Dog breeds, their needs, and finding which dog fits

Dog breeds, their needs, and finding which dog fits

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After careful deliberation, you’ve finally decided to get a dog (yay!), but now there is a new question: What type of dog should I get?  There are 3 main topics you should think about before getting a dog: what dog breed suits your personality best, what kind of temperament you seek in a dog, and what kind of conditions and restraints your environment poses?

Before we get into details, are you completely sure you are ready to be a dog owner? If there are still some doubts left, we invite you to check out our previous blog post [5 tips before getting a dog and giving them a nice home] 

Personality types and lifestyle

Even though each puppy has their own personality, they are heavily influenced by their breed and no two breeds are exactly the same. The main differences derive from the reasons why they were originally bred for. It is easy to assume that herding dogs will need more exercise as their job description involves running around all day and herding other animals, or Huskies that need to pull a sled for a long time and distances. Or that hunting dogs will be more alert and jumpy, with some being  even louder than others to chase the prey your way. So understanding dog breeds and finding one that suits your lifestyle best will be beneficial to you as well as the puppy coming into your home.

If you’ve found a dog breed that fits your current lifestyle, don’t forget to think about the future as well. As they will stay with you for a long long time, it’s important that you keep in mind your future lifestyle as well. So, are you active, sedentary, outgoing, introverted, or a social butterfly? Are you a hunter? Or perhaps you have special needs that your doggo could help with? All of that should be considered when choosing a dog breed.

Active lifestyle

Are you active? If you thought about getting a dog to help you keep in shape and be more outgoing, be sure you are truly up for the challenge. As some breeds are ok with a simple walk around the block, some may need a lot more exercise (think about dog breeds that were bred especially for physically demanding jobs like herding, hunting, and the likes).

Here are 10 dog breeds that need a lot of exercise:

  • Border Collie
  • Dalmatian
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Portuguese Pointer
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Shiloh Shepherd
  • Siberian Husky
  • Taiwan Dog
  • Transylvanian Hound
  • Weimaraner

Couch potatoes

Alternatively, if you are searching for a dog that needs less exercise and perhaps more cuddles on the couch, here are 10 low-maintenance dog breeds:

  • Basset Hound
  • Bolognese
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Chihuahua
  • Greyhound
  • Maltese
  • Pekingese
  • Pug
  • Shih Tzu
  • Tibetan Spaniel

Let’s be zen together

Active and loud is not always the best fit for you. Sometimes, you just need some downtime when you arrive home after a full workday and what you need are cuddles and quiet.

Here are 10 calm dog breeds you might consider:

  • Bassett Hound
  • Boerboel
  • Cavalier King Charles
  • Clumber Spaniel
  • English Bulldog
  • Great Dane
  • Greyhound
  • Newfoundland
  • Shar-Pei
  • Shih Tzu
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My Guardian

When you are in need of protection, you may consider getting a dog that will help you with that as well. Here are 10 guard dog breeds you may consider:

  • Akita
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Bullmastiff
  • Cane Corso
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Puli
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Rottweiler
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Breed health and temperament

Let’s say you’re a quiet introvert, a book lover that doesn’t venture out a lot. A nice fit would be an Irish Wolfhound – a kind and quiet teddy bear that offers companionship and affection. But what if you would like to be more active and push yourself to be more outgoing? Then a better fit might be an energetic, but still very cuddly Cairn Terrier. How about if you would prefer to have a smart, yet still calm guard dog? Then maybe the best option is a German shepherd. What we are hinting at is that it’s equally important that your dog’s temperament matches your expectations and needs as well as your type of personality.

Health risks

We don’t really want to think about our puppies getting ill, but we should be prepared for the possibilities that they might be (and pay special attention to possible signs). As dog breeds are unlike personality-wise, they also differ on health risks. For example, Cocker Spaniels and similar breeds with big floppy, furry ears are prone to frequent ear infections. Pugs and other breeds with squashed faces and bulgy eyes are at risk of eye problems. Poodles are also at a high risk of eye diseases. Great Danes and many large breeds are prone to hip dysplasia and gastric dilation and volvulus. Because of their long bodies, Dachshunds are at higher risk for back injuries and spinal disk problems. Collapsing trachea is common with Chihuahuas and other toy breeds. They are also prone to the Little White Shaker Syndrome, which is what it sounds like – an illness that causes shaking and possible issues when walking. Bulldogs are susceptible to breathing problems.

Foodies

With a lack of sufficient amount of exercise and an incorrect amount of food, there is a high risk of your dog becoming overweight. Luckily, there are ways to determine the correct amount of food your dog needs to consume daily – one tool that can help with that is the [PAWSM mobile app], which has a special nutrient calculator for optimal feeding based on established veterinarian formulas. It takes into account your chosen dog food, the dog’s daily exercise, and of course their basic data such as breed, sex, weight, age, height, etc. If you’re not sure [how to correctly weigh or measure your dog], we’ve made a small tutorial you can check out as well.

Here are 10 dog breeds that are prone to obesity:

  • Basset Hound
  • Beagle
  • Boxer
  • Bulldog
  • Dachshund
  • English Mastiff
  • Golden Retriever
  • Pug
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Yorkies

Don’t get me mad

Some dogs are more temperamental than others. Mostly it’s defined as barking, biting, lunging, snarling, etc. towards other people or dogs. If you think you can handle them, here is a list of 10 aggressive dog breeds:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Chihuahua
  • Dachshund
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Dalmatian
  • Rottweiler
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • German Shepherd
  • Siberian Husky

Family-friendly

When it’s not just you, but there are younglings around (or will be in the future) that should be taken into account as well. Here are 10 family-friendly dog breeds you might look into:

  • Boxer
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Collie
  • Golden Retriever
  • Great Dane
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Newfoundland
  • Poodle
  • Pug
  • Saint Bernard

Environmental restrictions and conditions

Even if you have found the perfect breed that fits your personality and has the temperament you desire, that is still not enough. Every doggo deserves to have the perfect home as well. And we’re not talking about a loving family, but the right environment where they can flourish. You can’t have a Great Dane confined in a studio apartment that already houses a cat, a hamster, and a family of three, can you?

No matter the breed, there are still some conditions that you need to cater to, such as providing:

  • food and water
  • a comfortable, dry, draught-free, clean, and quiet place to rest
  • designated toilet place or regular opportunities to go to an appropriate place
  • access to a place where they can exercise at least once a day, play, and possibly meet other dogs
  • a place to hide if afraid
  • suitable objects to entertain themselves, chew, and play with
  • suitable size and temperature of any place they will stay at (even when in transport), as well as appropriate comfort
  • security and safety from hazards
  • supervision and not let them stray

That said, everything we’ve pointed out from their temperament, personality, different health risks, to special conditions of each breed, environmental restrictions, and also our wishes, it should all be carefully considered when choosing what breed our furry companion should be.

Have you already found your perfect breed?

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