Every wondered which dog breed suits you the most? Anyone who owns a dog knows how wonderful these animals really are. They make great additions to any home whether you are looking for a guard dog, a play mate, or simply a companion. Along with the myriad of joys that a dog brings to one’s home, there is responsibility. The decision of bringing a dog home must be well considered, as it really is a lifelong commitment. To make the process easier, I have compiled a general list of considerations that should be taken into account before deciding upon the breed you want to get. 1. Size:
This is an incredibly important aspect to look into while deciding upon the breed. The size of the dog you eventually get will largely depend on the type of residence you live in. Apartment residents will need to abide by the list of HDB Approved dogs; the official list is available on the Housing and Development Board website. The breeds listed are typically smaller and have a lesser requirement for space. Dogs that are larger (for example, a Labrador Retriever) will have greater energy expenditure and require more space to be healthy. However, larger dogs can also be kept in apartments with suitable care and exercise (for example, taking the dog out regularly for long walks). 2. Energy level of the dog:
It is immensely important that the dog’s energy level is compatible with that of its owner. The owner needs to be cognizant of its pet’s energy and suitable ways to channelize it appropriately. For example, Alaskan Malamutes have high energy levels and will need to be exercised regularly. If you lead an active lifestyle, high energy breeds are a great choice. However, if your lifestyle is greatly sedentary or you don’t have enough time to walk your dog, consider getting a low energy breed (for example, a French Bulldog). It is essential to ensure that your dog receives sufficient exercise to expend its built-up energy. Unused energy may be converted into aggression, general inertia or restlessness (chewing on objects left around, barking, prancing around the household). Just as exercise forms a pivotal part of human health, dogs require exercise to ward off diseases such as heart disease and obesity. 3. Temperament of the breed:
Behavioral traits of a breed are an important factor to take into consideration before you bring a dog home. If children are present at home, consider getting a breed that is relatively more docile and companionable. Popular choices for child-friendly breeds include the Golden Retriever and Bulldogs. These dogs are not only immensely loyal, but are also highly intelligent and sensitive. They are easy to train which makes them great dogs to play with children. Their docile and loving nature not only makes them perfect fits for kids, but they also make wonderful companions for adults. Clock ten miles on the beach or hop into a swimming pool on a sweltering summer day; these fur kids are ready for it all!
If you lead an athletic lifestyle, energetic breeds like the Border Collie or Weimaraner make great jogging companions. Since these breeds have notably high endurance and stamina, they don’t tire out easily. If you are more interested in owning a dog for the purpose of security, German Shepherds and Dobermans are particularly renowned for their strong sense of territory. Any trespassing will trigger a series of barks from these breeds, alerting you instantly. There are several other parameters that will influence the temperament of a breed, such as gender and parental history. Research has shown that male dogs are likely to be slightly more ebullient, territorial and playful compared to their female counterparts. The temperament of your dog’s parents is also a strong indication of behavioral traits that your pet is likely to exhibit. It is always a good idea to ask about the history of the parents to gain foresight about your pet’s temperament in the future. 4. Maintenance:
Some breeds are prone to shedding more hair than others, such as the Shetland Sheepdog. Maintenance for these dogs will involve cleaning the house regularly to ward off the growth of any unwanted microbes. Breeds with thicker coats such as the Irish Setter, will require frequent grooming to prevent tangles and knots setting in the hair. If you anticipate that you may not have sufficient time to devote to the maintenance of your pet, opt for breeds like the Beagle and Jack Russell Terrier, which have comparatively lesser grooming requirements, for they have shorter fur coats. If you tune in to PerroPet, we’re preparing a few articles on grooming which you might find interesting. Stay tuned! Whichever breed you ultimately choose, remember that all dogs are created equal. Owning a dog is an incredibly rewarding experience and you can expect to make relationships that will last forever. - Tanvi