Things to Consider when Choosing a Dog Breed

So, you’re looking into the possibility of getting a new fur baby. Congrats!! Picking out a new family member is exciting, but you want to make sure you pick out the best fit for your pack. Whether you’re looking to adopt or use a breeder, knowing which breeds will be compatible with your lifestyle is essential. While it may be tempting to spring for the first cute puppy you see (and let’s be honest, they’re all adorable), it’s best to take the time to do some research to make sure that you can give your new pup the life it deserves. Here are the top five factors to consider when picking out a pup.

1. Size

Right off the bat, you need to know how big your puppy is expected to get. The amount of space you have in your home should be a significant consideration for what kind of dog you get.

So, you have an apartment or a house? Would the dog be able to go everywhere in the house? Do you have a backyard or a terrace, or is there a dog park nearby? How many people and pets are already in your home?

The size of your dog can also influence its potential health problems. For example, larger breeds often face issues with physical ailments such as torn ACLs or hip problems, while smaller breeds are more prone to physical accidents

Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, and it can be difficult to break them out of the habit. However, it’s important to train your dog to stop chewing over the house for several reasons. First, chewing can be dangerous for dogs. They can choke on small objects or ingest toxic materials. Second, chewing can damage your belongings.

A single pair of chewed-up shoes can cost hundreds of dollars to replace. Finally, chewing can be frustrating for owners who have to constantly clean up after their dogs. With a little patience and training, you can help your dog learn to stop chewing over the house.

2. Schedule

Another important consideration is the amount of time you’ll have to dedicate to your new pup. Your pet will need a significant amount of attention, but some breeds are more self-sufficient than others.

Do you have the time to train a puppy yourself or the resources to send your puppy to boarding training? Would it be more conducive to your lifestyle to adopt an adult or senior pup who doesn’t need as much training or attention as a puppy?

Additionally, you’ll need to look into how energetic specific breeds are. Would you be able to play with your pup until they’re tuckered out? Can you take them on long walks? Do you have a job that would enable you to visit your dog throughout the day to help them burn off energy, or do you need a dog that can handle being on its own throughout the day?

3. Activity Level

Going hand in hand with your schedule, you need to evaluate a breed’s typical activity level. An energetic dog can exhaust a low-energy owner, while a low-energy dog can frustrate an active owner.

Are you always on the go? Do you lead an active lifestyle? Are you always trying to spend time outside by hiking, camping, or running, or are you looking for a dog who would be perfectly happy to follow a short walk with hours of cuddling on the couch? If you don’t have a backyard, can you commit to taking your dog to a dog park so they can run around with other pups?

Look at dogs whose needs are similar to yours rather.

4. Breed Traits

The AKC identifies seven dog breed groups, and each group is crafted based on the breeds’ shared traits. (Except for the non-sporting group, which is the catch-all for the breeds who don’t fit into another category. But we still love them all.) You can use the breed groups to help narrow down your selection. Additionally, it’s beneficial to consider the individual traits of each breed. For instance, if you’re allergic to animal dander, you can look for breeds that shed less or are hypoallergenic. If you’re attached to a specific purebred dog, you’ll need to research some of the common health issues for dogs of that breed. For example, purebred pugs and bulldogs have small naval cavities that make breathing difficult for them when they get overheated.

5. History

If you’re buying from a breeder, you’ll likely be able to track a puppy’s lineage.

But if you’re adopting from a shelter, you might have difficulty tracking what your pup has been through. Dogs that were abandoned or abused may have specific triggers or unusual personality traits. The more information you have about a dog’s past, the more you’ll be able to help them transition to their new life.

But just because a dog has a bad history doesn’t mean that they aren’t the perfect fit for your family. It simply means you’ll have to work to turn that pup’s life around.

Once you’ve selected your new four-legged family member, you can bring them to our team of talented trainers at Ruffgers University to get them ready for their new home.