Everybody knows that dogs come in all shapes, sizes and looks. From tiny dogs to massive dogs, short-haired dogs to shaggy ones, there are dozens of breeds of dogs in the world. While many people choose dogs based on their looks, a dog’s breed contributes to a lot more than just its looks. A dog’s breed can dictate a significant amount of its behavior, needs and wants.
This is why it’s extremely important for potential dog owners to do plenty of research about a breed before falling for it and making a choice that might cause trouble for you or your beloved new friend. If you’re thinking about getting a dog for your home or for a friend or family member, read up on these basics before making the commitment.
Dog Parent Need-to-Knows
There are a great many important but small factors to consider when getting a dog that might vary between you and someone else. However, there are four major considerations that every dog owner needs to make before making a big life choice like this.
Energy Level – A dog’s energy level is a major influencer on both your lifestyle and theirs. Some dogs are more energetic than others, requiring longer and more frequent walks and runs along with other high energy activities. If an owner is not able to meet the energy needs of their dog, the dog may start to act out and misbehave by destroying furniture or having accidents.
High energy breeds:
Weimaraner, Poodles, Dalmatians, Vizslas, Jack Russell Terriers
Lower energy breeds:
Cocker Spaniel, Great Dane, Maltese, Mastiff, Pomeranian
Room to Roam – While it may seem obvious, a dog’s size, typically determined by breed, is a huge factor in your adoption decision. If you live in an urban environment with no yard or space in your apartment, a big, high energy dog may not be for you. Smaller dogs can take advantage of smaller spaces giving them a higher quality of life. Another factor is considering home vs apartment. Another factor to consider is that often times, apartments and other leased properties may have weight restrictions or breed restrictions.
Hypoallergenic – Pet allergies are an unfortunate reality for many people. But contrary to popular belief, a dog’s fur is not the source of dog allergies. Allergies to dogs come in three forms. The first and most common is allergy to a dog’s dander or skin. Then, we have the less common allergies to a dog’s saliva and urine. While these two can be avoided more easily, dog dander is a huge concern for many. It is important to note that there is no such thing as a fully hypoallergenic dog. However, there are dog breeds who produce lower amounts of dander and can be great for people with allergies.
Lower Dander Breeds:
- Bedlington Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier (commonly called a Wheaten)
Good with Kids – This one is a hugely important concern for families with young children. It is no surprise that some dogs are calmer than others. Some dogs are also better with agitating environments or behaviors than others. That’s why it’s important to consider breeds that have a history and reputation for being calm and good around children. This isn’t just restricted to large dogs that are commonly seen as scary but also smaller dogs that don’t handle noise and agitation well.
These considerations are just the start for those looking to get a dog in a responsible, mature and well thought out way. If you or your family are considering getting a dog, it is important to do research from reputable sources and develop good habits even before getting the dog.
Once you get your new family member into your home, it’s also extremely important to schedule regular visits and checkups by a veterinarian who can help you learn about your dog and give you all the right information.
If you have any questions or want to know if a certain breed might be suitable for your circumstances, contact us today at Riverside Animal Center. Our expert team of veterinarians, dog lovers and trained staff can help you overcome the initial hurdles and equip you to have the best possible relationship with man’s best friend.