How to Choose the Right Dog Breed

There are many different types of dog breeds available and bringing home the right breed that fit your situation especially in families with children. The combination of anticipation and excitement makes it a very happy and memorable occasion for any child. Sometimes the kids get so excited it's hard to pry them away at bedtime, more so if the dog is a puppy.

Indeed it's a time full of love and excitement but all too often it can end in eventual disaster. Sometimes through lack of obedience training, but usually because the minimal research was done before selecting a dog breed that was suitable for the environment in the home and the lifestyles of the owners. It can even be because the financial burden of a pet hasn't been calculated properly.

Larger dogs, in particular, can eat quite a lot and naturally are more expensive to feed. Also, some breeds may have prepositions to certain medical problems and not researching and knowing what to look for has meant the new owners have bought a dog with inbred defects. German Shepherds, for example, can have hip problems and if not bought through a reputable dealer, these problems can show up quite late and be expensive to repair, if impossible. Sadly many dogs end up in shelters for these reasons. This article is to help you make the right decision about the breed of dog you bring home in the hope it gives you and your dog the best hope of a happy, loving and long-lasting relationship.

Environmental Considerations.

The first consideration is the living space the dog and you will be sharing. Do you live in a house, an apartment or on a property such as a farm?
A house is easy of course as most houses have a yard which is normally big enough to accept even the largest breeds, but even then, you will be perhaps best to avoid a breed which loves to run, such as a greyhound, a whippet or an Afghan hound as these would be best suited to not only a farm but someone who is quite active as these breeds need a lot of exercises.

A house dog can be anything from a Jack Russell to an Irish wolfhound and all breeds in between but you can imagine how challenging it would be to have a larger breed in an apartment. Almost impossible and unfair to both the dog and the owner. Personally, I wouldn't own a dog if I lived in the apartment but through the correct breed selection and good training, people keep dogs in apartments quite successfully. A small dog like a miniature fox terrier or a miniature poodle would be well suited. They can also be trained to use litter just like a cat would and this eliminates the need to frequently go outside. Not that you would keep a pet inside all the time though, as just like you and I they deserve to be out in the fresh air from time to time as well.

Should your furry-friend be Inside or outside?

To me, a dog is a part of the family and I let my dogs share my living space but not all people share this view and I can completely understand that. Keeping a dog mainly inside does mean more work grooming, cleaning up dog hair, deodorizing etc., but there are benefits too. Inside your dog will spend much more time with you and the bonds become much stronger. They are also easier to train when you take more time to interact with them more regularly and letting them inside allows you to do this. Also, there is no nicer feeling than when you are relaxing and watching TV of an evening and your dog is laying with his head on your foot just because he likes to be with you. I do draw the line at letting my dogs on the bed or on certain furniture and I will train them to use their own bed, or rug or a chair that is their own.

If you do keep a dog outside, at least be sure to take plenty of time each day to interact with it. Inside or outside please walk them every day. Just as it is with us, exercise for your dog is very important and like other activities shared with your dog, walking will become a most enjoyable habit for you both.

Personality is another very important thing to consider when you buy a dog. If you are a quiet person the boisterous and playful attitude of a Jack Russell won't suit you at all but the gentle temperament of a Labrador will. There are so many breeds, and they have so many personality traits that listing them here is beyond the scope of this article. What I would suggest is doing further research after you have used the size criteria already mentioned to narrow things down a little.

The following are a few of my favorites

Labrador: Some say they are the most intelligent of all the breeds. Very loyal, easy to train, playful and boisterous at times but quiet and calm when needed too. It's like they have a sixth sense and they are very in tune with the feelings of the people around them.

German shepherd
: Intelligent, easily trained, loyal, fearless, protective, fierce when required but kind and gentle as well. A wonderful family dog and highly recommended.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier
: Very strong in both the body and the jaws, these dogs need to be socially trained properly from an early age, or they will fearlessly attack any animal that moves. Don't let that put you off, any dog can attack. However, a well-trained and socialized dog is very unlikely to, so please take the time to train your dog.

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