Have you decided to bring a new furry friend into your family? Well, you are not alone. According to the ASPCA, there are 70-80 million dogs owned as pets in the United States today. Hopefully, before you even think about what type of dog breed might be right for your family, you will consider adopting from your local shelter. Every year, approximately 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in shelters. When you adopt a shelter dog, you save a life!
Now that you know where to find your new companion, it is time to consider what dog breeds may be right for you. Man’s best friend comes in all shapes, sizes and personalities. We have separated the dog breeds into three main categories: small dog breeds, large dog breeds and largest dog breeds. Feel free to explore each section and learn more about particular dog breeds that may interest you. Here are some considerations you should make in choosing the right dog breed for you.
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Begin by thinking of your home. For example, if you live by yourself in a cramped apartment on the third floor, then adopting a large active dog may not be the best choice. But, if you have a family that will run and play with your dog, then a big dog may be just fine!
In making your decision, think about how much exercise the dog needs, how big he is going to get, how friendly he needs to be, if he is good with children, and how assertive he is.
Purebred or Mixed Breed?
The next thing to consider is if you want a pure breed or a mixed breed. You usually can find plenty of both in animal shelters. If you go with a pure breed, you can look and see what characteristics are common of that breed. With a mixed breed, you may end up with a dog that is a perfectly wonderful mix of traits. On the other side of the coin, your mixed breed could have a mixture of traits that won’t work for you. However, according to the Humane Society of the United States, mixed breed dogs are less likely to have genetic birth defects than purebred dogs are.
Are you thinking of adopting a perky little puppy or an older and wiser canine? Each choice has its advantages and disadvantages. Keep in mind that younger dogs generally require much more training and supervision. If you don’t have the time or energy to work on housetraining, an older dog may be a better choice for you.
Are you looking for a cuddly couch potato, or an active dog that can run an agility course? Be sure to check out the activity level of whatever dog you are interested in.
If you have children, it is important to know how the dog is likely to interact with them. If the dog appears friendly, likes to be touched and is not sensitive to handling or to noise, it may be the right choice if you have children.
And there you have it! Follow these guidelines and with the help of our information on dog breeds, you will hopefully find the right canine companion for you and your family.