How To Choose The Right Breed Of Dog For Your Lifestyle?

Written by Lita Luse, a lifestyle journalist and dog enthusiast.

Currently, she is an owner of two quirky Westies and an active mongrel.

Welcoming a dog into a family is a huge decision. Choosing the right breed for the environment they are going to be living in is crucial both for your and your furry friend’s wellbeing.

After all – you are building a relationship that will last for more than a decade.

Here are my tips on choosing a furry baby that will fit your lifestyle.

Consider how active you are

When choosing a dog breed, you must actually have a look at yourself. Think about your daily habits and lifestyle choices.

  • How active are you?
  • Do you love spending time outdoors?
  • Do you like to run?
  • Or perhaps you prefer taking marathons on Netflix?

These are the questions you must ask.

Some dog breeds require more exercise than others.

For example, Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are known to have a ton of energy.

If dogs from these breeds don’t move enough, they might showcase destructive behavior, which will be good neither for you nor the four-legged friend.

Those who prefer a more laid back way of life and lounging around at home will surely enjoy the company of Pugs, Greyhounds, and Whippets. They will happily join your adventures, whatever they might be.

Sitting on your lap? Why not!

Going on a slow walk? Sure!

Remember to be realistic about your lifestyle. For example, if you are somebody who despises working out, a dog won’t change that.

Grooming!?

Another important aspect you should pay attention to is your chosen breed’s grooming necessities, explains paw.com.

Sure, the coat of Yorkshire Terriers is stunning, but a lot of work goes into it.

If you are not willing to brush them frequently and schedule regular appointments with a groomer, this might not be the right breed for you.

When we decided that two Westies should join our family, we didn’t think much about their hair and didn’t really do much research on it.

Quite soon, we realized – for them not to look homeless, paying a visit to a groomer at least once in two months is a must.

But dog hairdressers are not cheap.

In fact, they might sometimes cost more than yours.

So figure out whether that works for your budget.

Doing proper research is crucial because each breed has its own individual needs.

For example, Shar-Peis have lots of skin holds. If you don’t take care of them properly, it may create an infection. The same goes for pugs.

In recent years, the Bichon Frise has become increasingly popular. Their coat is made of fine, fine hair and requires regular brushing to prevent painful mats.

Alaskan Malamutes shed their thick fur twice a year. That means – dog hair everywhere! If you are obsessed with cleaning, it might not be the best choice for you.

Health and allergies – and not just your dog’s

Each breed has its potential weaknesses and typical health problems.

But – when looking for a furry friend – you don’t have to just think about the dog’s health. You have to look at yourself.

If you or someone in your family has a pet allergy, owning a dog becomes a bit more challenging.

The best option is to look for a four-legged friend that is hypoallergenic, for example, a Poodle or Poodle crosses (Cavapoo, Labradoodle).

Since they don’t shed much hair, you won’t have to worry about potential difficulties.

Plus – these dogs come in all shapes and sizes.

So whether you prefer a big dog or a miniature breed, it is possible to find one that will suit your needs.

Still, before making a decision, it is best to contact your doctor.

One size doesn’t fit all

Newfoundland might be your dream dog, but it doesn’t mean it will match your lifestyle.

With furry friends, it is important to understand that one size doesn’t fit all. In addition, you have to consider your living situation, car, and access to outdoor spaces, writes thesprucepets.com.

Theoretically, having a Golden Retriever in an apartment is possible, as long as you are willing to go for two, three hours long walks every day. But that, of course, requires immense willpower.

Keep in mind that there will be times when you will have to leave your dog with somebody else. If they have a yard – that’s great. They will keep good company to your friend. But – if they don’t – it gets trickier.

Is kid-friendly important to you?

When you’ve got little kids running around the house, you can’t think just of yourself. According to Evening Standard, some breeds are known to be more patient and tolerant towards children.

Some dogs may not appreciate impulsive hugs and kisses.

If you are looking for a dog that is kid-friendly, you may want to opt for a Labrador Retriever, Flat Coat Retriever, or a Golden Retriever, recommends firstvet.com.

Most terriers are also considered to be kind to kids, but it depends on the breed.

Our Westies are pretty friendly towards little world discoverers, but we wouldn’t allow them to be alone with children since we are not entirely sure how they would react.

Be aware of the health risks

There is nothing worse than seeing your furry friend in pain. Even if you have never owned a dog, just by watching “Marley and Me,” you can get the idea of the heartbreak.

Unfortunately, accidents and diseases are a part of life. But – when choosing a breed – you can reduce or increase some health risks.

For example, brachycephalic breeds (with short noses), like Pugs and Bulldogs, are more likely to suffer from breathing problems, while bigger dogs, such as Mastiffs, more often have joint diseases.

Interestingly enough, the healthiest dogs tend to be mutts.

They often have longer and healthier lives than purebred dogs, who are more likely to inherit diseases due to their genetics.

This is also true in our family.

Since their childhood, our Westies have paid regular visits to vets and have quite sensitive joints and stomachs.

Our mutt, on the other hand, can eat and do almost anything and still be as healthy as a horse.

Alone time – another critical factor

Some dogs are clingier than others.

That is why it is vital to consider how much time you will spend outside of the home.

Miniature Poodles, for example, tend to experience separation anxiety when left alone for hours. It means they feel great stress, which causes them to act out in all kinds of ways.

Whippets, however, don’t mind staying alone.

Of course, having a furry friend that will keep that company is great, but they don’t have any issues with some “me-time”.

How to choose the right breed of dog for your lifestyle? Join a “Facebook” group

Although the internet has its downsides, it can also be advantageous. Make sure to join and follow breed-specific “Facebook” groups and “Instagram” accounts.

This way you, can have a valuable insight into what life might be like with your chosen breed.

Typically, dog owners are quite open to communication.

They will happily share the good and the bad times.

Use the information they give you to decide whether the breed is the right fit for you.

Opposites don’t always attract

Another element you should consider is the temperament of the breed. Think about the relationship you want to have.

Are you looking for a furry friend that is loyal and patient but doesn’t show much affection?

Or – perhaps – you are looking for a dog that will cover you with kisses every time you enter the room?

Of course, the temperament is mostly not breed-specific.

Each puppy has its own personality.

But there are breeds that tend to be more affectionate and some that are more independent. Decide what seems important to you.

Think about the future

It may seem weird, but when thinking about purchasing a dog, you have to consider whether you will have other pets joining your family in the future.

You would not want to choose a breed that is jealous and can not get along with other animals.

For example, French Bulldogs and Australian Shepherds tend to be skeptical towards newcomers in the family.

Even if it might seem like one dog is enough, perhaps later you will change your mind.

Training goals

Although most people want their dogs to simply become a part of their family, throughout centuries, humans have trained four-legged friends for various purposes.

Most dog breeds have an instinct that makes them act in a specific way.

For example, retrievers are good hunters. If you are looking for a dog that will join you on your hunting adventures, this might be the best choice for you.

Other breeds specialize in guarding homes, heading on search and rescue missions, while others are great athletes.

So have a thought on your desired training goals.

  • Do you want your dog just to keep you company?
  • Or are you looking for a furry friend that will join your daily duties?

Choosing a dog breed that fits your lifestyle isn’t easy. But if you take it seriously, you will find a loyal friend that will accompany you throughout your life.

Photo by Tamas Pap on Unsplash.

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