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How to Choose the Right Dog for Your Family

Picking the right dog is tricky because it is easy to be influence by the wrong things. Very striking-looking breeds capture people’s attention, So people get carried away with a dog’s looks, without understanding temperament or training requirements.

Before you rush in, research potentially suitable breeds and, if you can, spend time with the kind of dog you are considering. Explore breed characteristics and talk to family and friends who own dogs. Here are some key things to consider.

 

Space

A small house or a flat would not be the ideal environment for some breeds because even the calmest dog still needs space to move from room to room. Some small dogs, such as Jack Russell terriers, need lots of space as they are so active. And think about noise – in a flat or a balcony house, a very vocal breed could disturb your neighbors. Be prepared to take your dog on regular walks outdoors for daily toilet trips and exercise.

 

Family

Choosing the right dog generally means identifying the type of animal that matches your lifestyle and wants. If you live alone in a small, third-floor apartment, for instance, a large, active retriever or shepherd might not be the best choice. Conversely, if you have a family of four and are looking for a companion to match your active lifestyle, this type of dog might be perfect. Size, exercise requirements, grooming needs, temperament, and compatibility with children and adults should all figure into your decision..

If you have children, you need a dog that is very responsive to your commands when out walking as a family. Charles Spaniel and Labrador Retriever for families with school-age children. Boxers are also great with kids but they need effective training and a firm hand.

Charles Spaniel and dachshund are wonderful companion breeds for the elderly, while active adults will find a Jack Russell or a beagle is always game for adventure.

 

Different Dog Breeds and Mixes

Take some time and learn about various breeds. The Dogzadda site has a great wealth of information. Visit with dogs at your local shelter, and speak with an adoption counselor for guidance. Do you want a purebred dog or a mix? The only significant difference between the two is that purebreds are all members of the same breed and share common traits called the “breed standard”.

Mixed breeds are simply combinations of different breeds. If you are looking at a collie/Labrador mix he or she will have some features from both breeds. Mixed breeds offer several advantages over purebreds. When you adopt a mixed breed, you benefit from the combined traits of two or more breeds. You also get a dog likely to have less genetic defects common to certain purebred dogs. Mixed breeds, in fact, are often considered the more “natural” dog.

 

The seven types of dog

Toy, Companion, Herding, Hound, Hybrid, Miscellaneous, Sporting, Terrier, Working

 

Exercise

All dogs need exercise and daily interaction with their owners, and most do not like being left alone for long periods. A dog that is bored, stressed or frustrated can become very destructive. Working breeds, including the German shepherd and golden retriever, need plenty of exercise, and even toy breeds need daily walks – it is not enough to simply take them out in your handbag.

Training

Some breeds are more responsive to training than others – for example, labradors are instinctively compliant, and poodles learn things very quickly. But people often mistakenly think that large breeds need more training than small ones. “It’s easy to be more lenient with puppy-nipping from a toy breed than you would with a large breed.

“But once a dog becomes an adult, it’s very difficult to change bad habits. You could find yourself being ruled by an aggressive small dog.” There is no short cut to good canine behavior. It is all about ensuring consistent training in the early months.

Coat

The Dogzadda list of non-moulting breeds includes Maltese, Yorkshire terrier, miniature schnauzer, poodle and shih-tzu. If a family member is allergy-prone, choose a breed with a coat that is “hairy” rather than “furry”.

And if you are house-proud, you might be better with a long-haired breed. “Long hair sheds but is easily removed with a daily vacuum. Short hair, on the other hand, will weave itself into clothes and upholstery and is impossible to remove. So you have to learn to live with it.”