Dog Breed Guide – How to find the right dog
Which dog fits you best? Find out here which traits distinguish the dog breeds and what you should pay attention to when choosing a dog
Do you want a pet and have you chosen a specific dog?
So you are at the point of knowing you want a canine companion, the question arises which dog suits me best? Because you want to form a harmonious team with your dog a lot needs to be considered.
Before you buy a dog, make sure that no one in the family is allergic to dog hair. If this is the case there are suitable dog breeds for allergy sufferers, which you must look into. Another criterion is appearance. It Is much more important that you meet the needs of your future loyal companion. Do you have enough space in your home? Can you keep the dog busy and make sure they get enough exercise? You should also consider the characteristics of each breed. Do you have children? Are your neighbours okay with having a potentially loud dog next door? Does your apartment block allow for animals? The list goes on.
There are more than 340 dog breeds with different characteristics. You should find out what these are and what you should consider before buying a dog.
What kind of character do you want from your dog?
Just like us humans, dogs have many character traits. This goes back to their original roots and is still a massive part of their character traits. For example, there are dog breeds that are specially bred for herding. This fact has a big impact on their behaviour in everyday life. These breeds have an urge for employment and need a job to remain calm. They instinctively guard their pack or family as this was part of their original makeup. Herding dogs include German shepherds, Australian Shepherds, Border Collies and many more. Be aware that with these types of dogs you have to plan a lot of time to meet these breeds’ needs. They are considered obedient, attentive, active and eager to learn, and this is what they demand in everyday life. If they are not utilised as herding dogs, lots of dog sports must be had to keep them happy.
Have you considered a Dachshund, Beagle or Terrier? Then you should be aware that you are bringing a hunting dog to your side. Their pronounced hunting behaviour cannot and should not be weaned from them. They are very devoted and loyal companions, but also require an understanding and consistent education. They have a watchful stubborn head and are very confident. While hunting dogs are generally considered fearless, they often treat the unknown with suspicion.
You also have dogs like the Dalmatian and Rhodesian Ridgeback that are among the hunting dog category, however, these larger dogs are known as hounds and therefore need a lot more exercise. Jogging or cycling is ideal for these sporty animals. They are cuddly, friendly and sensitive, but often reluctant towards strangers.
The Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever are both popular family dogs – no wonder as they are extremely child friendly, balanced, alert but also extremely water loving. Like the English Cocker Spaniel, the breed is one of the retriever, rummage and water dogs. The Labrador supports fishermen and hunters in water game areas.
How about a sociable buddy to chill and cuddle with on the sofa? Then the English/ French Bulldog or Pug comes into question. The medium-sized service dogs are evenly balanced but at the same time have a lot of fire in their buttocks. Their temperament makes for a lively roommate who is child friendly, docile, keen to play and have laughs with.
Then there are other small dogs like the Chihuahua and Poodle which overall give you no time for boredom, just like with a domestic dog. These mainly include Pinscher and Schnauzers, but also other large breed dogs. The Bernese Mountain Dog and Great Dane are cuddly, good-natured and loving. The Rottweiler and the Boxer are also domestic dogs that look seriously impressive but have a friendly disposition. Domestic dogs are bred for a variety of purposes and are generally fond of children.
Where do you live and how much space does the dog have?
Another important aspect that must be assessed when choosing what dog is for you, is your living situation. Firstly there are certain dog breeds that are prone to joint disease, so shouldn’t really be kept in large houses where they have to climb stairs. Large dogs such as German Shepherds, but also dogs like Dachshunds and French bulldogs are more suited to living in an apartment because of this. Furthermore, if you live in a terrace house, you should probably think about choosing a quieter dog as opposed to one that is prone to barking loudly throughout the night, as this may cause a stir with your neighbours. Dogs like the Golden Retriever or Labrador are considered quiet residents as opposed to the Chihuahua which is perceived as a much louder companion. Moreover, there is the criterion of space, dogs like the Dalmatian demand a lot more space to roam and run around. While dogs like the pug or the bulldog are much more accustomed to city life and are quite happy to chill around the house. It is appropriate that you offer your dog a living space appropriate to its size. Where they can get the best of all worlds.
How much experience do you have with dog training?
You may look at a certain breed of dog that you have fallen in love with and really want, however, it is exactly as simple as that. Certain dogs require more experience than others and it is unfair on yourself and the dog if you take on a dog that is too much for you to handle. Even if you have experience with educating dogs, you may be capable of looking after certain hunting dogs, however, a dog like that of the Rottweiler may be a bit too much to handle. If a dog like this isn’t given the correct education then not only can they end up being too much to handle but they can become aggressive and hurt someone. If you are a starting dog life the perfect candidates would be breeds such as the poodle, Labrador or pug. Furthermore, it may be a good shout to bring in an older dog if you are just starting as they are already house trained to a further extent and take up less of your time with puppy training, which can be arduous.
How much time can you devote to your dog?
Which brings us to the next criterion: the time factor. With a dog, everyday life changes. You should always be aware of this. If you have a hound, you must allow enough time to go for a proper walk. If you opt for a herding dog, it needs employment in the form of agility or other dog training. Because utilisation means not only exercise but above all mental fitness. This is as important for a balanced dog as its food, social space and rest. Long-haired dog breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog also require regular grooming - this too takes time. So you must take everything into account before signing off!
How is the dog cared for when you’re not there?
In today’s world more and more offices are becoming dog friendly, so take this into account but also if this is a viable option you must make sure you have a dog that is not only stranger friendly but friendly with other pets and isn’t bark friendly. If you opt to leave your pooch at home make sure they are well looked after in your absence as dogs should not be left alone for more than five hours. There are now doggy daycare centres that you can look into to avoid this from happening. Finally, you have to think about who is going to look after your four-legged friend when you go away, if they can’t come with you. There are doggy boarding houses, however, certain dogs need consistency and sending them to a boarding house could result in disaster.
Male or female?
It is often the case that women want a friendly female, while men prefer to have a strong partner at their side. Many families choose girls for convenience, as it can become tiresome during heat, which leads to many families spading.
It should be said: The gender-specific arguments for or against a male or female remain much discussed. The fact is that even a girl can show strong territorial behaviour. This, in turn, depends on the breed and the development of the dog. You can inquire about the character, for example, from an animal shelter dog or professional breeder. Even with puppies, it can usually be seen quickly which of the small dogs has a strong territorial character and which is rather reserved.
What are the costs for a dog?
Unfortunately, many dog owners underestimate the cost of a dog. Because in addition to the basic equipment such as food bowl, leash and collar, there are additional costs. There are veterinary costs for things such as vaccinations, spading and de-worming, as well as constant costs if your dog gets injured or ill. This can quickly add up and this is before health insurance gets added on top. Then there are costs like training schools or doggy daycare or boarding while you are away which aren’t cheap either. These are all expenses you must take into account.
**Please always consider that every dog is individual. For some, the breed-typical characteristics are more and less pronounced in individual cases. **