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Which dog breed should I get?

Updated: 6 days ago

Are you thinking of adding a new dog to your family? Congratulations, this is such an exciting time! However, before bringing home a new dog, there is a lot to consider when deciding which dog breed is best for you and which dog breed will suit you and your lifestyle best. Currently, the UK Kennel Club have over 220 breeds and if you add in the number of cross breeds into this decision making process, you could easily become overwhelmed with choice.

To help you, here are our 5 things to consider when deciding which dog breed to get:

#1 How much time do you have to exercise and train your dog?

All dogs require regular exercise, however some breeds require a lot more activity than others. Think about how much time you have and how much energy you have to take your dog for a walk and which dog breed suits your activity levels best.

Maintaining a commitment can be easier said than done, so try walking once or twice a day now, in advance of choosing which dog breed is right for you, to get into the habit of walking in all weathers and get a feel of how much exercise you really want to do.

#2 Is a working line dog or show line dog best for you?

Many breeds of dog have a “show line” and a “working line” which is a whole other topic in itself but, in a nutshell, working line dogs come from generations of dogs that have a job and love and need to work whereas show line dogs tend to (but not always) come from stock that is bred for conformation showing and therefore aren’t quite as genetically hard wired to want to work.

Of course there are always exceptions, but if you get a working line dog you should expect it to want and need a job. That means you need to make time for a lot of mental stimulation as well as appropriate physical exercise. We see this significant split between “working” and “show” lines a lot in gundog breeds and border collies.

So carefully consider the time and effort you want to put in when deciding whether a working line or show line dog breed is best for you.

#3 How much grooming do you actually want to do?

Brushing your dog’s long locks may be a really nice idea but the reality of grooming dogs with long, thick or curly hair can be hard going and time consuming.

Do you want to spend time picking out dirt and grass seeds after every walk? Do you have time to brush your dog every day? Do you have the facilities to wash and dry your dog in your bathroom? All this needs to be considered when choosing which dog breed is right for you.

And remember, if a breed is said to be “non shedding” then you will need to clip them or pay for them to be clipped by a groomer on a regular basis. Unfortunately, non-shedding does not mean low maintenance!

#4 Carefully consider likelihood of health issues

It may seem strange, and even a bit sad, to consider ill health at this stage, but a big part of responsible dog ownership is understanding the health and wellbeing needs of the dog you intend to bring home.

The reality is that some dog breeds are prone to certain illnesses more than others. Make sure you do your research into this before deciding which dog breed is right for you. Breed society websites are a great place to start and speaking to other owners of the breed can offer a real life insight into what living with that particular breed is like. If you are looking at a mix of two breeds, make sure you research both breeds as being a cross breed doesn’t mean that the health issues do not apply.

And once you have found a breed that you are happy you can live with, make sure your breeder does the relevant health testing.

#5 Which dog breed will fit into your lifestyle?

Be truly honest with yourself about the lifestyle you live right now and how a dog will fit into that. If you don’t like walking a great deal, it is unlikely that getting a dog is going to significantly change that. Although you might find the motivation to take them out initially, you may find that once the nights draw in and the cold winters are upon us, the novelty of dog walks wear off. In which case you are better opting for a dog that won’t destroy the house if you fancy a day snuggled up on the sofa together. Or perhaps even (dare we say it) get a cat instead! If you live in an area with lots of neighbours, a dog breed that has a tendency to be vocal may not make you popular! But, a sociable dog breed that enjoys plenty of naps may be just the right fit. I’m sure you are getting the idea… Think about what your day to day life looks like and which dog breed would be most compatible with it.

Be prepared for your new dog with help from All Positive Dog Services

If you are considering bringing a dog home and would like to be as prepared as possible for your new arrival, check out our One to One Session with one of the All Positive Dog Training team. We would love to help you start dog ownership with the best foot (or paw!) forward.



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