Getting a New Dog (Part 2): Size and Breed

Your Dog & You

Okay, you have made the first two big decisions: 1, to get a dog and 2, you chose between selecting from a reputable breeder, a rescue group or animal shelter. Now it is time to look critically at yourself, your lifestyle, your family and your home so you can determine what type of dog to look for.

Are you afraid of any types of dog? Why?

It is very important that you not be afraid of the dog that you choose to welcome into your home! Are you scared of giant dogs like Great Danes, English Mastiffs and Saint Bernards? Is it because of their size and the relative size of those huge teeth or some traumatic experience in your past? If you are a low-energy person, a giant breed dog is likely to be the best match for your lifestyle, as they tend to be snuggly couch potatoes! Don’t go out and get a tiny dog just because they aren’t scary… a small dog is usually very high energy and, like all dogs, requires extensive training to get their behavior right where you want it to be. Now is the time, before you decide on the size and breed, to look at this possibility. If your fear will dictate which animal you decide to bring home instead of an honest look at your lifestyle and determination of which animal would be a best match for you, now may not be the best time for you to get a new dog. My advice would be to contact a local breeder or trainer who handles the type of dog that you are afraid of. Let them know honestly about your fear and that you think it is time that you learn to overcome that fear, ask for help. If you are in my area, I will be delighted to help you overcome any dog based fears and have access to some amazing animals to help! Please email me so that we can work together to get you past your fear and ready for your new pet!

What type of lifestyle do you have?

Are you a daily runner? Are you a couch potato? Do you have a large family? Do you have small children or elderly in your home? Unless you are single and live alone, selecting a dog will impact the entire family, so please do your research and make sure you choose one that will fit your family and lifestyle. You may love the look of an Australian Shepard, but if you aren’t an active person then the breed may not be a good fit for you because of their activity requirements. There are great dogs for all lifestyles and in all sizes, so just check into the best breeds for your personal life and family and go from there. If you need some help, just shoot me an email and I will help you however I can!

Think of the future!

Don’t just look at yourself and your life now, but think of the future as well. Where do you see yourself in a year from now? 5 years? 10 years? Getting a dog is a huge commitment and keep in mind that they will most likely be a part of your life for 10-20 years! Those who love city life and living in apartment buildings should probably choose a small dog that is welcome in such areas. I am pretty sure that you get the jest by now, but please use common sense. When you find the perfect breed of dog for you NOW, then look at yourself further down the road. Is it still a good match? I hope it is but if it isn’t, keep on looking. You WILL find that perfect pup that will complete your home and family, but the search can be long so don’t give up! Email me with any questions you may have or to ask for help!