Although dogs have been domesticated for a long time now, their personalities still differ from one breed to the other. Chihuahuas are cute, but did you know that they are not suitable for families with small children, because of their territorial and impatient nature?
So how do you go about choosing the right dog breed for you?
You must sit down and carefully consider what your lifestyle is like, and how much time, money and space you can dedicate to your new companion. How you live and who you are as a person, will dictate what type of dog will suit your lifestyle, your own personality, and your accommodation. DON'T make the mistake many new dog owners make and just pick a puppy 'cause it's real cute... you are likely to clash later...
Here's a simple checklist of the most important considerations when choosing the right dog breed for you.
Your Living Arrangements
Do you live in a one-bedroom apartment or a house? If it's the former, go with a small-sized pup like a Pomeranian or Toy Poodle. If your area is large enough for a medium or large dog, you can choose breeds among German Shepherd, Golden Retriever or even a Great Dane.
Your Family Arrangements
Do you have children or do you live alone? Some dogs work well with children like Golden Retrievers or Siberian Huskys. On the other hand, some dogs are aloof especially with children like a Chihuahua or a Yorkshire Terrier. You also have to take into account any pre-existing pets in your household. If you have cats or bunnies you need to make sure the new puppy you bring in is tolerating.
If you're the type who loves outdoorsy stuff like running or hiking, the best breed for you might be American Foxhound, English Setter or even a Standard Poodle. But if you're the type who loves to stay at home and rest, these breeds might be suitable for your lifestyle: Chihuahua, Basset Hound or Pekingese.
Match the breed to your existing activity levels - be truthful with yourself. If you spend your nights in front of the TV, but you'd love to start walking in the evenings, don't get an overly active dog in the hope that it will motivate you... These type of plans usually fail, and then you're left with a dog that's unhappy and destructive because it is bored and locked up most of the day - be realistic.
Grooming and Food Expenses
It's kind of logical that large dogs consume large amounts of food and small dogs consume less. But you'd be surprised at just how much a Grate Dane needs to eat in a day. So when considering a dog breed, and you're unsure of their food requirements, give your vet a call and ask him to advise you.
Another cost to consider when getting a pooch is how much grooming will he need. With some of the shorter coat dogs, you can do the grooming yourself. But dog breeds like Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, and the Yorkshire Terrier needs daily grooming - and at least monthly taking to the doggy parlor. So take into account the time and money you're willing to spend on caring for your dog.
Different dog breeds take different amounts of time to obedience train, so consider if you feel you'd want to train your puppy, or if you don't really mind a whole lot.
OK, taking a dog into your care is a big responsibility. You have to love it, feed it, groom it, but you also have to make sure its health care is also looked after. In that respect, cats are much easier to take care of.
Vet bills are a big chunk of what you will spend on your pooch over your joint existence, so you need to carefully consider if it is something you can afford month after month, and year after year. There's nothing more heart-wrenching than having to let go of your beloved pet 5 years into your relationship, because you're having to choose between vet bills and feeding your children.
Sounds extreme, but it is a serious point. Make sure you find out how much it will cost for vet visits, vaccinations, treats, and toys. Then consider taking pet insurance just in case something goes wrong and you need cash for treatment.
In conclusion - take your time to choose a suitable canine mate. Consider that your dog is likely to be a part of your life for the next 15 or even 20 years. That is pretty permanent - so don't leave it to chance. Make sure your personality and lifestyle suites the dog breed you choose and you're more likely to have a hassle-free loving and lasting relationship with your dog.