Find below a few tips when choosing the right dog breed.
Choosing the right dog breed for you and your family can be an exhausting task. It can take days to trawl through all of the information necessary to narrow your options down to a few breeds to choose from. That is, assuming you know where to start when choosing the right dog breed for you and your family in the first place. It can be difficult to know where to start, but with these tips, you will have a definitive starting point and a quick and simple task to complete!
1. Assess your home and family – You must start from the very beginning when choosing the right dog breed for you and your family, and your own home is as good a place as any to start. How big is it? How big is the yard? Do you have children? Are you out of the home quite a lot? All of these questions need answering and only then can you begin our search for the perfect dog breed.
2. Ask what you are looking for in a dog – It is essential that you know what you are looking for when choosing the right dog breed for you and your family. Do you want a gentle family pet? Would you be willing to go to a shelter? Do you want a playful breed or a more sedate one? Pair this information up with the answers to your first question and you can then begin to look at breeds.
3. Look on a comprehensive dog website – You do not need to go to many different resources until you have basic information on one or two breeds. Use a comprehensive site to cross-reference your answers to the above two points and list three or four breeds. Then you can look into the breeds in depth but get a good idea of where you are going when choosing the right dog breed for you and your family first!
Are you ready?
There are several things that you need to consider before you even think of getting a dog. Choosing the best dog breed for your family has to have a lot of thought put into it. Please have a look at some very good pointers that will clear that last doubt in your mind if you should get a dog for your family.
Before plunging into pet ownership, ask yourself WHY you wish to get a dog. Is it because…
Your child wants a dog and he/she will be the primary caretaker.
Your dog appears to be lonely and needs canine company.
You simply can’t resist the adorable doggie in the window.
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, avoid getting a dog. Here’s why:
It is unrealistic to expect your child to take full responsibility for a dog.
While it is wonderful to involve children in caring for a pet, it is unlikely and unfair to expect a child to make such a commitment. Once the novelty wears off, the responsibility will be put on the adults.
Dogs don’t “need” another canine companion.
While most dogs enjoy the companionship of other dogs, they don’t require it. And, if you don’t have enough time for one dog, you won’t have time for two! There is also no guarantee that they WILL get along.
Getting a dog on impulse is risky.
If you feel sorry for the dog, didn’t plan on stopping at the pet store or simply couldn’t resist, you may be off to a bad start. Make your decision carefully, as a dog is a commitment that lasts a lifetime.
Different Breeds of Dogs
Through our long association with the dog, we have initiated almost every change imaginable. Some of these changes have been selected through necessity, such as to help man with certain type of work, others purely in the interest of fashion and style. Some are of benefit to the dog, some are certainly not. The English Kennel Club has divided dogs into several different groups.
The Pastoral Group – This includes the herding dogs, bred to help man control and look after stock. These dogs are generally active, playful, like to chase and are relatively easy to train for the work they are asked to undertake. Some examples – German Shepherd
The Gundog Group – Originally bred to find and retrieve game, this group includes the retrievers, setters and spaniels. They are bred to work closely with man to be sociable and, usually, to have a good retrieving instinct. Some examples – Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever
The Terrier Group – These dogs were originally bred to do a job that normally involved killing. Therefore, they are often more independent, and extremely brave and tough. When a dog is down a hole he has to make his own decisions, not wait to be told. Selective breeding has meant that most terriers are good pets with strong characters. Some examples – Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier
The Toy Dog Group – Most dogs in this group were bred to be companions or lap dogs. They are generally friendly and make affectionate pets. Some examples – Yorkshire Terrier
The Working Group – Many of these dogs were originally bred to guard and search, perhaps developed to protect man or livestock. There are also dogs developed to pull carts, boats or sleighs, as to search and rescue. Some examples – Boxer, Rottweiler, Doberman
The Hound Group – This includes the dogs who hunt by sight and those who use their sense of smell. Many of these dogs have been bred to hunt in packs, and these breeds in particular are very independent and often like to run and do their own thing. Some examples – English Foxhound
The Utility Group – These are breeds that do not fit into any of the other categories. All have been bred for some other purpose, but these vary considerably and therefore the dogs within this group are extremely varied. These groups don’t cover all dogs. There are other types that are not officially recognised by the English Kennel Club at this time.
Not all dogs are officially recognised by the Kennel Club.
These dogs include:
Jack Russell Terriers – These dogs have been bred for their working abilities for many generations. Their appearance can vary, and this includes size, coat texture, shape and temperament.
Working Sheepdogs – This term is used to describe the type of dog often seen working on farms and kept by many as pets. They often referred to as ‘Border Collies’ They are likely to have strong working instincts, and be energetic and active, requiring a great deal of exercise.
Lurchers – Originally, a Greyhound/Border Collie mix. Traditionally bred by gypsies or poachers, with the aim of producing a dog with the speed of a Greyhound and the trainability of a Border Collie to catch and retrieve rabbits. Nowadays, a lurcher is a type of dog, and may have many different breeds in his genetic make-up.
First Cross – This is a dog whose parents were both pedigrees, with know parentage, but of different breeds.
Crossbreed – Technically, this is a dog with known parents, although each parent may contain a variety of breeds.
Mongrel – Technically, a mongrel is a dog of know parentage. Although this is often used as a directory term by many people and breeders, mongrels from a large part of the dog population and there are many wonderful, unique characters among them.