is doubly appreciated!

    • MsDru2005 profile image

      MsDru2005 7 years ago from Dayton, TX

      Awesome article! Well written and informative! I agree with you on the German Shepherd issue. One of our neighbors breeds them, and when they broke out of their kennel a couple of weeks ago, they took down one our other neighbors goats and a few chickens before they were caught and taken home!