Giving the discerning dog owner the "upper paw" on the best products, nutrition and training tips.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Picking a Puppy: How to Choose the Best Breed for You

As you are out and about enjoying your summer, you are probably noticing people spending time with their dogs.  From jogging, to frisbee in the park, to hanging out at the beach, the range of activities is endless...and who can forget all of those cute little puppies!

It's no doubt, dogs bring incredible joy to our lives and you may be asking yourself if you are ready for a dog to join your family.  If you are considering getting a dog of your own, but not quite sure where to start, read this!

Before you start searching for the right dog, you should ask yourself if you are ready to welcome a dog into your family.  It's important to consider your lifestyle and the time you have available to properly care for a dog.  If you work 16hr days or spend lengthy times away from home, this may not be the right time for a dog.  Additionally, it's important to consider the financial commitment of owning a dog.  You must be prepared for not only purchasing the appropriate equipment, such as a crate, collar, leash, food, and brushes; but also for the required medical care.  New puppies require a series of shots, and you never know when your dog may get sick or injured.

With that said, let's take a look at beginning the search for your new dog!  What is the best breed for you?

What is your lifestyle like?  

Are you active, enjoying running or hiking?  Or do you prefer to relax and chill in front of the television?  It's important to choose breeds that can easily assimilate to your lifestyle.  If you are looking for a dog to go for a 10-mile run with English Bulldog is not your best option.  Choose a dog that can be an active participate in your hobbies.

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Border Collies are great for active lifestyles!
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What is your environment like?

Do you live in a climate with extreme heat or cold?  Are you in an urban environment or rural area?  If you live in an extreme climate, be extra careful when selecting a breed that will be comfortable and happy in extreme temperatures.  The majority of breeds are fairly adaptable with our modern conveniences of heating and air conditioning, however, the outside environment can be deadly if you are not careful.  In addition, to your climate, you should also consider your physical environment.  If you are restricted in space, then a larger breed could be a challenge.  This is especially true for highly active breeds, such as labradors and retrievers.  These breeds will require a lot of exercise outside the home.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are great breeds for large or small spaces.
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Bichon Frise are great for urban apartment dwellers!  They are a perfect size and don't shed!  This is our friend's Bichon Frise, Honor, who won the group this year at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show!
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Are you or any members of your family allergic?

This is such an important piece to consider, because if you or a family member is allergic their experience with your new pup could be uncomfortable and disastrous.  When choosing a dog for family members suffering with allergies, look for breeds that produce less dander and/or have little to no hair.  Examples of ideal breeds would be: Bichon Frise, Poodle, Chinese Crested, Portuguese Water Dog or any breed mixed with one of these breeds.

Banks, Goldendoodle and recent Pup of the Month!

Boomer, Standard Poodle and recent Pup of the Month!
Do you want your dog to travel with you?

If you live a jet set lifestyle and want your dog to as well, then you need to consider smaller breeds able to travel in a carrier under your seat.  Suggested breeds would be:  Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, and any dog under 15 lbs.

Atom by Sleepypod.  Check out our product review of Sleepypod on our previous posts.
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Once you have narrowed down your search, there are just a few more important things to consider.  Don't forget to consider the grooming requirements associated with your desired breed, as well as, common health problems associated with the breed.

Well, we hope you found this post extremely helpful.  It's a lot of information, but bringing a dog into your life is a huge decision and the better equipped you are the happier you and your new dog will be!

Happy Puppy Searching!


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