How to Choose the Right Dog Breed to Match Your Lifestyle
If you’ve decided to add a dog to your family, congratulations! This is a very exciting time but it’s also a big step and it’s important that you take the time to choose the right dog for your family and circumstances, including thinking about which breed will suit your lifestyle. Here are some tips to help you find your perfect match.
Where Do You Live?
One thing to consider is where you live. This includes the type of home you have and also its location. If you don’t have much room to spare then a smaller, laid-back breed will probably fit into your home easier than a large, bouncy dog! If you live in the city centre, then a dog who is happy with shorter walks on a lead will be a better choice for you than a dog who can run through the countryside for hours before tiring! No matter what kind of home you have, you’ll need to create a special space for your new dog within it that they can call their own and has somewhere comfortable for them to sleep such as a large dog bed or a puppy crate.
How Much Free Time Do You Have?
All dogs require care and attention, but some breeds will be more demanding and require more training and exercise than others. Puppies of all breeds require constant supervision during the first few weeks of arriving home and will also need an owner who is prepared to spend a significant amount of time training them so if you work 9-5 every day or long, unpredictable hours then getting a puppy probably isn’t the right decision for you at this time. Even older dogs will need some time to adjust to their new environment and get used to you, so it’s a good idea to think about how you’ll balance this with your existing commitments.
How Active Are You?
All dogs need walks but some dogs are more active than others and it’s a good idea to be realistic about how active you currently are – or are prepared to be – and pick a breed that matches your lifestyle. Active dogs include Retrievers, Border Collies, Spaniels and Huskies, whereas less active breeds include Pugs, Bulldogs, Greyhounds and Shih Tzus. If you’re a family who loves to ramble through the countryside for miles every weekend then a border collie or springer spaniel could be perfect for you, whereas a pug or chihuahua would quickly get tired! Think about your daily life and when and where you could take a dog out for a walk to help you find the right breed for your activity level.
Other Factors to Consider
When it comes to finding the perfect dog breed for your lifestyle, there are other factors to consider too. If you have allergies, then you’ll want to look for hypoallergenic breeds that don’t shed. If you have children, then it’s vital that your new dog is a kid-friendly breed that will enjoy being part of a lively, noisy household. You might also want to consider breed-specific health concerns that can affect certain dogs, such as brachycephalic breeds like pugs and Frenchies who can experience breathing difficulties due to their flattened faces and narrow nostrils.
It’s a good idea to think about your budget. Pedigree puppies will cost more than a mixed-breed rescue but there are also lifelong costs to think about. All dogs require food, toys and basic equipment such as a collar, lead and dog bowls, for example, but you may also find that you have added costs such as a regular dog walker if you’re at work, a pet sitter or kennels if you travel frequently and pet insurance to cover your dog’s medical needs.
Some dogs are more high maintenance than others and can become unhappy and even destructive when bored. This is particularly true of working dogs who need plenty of walks and something to occupy them. You should consider how you see the dog fitting into your current lifestyle and what changes, or sacrifices are you prepared to make for your new dog.