There are many factors that need to be considered before choosing the right dog. Every breed will have different characteristics that may be better for one owner but not for another. Training can go a long way in helping with some breed traits but genetics need to be taken into account as well. Determining which breed is right for you can be done by specifying your own family's wants and needs in a new friend.
If you are the type of person that enjoys a long jog with your canine buddy then you will want a dog that is high in energy and has endurance. A Bichon Frise may not be the one for you. However, a Labrador Retriever could be ideal. On the other hand, if you are the type of person who wants a calm dog to sleep on your lap while watching TV then a Shih Tzu could be the right match.
Size is important as well. Larger dogs take up more space, eat more and have health problems that smaller dogs may not. Also larger dogs are stronger and some owners may not be able to handle the pulling of a Mastiff. Smaller dogs are great if you have limited space, although if you have young children, small dogs can be less tolerant of their "attention" and excitability.
When getting a mixed breed dog, keep in mind that you are getting genetics and characteristics of both dogs. Most of us tend to think about the positive outcome of mixing two breeds together. However, we need to carefully consider all of the traits of both dogs, good and bad. It is difficult to know what your puppy will be like as an adult. Because of this, some people choose to adopt an adult dog. Many breeds can be found for adoption on www.petfinder.com
Some breeds, especially the non shedders, will require lots of grooming like the Schnauzer and Cocker Spaniel to keep them at their best, while others need very little care like the Miniature Pincher. Talk to a groomer or one of our staff members at Eagle Animal Hospital to get an idea of time and cost of grooming before choosing your new family dog.
As you can see, there are many factors to think about when you make the choice to bring a new dog into the family. With a little research you and your dog will have many happy years together.
Eagle Animal Hospital (610)458-8789 www.eagleanimalvet.com serves Chester Springs, Downingtown, Exton, Glenmoore and the surrounding areas.
Written by Harriet Band, receptionist