How to choose the right breed of dog also means choosing what size dog is best for you and your family: should it be a small, medium, or large breed dog?
Almost 75 million dogs have found homes in U.S. households that already own at least one dog. If you’re considering owning your first dog or you want to replace a lost pet, there is good news for you. Owning a pet has been linked to numerous health benefits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that owning a pet dog can not only help end loneliness, but can also decrease your blood pressure, your cholesterol, and your triglyceride levels. How’s that for a health and wellness package rolled into one – one wonderful, loving, attentive animal guaranteed to tug at your heart and give you the companionship you’ve always wanted.
The tricky part is finding the right dog for you. All dogs were not created equal and there are specific traits that define each breed. Deciding which dog will make the best pet for you depends mostly on you. Do you have time in your life to give a dog plenty of exercise? Are you looking for a small, quiet dog or a larger, active dog to go running with you? Do you have a large home or smaller apartment? Are there children in your family or do you live alone? Do you leave for work every day or are you at home most of the time? Do you travel frequently or do you generally stay close to home?
Answering these questions will help you determine which breed of dog you’ll be happiest with and what kind of dog is best suited to your lifestyle.
How to choose the right breed of dog is just as important a consideration as where to find your pet. Some people prefer to buy a dog from a breeder, either because they are searching for a pure-bred or they wish to raise one from a puppy. An excellent source for finding the perfect dog for you is an animal shelter or pet adoption center. Pet adoption agencies and animal shelters provide a valuable service in helping to find homes for loving animals that have, for any number of reasons, ended up neglected, unloved, or unwanted. Here in the confines of locked cages may reside the dog of your dreams, one who will be so happy to be rescued that he will smother you with love as long as you both are alive. Here is an opportunity for happiness for both of you. The staff these facilities can also help you determine which type of dog is right for you. They often require that large dogs only be adopted by people with a spacious, fenced backyard, and that puppies only be adopted by people who spend most of their time at home and are able to care for them.
The following breeds provide excellent companionship, loyalty and love:
Labrador Retrievers – This is the most popular dog breed of all, Labrador Retrievers are friendly, lovable, smart and great with kids. They are the most popular family dog according to breeder surveys.
Golden Retrievers – Golden Retrievers also make great family dogs. These large dogs are extremely kind and gentle by nature and they love to play with people and they entertain themselves with their toys. Just make sure you have enough space in your home as they can grow as large as 90 pounds – so be sure you have enough room for them in your home.
Yorkshire Terriers – Yorkshire Terriers, also called “Yorkies” for short, are the smallest terriers of all. These tiny dogs are very energetic and very protective of their owners. As a result, they don’t always get along well with strangers and they are not afraid to let a visitor know. Expect a lot of “yapping” if you adopt one of these dogs.
German Shepherds – These are one of the most intelligent and loyal dog breeds in the world. Because of their high intelligence and great strength they are the dog of choice for law enforcement. They also make a great pet for your home as long as you have room for a large, lovable dog.
Beagles – The Beagle has been a popular breed for over a century. Originally raised as hunting dogs, these animals are noted for being kind and gentle – they make great family pets.
Dachshunds – Dachshunds are also called “wiener dogs’ and have been a favorite among both adults and children because of their cute, sausage-shaped bodies. With long bodies and short legs they look like they couldn’t move very fast but they love to run and play with their owners and each other. They can be very protective and may nip at strangers and other dogs.
Boxers – Boxers play well with children, are extremely loyal and are low maintenance dogs. They aren’t the most intelligent dogs, but they make up for it by being energetic, headstrong, and fun-loving. They require strong obedience training while they are young or they may turn out to be unmanageable when they grow into adults.
Poodles – Poodles come in both standard and miniature sizes. They are very popular dogs and can be found in all types of neighborhoods in countries around the world. They are beautiful, loyal and extremely intelligent dogs.
Shih Tzu – These adorable dogs with a funny name have been growing in popularity during the last few years. They are cute and cuddly, and make great companions for both young children and older adults.
Miniature Schnauzers – Miniature Schnauzers are smart, obedient and love non-aggressive play. Originally raised as farm dogs, they are energetic dogs that love to be around people. They make great pets for someone looking for a small, lovable dog.
What criteria did you use to choose the right breed of dog for you or your family? We’d love to hear from you about how you chose your dog and why that was the best choice for you (or the worst perhaps?). Where did you find your dog – in a shelter, a pet adoption society, a breeder, or maybe from a friend?