A Life with Dogs

Chapter 2. What type of dog is right for you?

Chapter 2. What type of dog is right for you?

Chapter 2

"It's easy to fall love with any dog, no matter its age, breed, size, or sex, but why leave it entirely up to chance? If you hate the thought of exercise, it's important to know that some breeds won't be compatible with your lifestyle. Likewise, if you are searching for a family dog that is good with kids, it is helpful to know which breeds are best."

In Chapter One, I introduced you to our first Royoni puppy Dudley, and also to our 'Life with Dogs' inspiration Jerry, Royoni-Naughty-on-Arrival. Close friends of mine loved their rescue Greyhound (a.k.a. The Slug), and our neighbours had very busy Kelpies, but we chose a Cocker Spaniel, because he was perfect for us.

So, what type of dog is right for you? 

Listed here are considerations you should make when choosing the perfect dog.

If you:

Are active
If you’re a marathon runner, outdoor enthusiast, or live your life by the motto of the post man (neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow…), a dog from the sporting or working group might be right for you. Siberian Huskies, Australian Shepherds, German Shepherds, German Shorthaired Pointers, Labrador Retrievers, and similar breeds all require a lot of exercise in order to behave in a semi-sane manner. If you are not active but have your heart set on one of these dogs, consider adopting a senior from the shelter who will have slowed down a bit, or hiring a dog walker and looking into doggy day-care.  

Are not active
If being a couch potato is more your style (let’s be real here, whose style isn’t more spud than stud?), there are plenty of dogs for you. Any breed that is Brachycephalic (i.e. has a flat face and short snout) will much prefer chilling on the couch than romping around outdoors. Examples include Bulldogs, King Charles Cavalier Spaniels, Pekingese, and Pugs. In fact, many of these dogs are physically incapable of more than 20 – 30minute exercise bursts, giving you the perfect excuse to get out of long walks.

Are Independent
If you prefer a dog that speaks to your indie heart, consider a Shiba Inu, Afghan Hound, Chow Chow, or Shar Pei. These dogs (among others) are known for being able to spend time both with – and without – their owners comfortably. 

Are Clingy
If you would prefer a dog that sticks to you like Velcro, consider a small companion breed.  The majority of dogs have been bred for a specific purpose such as hunting, guarding, herding, etc. Small dogs, such as Maltese, Bichon Frise, Chinese Crested, and Yorkshire Terriers have their purpose rooted in providing companionship to people. 

As such, they will not enjoy time spent away from their owners and will cling to them like glue. If small dogs aren’t your jam, consider a German Shorthaired Pointer, Labrador Retriever, or Doberman Pinscher instead. These dogs strongly prefer the company of their human companions, and dislike being alone.

Are Allergic to Dogs
If you know you are allergic to dog fur (as opposed to saliva or dander), a hypoallergenic dog may be best for you. Poodles, Chinese Crested (Hairless) Dogs, and Australian Labradoodles, Cavoodles & Moodles are perfect if you are more likely to sneeze than snuggle when a dog walks into the room.

Don’t Mind Noise
Some dogs are more vocal than others. These include Beagles, Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, Retrievers and many toy breeds. Some apartment complexes even specifically ban hound dogs, as they have a tendency to howl throughout the day. If the baying of beagles doesn’t make your heart swell, be sure to research quieter dogs instead.

Prefer Peace and Quiet
There are plenty of pets that prefer to keep to themselves and only bark when necessary.  According to dogtime.com, quiet dogs do exist. These include the Otterhound, Old English Sheepdog, Miniature Pinscher, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Papillon, among others. On the downside, these pups may be more likely to lick a burglar to death than alert you to its presence.

Have Kids
Dogs that are good with kids include American Staffordshire Terriers, German Shorthaired Pointers, Labrador Retrievers, Brittany Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels, and Golden Retrievers.As with any animal, the dog must be properly trained and socialized, while the child must be taught appropriate behaviour around dogs. However, these breeds (among others) are especially patient with the unpredictable sounds and movements of small children.  

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself” - Josh Billings

Live in an Apartment
Most small breeds are great for apartment living, except for Beagles or Shiba Inus. Do you live in an Apartment? Surprisingly, giant breed dogs are also good for living in small quarters. Great Danes, Greyhounds, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Bulldogs are all great roommates (and neighbours) in apartment complexes. Check your local area, zone or council for apartment living conditions, as these will differ from state to state.

Aren’t Sure What You Want?
It’s okay not to know exactly what you want. In this case, it can be beneficial to sit down with an adoption counsellor at your local shelter or rescue and discuss your lifestyle. Include how often you are away from home, your budget, your exercise preferences, and how affectionate of a dog you would like. Chances are, the perfect dog for your family is already waiting for you.

If you are thinking a purebred puppy is best for you, our next chapter will discuss tips for buying one.
Chapter Three - Coming Soon

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