Every dog lover has their favourite breeds, whether we love them for their looks, their intelligence or their personality. However, when you’re choosing a new friend for life, you have to go beyond these headline attributes and think really deeply about whether they’re right for you. A Siberian Husky or Alaskan Malamute may look fantastic, but if you don’t have the time and energy to devote to their needs, you won’t get along well with these strong, high-energy dogs.
Whether you choose to buy from a breeder or take in a rescue dog, there are a number of factors to consider.
Whilst it would be nice to say you should choose your dog for love alone, we simply can’t emphasise enough how important it is to be sure that you can afford to look after your new pet. As well as the initial cost of acquiring your dog, take into consideration pet insurance, vet fees, the cost of boarding if you should go on holiday, equipment like leads, beds and toys, and daily expenses like food. Remember, a larger dog will eat more and thus cost a bit more to keep than their tiny counterparts. Think about grooming requirements, too – if your dog needs specialist grooming that you can’t do yourself, this will add to their maintenance costs.
Although this is a factor that may change in the future, it is important to think about where you live, and how that will impact your choice of pet. The amount of space you have available is an important factor; a Great Dane or Mastiff will take up an awful lot of room! Outdoor space is also vital for energetic breeds who need space to play and exercise, like Border Collies. If you don’t have a garden of your own, you’ll need to be able to take your dog somewhere suitable on a regular basis. Some breeds also have very specific requirements; for example, stairs can present a health risk to Dachshunds because of their very short legs and elongated spines.
It’s important to take every member of the family into consideration when you make your choice, including who’s going to be directly involved in caring for the dog, how much time and energy they have, and when they will be at home. If your entire family is out of the house for large parts of the day at work and school, then breeds who often suffer separation anxiety, like the Weimaraner, aren’t a good match. If you have boisterous children, you need a dog who will cope well with their attention, and if you lead a quieter life you’ll want a calmer dog to match. This is one of the advantages of rescuing an older dog from a shelter – you’ll have more of an idea of their individual personality and needs, instead of relying simply on the tendencies of the breed.
Whichever type of dog you choose, at CK9 Training we’re here to support you with training, dog walking and even behavioural consultations. For more information, get in touch with us on 07739 815 265 to speak to a member of our friendly team.