A dog is a lifelong companion that showers unconditional love on its owner. This pet is excellent for keeping your stress levels and blood pressure in check. Besides, his presence in your house is known to enhance the social skills and confidence of your family members. Often, families who decide to adopt a dog, give a great thought on this matter as dog breeds come in an array of sizes, shapes and inherent characters. If you are one among those who are wondering what kind of dog should I get – this article will be of much use to you. Here are certain major considerations that you should make while choosing a dog breed that complements your lifestyle optimally.
What Kind Of Dog Should I Get?
Here are few things to note down before deciding to buy a dog breed:
1. His Temperament Matters
The dog is going to spend a considerable amount of time with you. This makes it imperative to gauge the inherent temperament of the animal. Its personality and predisposition should measure up to your predilections. The personality traits that should matter while making the choice are the dog’s:
- Energy level (whether the dog is perky or reticent with a subdued disposition)
- Willingness to submit to authority (whether it responds to authoritative instructions with a sense of obedience or it is recalcitrant and strong-willed)
- Nature (whether it treats everyone it comes across with a friendly attitude, or it fawns only over the members of the family, and exhibits aloofness to strangers)
- Ability to keep itself entertained (whether the dog becomes easily bored, and engages in destructive behavior when it is not paid enough attention by its owners, or whether it enjoys on its own for prolonged periods even when no one is around).
2. His Size Matters
The size of the dog is also another key attribute. What kind of dog should you get based on his size? Everyone is fond of cute puppies. However, they are not going to retain that small, adorable size for their entire lifetime. A puppy grows at a rapid pace and attains a bulky body pretty soon. Before bringing the puppy home, you need to check out the potential height and weight that the puppy would gain in the near future. This is important as your dog-budget would depend on his bodily dimensions. A large dog would need more food. Further, he would need extra-large space in the yard to romp around, and make it comfortable for him. Little dogs too would need plenty of room to run around because of their high energy levels.
3. His Grooming Needs Matters
Grooming needs of the dog should be considered. Health and cleanliness of the dog are essentially and inextricably linked to regular grooming. Shedding fur is a natural phenomenon in case of most of the dogs. The shedding pattern varies from dog to dog. However, profuse year round shedding is observed in some dog breeds, whereas others may shed in clusters for some weeks. Few breeds may shed sparingly. You will instantly fall in love with dogs with long and flowing coats. But, you will have to invest substantial amount of time, energy and effort to maintain the sheen, smoothness and fluffiness of the coat. You will find it easy to care for dogs with short coats. They will invariably shed however. You will also have to make arrangements to protect them in the rainy season and winters. Further, in case of breeds with fanciful trims, you will have to shell out extra bucks to arrange for professional grooming.
So, you need to make a conscious and informed decision regarding the amount of dog hair you are comfortable with, and the amount of time you can afford to spare from your hectic schedule to care for your canine companion. This will help you arrive at the breed that would best suit you.
4. The Dog’s Gender Matters
The gender of the dog should also be considered. Although, this does not have much of a bearing on the temperament of your pet, it is advisable that you neuter or spay a dog before adopting it. This will eliminate the minor differences inherent in the genders of the dog. After adopting the dog, if you have been mulling about breeding your dog, you should maintain strict vigil on the dog to keep undesirable breeding from taking place. You need to keep it confined in your yard. The female pet experiences heat twice annually. At that time, the intact female should not be allowed to mix freely with other dogs, especially the stray ones. Else, there is high potential of contamination creeping in the pure breed of the dog. So, consider these aspects while you decide upon the right gender of dog for you.
5. His Age Matters
When you are still wondering what kind of dog should I get, then a point that should not be ignored is none other than — age of the dog. Puppies are temptingly cute. The added advantage of having a puppy is that it can be raised completely by yourself in the manner that suits you well. You can arrange for its extensive training, grooming and socialization. Besides you can keep vigil on the manner in which things are taking shape at every step. However, on the flip side, you need to devote considerable amount of time, energy and patience to train the puppy, and be on its side. If you or the members of your family keep busy often, you have to arrange for a help to look after the puppy, and give him company. Puppies will not tolerate being alone for more than a few hours, and would become violent and destructive. Puppies have to be frequently taken out, and attended to for their meal related requirements in a fixed routine. Besides, puppies demand consistent interaction with people.
If you need a dog, which would not crave for constant attention, and would refrain from showing its tantrum the moment its demands are not fulfilled, you should go for an adult dog. You can purchase the dog directly from a breeder, or adopt it from a rescue team. It has been observed that calmness is an essential characteristic of mature dogs. So, an adult dog is not going to hassle you with a host of nagging demands. Most adult dogs have already gone through the phase of rigorous training, and as such can adapt seamlessly to a home environment. And, they are more likely to obey you without posing any trouble.
6. His Health Matters
The health of the dog being chosen for adoption is another principal determinant. There are certain breeds of dogs, which suffer from diseases, or conditions that have been hereditarily transmitted. You can also request screening report of the breed for typical conditions like problems pertaining to the eyes or hips. If you are adopting the puppy from a breeder, he should be able to produce the needful certificate to corroborate the fact that the puppy is not a victim to any hereditary or chronic disease or condition. You should always seek such a certification before finalizing your puppy adoption decision. Furthermore, if you keep yourself informed of the specific health conditions of the shortlisted breed, you can exploit the information for alleviating problems in the future if known symptoms start surfacing.
7. His Healthcare Requirements Matter
When you are pondering over what kind of dog should I get, you have to commit your attention to the lifelong healthcare requirements of the adopted pet. This is a part of your responsibility as the owner of dog. You have to insure your pet under a suitable scheme cover, as preventive measures are always better. Else, you will have to foot the bills that would come your way if the dog falls prey to accidents, unpredicted illnesses or sustains injuries unexpectedly. This may inadvertently occur even if you have been showering utmost care on the pet. You have to plan sensibly to defray the expenses of such unpredictable nature. The insurance scheme would also cover the periodic medical expenses that you have to incur to maintain the pet in top-notch condition. This may include injections for anti-rabies and other ailments that your canine companion can succumb to. Besides, if the dog bites someone, you have to indemnify the aggrieved party as per the extant laws. This requires proper provision for the future, and it is therefore a significant consideration to make while deciding upon the kind of dog you should go for.
8. His Ability To Entertain You Matters
Those who seek pets that get involved in their master’s entrainment, often wonder what dog breed should I get to keep me company in my sport activities? Here is the suggestion of a few breeds:
- The Newfoundlands is a waterproof-coated dog. Its strong webbed feet coupled with warm, thick and oily fur make it an ideal water rescue animal. These dedicated, obedient and sweet dogs can be trained to skydive into sea. They weigh around 100-150 pounds and shed a lot.
- Another close competitor is the cute, curly haired and adventurous Portuguese water dog. This intelligent dog however seeks constant company of the owner else, they become mentally bored and enraged.
- American Water spaniel is compact sized water dog and can be trained for retrieving games and to jump off the boat to snoop on water birds. The athletic animal can swim strongly and take pride in the double water resistant coat. They shed comparatively little than other water resistant dogs.
- If you look for endurance and impressive strength in your dog, the Bernese Mountain dog fits your bill. They have long, silky coat and love to be along owners who fawn over them.
- Another frontrunner in the category of strength and endurance is the Norwegian Lundehund, which displays nimbleness of wit and is sensitive. These are good companions for strapping mountain climbers. The elongated pad, feet with six toes and agile joints render them suitable for speedily climbing up steep faces. They have webbed feet and prick ears, which prove useful in surviving in the water as these organs, can be folded closed for protection against dirt and water.
- Jack Russell Terrier is a small dog that is strong willed, intelligent, athletic, bursting with energy and affectionate. You have to get accustomed to its high pitch bark. They can give you constant company while running or going on bushwalking. They can also be trained for diving into holes to chase foxes and squirrels.
9. His Ability To Move In The Family Matters
Since most of us adopt dogs for having an added family member, here are a few suggestions of breeds that suit families.
- Family guys can opt for the highly popular Labrador retriever which is a close ally of most Americans. This dog is affectionate, warm, maintain cordial relation with other dogs and treat the kids gently. They look for regular romps and are rugged, show a high degree of activeness and intelligence. The double coat, which is weather-resistant, makes it a dog for all kinds of terrains.
- Another close contestant is the Golden Retriever which has a friendly temperament, exhibits fair degree of intelligence, and can accommodate itself in various climates. This breed can be trained to assist in rescue and search operations. It is an excellent guide for blind people. However, it can develop behavioral issues if it does not get to toil hard.
- Another family dog is Beagle. They possess an easy-going attitude, are loyal and adorable. Their typical quizzical expression and playful temperament makes them ideal companions for kids. Further, they have remarkable endurance, and are good hunting dogs. Their curiosity quotient is high and as such they should be kept restrained by the leash, else they may wander off.
- If your family loves energetic dogs, then Siberian Husky ideally suits your needs. They are bursting with energy. The thick coat is a gift by nature to withstand extreme cold climatic conditions and as such they can manage outdoor sleeping even when the temperatures plunge. The gregarious dog is excellent for family setting.
- Another fast, intrepid and incredibly energetic dog is Weimaraner. These typical hunting dogs can be trained to work in the field for 8-10 hours per day on a trot. This dog proves to be very good companion for active persons. Grooming requirements are less as the dog does not shed in abundance.
- Another breed that is an exercise maniac is Border collie. The agile dog can perfectly balance itself in rough terrains and can run for miles without gasping for breath. The dog is known to possess extreme intelligence and is a workaholic.
The above mentioned content must have shed insightful light on the various considerations that you have to weigh before deciding upon the right dog for you.