We all have heard it said that a dog is man’s best friend.
Many of us may wonder where the relationship between man and canine began. As it were, this relationship is timeless and even though we cannot exactly pin-point where the affair started, all we know is that these four-legged creatures are our great loyal and faithful companions.
Everyone wants to own them, the young and the old, the disabled and the able-bodied and even notable personalities in the society.
Whatever reasons we may have for wanting to own one, what we all agree upon is the fact that dogs add some extra touch to our common lives and make us want to live life longer and pursue our goals harder.
The fact that we all want to have dogs is incontestable but what breed? This is where there is a divide.
If you are someone who minds about your family, then you would not go about selecting any breed. There are always some pertinent questions to ask, ‘will this be the right breed for grandma, is this going to piss my daughter off, how will this sit with my fiancé‘ et cetera.
For all those who have one time found themselves faced with these questions, this article could not have come at a better time, for it shall attempt to delve into the factors to consider and explain how to choose the right dog breed for your family & children.
Common dog breeds
Before we know what to go for, we should understand the variety available.
Though there are literally hundreds of dog breeds available to choose from, the following are some of the most common and popular dog breeds; Afghan Hound, Alaskan Malamute, Bull terrier, Bull dog, Chihuahua, Chow Chow, Dalmatian, German Shepherd, Grey hound, Labrador retriever, Pomeranian, Poodle and Whippet.
How do you choose a perfect breed for your family?
Answering these following questions will help you choose suitable dog breed for your family.
1. Know your size
Dog breeds come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from mini, small, medium, large and even giant.
Dog size plays a very significant role when deciding what breed to select for your family.
Size, in itself is dictated by both aspects of space, lifestyle and budget.
As a general rule, smaller dogs will cost less, be more useful for family trips and occupy less space as opposed to their larger counterparts.
2. Grooming demands
When choosing a dog breed for your family, you must first ensure that you have enough time to devote to its grooming.
Grooming requirements vary from breed to breed depending on length of hair, type of coat and vulnerability to infections. You can be sure you will need more grooming time to devote to a dog with long hair, sensitive coat type and those who fall ill very often.
If this kind of time is not available in your family, then you may want to choose dogs with contrary characteristics.
Here, this instructional video shows the basics of dog grooming. Check this out.
3. Is your family ready for the energy?
Dogs are playful buddies but sometimes, this trait may not properly fit into your family. While they liven our days by running around and cuddling on the couches, sometimes their playfulness may not be necessary.
Consider a case where your family largely comprises the aging. Would you go for a ‘hyper-active’ breed? Absolutely not.
The deal is to spend some time with the dog before determining whether its energy level will fit in.
Normally, the more playful breeds are perfect match for your kids as they ensure the kids are distracted hence less trouble due to boredom.
4. Know the dog’s temperament
This is another vital point to consider when selecting a dog breed for your family.
While some dogs are friendly and outgoing, others are reserved and may be very aggressive.
Difference in temperament among various breeds greatly influences the level of socialization that your family will have with the dog.
If your family is the social kind, then they will easily get along with the outgoing dogs, as the reserved dogs go with equally reserved families, since they are known to attack at the slightest provocation.
5. Do you have children?
Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs like to get along with children.
Certain dog breeds, especially the large and reserved kinds have been known to herd children and even knock them down.
Some breeds just do not like the thought of a child around them or commanding them, and will only answer to adults, making this another serious point of consideration while selecting a breed for your family.
Never forget that after all is said and done, dogs are still beastly in nature, and their dislike for children may at times lead to fatal confrontations with them.
6. Do you have other pets?
Certain dog breeds are largely territorial in nature. Stories abound of vicious confrontations with other pets, especially cats.
It is important to remember that certain dogs are bred for hunting. When provoked by other pets, these dogs will readily attack and easily kill them.
7. Consider allergy cases
As much as we love dogs and would easily get one for our family, truth of the matter is that certain breeds do not suit allergy sufferers better, and may only serve to enhance their allergic reactions.
This is a common drawback of the long-haired breeds and those with more oily coats.
Aside from allergic reactions, it is also important to understand how the various members of your family take barking. While some people are just fine with it, others may find it highly bothersome.
8. How frequent do you have guests?
If you have the type of family that frequently entertains guests, then you should be careful the type of breeds you get for that family.
While certain dog breeds are naturally friendly to new people, others are highly protective around strangers.
The drill here is consistent training to ensure the dog breed you choose can easily get along with your guests or new members of the family.
9. What of trainability and exercise?
If you opt for a breed that requires some form of training and conditioning, the pertinent question to answer here is, how does it adapt to training?
Some dog breeds are first learners while others may require more time and effort, not to mention they may not be devoted to your training programs in the first place.
Apart from that, you should also understand how well or badly your family will fare in guaranteeing the dog’s daily exercise needs.
All in all, the choice of the perfect dog breed varies from family to family.
While you may love a given breed and prefer it over others, always know how your family will receive the idea of having that breed before going the extra step of actually getting it.
Here is a breed selector tool to help you in this quest.