It is amazing how many dog breeds there are out there and each one comes with its own personality trait, lifestyle requirements and susceptibilities to certain medical conditions. All of the above should be taken into consideration when you are thinking about getting a puppy or older dog for yourself or your family.
It is a commitment on your part for the next 15 years to care and look after this new mate. Over the decades, as people’s lives have become busier, housing has become more concentrated and many dog laws are now in place. This certainly has had an effect on dog ownership and the dogs themselves.
Stimulation and exercise
No longer is it OK to let “Sparky” roam around the neighbourhood, meet up with other dogs or have an exciting sniff at someone else’s house or in a park. These days dogs need to be confined to our backyards. They rely on us to stimulate them by taking them for regular walks and to keep the boredom at bay, whilst we are away at work during the day.
For example, by having chosen a breed that requires a much higher degree of mental stimulation (eg working dog breeds) we may inadvertently create little monsters who are so bored, that they start to bark continuously, dig up our yards and rip the washing off the lines.
Some breeds are naturally timid and here a lack of training and socialization from an early age may have caused it to become timid, scared of other dogs or even people and this may have resulted in “fear aggression”.
Personalities and size
Dogs need to suit your personality, your lifestyle, your housing situation and your family in general. It is a good idea to do some reading on dog psychology to understand how they think and act.
Please contact us any time for some free advice on how to pick the right dog breed for you.
It is advisable to research about dog breeds in general. Breeds over many hundreds to thousands of years have evolved due to their special abilities in certain areas.
There are seven groups dog breeds are categorised into:
- TOY –
small in size and adorable in looks, their main function is to give sheer enjoyment. Although they are small, they can be tough as nails and can have a very determined bark to scare off many a large intruder or visitors. Their key advantage is their small size, as inner suburban living is becoming more common. Smaller will also be the amount of hair shed, messes made and food bills. And training aside, it will always be easier to manage a 5kg dog than one 5 times that size.
- TERRIER – these have a unique personality of being feisty, energetic and can often be quite small in size. They often have little tolerance for other animals including dogs, as they were bred to hunt and kill vermin. Most have a wiry coat and need regular grooming and clipping and as they are very energetic and engaging pets, they do require owners with a matching determination.
- GUNDOGS – these dogs are by nature very active and alert and are pleasant and well-
rounded companions. They have great instincts in water and the forests and are still actively used in hunting and other field activities. Potential owners need to realize that most would require very regular and invigorating exercise.
- HOUND – their ancestral trait is being used extensively for hunting. Some have phenomenal scenting powers, others have amazing stamina. Hounds are a very diverse lot, some of which bay instead of barking, so it would pay as a potential owner to sample this sound first and to be aware that some of the hounds are very difficult to handle off lead… if they pick up a scent it can render them incomprehensible.
- WORKING – these dogs share a fantastic ability to coordinate the movement of other animals. The vast majority of these “herding dogs” are often household pets who have often never seen a farm animal BUT pure instinct prompts many of these dogs to gently herd their owners, especially the children of the family. In general, these intelligent dogs make excellent companions although they often require mental stimulation and plenty of exercise. They respond beautifully to training exercises.
- UTILITY – these dogs were bred to guard, perform rescues and even to pull sleighs and often have been invaluable to man. They are quick to learn, very intelligent and often make great companions. Their often large size and strength alone though, make many working dogs unsuitable as pets for average families. These dogs must be properly trained!
SPORTING – often known to be very sturdy with many different personalities and looks. Their characteristics are best looked up under the individual breeds.
The following links may help you in making a decision of “choosing the right breed for you”.
Please note, that we in no way encourage solely pure breeds as pets, crosses can often be more versatile and better suited to you. Instead of looking up one breed, you may have to look up the traits of two or even three breeds.
Dog Breeds –
Look up individual breeds and get an outline of the group of breeds it is found in, get an outline of it’s character, temperament and activity and the type of care and training that is required. At the end of each breed there is a characteristics rating.
A basic computer program, which asks you broad questions about your lifestyle and then offers some breed suggestions, tailored to you. Maybe slightly basic, but definitely a start to choosing a suitable dog for you.
Canine Inherited Disorders Database
- A very comprehensive site, which lists the more serious and common disorders in specific breeds that are thought to have an inherited component and gives very extensive information about these conditions.