Dogs are can be a wonderful addition to the family. Studies have shown that dogs help humans to develop traits such as empathy, and this is something that is important in our daily life. But having said that, while we all love how dogs can be a wonderful addition to the family, not all dogs will be suitable for you and your family. There are many factors that will determine with is the right breed of dog for your family.
Here are some of the factors that will help to guide you through the dog breed selection process.
Experience with dogs
Your level of experience with dogs will greatly influence the dog breed that you choose. Typically, there are three levels of experience that anyone can have.
- New to dogs
If you are new to dogs, then you would want to select dog breeds that are easier to manage as it will take time for you to get the hang of having a new dog. This is important, as you wouldn’t want to be caught in a situation where the dog that you choose is too challenging for you. For example, we wouldn’t recommend new dog owners to choose a Boxer as a pet as the Boxer does require owners to have a certain level of experience in order to be able to train and control them.
- Currently have a dog
If you currently have a dog, you will need to decide the social level of your dog as well as the next dog that you choose, since the dogs will be living together. Also, since you have a dog, you might have relevant experience too. Hence, it may be a good opportunity for you to get another dog that is a little tougher to train but can still be a wonderful addition to your family.
- Owned a dog in the past
For new owners who used to have a dog, you would have the relevant experience in having a dog in the family. As such, you should be more accustomed with the tips and tricks, hence you can consider getting dogs that are tougher to train!
Type of house
The type of house does make a difference, as a smaller house will probably be more suitable for smaller dog breeds, while houses with yards will be suitable for breeds that require a little bit of space to run about.
Do you have kids?
Having kids in the house will greatly influence the type of dog breed that you choose. You would want to choose dog breeds such as the Poodle, Husky, Labrador Retriever or any other dog breeds that are docile and mild mannered. You will want to have a dog that has a gentle temperament, yet at the same time loyal and protective over the family. If you do not have kids, then getting a dog with a high activity level might be suitable as you can provide more attention to the dog.
Do you or your family have allergies?
This is perhaps the most important question that you should be asking. There are some dogs that may cause allergic reaction in humans, and hence they might not be suitable for you and your family. If this is the case, you can consider getting a hypoallergenic dog like the Shih Tzu or Poodle as these dogs do not shed and hence will not cause an allergic reaction in your family.
Tolerance to noise
This may be a surprise to some, but you will need to figure out your level of tolerance towards noise. There are some dogs that can bark a lot, and their barks can be loud too. For example, do you know that the barks from Chihuahuas can go up to 90 decibels? That is the sound level that a lawn mower makes! If you are able to tolerate such a high level of noise, then by all means, get a dog that is a loud barker. But if you are like me, who really cannot tolerate a lot of noise, then you might want to get a dog that does not bark that much.
How active are you
Your level of activity will influence the breed of dog that you choose. If your dog is an active dog that requires a lot of exercise, yet you are pretty inactive, then it probably means that you will not have the motivation or energy to bring your active dog out for their daily dose of exercise. Having a lazy or inactive dog like the Shih Tzu will be more suitable. Some dogs do not require much exercise, so it would be a suitable breed for inactive owners.
How much time do you have on your hands
Having a dog does mean you will need time to take care of it and maintain their well being. This includes maintaining the dog’s hair and grooming it, either by yourself or by a professional groomer. All of this means you will need to dedicate some time to your dog. If you are a full working professional that cannot commit too much time in taking care of a dog, we suggest that you either drop the idea altogether, or you choose a dog that is inactive and requires little maintenance.
Having a dog is more than just forking out money for its daily necessities. You will need to invest money in order to buy the dog in the first place. Some dog breeds are more expensive than others. For example, a Chow Chow will cost more than a Shih Tzu. Also, do take into consideration that some dogs may require more care and maintenance than others.
Indeed, as dogs grow older, they will inevitably suffer from diseases. Visits to the vets can be costly, so if you have a limited budget, you might want to consider choosing a dog that does not have hereditary diseases.