How To Choose The Right Dog Breed For Your Family And Lifestyle

Evaluate Your Situation

Take your time to think and ask yourself honestly whether you will be able to take care of the dog before you buy one. Ensuring that you are willing to take responsibility is essential because the dog you choose will surely have a specific set of requirements, depending on the type of breed. Whatever breed you pick, it is always necessary to spend adequate time with the dog and provide them the affection they require. Having a busy schedule might make it difficult to take care of the pet. Furthermore, figure out whether you like outdoor activities or just want to stay within the city life. For example, if you like hiking, a labrador would be a great pick whereas a person that is not very outgoing might like the company of a small chihuahua. 

Pick a Breed

After you have evaluated your routine, try researching different dog breeds to figure out which one would suit you the best. Each dog breed has characteristics that can be generally seen in most dogs and traits that are specific to their breed. So knowing about the breed helps make a better choice according to your lifestyle. Here is a broad classification of dog breeds divided into groups to easily understand each category. 

Gundogs

These dogs are the overall champs when it comes to selecting a vigilant breed. They are very active, have a calm attitude, and always stay alert. Also referred to as bird dogs because this category is mostly used for hunting purposes and can withstand a variety of different environments. Gundogs are very affectionate towards their owner and family members. Pointers, retrievers, and spaniels are subdivisions of gundogs, each one having slightly variable traits. As these dogs have developed an instinct to hunt and assist humans, taking them out for regular exercise is necessary to satisfy their requirements. A person with an active lifestyle would love to have a dog from the gundogs category.

Terrier Dogs

This group was traditionally refined to hunt, dig, and kill animals that harm farms or livestock. Terriers are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. These dogs are full of energy, have mischievous personalities, and have a higher level of intelligence which can be used to train them with ease. American, bull, and pitbull terrier are some famous breeds of terrier dogs. The group also has dog breeds with a hairy coat that needs to be taken care of. They can easily engage the owners during outdoor activities and stay vigilant during the night.

Working Dogs

This category consists of highly intelligent dog breeds that can be trained to do specific jobs without failing. They were traditionally bred to take care of sheep herds. However, their use has declined with advancements in technology and the ways we have adapted to raise livestock. Still, these dogs make an excellent choice, especially for a family with children as they have a very polite nature towards their owners. There are a few dozen types of working dogs that are unique in their traits so a lot of research will go into this group before you pick one. Alaskan malamute, bullmastiff, boxer, Doberman pinscher, and Great Dane are some notable types in the working group.  

Utility Dogs

Utility dogs are another category that was also used to help humans carry out their everyday tasks guarding, pulling sleighs, and helping out during rescue missions. They can learn new things incredibly fast and are strong-witted. Many households may find this group not feasible due to the size and handling issues of these energetic dogs. Utility dogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes so the options should be explored further before you make a choice.

Toy Dogs

This group represents adorable dogs that are small in size but have unique personalities that make them a perfect companion dog for many people. They are energetic dogs with good adaptability to various lifestyles. Professional dog trainers at www.prideandprejudoodles.com mention that despite their small size, these dogs are fierce enough to ward off any intruders and show affection towards their owners, making them a great choice for a household with kids. Chihuahuas, English Toy Spaniel, Poodles, Japanese Chin, and Chinese Crested are some notable species in the toy group. Due to their size and cuteness, these dogs are quite popular in cities where living space is limited. The cost of utilities for the dog is also less when compared to a normal-sized dog. 

Hound Dogs

Their sleek body and speed make them the ideal pick for hunting purposes. However, due to their intelligence and the ability to adapt to environments, these dogs can easily be kept in spacious households. The hound group is very diverse and contains a lot of different breeds. Beagle, Afghan Hound, an American foxhound, and Greyhound are some common breeds. Still, a bit of extra care and a lot of training might be required if you want to keep the dog within the household, especially near family. 

Non-sporting Dogs

This group represents individual breeds that have unique characteristics but they all are sturdy and can prove to be great human companions when trained properly. 

Ensure Safety

Consider the personalities of each member of your family so that you pick a pet that fits in well. Getting everyone on board will surely help the dog adjust easily into their new household. A masculine breed like Rottweiler or a Doberman might be good for an individual but for a family with children, choosing a golden retriever or a labrador would be the best option. 

Analyze Your Household

Evaluate the type of house you are living in. For example, if the house is spacious, a big size dog breed having guarding instincts will work whereas for people living in urban spaces, considering a toy poodle or a Yorkshire terrier might be best. Simply put, the household space affects the type of breed you choose. 

Understand Your Needs

There can be multiple reasons why someone might want to keep a pet dog. Besides the obvious reason for keeping the dog as a pet, a person might want to keep a dog for guarding purposes or want a breed that actively indulges in outdoor activities with ease. Not every type of dog would be able to fulfill your needs. For example, if you want a watchdog, then a Doberman pinscher or a german shepherd would be the best choice. 

Pet Age Matters

Decide whether you want to raise a puppy or want an adult dog as a pet. There are pros and cons of both age groups that are as follows. If you go for a puppy, remember that the pup will require a lot of attention, care, and training. On the other hand, an adult dog might have already developed traits of being friendly and might require less attention. However, adult dogs may have any underlying behavioral or health issues. Looking for a companion in dog shelters is a good thought as many beautiful dog breeds get abandoned. Choosing a dog from the shelter will undoubtedly give the dog a new life.

Consult a Specialist

If you are having problems in deciding the breed that is best for you, consult a veterinary doctor as they can provide great suggestions to help you decide. Their knowledge in dog attributes, behaviors, and experience in treating related health issues make them the right person to get advice from. So do contact a nearby specialist and ask whether they can provide suggestions.

Visit Reputable Breeders

Dogs are generally divided into two main groups, mixed breeds, and pure breeds. A mixed-breed dog will always be affectionate, calm, and has fewer chances of developing health issues whereas a pure breed has greater intelligence and unique traits that make them stand out. Purchasing a dog from a reputable breeder ensures that you are getting a fully vaccinated and healthy dog to be a part of your family. You can visit well-known dog breeders nearby or get recommendations from people that have already gone through the process. 

 Doing all this research is necessary to choose the right dog breed that can easily transition into your family as a pet. After all, pets are always dependent on their owners when it comes to caring, feeding, and providing love. We hope that the presented information assists you in making the right choice and helps start a fulfilling relationship with your pet dog. 

Tim Hanson (77)

Contributing writer at Preferable Pups!