Choosing your first family dog is an amazing time in your life. After all, they’ll be an important part of your family for years to come. If you’ve grown up with dogs, you might already know a lot about them, which breeds you like, and how you’ll adapt your family life to them. If on the other hand, you’re new to having a dog but are considering getting one, there are some things you’re going to have to consider.
The size of dog you want
Dog breeds come in all shapes and sizes, from Great Danes to Chihuahuas. Many people assume that smaller dogs are easier to train and handle. This is a common misconception. Large breeds who are calm and well trained are much better for stress-free family life than small, untrained angry dogs.
If you live in a small or crowded property, a large dog might not be the best choice for you, especially if you’re planning on having more than one.
How much time do you have to train it?
All puppies need to be trained in order to obey basic commands and learn how to behave and react in various situations. While all dogs have their own personalities and quirks, there are some breeds that aren’t recommended for first-time dog owners.. These include things like border collies, Akitas, Malamutes, German Shephards, and Dalmations.
Good breeds for first-time owners include labradors, retrievers, Spaniels, and Shih Tzu.
Of course, you don’t have to pick a pure breed. There are many advantages to getting a mongrel too. For example, a lot of the health issues associated with pure breeds are bred out. For this reason, they’re often cheaper to insure too.
The type of lifestyle you want
If you’re a very active family, then you’ll want a dog that can keep up with you. If you love running or hiking, then extremely small or large dog breeds might not be able to handle this.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more relaxed lifestyle, then a dog with heaps of energy will get frustrated if they’re not exercised enough.
If you or a member of your family has allergies to pet hair, you might think this means that you’re going to be unable to have a family pet. This isn’t the case. Some breeds don’t have the same type of fur as the type that causes allergies. For example, breeds such as Bichon Freeze and Poodle have hair that is more like human hair. They don’t shed. This is great for those with allergies or asthma. Labradoodles were also bred for this purpose, to have the hair of a poodle but the lovely temperament of a Labrador.
It’s important you put a lot of thought in before you choose a family dog. A friendly, well-trained dog who fits in with your lifestyle has so many benefits for both you and your children. However, if you choose an unsuitable breed to which you cannot devote the time and energy, it can become a very stressful situation.