So you finally decided to get a dog. If you’re like most people, you have no idea about dog breeds so you don’t know how to choose a dog breed. You were probably planning on just going to the pet shop and buying the cutest dog that you can find. This is not a good strategy because the “cute” St. Bernard puppy that you might end up choosing will grow up to be 30 inches tall and 300 pounds. That’s not a good choice if you’re living in a small apartment.
There Are A Lot Of Breeds Available
You have to know that there are hundreds of dog breeds out there. In fact, it’s been said that there are more than 400 dog breeds to choose from. This makes it very hard to choose a breed so it’s a good thing that you’re looking for tips on how to choose a dog breed.
Fortunately, you can create a shortlist that will make it easier for you to choose one.
You Can Start By Looking At
The Most Popular Dog Breeds
It’s a good idea to start with the most popular dog breeds. After all, there’s a reason why they’re very popular. This is especially true if you’re looking to buy your first dog. What better way to do it than to buy a breed that a lot of people prefer?
Here is a list of the most popular dog breeds according to the number of mentions that they get online:
- Labrador Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Golden Retriever
- Shih Tzu
Now, you can’t just buy a Labrador Retriever because it’s the most popular, but you can check them out one by one so you can learn more about them. Once you’re familiar with the breeds, you can take several things into consideration to learn how to choose a dog breed.
Why are You Getting a Dog?
There are several reasons why people buy dogs, and it’s a good idea to determine what your reason is first so you can make an educated decision. You have to know that different breeds are built for different tasks. By choosing a dog breed based on your specific reason, you can set up a harmonious relationship between you and your dog.
Here are the different reasons of people as to why they buy a dog:
Dogs are amazing when it comes to securing your home or property since they can alert you of intruders and maybe even take down an attacker in your home. Of course, not all dog breeds are built for this. Check out this list of popular guard dogs to learn how to choose a dog breed for security purposes:
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
As you can see, 4 out of 5 dogs on this list are big and menacing, and that alone is a good deterrent. On the other hand, terriers are good watchdogs because they’re good at alarming people when there’s an intruder inside the property. These 5 breeds take pride in protecting their master’s home and its occupants.
There are also dog breeds built for working. These are hardworking dogs that have been helping people with their jobs for centuries. Here are some of the best working breeds:
- Border Collie (one of the best as a herding dog)
- Collie (“Lassie” is also another good herding dog)
- Alaskan Malamute (for sledding)
- Siberian Husky (for sledding as well)
- Labrador Retriever (for hunting)
- English Cocker Spaniel (trusted by hunters for centuries)
- Dachshund (used by hunters to find, chase and flush animals out of their burrows)
- German Shepherd (a good search and rescue dog)
- Bloodhound (part of a K9 unit to sniff out bombs and drugs)
If you’re looking for tips on how to choose a dog breed for sports purposes, you’re in luck because there are a lot of breeds that are built for sports. Generally speaking, dogs are very active and will take advantage of the chance to showcase it via sports.
There are a lot of popular sports that involve dogs like racing, agility, fetch, catch and the likes. Here are some of the best sporting breeds:
- Labrador Retriever (for fetch and catch)
- Jack Russell Terrier (for agility)
- Greyhound (for racing)
- German Shepherd (for obedience)
Dogs As Pets
On the other hand, most people just buy dogs because they want a pet at home. Having a pet at home provides a lot of benefits. Of course, this is provided that you’re ready for one, and part of being ready is learning how to choose a dog breed.
You have to ask yourself several questions before deciding on a dog breed. This is the only way for you to learn how to choose a dog breed that you’ll treat as just a pet at home.
Ask yourself the following questions in order to find the perfect breed:
- How big is your home?
Dogs come in different shapes and sizes and you should choose a breed that will fit perfectly in your home. If you have a small home like an apartment, it’s best that you stick to toy dogs like a Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, Miniature Pinscher and the likes.
The bigger your home, the bigger dog breed your home can accommodate. Obviously, having a farm means that you can even get a St. Bernard provided that you can handle one.
- What is your budget?
Of course, you can’t buy a dog breed that’s out of your budget. You don’t have to worry because there are a lot of inexpensive, but great dogs like the Labrador Retriever or the Chihuahua. However, it’s important to note that there can be expensive Labrador Retrievers or Chihuahuas depending on several factors like their pedigree.
- Do you have kids?
There are breeds that are amazing with kids. If you have kids, you can’t go wrong with something like a Bulldog because it’s built for roughhousing. A Beagle is another popular choice even if it’s a hunting dog. However, a lot of people buy a Labrador Retriever because of its playful nature.
- Can you handle a high maintenance dog?
Shih Tzus are considered high maintenance because of their long coat. Ask yourself for your level of commitment when it comes to maintaining your dog. If you’re like most people that have a lot of responsibilities, stick to low maintenance dogs like the Chihuahua, Japanese Chin, or the Chinese crested.
- Do you have other pets?
Learning how to choose a dog breed also requires you to learn how to choose a breed that goes along with other pets if you have another pet or you’re planning to get one in the future. Some pet-friendly dog breeds include the Golden Retriever, Irish Setter, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and the Briard.
On the other hand, stay away from the Chow Chow, Akita and Alaskan Malamute if you have other pets because they’re not known to play well with other pets.
- What’s the general weather in your area?
If your area suffers from long bouts of cold winters, it’s best to stick to dogs with thick coats or those dogs built for the cold climate like the Siberian Husky. On that note, don’t get a Siberian Husky if you live in a warm place. Get a Doberman Pinscher instead.
- Do you have other needs that a dog breed can help with?
Since you’re getting a dog, why not learn how to choose a dog breed that will fulfill other needs as well? For example, why not get a guard dog while you’re at it? A Doberman Pinscher is a good guard dog and is a good family dog as well because it’s very loyal. If you like jogging, get a sporting dog so you can have a companion (and guard as well) when you’re out jogging.
Learn About the Natural Instincts of Dog Breeds
You also have to learn about the natural instincts of dog breeds in order to learn how to choose a dog breed. For example, don’t get a dog breed that’s a natural digger like most of the Terrier breeds if you have a well-manicured garden. Also, stay away from dogs that bark a lot like a Chihuahua if you live in an apartment with paper-thin walls.
Check Out Several Dogs
Now that you know how to choose a dog breed, check out several dogs in your area. The next thing that you should look for is the connection. Once you’ve decided on a breed, look for dogs of that breed and check them out yourself. It’s best if you can check them out personally so you can see if there’s a connection. If you’re buying online, visualize yourself having that dog for the next 10 to 12 years. If it brings a smile to your face, you now know how to choose a dog breed and how to choose the perfect dog.