Top 5 Things To Consider BEFORE Choosing Your Dog Breed
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Before we get too far in I just need to say that there’s a lot more than what I’m talking about here today that goes into getting a new dog so this is by no means an exhaustive list. You’ll need to consider if you’re going to adopt from a rescue group, find a local breeder, have the dog shipped from a breeder in another region, the age, and temperament of the dog, and the list just goes on. In this video, we’re going to keep it simple and get you started on the right track with my top 5 things to consider when thinking about adding a canine companion to your family.
The first consideration I'm going to talk about today is the energy and general space requirements of the dog. You'll need to consider your lifestyle, like if you'll be spending just a few hours out of the home or closer to 14 hours, or if somebody is home all the time. Your living situation is another factor to consider, if you're in a home with a yard, and if you're in an area that does not allow certain breeds, and your access to take the dog out to the toilet or on walks through the neighborhood. Also, keep in mind any changes to your lifestyle like moving frequently or travel requirements.
Another factor you need to consider when choosing a breed is their intelligence and trainability levels. You'll need to decide if you're looking for a companion dog who only needs basic obedience and manners or if you'd like a guardian and working dog that really excels at those high levels of competition and commands. One thing that I cannot stress enough when it comes to choosing a breeds intelligence and training ability level is your own previous training experience. Sometimes the small dogs are the hardest to train while the large working breeds are easily trained, but will also be's able to outsmart you if you don't set clear and consistent boundaries. Your own experience, as well as that of the other members of your household is not something you should dismiss easily or not take seriously. For the health and safety of the dog and you, this needs to be a very honest conversation.
My third consideration when bringing a new canine into your home is there grooming needs and their size. Every breed, with the exception of just a few, will shed to some degree so you will of course need to clean your home more often, but some breeds are messier than others. Another consideration is the allergies people in the home may have when it comes to dogs. Some people are allergic to a dog’s drool (or saliva) while others are more reactive to their dander and shedding. You'll also need to think about how their size and breed affects their lifespan as well and general care requirements. Bigger dogs mean bigger collars and harness, higher food costs, higher vet costs, and larger dogs typically have shorter lifespans.
You'll need to consider your family dynamic in size as it stands today and how it might possibly change in the future. There are so many wonderful dog breeds out there that are excellent with children or other small pets like cats or smaller dogs, but this is not the case for every breed or even every dog within a breed. You'll really need to think about if you have children, or planning to have children, how the dog might react having them having friends over or not being the center of attention anymore. Think about if you have aging parents how a particular breed of dog could impact them if they end up living with you. And it's also worth noting here that you should consider each breeds watching and guarding tendencies. Many dogs will bark in cases where somebody tries to come into the home at night which can present a problem if somebody in your house does work at night or has a very early shift. Or maybe you live alone and prefer a dog that is capable of both alerting and defending you should the worst case happen.
On to my last but certainly not least important consideration when choosing a certain dog breed over another is a breeds tendency for affection and independence. You need to, again, consider your lifestyle and the tendencies of the breed. If they are extremely affectionate they won't be very happy if you're gone 10, 12 or 14 hours a day. You'll need to consider their potential for separation anxiety and their quality of life within your own lifestyle. Some breeds also are quite needy and physically affectionate trying to be in your lap or touching you at all times while others are content just to know that you’re in the house. You need to consider if you are looking for a breed that tends to bond evenly with everyone in the family or is bonded just with one person primarily while still getting along with everyone else in the home. As you can see there is a lot to consider and this really just scratches the surface because there is such depth and range between and within breeds.