What Type Of Dog Is Best For Me? How to Pick the Best Dog for You.

What type of dog is best for me? Getting a dog is a big commitment. In fact, it’s a lifelong commitment! Small breed dogs live between 10 to 13 years, while large breeds can live between 5 to 10 years. It’s crucial that you take your time to select the best match for you and your family. Below I look at 5 factors you should keep in mind when you decide on which dog is the best for you!

5 Factors to Keep in Mind

Before bringing a dog home, examine your lifestyle and decide how much you are willing to adjust to accommodate a dog in your space. Your family’s needs are the next thing to think about. Do you have small children? Is someone in the house allergic to dogs? (Luckily there are a few hypoallergenic dog breeds to counter this challenge)

The major factors to consider: breed, size, activity level, physical maintenance and age.

Breed

Sometimes you just fall in love with a specific breed. It might be your beloved pet from childhood, or the cutest dog you ever set eyes on at a friend’s house. If you have your heart set on a specific breed, you have to make peace with its challenges.

Purebreds are oftentimes a more popular choice. With a purebred you can read up more specifically about their general character traits and health issues. This way you can be aware of temperament challenges and health risks, as well as grooming needs. Visit dogtime.com for an extensive list of dog breeds with their characteristics.

With a mixed breed you can strike gold with the perfect balance between different personality and physical traits. Some experts believe that a mixed breed dog has less health problems than a purebred. But on the other hand, it is more risky because the two breeds might not be a good match and then you have to deal with a set of unexpected challenges. Read this article to be aware of the dangers of mixed dog breeds.

Tip: whether you decide to buy a purebred or mixed breed, make sure you only buy from a responsible dog breeder.

Size

This factor is a little bit easier to decide upon. Firstly, do you want a dog that can fit on your lap, or do you prefer a big dog? Next, do you live in an apartment building, or do you have a massive yard where your dog can roam freely? It is very cruel to buy a big dog and confine it to a small space.

There’s always a medium dog breed to consider as an in-between compromise. Your family dynamics will also influence the size choice. If you have small children you need to remember that they can be quite rough with pets, so a delicate and vulnerable small dog might not be ideal. Also not a big robust dog that will run a child over and frighten them in general.

Small dogs are also more sensitive to extreme temperatures, especially cold weather. Large dogs have a different set of challenges, for instance needing more dog food and a lot of space. Whether your dog is small or big, you need to be willing to commit to training. The bigger the dog, the more important it is to invest time in proper training to manage your dog properly.

What Type Of Dog Is Best For Me?

Activity Level

Same as humans, dogs don’t have the same activity levels. No two dogs are alike, even from the same breed. But you will be able to get a general idea of a breed’s energy level with a bit of research. It’s important to match yourself up with the right energy level. If you like vegging on the couch over the weekends, it won’t be ideal to get a dog that needs a lot of physical stimulation.

All dogs require exercise on a regular basis, no matter what size they are. But some dog breeds will become very destructive if they don’t receive enough exercise. And if you like the idea of having a dog as a running buddy, you will only become frustrated with a low energy breed. A lot of behavioural issues can be avoided by giving your dog the right amount of attention and exercise. Read this article for a ranking of dog breeds by their energy level.

Physical Maintenance

Unlike cats who clean themselves, you need to take care of your dog’s grooming needs. For some breeds this simply means a bath every week or so. Other breeds with longer hair require much more intensive care. With a long hair dog, you can’t simply decide that you don’t have time to groom your dog. You need to be willing to commit time or invest money to keep your dog looking healthy. Read this article for a ranking of dog breeds by their grooming needs.

Age

Most people prefer buying or adopting a puppy, to mould its temperament to fit into their family dynamics. But puppies require a big attention and training investment, specifically for the first six months. Also, you need a lot of patience to deal with house training.

If you want to skip the painful teething years, so to speak, adopting an adult dog can be a good option for you. But you might get an untrained dog, which will be another type of challenge to deal with. Some people like adopting senior dogs, a great way of saving a dog from premature euthanasia. When you adopt an older dog, you can enjoy the company of a dog, but with a shorter time commitment.

Quiz: What Type of Dog is best for Me?

The following quiz has been created to help you narrow down your search to a specific dog breed that would be most suitable for you unique life circumstances and preferences. You can also use this as a guideline to explore different dog breeds you might not have considered before.

What Type Of Dog Is Best For Me?

By taking the time to read up a bit more about various dog breeds and their quirks, you will be able to find the most ideal four-footed companion for you and your family. Similar to making a good personality match with a person, it’s best to take your time before picking a specific dog breed.

Another option you can consider, is visiting a dog shelter and interacting with the dog breed you have in mind. This way you can get an idea of what it would be like to own one.

Take the quiz now, what type of dog is best for me?