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Which Breed Of Dog?

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When you’re bringing a new dog into your family, there are many things to consider in when deciding which breed of dog is best for your family and you.

Rather than making an emotional decision about the kind of dog that will look good in your life, it is worth taking some time to try and determine in advance which dog will be a good fit for your lifestyle.

What breed of dog should I get?

There are some obvious considerations: do you have small children in the house?… how large is the dog in relation to the living space you can provide it?

Do you go out to work or are you home most of the time?… are you active and able to give the dog plenty of attention and exercise?… are you retired?… sedentary?

Besides logistics, you must also make an honest assessment of your personality and be aware that if your temperament clashes with that of the dog, there could be trouble ahead for both of you.

If you enjoy the outdoor life and are physically active, then, maybe you should consider a dog that will support your love of the outdoors.

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Conversely if you enjoy days in slippers by the fire then a dog such as a spaniel would be driven potty by your lifestyle and you would be more suited to a low energy dog that enjoys lazy days and lots of sleep.

Which Breed of Dog

Why do you want a dog?

It is also important to consider why you want to get a dog.

Is it for companionship, family member, working, training, competitions, fun?

All of the above reasons are great reasons for dog ownership, however, if you feel that your rationale for dog ownership is more akin to image or other vanity reasons, then maybe you would be better off spending your money and time on make up, hairstyles or even cosmetic surgery for yourself.

Owning a dog for reasons of personal vanity normally doesn’t work and the relationship, like most built on flaky foundations, tends to fail. The dog tends to be the poor, innocent party that loses out the most.

Don’t get a dog for selfish reasons. Remember that most dogs live for between 12 and 16 years so you have to commit to a lifetime of care and love for the animal.

Can you afford to have a dog?

Before you do get a dog you should also remember that there will be costs.

Cost of food. Accommodating the dog if you ever need to go away from home and the dog cannot go. Veterinary costs such as illness, injury, vaccinations. There may be registration costs or insurance costs as well.

Think it through. Can you afford and commit to a lifetime of dog ownership?

Types of dog breeds

The Sporting Group: Pointers, setters, spaniels, and retrievers were originally bred to assist the hunter in finding, flushing, and retrieving game… usually birds, either on land or in water.

Some breeds in this group, notably the pointers, remain primarily hunting dogs, whereas others like the spaniels and retrievers, have become hugely popular in recent years and more successful as companion dogs and house pets.

Sporting dogs have great energy, stamina, and determination. They are unlikely to do well in an apartment.

Their energy level requires large amounts of regular exercise and, ideally, they thrive best when they have a job or a sport on which to focus and direct their energy. Their excellent sense of smell can be a distraction to them, and can make obedience training difficult.

Hunting is the most natural job for them, so fieldwork in water or land retrieving puts them in their element. These dogs can excel in the sports of agility and flyball and should be owned by active people who enjoy a busy dog.

None of these breeds will be easygoing couch potatoes.

The Hound Group: The Hound Group includes both scent hounds and sight hounds.

Scent hounds like the Bloodhound and the Beagle track prey by using their sense of smell. They are high-energy dogs and can be super-determined, single minded and driven, in pursuit of a scent, which can make obedience-training a challenge.

Sight hounds, such as the Greyhound, Whippet, the Scottish Deerhound, the Russian Borzoi and the Saluki, spot their prey visually and then run it down.

They are fleet of foot, slow to learn, and somewhat aloof with strangers. As a side note: sight hounds are more sensitive to anesthesia than other breeds.

The Working Group: Breeds in the Working Group include the mastiff types, the herd guarders, rescue dogs like the St. Bernards, the northern breeds and sled dogs… Huskies, Samoyeds, Rottweilers, Great Pyrenees, and Malamutes are all included here.

Most of the working breeds are large, dominant, strong dogs with courage and stamina. Most are very territorial and require a confident owner with great leadership skills.

The Terrier Group: Breeds in the Terrier Group are sturdy, courageous, driven dogs originally bred to hunt rodents and other burrowing mammals.

They include Fox Terrier, Schnauzers, Airedales, West Highland, Jack Russell, Kerry Blue and many more. They are very independent and have a high prey drive.

Though capable of great obstinacy, terriers can make loving companions and good house pets.

The Toy Group: Dogs in this group include Shih Tzus, Yorkies, Pugs and Poodles, and many were originally larger and heavier than they are today.

Toy breeds have been deliberately bred down in size over generations to achieve their present diminutive stature as a convenience to pet owners seeking low maintenance companion dogs and lapdogs.

Some are only 4 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh just 2 or 3 pounds. Though delicate, they tend to be long-lived, and are very often spoiled half to death. Many toys are a challenge to housebreak, and can be picky eaters.

The Herding Group: Many people believe that the Herding Group contains the most intelligent breeds. Border Collies, English Shepherds, German Shepherds, Shelties, Collies, Corgis, Australian Shepherds… these mostly medium-size, athletic dogs have served for thousands of years as herders of sheep, cattle, and other domesticated animals.

They are often the stars of the dog sports arena, excelling in agility, flyball and obedience trials. They also make admirable house pets and great obedience dogs.

Whatever breed you choose whether purebred or mongrel, remember that you are introducing a living, breathing being into your home and life.

He’ll be a loyal and loving companion that will want to please you and be with you.

He sees the world differently to you and will, at times, seem a little strange and may do things that you won’t expect or, at times, like.

If you remember that he just a dog and you let him be a dog, then you’ll get along great.

Learn as much as you can about him and how he sees life.

Enjoy your time with dogs. I’m sure that you won’t regret it.

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