Buying your first puppy is such an exciting time but you must always remember that your cute little pooch is going to grow into a proper adult dog. This is why it is so important to think carefully about the breed that will suit you and your family best. Whether you want a big dog or a little dog, a dog full of energy or a dog who can chill with you, the breed really matters.
All pedigree dogs are bred for particular characteristics, whether that is a particular temperament, coloring or shape. Many of the earliest breeds of dogs were working dogs who were bred for obedience and particular skills. So, let’s take a look at a few of the dog breeds you might like to consider.
One of the most popular breeds, the Labrador Retriever is an ideal family dog. They are smart enough to be obedient and loyal but goofy and sweet enough to want to play with everyone. The chocolate lab is a popular choice amongst owners but you can also find black, yellow and occasionally silver labs too.
Labrador retrievers were originally bred as hunting dogs but they are also wonderful companions and, as they have a calm temperament, make for fantastic service dogs too. It’s no wonder they are so popular!
Pugs have suddenly gained popularity in recent years and make great lap dogs. The pug obviously has quite a unique face with a squashed appearance and a stocky build but the almost human expressions are likely what make this seem cute rather than ugly!
It’s really important that you thoroughly research pug breeders before you buy. Pugs, like other flat-faced creatures, can have some serious trouble breathing as well as other issues. This can be brought about by over-zealous breeding so it’s important that you check the health of any puppy you plan to buy.
One of the larger breeds of dog, the Newfoundland is a gentle giant, ideal for someone looking for constant companionship. There are lots of reasons not to buy a Newfoundland: they are enormous and eat a lot, they take a lot of care and they require an assertive leader for an owner. However, these calm dogs are wonderful if you live an outdoor lifestyle and they are quite happy to work on farmland.
Newfoundlands are ideal for families who like going on long walks, aren’t too worried about keeping a perfect home and are willing to share their lives with this gorgeous breed. But do think carefully; this is no handbag puppy!
Much like labrador retrievers, Weimaraners were originally bred as hunting dogs but have gradually come into the family home with their sharp intelligence and affectionate natures. Weimaraners are energetic and love being a part of the family but they do need plenty of attention as when they are left to their own devices, they are more than happy to cause chaos!
Proper training and plenty of exercise are essential for this breed so if you are an energetic family, they will fit right in. Having a big yard your dog can run around in would be ideal too as these pups need a couple of brisk walks a day to stay happy.
A smaller dog breed, the bichon frisé has been a popular choice for a while as they are loving and really like lots of attention but don’t need a lot of walking to be happy. These dogs have poodle ancestry and look like small white clouds of fluff, almost like a teddy bear with a shiny black nose.
Training is essential and though this dog may be small, it has plenty of personality and needs a leader. You will also need to bathe and groom your dog regularly to maintain all that gorgeous white fur.
These dogs are technically a sporting breed but they are much smaller than Labrador retrievers or Weimaraners. They are characterized by their gorgeous floppy, curly-haired ears and characteristic expressions. These are smart dogs who were originally bred for game hunting so they are energetic and like to play.
As always, puppy care is really important for cocker spaniels who need socializing and lots of play time. These pups can experience separation anxiety so take crate training slowly so that they can acclimate at their own speed.
The smallest dog breed, the chihuahua is a little dog who still thinks like a big dog with plenty of big dog attitude! There are a few different colors of chihuahua to choose from and there are long and short haired breeds too. Chihuahuas were bred as companion dogs so they aren’t as bright as other breeds. Plus, their small size can make them vulnerable so they may not be suitable for a household of boisterous kids.
Despite their small size, chihuahua puppies need regular meals to ensure that they grow up to be healthy. Though they don’t eat a lot, you do need to carefully manage their energy levels with 4 meals a day.
You will probably instinctively know which dog is right for you and your family so when you are going to choose and buy a puppy, do remember that each dog has their own personality and temperament too. There are lots of places you can go to buy a puppy but if you want a specific breed, your best chances are with a breeder – just make sure you check their credentials first.
If you still aren’t sure which dog breed is best for you, it’s a good idea to set up a playdate with someone else’s dog. There are lots of services that match dog sitters to owners and spending a few weekends with different dogs will probably help you make up your mind. Whatever you do, you definitely shouldn’t go into this blind – you need to know how much time you need to give your new family member and make sure that you have the space too.