Whether you want to get a dog for protection, for companionship, or simply to play with, a dog can be a great addition to your family. While there may be some growing pains, having a dog can be a ton of fun and well worth the work.
However, with dozens and dozens of different dog breeds out there to choose from, how do you know which breed to go with? They come in all different shapes, sizes, colors and behaviors. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right dog breed for your family.
Think About the Size
One of the first considerations to make is the size of the dog. Dogs can be small enough to easily hold in your hands and have on your lap for hours, while others can be incredibly large. You need to think about not only the size of dog you want, but also what your living condition will allow.
You may want a large dog, but if you and your family live in a small condo or do not have adequate yard space, it simply might not be realistic for you. Since these dogs need more space to move around, they can be accidentally destructive if your living area is too small.
Also, it is good to do a little research to learn how big the dog you are considering will actually grow. When looking at puppies, it can be hard to imagine that same dog could be five to 10 times its current size (or larger!) Doodle puppies and Great Dane puppies might be the same size at birth, for example, but they will be vastly different in size when fully grown.
Know How Much Effort You Are Willing to Commit
The effort you are willing to put into your dog is also something to consider before deciding which breed of dog to go with. Some dogs are easy to train, while others may take a bit more dedication and hard work. Also, the grooming needs can differ from breed to breed. Some will hardly shed or require frequent haircuts, while others may need less frequent grooming, but may shed a lot.
In addition to training and grooming, also be aware of the exercise needs of your dog. Many breeds are fine hanging out on the couch all day, while others feel at home running around a yard for hours at a time. If you like to relax and stay inside, you likely won’t want a dog that requires multiple walks and exercise sessions every day. If these energetic dogs don’t get their activity in, they can get bored and become destructive.
Consider the Dog’s Temperament
While dogs can be trained in terms of their behavior, every breed can be a little different in terms of their natural tendencies. The temperament of your dog is essentially its personality, nature and disposition. These are not learned behaviors, and there are individual differences between breeds. Some dogs are great with children and other pets, while others do better alone. You will find that some dogs are more curious and independent, while others are attached to their owner at the hip.
When deciding on a dog, it is important to consider how it behaves and the personality traits it has. You might love how a dog looks, but it’s personality and temperament might not fit into your family. If you have children, you will want a dog that is friendly, gentle, and enjoys playing.
Helping Your Family Get the Right Furry Friend
Getting a family dog can be a lot of work, but is well worth it for a dedicated and fun companion. By considering the size, the temperament and the effort you are willing to put in, you can make sure you choose the right breed for your needs.