How Do I Know What’s the Best Dog for Me?
There are hundreds of different dog breeds out there and each one is unique. Some dogs are bred for a particular purpose such as hunting or retrieving while others are intended as companion pets. There are so many options out there. It’s like dog buffet and there are hundreds of furry entrees to choose from! So here’s the question: “What the best dog for me?” Let’s find out.
Before You Start Looking
Before you even start to think about what kind of dog might be right for you, you need to make sure that a dog is the right pet in general. Owning a dog is a big responsibility – one that will be yours for the next 10 to 15 years, depending on the breed you choose. Don’t bring home a dog unless you are able to commit to his care for the duration of his life and understand that this means meeting his nutritional needs as well as his needs for exercise, socialization, training, and veterinary care.
Related: Teaching Your Puppy How to Focus
You also need to think about whether you can afford a dog – think about things like food, treats, toys, grooming supplies, and veterinary care. You should also consider the traits you want in a dog to help you narrow down your choices in terms of a specific breed.
How to Choose the Right Dog Breed
Once you’ve determined that you are able to commit to caring for a dog, your next step is to think about the qualities you want in a dog. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Will the dog be in an apartment or house?
- Will your dog interact with children, other dogs, or other pets?
- Will your dog be spending a lot of time home alone?
- Will your dog have access to a fenced yard and a daily walk?
- Will your dog be participating in dog sports?
- What’s my activity level set at?
- Do I have to work about allergies?
- What are the characteristics/temperament/health/training levels of a particular breed?
Answering these questions will help you to determine what kind of life you can provide for a dog which will help you narrow down the type of dog that best suits your lifestyle and your home. If you live in an apartment or condo, for example, you might choose a small-breed dog with low exercise requirements and high adaptability.
If you have children at home, you might choose a medium-sized dog that is gentle and playful. Think about how much time you have to spend with your dog each day as well as your ability to train and exercise him. Other factors to consider include shedding, territorial or guarding instincts, the amount of barking, and how well the dog adapts to strangers.
Once you have chosen a breed, your next step is to research – finding a reputable animal shelter or a responsible breeder will play a huge role on the wellness of the dog. Once you’ve answered the question “what’s the best dog for me,” it’ll be time for you to be the best dog owner you can be!
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
More by Kate Barrington