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How to Choose a Dog Breed

Avanika Mote Apr 17, 2019
It seems you have made up your mind on buying or adopting a dog, yet, you are unsure of which dog breed you should select. Find out how to choose a dog breed that will ensure you are comfortable with your decision, based on varied criteria.
Dog lovers are always keen on experimenting with new breeds of dogs. But how far can you go in choosing a dog? Out of the many breed that exist, around 192 breeds have been registered with the American Kennel Club, and 218 registered dog breeds in the UK.
Choosing from such a huge variety could be a little tougher than you'd thought. A dog breed has certain set characteristics which define it. If you take a close look at the characteristics of each breed you are interested in, you might get a list of more than 20 matches, that could be best suited for you.

Factors Involved When Choosing a Dog


Lifestyle involves questions like how much are you willing to spend on a dog while buying it, how much dog food can you afford per week, and the other costs involved in maintenance. Firstly, you should prepare your mind for keeping a large pet like a dog, and the trouble involved in the process.
Willingness and ability to spend the required time with your dog is also one of the most important factors of owning a dog. It will help you choose a breed based on the behavioral characteristics of the dog.

Type of Home

A dog is a large pet and requires a lot of space in the house. Some questions to ask yourself under this factor are, how big is your house, do you have an open-air/outdoor space that can be used, if your house is an apartment, a condo or a bungalow, and which floor does it occupy.
The size of your house may answer your doubts about the size of the dog you would want to choose.

Family and Children

The type of family and its attitude towards dogs will affect your dog's behavior. Points that should be remembered under this factor involves questions like, whether you have a small or a large family, are there any kids in the family, and so on. Another important factor is your purpose.
If the purpose behind owning a dog is protection, you should opt for the larger and sharper breeds of dogs, while if the purpose is to keep one out of your fondness for dogs, you should go for a friendly, low-maintenance dog.

Important Questions to Ask Yourself

Is affordability an issue in buying a dog?

If you think your pockets are not ready for buying a new dog, just listen to them. Because, costs involved in dogs are beyond its buying costs. These costs involve maintenance, dog food, dog shelter, vaccinations, medical expenses, and secondary costs like dog belts, chains, clothes, and toys.

How much time can you give to your pet in a day?

Choosing a dog involves evaluating factors like the dog's personality, size, care needed, etc. Raising a large pet like dog is similar to raising a child. The dog's eventual behavior will depend on its upbringing. Sometimes, the upbringing is so good, that the dog turns out to be as attached as a family member.
If you do not give enough time to your dog, he will not be trained enough to live with your family. Besides, a neglected dog will turn out to be very lazy, and will become a couch potato. Less time means less activity, and that develops lethargy in dogs.

Will you be able to manage a dog that sheds heavily?

If you are in a job that doesn't let you take care of your own self, you may not be able to handle a dog that sheds too much. Some dogs like Golden Retrievers and Dalmatians are shedding factories. A dog that sheds less is always more desirable than the other breeds, if free time is a factor.

Is there a veterinary doctor's clinic in close proximity?

Most people ignore this factor before adopting a dog. Would you ever shift to a new place that has no shops or hospitals around? Well, that would apply to your dog too.
Make sure a vet's clinic is around somewhere in close proximity of your house in case of any medical emergency. A puppy requires to take several vaccinations frequently. A veterinary clinic around would be ensuring the safety and the dog's health.

What dog size are you looking for?

The size of the dog plays the most significant part of choosing a dog breed. It is a myth that small-sized dogs need small spaces and large-sized dogs need larger spaces. Your dog's behavior and habits will entirely depend on its overall upbringing. You should not forget that all the large dogs look small when they are puppies.
So, don't fall for their puppy-size! There are some breeds of small dogs that remain tiny even when they mature. A large dog is recommended only if you are experienced in raising and training different breeds and sizes of dogs.
A large dog will necessarily require relatively larger space, larger quantity of food, maintenance, and a huge responsibility. Large dogs may also require professional dog training.

What is your purpose of adopting a dog?

There is no point in buying a dog without having your purpose in mind. Your purpose behind it could be for protection, out of fondness for dogs, for entertainment, and even as a toy for your kids. You need to first examine your purpose and the responsibilities involved in its process.
If you want a dog just for entertainment and out of fondness, you should opt for designer dog breeds. If you have a huge mansion-like house, and need a dog for protection, guard dogs may be better for you. You might have a busy schedule, and then would need a non-shedding guard dog.
Remember that a dog is your family member, and you should treat him like one. Dogs have emotions, along with impulsive internal structures that are similar to those in human beings, which is what makes us understand their behavior. So, ask yourself these questions, examine the answers, and then make your final decision.