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Choosing the Right Breed of Dog for Your Personality and Lifestyle

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There are many different dog breeds, and they all have very unique personalities.

There are many different dog breeds, and they all have very unique personalities.

Why You Should Take the Time to Research Dog Breeds Before Adopting

Did you know that different dog breeds have different needs and personalities? Choosing a dog breed is easy for a lot of people. Usually they pick one that is cute or has unique looks, and dont think about much more than that. Choosing one that fits with your lifestyle takes a lot of patience and planning! But it's such an important first step in the adoption process. Read on to learn why!

Roughly 3.1 million dogs will end up in an animal shelter each year in the United States. Around 670,000 of those dogs will be humanely euthanized, mostly for no reason other than the fact that the shelter needs space for new dogs.

When a dog is adopted without any thought put into that particular breeds personality traits, the dog will suffer. Best case scenario, the owner will become educated on the breed and hire a trainer if necessary. Worst case scenario, the dog ends up as a statistic. This happens more often than not.

Many people don't have the time, money, or parience that is necessary to deal with unexpected or difficult behaviors from their cute and cuddly new companion. This leads to a disaster for the new owner and the dog. Which is why it's so important to research before you adopt. Your new pet will thank you, and it also will save you a lot of stress and anxiety from getting a dog that doesn't behave like you expected.

Best Dog Breeds for Those Who Like to Stay Home

  • Great Dane - In spite of their size (they are considered a "giant" breed), these dogs need a lot less space than most people realize. They can reach a height up to 34 inches tall, and weigh up to 200 pounds. But they don't take up a lot of space as long as you have a nice comfy couch for them cuddle up on with you. They are more than happy to stay at home with you most days and binge watch the latest true crime series. They are good family dogs and don't require much more than a daily walk and lots of love. They are the gentle giants of the dog world.
  • English Bulldog - Because of their extremely short muzzle, English Bulldogs normally can't handle excessive amounts of exercise without having difficulty breathing. Especially in hot weather. It is suggested that they recieve 2 short walks a day maximum, at 20 minutes at a time. They are also prone to elbow dysplasia, so should be exercised gently. If you like fitting a nap into your daily routine, this dog is an expert napper. Just make sure that you have a set of ear plugs to drown out the snoring.
  • Saint Bernard - Another giant breed, topping the charts at a whopping 180 pounds and 30 inches tall, is the Saint Bernard. They are well known for being rather lazy, and most days they just enjoy laying around watching the world go by. Grab yourself a good book and a lounge chair in the back yard, and this dog will be right by your side. The only downfall is that these dogs are super droolers. So hopefully you don't care about keeping your house spotless. But it's a small price to pay to be able to call this sweet beast your best friend.
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - This gorgeous breed of dog enjoys a quick play session, but doesn't generally require a lot of exercise. Their good-natured personality and smaller size makes them a perfect choice for a family pet. They don't usually do well alone for long periods of time, so it's best if there is at least one family member at home for most of the day. They require a fair amount of grooming, so make sure that your budget allows for regular trips to the groomer to keep your Spaniel looking beautiful.

Best Dog Breeds for Runners

  • Labrador Retriever - For those who enjoy a brisk run each morning, there is no better buddy than a Labrador Retriever. These dogs are extremely social, so you'll never have to worry about them being reactive to other dogs or people while youre running. They also have a lot of endurance and enjoy high energy exercise on a daily basis. Additionally, they are very eager to learn and easy to train.
  • Dalmatian - Dalmatians were originally used as hunting dogs, and later as carriage dogs. Because of their past, they find a lot of enjoyment in going for a brisk run with their human friend. They're very athletic dogs with a ton of energy, and become destructive if left on their own for too long with nothing to do. Keep these dogs busy!
  • Siberian Husky - Huskies were originally bred to pull sleds in very cold climates, typically for long distances. If you've ever watched a sled race, then you know that these dogs love to run more than anything! Because of their long coat, you dont want to run in the heat of the summer with this dog in most climates or they can overheat. Sometimes Huskies enjoy running when they're not supposed to run. In fact, they will try to run every chance they get. Out the door. Out the gate. Out the window. You name it, they've probably tried it. Before owning a Husky, make sure that you're able to keep little Houdini safely contained.
  • Greyhound - The Greyhound makes an ideal running partner for many reasons. Because of their background of being bred as racing dogs, they find running to be a very fun and exciting activity. They can reach speeds up to 45 miles per hour, so it's probably not a good idea to race a Greyhound, unless you're OK with losing! The Greyhound is a smart, gentle, and low maintenance dog that will also fit in well with a family.

Best Dog Breeds for Young Children

  • Golden Retriever - This one is not surprising. The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds today, largely due to their reputation as being a good family dog. They are exceptionally smart, even -tempered, and love pretty much everybody they meet. If you're looking for a dog that is good with young kids, the Golden Retriever would be a smart choice. They do need some regular grooming to keep their long fur from becoming dirty and matted, but generally speaking, they aren't a very high maintenance breed.
  • Beagle - Beagles are a bit on the smaller side, if that's what you're looking for. They make a loving and trustworthy companion for children of all ages. They love to play, and require very little grooming besides brushing. They do tend to bark though, so be prepared. They're also a little bit of a stubborn breed, but are also highly trainable and intelligent with the right approach.
  • Rough Collie - Everybody remembers Lassie and Timmy. Who could forget all of the times that Lassie saved her favorite little boy from some of the very worst situations? The Collie is extraordinarily smart, and they love to please the people they care about most. They have a calm and gentle demeanor that comes naturally, and they are also surprisingly protective for such a gentle dog. They do require regular trips to the groomers to keep their coat neat and tidy. However, there is a short-coated version that would require much less maintenance.
  • Bernese Mountain Dog - The Bernese mountain dog is undoubtedly a big dog, topping out near 120 pounds. But they also have a big heart, and seem to be naturally drawn to children in particular. They're noticeably patient compared to most dogs, and are easy to train. This dog wants nothing more than to become pals with your little ones.

Best Dog Breeds for Seniors

  • Chihuahua - This dogs tiny size allows it to go just about anywhere with its owner. If you are a senior that likes taking your best friend with you as much as possible, then a Chihuahua just might be the dog for you. There is a long haired and short haired variety, but both are low maintenance. The long haired version does just fine with only a regular brushing at home.
  • Dachshund - Another low maintenance pooch, the Dachshund comes in three different coat types. The smooth coat and long coat both require nothing more than regular brushing at home and an occasional bath. The wire-coated Dachshund will need its coat stripped at the groomer two or three times a year. They don't require a lot of exercise, and they tend to be a one person dog, so they will form a very strong bond with their senior owners.
  • Shih Tzu - These little dogs require a little more grooming, but make the perfect companion for older folks. They thoroughly enjoy being pampered, and will love their owner with their whole heart. They're happy to sit on your lap and be petted for as long as you want.
  • Pomeranian - These dogs also require a trip to the groomer on occasion, roughly every 4 to 6 weeks. But if you're OK with that, this tiny toy breed is just overflowing with love and affection. They also enjoy going places with their owners and fit perfectly in a shoulder bag or purse for easy carrying. They usually form the best bond with one person, and like to be near that person as much as possible.

Best Dog Breeds for Water Loving Owners

  • Labrador Retriever - These dogs love water more than just about anything. If you love spending your summer boating, or hanging out at the lake, the Labrador Retriever will be more than happy to splash around with you.
  • Newfoundland - A large, but gentle breed, the Newfoundland is right at home in and around water. They are often used to aid in water rescues because of their webbed feet and ability to swim long distances. A true water dog!
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever - Another retrieving dog, this one was bred specifically to retrieve waterfowl. With their water proof coat, they are able to withstand cold water for longer periods than many other dogs. Although they were bred to hunt, they also love to play in the water with their owner.
  • Portuguese Water Dog - Originally bred to help fisherman in Portugal, the Portuguese Water Dog is a strong swimmer with webbed feet and a waterproof coat. There are two coat varieties, curly and wavy.

Different Dogs for Different People

As you can see, there are a lot of different dogs that are suited to a lot of different types of people/families. Always consider the things you enjoy, the things that are important to you in life, and your family situation when choosing a dog breed. These things might not sound important, but dogs live for a long time, so you'll want to make sure the dog you want fits with your lifestyle and your expectations.

Good luck in finding your new best friend, and don't forget that mixed breeds make lovely companions too! They also are less prone to health problems. Animal shelters work very hard to match the right dog with the right person, because they want the dogs to go to forever homes. If there are specific traits you are looking for, call your local animal shelter and ask them if they have any dogs fitting what you're looking for. They will do whatever they can to match you up with the perfect mixed breed dog.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Annalisa

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