Choosing the right dog for you

A dog is a long-term commitment to make, so it’s really important to choose a dog that suits your lifestyle, your energy levels, your environment and your personality too. There are many factors to take into consideration. We’ve made a list below of different aspects to consider before bringing a new family member into your life.

Age:

When adopting a dog, one choice you will need to make is whether to adopt a puppy or an adult dog. While puppies are cute, like babies, they need a lot of care and attention, and a tremendous amount of work goes into training a puppy.

If this is your first dog or you can’t dedicate time to training, socialising and exercising a young or adolescent puppy, an adult dog might be the better option. When you adopt an adult, you are likely to have a good idea of their physical traits and temperament, and if they will fit into your home life.

If you are concerned that an older dog won’t bond with you, the remarkable thing is that dogs are resilient and open-hearted, and having a little baggage shouldn’t put you off opening your heart to an older dog.

Size:

Size of dog is also a very important factor. How much exercise will the dog need? How big is your car? Are you able to offer your dog a big enough space to relax and play? Some small dogs are actually much more active than larger dogs, so temperament can affect the amount of space a dog needs. These are all things to consider when choosing the right dog for you.

Coat lengths and types:

Some breeds of dog require regular grooming. Others tend to malt more than others due to multiple coats. How much time do you have spare for grooming your dog? It’s also worth noting that some dogs are more likely to hold odour, especially those that enjoy swimming and have long coats. Less-shedding dog breeds do exist…is that a breed that would suit you?

Temperament:

Many dogs were bred to be working dogs. This means that some may have a high level of energy and will need a lot of exercise and activities to keep them entertained e.g. a terrier will have a different temperament to herding dogs such as Border Collies and Kelpies. It is important to research into different breeds to see if they are right for you and your lifestyle.

If a dog is not kept challenged and exercised that’s when they become most mischievous. Where you buy your dog from will also affect its temperament. If you can, spend some time with the puppy’s parents to see what their temperament is like.

Health:

Your dog’s health is not something that you can predict but it is worth noting that certain breeds are more prone to health conditions than others. This is one reason why the cost of dog insurance can vary depending on dog breed. It might be worth getting an insurance quote before making your decision, to see if this is affordable.

Finally, talk to a rescue. They have a lot of experience at matching the dogs with the right homes and would be delighted to find their dogs their forever homes.