Which Dog Breed is Right for You?
Choosing which dog to bring into your home probably sounds like an easy task but it is something people all too often tend to not put enough thought into. The truth is that dogs are complex creatures and each breed possesses unique personality traits with needs that vary significantly. In fact, it almost sounds like dogs have as much individuality as most humans, doesn’t it? Well if it sounds that way it’s probably because it’s kind of true! There are dogs that are perfect for lounging around an apartment and there are dogs that need space to run. There are dogs that don’t socialize with children very well and there are dogs that have a long history of being perfect family pets! The good news is that when you consider your lifestyle and your personality and put some time and effort into researching the different dog breeds our world has to offer it’s not that hard to pair yourself (or your family) with the perfect dog!
So, what are the different factors you should look for when considering which dog to bring into your home?
1. Temperament – This is a very important trait to take into consideration when choosing the dog right for your family. Dogs come in varieties from highly active personalities to lounging lap dogs. Also, do you need a dog that is easy to train or are you prepared and eager for a challenge? An easily trained dog will often do cool tricks and will pick up the basics easily. Are you looking for a dog that loves people and do you socialize frequently? Or do you need a dog that is fiercely loyal and wary of strangers? Don’t forget to consider how much attention your dog will need. Some dogs are content being left alone for long periods of time while other dogs need a lot of social interaction from their families or they get bored and destructive.
2. Size – Are you looking at puppies? Most puppies are small and adorable but what they grow into can be easily over-looked. Why is size important? Well, larger dogs have greater needs for one. They eat more food and might get stressed out in smaller spaces. Don’t be fooled, of course, a small dog can also be stressed by too small of an area. Some small dogs are very high energy and need plenty of room to run and play!
3. Grooming – This is another area people tend to not put enough thought into. Often times people think, “this dog has short hair, they can’t possibly shed that much,” but I can promise you that’s not completely true. Some dogs need to go to a professional groomer on a consistent basis, while some dogs simply need regular brushing. Either way, it’s important to consider these things because that dog breed you’re obsessed with might not fit into your lifestyle and budget if their grooming habits are intense.
Now that we’ve covered the different things to consider let’s go over some examples that apply to different people and see if we can help you figure out what dogs to put to the top of your list! Click on the next page to learn more.
1. The Workaholics – Let’s face it, these days whether you’re single or in a family of any size, it’s not uncommon for everyone at home to work and that means any pet you own needs to be able to handle longer chunks of time alone at home and it probably means they need to be lower maintenance for your wind down time after work and school. Here are few breeds that are considered perfect!
A. Dachshunds – While these spunky little dogs are known for their strong-willed personalities, they have a great blend of loving personalities and an ability to be content with alone time. They are low maintenance because even though a daily brush is ideal, they are small so that daily brush is quick and easy! The downside, they are not always known for being great with small, grabby children.
B. Boston Terriers – Perfectly sized between 15 and 25 pounds, Boston Terriers are phenomenal companions who enjoy both play time with you and quiet snuggles. They’re also low-maintenance.
C. Cairn Terriers – Just under 15 pounds, these small dogs are great for the workaholic. While they’ll be just fine during your work day, they WILL need to play when you get home so this breed is better to set for someone who enjoys being at least a little active after work. We know that not everyone goes from work to couch potato!
D. Shar-Pei's – Another dog more ideal for the active after work types, the shar-pei is notorious for their wrinkly features. They have quirky personalities but they’re grooming needs are minimal and they are easily house trained! Which is great for anyone who just doesn’t have extra time for house training a puppy.
2. The Adventurer – Are you always on the go and looking for a dog to play, explore, and have tons of fun with? You’re not alone and there is a nice list of options just perfect for your super active lifestyle! These dogs are all very high in energy and NEED to be active.
A. Welsh Corgi – Don’t be fooled by the Corgi’s size, they are NO lap dog. In fact, they were originally bred for herding! This may come as a surprise to those of you who have fallen in love with Corgi’s for their booming popularity in Internet Memes over the last few years, but trust us! They’re a very active breed and their adorable, short legs definitely do not hinder them from being highly active and they do very well outdoors.
B. Shetland Sheepdog – Highly intelligent and active animals, Shetland Sheepdogs are well known for their herding abilities. They’re easy to train simple and complex tricks. These dogs LOVE to run, especially in wide open spaces so make sure you have plenty of space for this dog, ideally away from busy streets.
C. Dalmatians – Dalmatians are another active breed. A large and lean breed, it’s no coincidence they were made famous as firehouse dogs. This is also a great breed to join you on your jogging endeavors, especially if you’re looking for a more protective partner.
D. Siberian Husky – The Husky dog is an extremely visually pleasing dog to look at. Their coat and eyes are very beautiful but there is a lot more to this incredible breed. They are strong, sturdy, and very active for a dog breed. Whatever it is you like to do, this dog will gladly join you from camping to hiking, these dogs are good for it. What else would you expect from a dog known for pulling sleds in extremely cold environments?
3. Families with small children – Let’s face it, teaching small children how to interact with pets is a chore that takes a lot of time, effort, and consistency and the truth is that some animals are not the best for these families. Choosing a dog that’s well suited for grabby, pokey little ones is very important and a task that should be taken very seriously. Here are some superb options for your growing family:
A. Golden Retriever – This breed probably comes as no surprise on this list. They are intelligent, loyal, and active dogs. Often used as therapy and working dogs, Golden Retrievers easily learn and follow commands and as a larger breed they are better at handling small children still learning how to properly interact with animals. Just don’t forget, Golden Retrievers require simple weekly brushing and plenty of exercise!
B. Beagle – This breed is frequently seen bonding with children because it’s a great family dog. They’re extremely friendly and gentle dogs, known for their happy demeanor. They are very social so don’t worry about them interacting well with your family, children, and your other dogs. However, fair warning: they are hound dogs so they bark and howl more than most breeds and don’t forget to keep them active in order to keep them out of mischief.
C. Pug – The pug is another dog with a very distinct and well-recognized appearance but that is not all there is to this spunky breed. They’re charismatic and playful but also great as cuddle buddies. It’s also a bonus that they are a small breed so they can adapt easily to smaller homes like apartments, a huge perk for growing families. They don’t require a ton of exercise, play time is sufficient and their grooming is minimal, just regularly make sure their face wrinkles are wiped clean to prevent skin infections.
D. Poodles – Another dog known very well for its appearance, the Poodle is a great family dog! A bonus? Poodles come in a variety of sizes to suit your home sized needs. Toy, miniature, or standard, Poodles are great dogs! They are extremely intelligent and very easy to train. It’s also definitely a perk that they love to please and impress their human families! Poodles are also very active dogs as well as problem solvers, so make sure your poodles get plenty of exercise and have distractions for when you’re away or busy with the little humans!
4. Senior Citizens – Are you retired and long-since done with that fast-paced lifestyle? Children are grown and gone, creating families of their own? Great news, there are dog breeds perfect for you and your lifestyle!
A. Chihuahua – A small and easy to manage breed of dog, a Chihuahua is a great choice for the elderly and here’s why: Chihuahuas are low maintenance, easy to manage, and require very little exercise. You won’t spend a fortune on food, you won’t struggle to train them, and they’re to their owners.
B. Maltese – A small breed, the Maltese is a great choice for a senior. They are sweet, gentle, and loyal dogs and while they do require regular grooming, you can’t top a dog that is content spending its days in your lap, relaxing until bedtime since their exercise needs are so low.
C. Bichon Frise – These small and intelligent dogs are great for seniors who like to stay a little active. They require a daily walk, so they don’t seem as lazy and laid back as some other dogs on this small list, but don’t be fooled because the Bichon Frise is still a very sweet dog, well known for its funny personality and ability to be affectionate.
D. Shih Tzu – This tiny, sweet breed of dog is perfect for seniors. They are an extremely popular lapdog and you’ve probably met plenty of them over the years. They are loyal, loving, and gentle dogs who are perfectly content spending their time relaxing with their humans and they require very little exercise. They are still playful though, so grab some small toys to keep this sweet breed happy!
Well, there you have it! Some basic guidelines and things to consider when choosing your ideal family companion. Don’t forget, mixed breeds are also GREAT dogs and often bring out the best qualities from each breed that contributed to making them unique so don’t be discouraged or think that a mixed breed dog isn’t perfect for your family! You can even still use some of the examples on this list when thinking about which breed dog is right for your family. Good luck in your future of dog ownership!