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How to Choose the Right Dog Breed For You

Updated on December 4, 2009
Choosing the Best Dog Breed for You, jpobiega, morguefile.com
Choosing the Best Dog Breed for You, jpobiega, morguefile.com

Are you an active being that looks forward to walking, hiking, running, or cycling? Or are you perhaps more on the couch potato side and a bit allergic to movement? Are you a single person looking for a bit of companionship or are your kids eager to have a dog? Chances are that depending on your answer, you should be matched with different dog breeds that share some traits with you. Choosing a dog needs indeed serious planning and it cannot be emphasized enough the importance of knowing what you get into before falling in love with those pleading eyes asking to be adopted.

Owning a dog is a big responsibility, and if only people would put a bit more effort in choosing wisely, there would be less dogs surrendered in shelters. You should not choose a dog just based on its looks or because it belongs to a breed that was just featured as a main character in the latest Disney movie. Dogs come in different shapes and size, different characters and temperaments so choosing wisely is a must even because most dogs live an average life span of 10 to 12 years.

From the tiniest Chihuahua to the heaviest Saint Bernard, dogs are the most varied species crafted by man found on this planet. With about 400 dog breeds recognized in the world,  it is quite understandable for prospective dog owners to feel overwhelmed by the plethora of choices. Narrowing down the breed list by deciding what types of traits you want in your dog may make things much simpler. Following are some considerations that potential dog owners must keep in mind before adopting out a dog.



How to Choose the Right Dog Breed

~Size

Do you live in a small condominium or do you own some acreage? Depending on your living quarters, one breed may be better than another one in adapting to your habitat. There are several dog breeds that make good apartment dogs, generally these are dogs that are not high energy, that do not bark too much and that are are friendly. Size really matters when it comes to choosing a dog, and with dog breeds ranging from a couple of pounds to 150 pounds, this is not a light hearted choice.

~Coat

A coat may not look like a big of a deal until it starts shedding leaving bits of hair here and there on your carpets and upholstery. There are different kinds of coats in dogs: short, curly, wired, fluffy, medium long, long and there are even hairless coats. The choice of the coat is also very important in those subjects that may suffer from allergies. Some coats also require more grooming than others.

~Noise

Some dogs are natural barkers while some you hardly vocalize. Of course, if you live in an apartment you want to keep a quiet dog that does not disturb people around you. If you are looking for a quiet dog, you should stay away from the hound category as they enjoy baying and the guard category because they like to warn you about intruders.

~Friendliness

There are dog breeds that just love everybody while some other breeds may be more on the aloof side. The choice really depends on what tasks you want your dog to accomplish, if your dog must be exposed to people often, you want a friendly dog breed, while if this is a dog that is going to be kept as a watchdog, you want a dog breed that is cautious with strangers. If you have children, you want a very friendly dog breed that has a high tolerance threshold.

~Activity

Some dogs are high energy breeds such those belonging to the sporting or working group. These are dogs that require lots of exercise and mental stimulation. If you are not ready to provide this, your dog may turn out to be bored an destructive. There are many dog breeds that are more laid back and better suit those that are not too eager of being active. Yet, it is important to note that all dogs require daily walks, both for exercise and discipline purposes.

~Purpose

Do you need a lap dog that will spend a lot of time indoors with you? Or are you looking for a guard dog to keep an eye on your property? Are you looking for a hiking companion or a friendly dog that will play with kids? Your answer to these questions really make a big difference.Think the purpose of your dog and match the dog breeds that better match this purpose.

~Temperament

Some dog breeds are quite submissive while others are more on the dominant side. For this reason some of the more hard headed dog breeds are better for experienced owners capable of providing strong leadership skills. If you are not looking forward to being challenged , it is best to go with dog breeds that are more submissive and mellow. It is important to note however that in every litter of dogs regardless o breeds, there will be submissive and more dominant dogs.

~Adaptability

While dogs are highly adaptable, it must be considered that some dogs may do better in cold climates while others can withstand hotter temperatures. Short nosed dog breeds such as Pugs, Boxers and Shih-Tzu may not tolerate well hot temperatures and may be prone to breathing difficulties. Short haired dogs on the other hand may be easier to suffer from frost bite, but these dogs can be helped with a sweater.

As seen, there are a handful of considerations to keep in mind when choosing the dog breed right for you. Do some research, read a lot and don't forget that sometimes the best dog matching your lifestyle and personality may be found at your local shelter.


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    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 8 years ago

      Alexadry, Very informative helpful hub on selecting the right breed. Thank you for sharing, Blessings!

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      I've known my breeds for quite some time. Alaskan Malmute & on the opposite end a Pug

    working

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