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Choosing a Compatible Family Dog

Updated on October 5, 2012
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Different Breeds
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How To Make a Good Choice

When choosing a family pet there are many factors to take into consideration but especially so when choosing a dog. Some factor's I will touch on here, but you may have others to take into consideration.

Factors such as:

  1. Where you live - Do you live in an apartment which is small in size or a house with a backyard where space is not an issue and there is plenty of room for the dog to run.
  2. Breed - What type of dog will suit your lifestyle ie would I like an energetic or docile pet; whether your dog will be kept indoors or outside.
  3. Where to Buy your Dog - Will you go to a pet shop for your dog or a breeder or shelter, and how much you are willing to pay for the initial cost and ongoing costs such as food, dog wash, heart worm and flea treatments, yearly vaccinations and vet costs if your dog should become ill.
  4. Temperament - And of course the dog's temperament is an all important factor as it is most important to match the dog of your choice with the age and ability of the people who are most likely to care for it.
  5. Time - Do you have time to take care of your pet? Pet's need food, water and shelter to survive but they also need love, care, exercise and play time.

Beloved Pet's

Several years ago or more our family went through the exercise of choosing another family dog. Our beloved scotch Collie had died a few years previously and we had had her in the family for over ten years and she had been really special to all of us in so many ways. And when she died sadly and unexpectedly, we buried her down the bottom of our garden in a burial ceremony fitting for a much loved family member with each family member telling a story about how much she meant to them.

For many years after she died none of us could contemplate replacing our beloved dog with another, vowing that none could be as sweet and loving natured, and fit the family as well as our Bonnie.

But time heals all wounds so they say and it soon became apparent that the family were ready for another family dog and fell in love at first sight with a big brown eyed floppy eared, adorable little puppy. After much research and visit's to pet shops and breeders we decided upon a King Charles Cavalier as the right breed for our families situation, and five years later we love our little dog as much as we did when we first saw him.

If you are looking for a dog as a pet it might be worth considering one of the following dog breeds.

1. King Charles Cavalier

Although most information is speculative it is thought that the dogs originated in England and were bred as toy dogs serving as companions for ladies at court in the time of Elizabeth the 1st.

Appearance: They are a small breed of dog and have a sweet round shape face, big brown eyes and soft floppy ears and is the ultimate "cute" dog. There are four coat colours, Blenheim (chestnut and white), Tri-colour (black, white and tan), black and tan, and ruby (solid red).

The Cavalier makes a loyal, friendly, and obedient family pet. Many are chosen simply because they are a very lovable and affectionate breed of dog, great with kids, their temperament is calm and even as they don't snap or bite. They love companionship, and are happy and eager for human company and touch and if kept in the house will happily curl up beside you on the couch or on their special spot on the floor or rug. Easy to train they are great to take walking as most of these spaniels are energetic and love their walks and are also perfect for small yards and can play happily with an assortment of toys in the back yard if left on their own.

2. Scotch Collie

Appearance: The typical Lassie dog is without doubt a beautiful looking canine species with their long hair and pretty face, but it's their faithfulness, loyalty and gentle nature to it's owner that sets them apart as a worthwhile choice of dog.There are three coat colors; the 'Lassie' color of Sable and White; Tricolor which is a combination of Sable, White and Black and the Merle which is a mottled grey color. Their coat which is long and luxurious needs to be washed and brushed regularly and they do tend to loose quiet a bit of hair but the breed itself does not require extensive care as they are a hardy farm animal.

Like the Cavalier from England the Scotch Collie originated from Scotland and were bred primarily for herding sheep and cattle.

The Collie is a great choice of dog especially for families with children as it also has an even temperament and is not nervous or high strung; shows no aggression and is eager to please their owner and is a very faithful and loving companion. And although it is a mid to large breed of dog it is an ideal pet for apartment living with it's gentle and calm disposition.

So these are my two recommendations of a breed of dog for a family as I have had both and have been extremely happy with both choices.

But whatever your choice of dog, take your time to choose the best breed for your situation and do your research well, what suits one family may not be right for another and don't rush your decision because a dog is a long term commitment and with the right choice will bring years of love, companionship, and fun.


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    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Hey thanks for that Au fait, I didn't think about my hub in terms of Xmas, but you could be right as puppies are always chosen as a gift for Xmas...thanks so much for your votes & share really appreciate it ...cheers

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      This is a great hub for this time of year because lots of people will choose puppies as Christmas gifts. They always do. This hub is great advice for people who should stop and think before getting the first cute puppy they see and think ahead about how well it will fit into the family long term.

      Voted up, and useful! Will share!

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Oh, so nice of you to stop by, comment & vote kashmir...I think it's a really important decision for a family to make and hope it helps...cheers

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi carter06 great hub with all useful and helpful information need to get the right dog for any family. Well done !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thank you midget for your votes ,so glad you liked this one and to know you are a dog lover...they sure are an affectionate and easy to train companion, I'd be a bit lost without my little guy around...cheers

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      As a dog owner and lover, I say aye to all these great tips, Carter. I love the breeds you've picked, especially the King Charles, an elegant, friendly little fellow. Glad to connect with a dog lover as well! Thanks for the share, votes up, away!

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Hi Peg, thank you so much for coming by and for your sweet comments...they really are such great companions and my little guy( the one in the photo) loves my time and affection and I love him to bits! know since I wrote this hub we have had another very sad an unexpected death in the family, my son's husky...I will write a hub about it one day but still too sad yet...cheers

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Carter06. You've made some very important points here about considering the overall picture in choosing a dog. Willingness to spend time with them is essential to their well being. They are companions and love to be near their people. It is so wonderful that you opened your heart to another family dog. They bring so much joy to each person in a variety of ways and create wonderful memories that last long after they are gone. I loved that you held a special memorial for your first one and that everyone contributed with their own story about how the pet touched their lives. Wonderful.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Mmm!lazy independant cats are pretty awesome too...I have one of them too...and I have seen your little girl & she is so sweet...and energetic:) So great to get to know you ktrap and appreciate your comments and love the interaction here...


    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      You got it - my lazy, independent cat was absolutely nothing compared to my high-maintenance, energetic beagle. What was I thinking? But if you've seen her appearance in any of my hubs I think you can see how much of a loveable sidekick she really is.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thanks so much for your comments ktrapp I am honored by them...I do love beagles though even if energetic...gosh going from a cat to a dog is different isn't it but no doubt so enjoyable...I'm a bit of a hopeless animal lover :)

      Oh and our little guy is adorable...cheers

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Your King Charles Cavalier is a real cutey. I know what you mean about taking time between pets. After our cat of nineteen years died it was hard to imagine ever having and losing another pet. But in time, we went a whole different route and got a beagle. You're right, time does heal wounds. Beagles are definitely an energetic breed, so perhaps we should have done a better job when considering breed, but she is incredibly lovable; a great companion. These are terrific tips you give for others selecting a family dog.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thank you for your most welcome comments diverslfleddebbie...

      I really do hope it helps others to make a good choice...Much appreciated...Cheers

    • diversifieddebbie profile image

      diversifieddebbie 5 years ago

      Great information on interesting subject with quality researched data. It will help others to make an important choice of adding a family member that needs to be compatible with certain lifestyles to coexist.