Buying A Dog: Which Breed Should I Choose?

chooseadogThe decision to buy a dog is a big one. Unlike relatively low maintenance pets like hamsters and goldfish, dogs require a great deal of attention and care. It’s no coincidence that many potential parents often choose to get a dog early in their relationship to prepare themselves for the nurturing that a baby requires. While a dog can’t be compared to a child in terms of how much responsibility they entail, a family that takes the decision lightly is bound to be in for a surprise. Part of choosing the right dog is deciding which breed you want. If you think choosing a dog breed is as easy as looking at some representative photographs, you may want to invest some more time into your decision. Here are some of the factors that you should take into account.

Personality
They say every dog has a distinct and unique personality, and no dog breeder will ever tell you differently. That said, most pure bred dogs can be counted on to have certain similarities throughout the breed. You may get an exception, but knowing the standards will at least push you in the right direction. Take your own lifestyle into account when looking at various breeds and their personalities. Would you enjoy a high-strung, active dog or would it get on your nerves? Do you want a dog that will bend easily to your training or one that is a bit more stubborn? Prospective owners stuck on how to choose a dog often find the key lies in these temperamental differences.

Size
Depending on how old they are, a Saint Bernard puppy and a Chihuahua puppy may be nearly the same size. As you know, this will not remain consistent. The Saint Bernard will eventually grow to a gargantuan size, while the Chihuahua will always remain relatively small. Most people classify themselves as “big dog people” or “small dog people”, but take your circumstances into account before you make a decision. Just because you prefer big dogs doesn’t mean you should keep a German Shepherd cramped in your small apartment. Some smaller dog breeds, such as the Miniature Pinscher, are highly energetic and will grow restless if not given room to run and play.

Fur Factor
Some dog owners live for grooming. Enthusiasts will buy a Shih-Tzu with the express intent of spending day after day combing the dog’s luxurious locks. Others would prefer to limit their grooming efforts to a bath every couple of weeks. Before settling on a dog breed, know what you’re going to deal with in terms of its grooming upkeep. It is easy to say now that you won’t mind a bit of shedding, but you may feel differently when you fill up a vacuum cleaner bag each week with nothing but fur.

A Healthy Dog
Ask any pregnant couple if they are hoping for a girl or a boy and they will inevitably tell you that it doesn’t matter, as long as the child is healthy. As someone shopping for a dog, you may feel much the same way. It should be noted that some dog breeds have common health problems that may need to be addressed down the road. Before buying any particular breed, research their potential health issues and make sure they have been screened for any obvious problems.

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