Considering getting a dog? That’s not too surprising! They’re loyal. They’ll provide you with never-ending love, affection, entertainment and so much more. But it’s extremely important that you choose the right dog to suit your lifestyle. So many people will pick their pooch based on the breed’s looks. Sure, you can be drawn to some on this merit. But different breeds were bred for different purposes and, consequently, many breeds will have set traits that you’re likely to encounter. Let’s take a moment to look further into this to help you make the right decision!
First things first, you need to be absolutely sure that you can look after a dog – both now and for the foreseeable future – if you’re planning on getting one. Dogs aren’t just something you can pick up and then just give up if you decide they’re “not for you”. They’re living, sentient beings and all dogs are going to have certain needs. They’re going to need love, positive attention and company. They’re going to need to be walked. They’re going to need food. They’re going to require ongoing and routine veterinary care. They need to be insured. These are just the absolute basics. If you can’t provide your dog with this for the duration of their entire life, having one isn’t going to be for you.
Know Your Breeds
Different breeds were bred for different purposes, so will have different traits. Some dogs, such as border collies, were bred as working dogs, so will have a lot of energy and will be highly intelligent. Consequently, they will need a lot of exercise and entertainment or challenges to keep their minds occupied. Bichon frises were bred as lap dogs for French royalty. They’re consequently quite dependent on company, love attention and affection and cannot be left alone for very long periods of time without becoming unhappy. These are just a couple of examples – every breed will have its distinct characteristics and you need to make sure you can meet their needs, or you’ll end up with an unhappy and potentially “badly behaved” pet.
Your Dog’s Physical Needs
Different dogs have different physical needs too. Some will need to be walked a lot more and a lot further than others. If you’re unable to complete long walks, they might not be ideal for you. For example, you might want to look at the best medium sized dogs for seniors to find breeds that don’t require extensive exercise. Some dogs are larger than others and will need a large house and garden to be comfortable in. If you have a studio apartment, a Great Dane might not be the choice for you! Some dogs need regular grooming and this can prove expensive to maintain. If you have a small budget, you might not want to opt for a Poodle.
Your Physical Needs
Some people have allergies to pet hair. If this is the case, you might not suit the majority of breeds of dog that moult fur. However, certain “hypoallergenic” breeds don’t lose fur and could be good for you. These include Bichon Frises, Lhasa Apsos, Poodles and others. Just make sure to spend time around these dogs to see if they aggravate your allergies beforehand. Also bear in mind these are the breeds that require a lot of grooming.
Remember, dogs are a huge commitment. You need to make sure you can meet all of their needs before bringing one into your life!