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When it comes to choosing a dog breed, many aspects need to be considered to ensure the best situation for you (and your family) and your new addition. Before you begin searching for breeds, take a look at these pointers for finding the right dog breed for you.
Reflect on your current living situation and what size (height and weight) dog would best fit that environment. Larger breeds require more space to roam around both within and outside a home. On the other hand, smaller dogs can live comfortably in an apartment, senior care center or mobile home. If choosing a mixed breed, you or the shelter may be able to estimate the fully grown size by looking at what breeds make up the pup.
Assess your lifestyle to see if you want a dog that is more prone to aggression to serve as a protector or a dog that is more friendly and gets along well with others. If you currently lead an active lifestyle, a breed with higher energy and playfulness will be a great match. A dog that is highly vocal may not be best suited for living in close quarters with others, like in an apartment building, or if that is something you would not like. Consider the fact that with proper socialization and training at a young age, temperament can be molded, although it may not be completely changed.
Considering dogs usually live up to around 10-13 years old, you’ll want to think about your current and potential future family situation. For young members of the family, a small dog may be seen as a toy, whereas big dogs may not realize their size and accidentally knock over children. For a socially active family, breeds that are loyal and/or protective may be stressed by the usual sight of strangers.
If you have other pets in your home, you’ll want to make sure your new addition is friendly towards other animals. Their chances of getting along increases when dogs live with littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and play with other pups when they are younger.
There may not be any true hypoallergenic dogs, but you are able to choose a pet that causes fewer allergy symptoms. It is important to note that pet allergies are from a protein found in cat and dog saliva and urine, not their fur. Therefore, choosing a pet that is less likely to shed is a matter of preference and not a determinant factor for family members that are allergic to animals. If you are looking for a dog that sheds less, opt for a dog with a shorter coat as generally, dogs with longer coats are prone to shed more.
Although intelligence is not something to look down on a dog for, this will allow you to assess how trainable the pooch is. This does not mean that some dogs cannot be trained, it just means that the training process may be more difficult for certain breeds.