Getting a puppy to join the family is such an exciting event, it is like bringing a newborn baby home. Every puppy looks cute when they are small, chubby and cuddly. It is so irresistable to bring that cute puppy home. However, regardless what dog breed it is, eventually that cute puppy will grow bigger until he/she reached adolescence. The cute puppy stage is rather short and flies pass before we realised it. We should plan ahead and be prepared.
Many people have made the same mistake, they select the dog breed by appearance rather than temperament, size, energy level and experience in dog handling. Raising a puppy is big commitment. Every dog owner should treat their dogs as part of their family. Dog owners should not have any backplans such as, sell the dog if family member does not accept the dog, or rehome the dog if he/she does not match your lifestyle, or send the dog to the pound if he/she has behavioural issues, etc. Dog owners should not give up on their dogs so easily, just like dogs never give up on their owners or pack. Every dog sees themselves as part of the family or pack.
In order to raise the puppy happily, develop and sustain a good relationship with them, choosing the right breed is essential. Most breeders and professional trainers recommend to select a breed that suits your lifestyle, rather than change your lifestyle to match the dog’s needs and temperament. In many cases, dog owners will fail to match the dog’s needs and end up being frustrated and disappointed.
Things to consider when choosing the right breed:
1. Experience in dog handling
Some breeds such as Rottweiler, Doberman, German Shepherd, Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute may have stronger personality, tends to be stubborn and dominant. These breeds are strong and powerful, they need an experienced handler who is capable to take the authority and keep them under control.
2. Size of your home
Many dog owners would think that they will take their dogs out for a walk everyday. The house is only a place for the dog to rest. Bear in mind, your house needs to be big enough for the dog to move around comfortably as well. It is not ideal for a Great Dane or Saint Bernard to live in small apartment.
3. Family members
Extra large breeds may not be ideal in a family with young children and/or elderly. All family members physically strong enough to control the dog. As they are extremely strong, they can knock the child or elderly over easily.
4. Physical exercise & time availability
Select the breed that suits your lifestyle and energy level. The hunting, sporting, guard dogs and gundogs are working breeds. Breeds such as Border Collies, Pointers, Husky, Australian Shepherds, Ridgeback, or Weimeraner are high energy level dogs.These working breeds need a lot of physical exercise and mental stimulation. Ask yourself, do you have time and energy to train and exercise them? If you don’t, they will get bored and develop behavioural issues.
Large and extra large breeds obviously cost more to maintain, as they need more and large in everything. Grooming is another factor to consider. Long coated breeds such as Poodles, Schnauzers, Cocker Spaniels or Maltese require regular haircuts/grooming. Breeds such as Husky, Malamute, Samoyed, Golden Retriever, Labrador may not need haircuts, but they shed a lot. Are you prepare to brush them everyday and vacuum your house regularly? There are ongoing costs, such as dog food, regular health checks, grooming expenses and other unexpected vet bills or expenses that owners need to consider.
In conclusion, to prevent unexpected issues and frustrations, do some research about the breed that you are interested in. Remember, raising a dog is a lifetime commitment. It is unfair for the dog when he/she does not meet your requirement.