With so many of us staying at home, there’s been an increased interested in adding dogs to the family. Keeping in mind that life will resume and some dogs will be left alone during the day, picking the right dog is more important than ever.
For some people, it’s love at first sight. Falling in love with a puppy or a rescued adult dog is an emotional reaction, but logic and good sense must enter the mix at some point – and preferably well before you spend your energy and a small fortune on food, toys and training.
Take it from the experts at Breakthrough K9 Training: no matter the emotional connection, it’s worth making sure the breed of dog matches up with your lifestyle and expectations. The best way to avoid disaster is to invest the time in researching dog breeds BEFORE you decide to bring in a new member of your family.
Why does the right dog matter?
It’s easy to fall in love with almost any puppy or dog in need of rescue. But if taking the next step is a purely emotional decision, then turmoil and bigtime stress is likely to follow. For example, if you like long daily walks then you’ll do fine with a dog breed that needs lots of exercise but that same dog will exhibit behavior problems and cause big problems if confined indoors.
Dog breeds featured in popular culture tend to be common choices regardless of how appropriate they may be for a given situation. Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherd are popular even though they are intensely driven and bred specifically for police/military style structure. These breeds in a family setting can become a liability. It’s also sad for those dogs as they are not getting to do the work they were bred to do, which leaves an insanely bored dog which leads to pent up energy which leads to destructive or aggressive behaviors.
You might become smitten with a high-energy fuzzball – only to find later that that same puppy grows into a high-energy adult in need of a constant outlet for that energy to not become destructive. Conversely, you could fall for a quiet puppy assuming it would be great with small children – only to learn that as an adult, the dog is not playful at all, preferring its own company rather than the kids’.
Doing your homework will pay dividends
The dog behavior experts at Breakthrough K9 Training encourage you to take your time to get yourself and your family the right dog breed and help ensure a long and harmonious relationship. Not only will everyone be happier (including the dog) but the right dog will be easier to train and enjoy.
With over 200 dog breeds to choose from and unlimited mixed breeds, the right dog is definitely out there for you. All you need to do is ask yourself some direct questions – and, more important, supply some honest answers. This will help guide you to the dog that will be best suited to your personality and lifestyle:
- Why do you want a dog? For companionship? As a “playmate” for children? For home security?
- Do you want a dog whose activity level matches your own – or maybe one that will challenge you to keep up with him?
- Does the intelligence quotient of a puppy matter to you? (Keep in mind that in general, the smarter a puppy is, the easier he will be to train.)
- How big of a dog are your comfortable sharing your home with?
- How much experience do you already have taking care of dogs?
- How much time do you have to devote to training a puppy?
- How much time do you spend at home?
- How big is your home and yard?
- Does anyone in your home have dog allergies or reactions to pet dander?
Home in on a suitable breed
All dogs are unique and there’s no guarantee of an individual’s personality, but each breed does come with clear tendencies. Fortunately, it’s not hard to identify the pros and cons of different breeds. Do your research. Pick a good match. And fall in love with a new member of your family.