Adding a new member to the family is an important decision, especially when it’s a puppy. Puppies have a lot of energy, and will need a lot of love, training, and care to become well-behaved adult dogs, so a puppy that is the right fit for your home and your lifestyle is important. Here are a few important things to think about when choosing a breed.
Size may not be the only thing to consider, but it is an important factor for many households. Particularly if you have an apartment, a small home, or a small backyard, a small breed may be more appropriate than a large one. For instance, Bichons, terriers, poodles, pugs, Dachshunds, and Chihuahuas are all popular small breeds that many people choose when they have a limited amount of space, indoor or outdoor.
Medium breeds can go either way. Huskies, border collies, and other energetic, working breeds will require a lot of space, while greyhounds are known as couch potatoes and will be perfectly content making do with a small space.
Large breeds such as Saint Bernards, mastiffs, and Great Danes tend to be lazy breeds and may not need a lot of space to run, but they’ll still need more space to do their business than a small dog would. Cramming a large dog into a small house is also not advisable, at least not if you don’t want a lot of broken things.
When considering the size of a breed, their typical energy levels should always be considered at the same time. Some small breeds can be extremely energetic and require a lot of activity to keep them content, while other, larger breeds are very low energy. For this reason, size alone should not be a deciding factor for what breed you should get.
Dog breeds can vary quite a bit in their energy levels and their activity requirements. At one end of the spectrum is the lazy dog that is perfectly content being left at home to sleep all day, dogs like greyhounds and mastiffs. At the other end of the spectrum are the energetic breeds, usually working breeds such as border collies, shepherds, and huskies. These dogs typically need a combination of both physical activity as well as mental stimulation to keep them happy and out of trouble.
Unfortunately, you may need to consider the topic of noisiness when considering a breed, especially if you live in an apartment, condo, shared home, or in any other living situation where a barking dog will be a nuisance. Some breeds tend toward a lot of barking, while others’ barks are all but non-existent. For instance, corgis, terriers, and many small breeds are known as being big-time barkers, while many larger breeds such as Aussies and greyhounds are known to be fairly quiet.
With the many allergies some people suffer from, the type of hair a breed has is also a very important consideration. If you or someone in your family is allergic to pet dander, a non-shedding breed will help to minimize allergic reactions. These breeds do require more frequent bathing, trimming, and overall grooming, but choosing a hypoallergenic breed can help to keep loved ones more comfortable. Shedding dog breeds range from low-shedding breeds with very short hair, to high-shedding breeds with longer hair, thicker coats, or heavy undercoats.
Finding Your Forever Friend
Choosing a dog breed is not an easy task, and often several different factors must be weighed equally before you arrive at a decision. For instance, a dog may suit you in its small size, activity level, and non-shedding coat, but not in how noisy it’s apt to be. Weighing multiple factors and how much of an impact each will have on you is imperative to making a choice that you, your family, and hopefully also your neighbors will be happy with. Whether you are shopping for Maryland puppies online or browsing puppies in local rescues, doing your research and getting to know each dog breed you are considering will help to ensure you and your new best friend will have a long, happy life together.