What kind of dog should I get? What dogs are “good boys”?
How many times have you asked these questions and you still haven’t decided on what kind of dog to adopt?
All doggies are good doggies. The term “a dog is a man’s best friend” came about for a reason.
The reason being that, these furry, four legged friends are forever faithful, never leaving your side until the very end. So when adopting a dog for you and your family, you’ve got to consider the wellbeing of the dog too.
There are many requirements that you may have to meet for various dog breeds, from their personalities, to their size, fur, breed etc.
As adoption is a lifetime of commitment and the initial preparation is daunting, here are some important areas you should look into to ease your stress levels and make your experience a truly memorable one.
1. Personality of your future dog
Choose a pet that matches your personality. Just like how people are either lethargic or active, friendly or introverted, dogs tend to have similar personalities.
One of the best ways to adopt your new puppy is by visiting the litter. Over friendly, hyperactive puppies will always come gushing forward to great you whereas docile, composed puppies are more to themselves and independent.
While Labradors and Golden Retrievers are extremely hyperactive and energetic, some breeds may be a bit introverted because of their previous experiences.
As you’re devoting the next decade to the well being of your newest addition in the family, it’s always best to adopt a dog that is suitable to your nature.
If you’re more introverted of sorts and would prefer a more subtle lifestyle, here are a few small, less energetic quiet breeds
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Japanese Chin
- Shih Tzu
In this case, size does matter.
Dogs come in various sizes.
Consider the space of your apartment or suburban house as a guideline in calculating the amount of space your pooch would require.
Big dogs like Great Danes and Doberman prefer running in open areas and take up larger space. On the other hand, shih tzus and chihuahuas are much smaller in size and are perfect for smaller apartments.
There are many small breeds that have can be great active companions, like The Jack Russell Terrier. This small but mighty breed has endless amounts of energy and can run for long periods of time. This adventurous breeds is perfect for compact long-distance running.
If you or any of your family members are easily prone to allergies then consider adopting a dog with shorter fur that will not easily succumb to skin diseases.
A dog’s coat can tell you a lot about their health. Truth is that most people aren’t allergic to dogs fur but to the dander or skin cells.
Often, there is a misconception about fur, when in reality, hair and fur are chemically indistinguishable, both made up of keratin.
All dogs shed. Even the short haired ones. Dogs such as the Poodle or Havanese have longer fur which requires regular grooming sessions and haircuts.
Other dogs, such as a Labrador and the African Rhodesian ridgebacks, Bull Dogs, all have short fur, so their hair can never grow too long and is low and easy maintenance.
4. Your Family
Dogs can set a good example on kids, showering them with unconditional love, and teaching them responsibility and cooperation.
When choosing a dog for your family, consider the ages of your kids. While some breeds are patient, some can be extremely energetic and some are naturally protective of children.
Train your kids as well with how to treat their new family member. Some dogs which are good with children include Boxers, Mastiffs, Bulldogs, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers.
When picking a dog for your kids, check if the breed is comfortable with children and is people oriented, energetic and affectionate.
If your family consists of older people too then picking a small canine companion for their golden years is a good idea. Usually smaller dogs have good energy levels too.
Knowing the dog’s healthy history will tell you about the existing health conditions that your dog may have. For an older to be pet parents, it would be better to get an adult dog.
Taking care of a puppy from scratch requires a lot of patience and dedication. With an adult dog, their age, energy levels and temperaments are easy to relate to. Consider shelters and rescue groups and adopt a mixed breed.
5. Health of your next dog
Apart from making great pets, breed mixes may often have fewer health problems than their purebred counterparts. And for those that want to adopt pure breeds, here’s a list of a few breeds that would make great pets for senior citizens:
- Boston terrier
6. Your available time
How much time can you dedicate to your dog? Would you be able to cope with a dog’s sleeping, eating chewing habits?
Dogs require regular vet visits, grooming dates, regular exercise. If they do not receive the attention they require they resolve to unwanted behaviour. They may even want to sleep beside you at night just to spend those few extra hours beside their family members.
A recent study showed that 42 percent of dogs sleep in the same bed as their humans. Consider all these issues before bringing a dog into your home.
7. Exercise and adventure
If exercise and adventure is in your blood and you want an adventurous companion to accompany you on your daily exciting running sprees, adopt a dog with high energy levels.
Some dogs want endless hours of playing and will demand it even when you’re not up for it. Here’s a list of a few popular breeds that are super fast on their feet.
- American Staffordshire Terrier – even though the stocky breed doesn’t appear to be a running dog, it has plenty of energy and muscle power to join you on a quick jog. The Am Staff loves daily exercise and responsibly and will surely insist on running that extra mile.
- Labrador Retriever – Labs not only own the titles of Best Family Dogs and Best Active Dogs, their lean but sturdy builds have large amounts of energy to keep pace with a sprint workout. Obedience and cooperation make them the perfect adventure companion.
- Boxer- this little burst of energy can zip around the yard or living room before the blink of an eye. As Boxers have running in their blood it’s no surprise that they make good running companions. But their squished faces, make exercising in extremely hot weather very uncomfortable. Running too hard or long with puppies or younger dogs (of any breed) is not advisable as it might throw off their growth plates and cause health problems in the future.
- Dalmatian- It is said that this large and lean breed can keep pace with horses. This friendly yet protective breed is great for your long-distance jogs.
What kind of dog should i get then?
Dogs are not just home accessories. They will be with you and your family through a long, adventure filled journey forming unbreakable and undefinable bonds.
Whether you choose to rescue, adopt, or purchase a pup from a breeder, get ready for a ride filled with laughter, tears, comfort and joy.
Image Courtesy: flickr.com/acousticskyy