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How to Select the Right Dog Breed for You
Selecting the right breed of dog for your family is simple when you break it down. While almost any dog can be trained to fit into a household, it makes the assimilation process easier if you consider some issues beforehand and choose a breed accordingly.
Several criteria are addressed below and examples of dog breeds given but, remember, choosing a dog is also somewhat of a love affair and if you fell in love with a Chihuahua even though you're a big, husky guy, go for it!
The easiest issue to consider when you're choosing the right breed is space. Do you live in an apartment? Do you have a backyard? Do you have access to outside walks?
If you live in the country or suburbs and have a fenced-in backyard, almost any breed of puppy will work. In a small space, such as an apartment, something like the Bichon is a good choice. But some bigger dogs are excellent for this, too, including the Greyhound.
The main thing for keeping ANY dog healthy is giving them enough exercise.
Some Country And Suburb Dogs:
Some City/Apartment Dogs:
In conjunction with space limitations, you should consider the activity level of the breed you get. An elderly person would be poorly matched with an Irish Setter, while someone active might be disappointed with a Papillion.
Terriers have that tenacious, speedy gene that keeps them on the move. Many guard dogs, such as the Neapolitan Mastiff are low-key because they're only expected to be "on" in the presence of an intruder.
Some Low-Activity Dogs:
Some Moderate-Activity Dogs:
Some High-Level Dogs:
Dogs are as different in personality as people are. Some are extroverted, some are introverts. Some listen well, others prefer to lead.
In general, you'll find that Terriers are tenacious, friendly, trainable, and good with kids. They work well with someone who wants a constant companion who likes to run around in circles.
The Bully dogs, such as the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Pit Bull, also make great companions but their owners should be prepared for dog aggression.
The Northern breeds tend to be loyal, reserved and intelligent. They are fine with children but not usually playful. Guardian dogs are only fairly recently house dogs. Despite that, many are very affectionate toward their family, but are wary with strangers. They tend to be good with kids and ignore all other dogs.
The Border Collie is usually what is thought of first in the Herding group. They are friendly, sweet, intelligent, and highly trainable. Usually good with other dogs, they are also good with children when supervised.
Hounds are laid-back creatures who croon at the moon. They are ...
How to Select the Right Small Dog for You
Big dogs, medium dogs, little dogs, toy dogs: size is one of the first choices to make when deciding which dog is right for you. And there are distinct differences between a big dog and a small dog that go beyond the stereotype that big dogs are mellow while little dogs are extremely social and like to be carried around in a purse. Of course, you might come across a Pomeranian who prefers to lounge on the couch. You might even see a big dog being pushed in a dog carriage - but these are the exception rather than the norm.
A dog is usually considered small if it's under 22 pounds. Small dogs tend to be more constantly alert than big dogs, which means you should be prepared for yapping at the postman, yapping at the alarm in the morning, yapping at the dishwasher at night. These yappers can be trained to hold their tongues or you may decide you want an enthusiastic four-legged burglar alarm. As with big dogs, the various breeds of small dogs have different looks and personalities but, in general, small dogs are loyal, owner-oriented, friendly and tenacious or "game"). They are also considered low-maintenance when compared with breeds of other sizes (less food to feed, less fur to sweep up and so on).
There are many breeds of small dogs and it can be overwhelming to choose just one. Be sure not to pick one based solely on looks - you might wind up with a dog that does not fit into your family. A good way to get a quick look at what small dog might fit into your life is to consider your lifestyle and then find a breed that matches it. The breeds listed below are just a sample, so if you want more examples consider the type. If you are planning on adopting a mixed-breed small dog, you can know much about his personality and other traits by determining what breed he resembles the most.
Lifestyle Example #1
Small Dog Match: Lapdogs
Many lapdogs were originally bred for royalty to pamper. They do not require a lot of exercise. Many of these breeds do require grooming which adds to the cost of their upkeep. Some of these dogs are not good with children unless they're very well-behaved and, though you can certainly work on integrating them with other dogs, most prefer to be the only pet or share the roost with another dog of its breed. This type includes the following breeds: Miniature and Toy Poodle, Maltese, Havanese, Lhasa Apso, Bichon Frise and Brussels Griffon.
Lifestyle Example #2
What to Consider Before Becoming a Dog Owner
After years of asking dog owners if you can pet their pooch, you've begun to wonder if you could be a responsible dog owner. After all, millions of Americans do it. How tough could it be?
Actually, becoming a dog owner involves more consideration than you might think. You, of course, want to be a responsible dog owner, which means everything from continuously picking up poop to training to vet bills. Below are some things you might think about before making the trip to the animal shelter or breeder.
Around 10 million people are allergic to cats but many don't realize you can be allergic to dogs, too. There's thought that certain breeds are hypo-allergenic. The truth is any dog can cause an allergy because it stems from the dander, oil, and glands of dogs. However, the following dog breeds can help lessen allergies.
Somewhat Hypo-Allergenic Breeds:
Time And Energy
Even low-maintenance dogs such as the Greyhound need time and energy from their owners. There are walks to give, feeding, cleaning up after them, grooming, training, vet visits. And, of course, petting time. Dogs give us two great gifts - devotion and unconditional love - and they hope for the same in return.
Americans spend about 41 million dollars a year on their pets. True, they pamper their pets more than others, but even the basics add up. And the older a dog gets, the more extra costs like vet bills are likely to pile up.
Some Costs Of Owning a Dog
Obviously, you need support from family members before bringing home a puppy. It's easy to list the benefits of dog ownership, from lowered heart rates to less depression to having a protector to being able to go to the dog park and not be the strange dogless person who hangs around. There are also downsides - some dogs need a lot of training, some dogs bark a lot, some relish rolling in stinky things, and some chew up the couch. People need to be prepared to share their lives with this furry creature through the good and the bad.
Dogs and cats often get along. Sometimes they don't. Any pet - ferret, hamster, bird, another dog - is affected by a new dog. Be prepared to be patient as they all get to know each other. And avoid dog breeds that are prey-driven as they don't always know the difference between a rabbit and a cat.
It's not as flexible to have a dog as it is some other pets. You can't suddenly jump on a plane to Rio. Someone has to be home to feed a dog dinner, let him out, and generally check up on him. If you keep late nights and early mornings, a dog will most likely feel neglected and have accidents or destroy your beloved rug.
Is It Legal?
Puppy Mill Laws VA
Commercial dog breeders must have a valid business license issued by the locality where the dogs are maintained. The fees are no more than $50 and are determined by individual counties, cities, or towns. Inspections are completed at least twice annually and any time there is a complaint. The regulatory agency is the State Veterinarian for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or any animal control officer, or any public health or safety official.