Which Breed is Right for Me??

Big – small, long hair – short hair, active – lazy, big appetite – small appetite, big garden – small garden, puppy – adult, children – no children, inside dog – outside dog, pure-breed – mix-breed, lots of grooming – minimal grooming, easy to train – not so easy to train?

These are just a few of the factors that will help determine what breed of dog you choose.
One of the main reasons for dogs ending up in shelters is because far too many people rush into the decision of getting a dog, they want it then and there, and end up with the wrong breed for them and their lifestyle!!

My aunty-in-law is a great example of this… She always loved Border Collies because her sister-in-law had always had them and she loved the look of them. One day she decided to bring one home. After a few months of being at work and leaving the puppy at home, the poor thing got so bored, in an attempt to release some energy it ran around and around causing a figure 8 to be engrained in their garden!! Those breeds are bred to work and to herd – they need to be kept active with lots of room to run. Unfortunately they realized they couldn’t cope and had to give the puppy away.

Jase and I have chosen to get a Golden Retriever. We have put a lot of thought into this. We both love big dogs. Plus we are newlyweds and will want to start a family in the next couple of years – so our biggest prerequisite was that we found a breed that is known to be great with children. We have a medium sized garden. We both love exercise and we live very close to 3 beautiful dog friendly parks! Plus – I fell in love with my aunties Golden, Diesel, he has the most beautiful temperament I have ever met in a dog! (he is the one in these photos)

Please don’t just choose a dog because you like the way it looks. Please make sure to do your research and find a breed that matches you and your families environment, lifestyle and energy levels. And I am always more than happy to help.

Mel xox




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  1. Lisa Klibansky
    Lisa Klibansky says:

    Hi Mel, loving your blog! I have a question about leaving your dog at home while you're at work. As you know, we have a bichon-poodle puppy. Whenever I'm not working, he's with me. I take him to parent's houses, friend's houses, or just stay with him at home, so that he has company as much as possible. However, both Brad and I work full time, so he is often alone from say 8 in the morning until 5.30 in the afternoon. I leave toys and food and water and a kong out for him, he has access to an area where he can run plus a small inside area to sleep, but I still feel guilty. Should I be doing anything differently? Brad and I are thinking of letting him sleep in our bed at night so at least he's not along at night as well but I've heard that is a bad idea! What are your thoughts/advice?

  2. Mel Thurin
    Mel Thurin says:

    Hi Lise,

    I am so glad you are enjoying my blog!

    My first and biggest bit of advice, is to not let him sleep in your bed. This is a bad idea. Having them in your bed makes them feel equal to you and this is not how it should be – you and Brad are his pack leader, you are his boss. You should always invite him onto the bed – he should never jump up himself. As adorable as he may be, he still needs rules and boundaries.

    Dogs like feeling secure when they sleep and they like having their own area. My suggestion is the laundry for sleeping or a small secure room. Make it somewhere he enjoys going to – play with him in there, feed him in there – it should never be a punishment, he should want to go to his bed.

    In terms of leaving him at home, this is ok too. Jase and I will be doing the same thing a couple days a week when we get our dog. Dogs need to learn to be on their own. I promise you, he will end up sleeping the day away. Has he done anything destructive whilst you've been at work?? If you do feel guilty, which I totally understand, get up a little earlier before work and take him to the park for a run around or take him for a good walk. A dog that gets to release its energy and that gets outside, will be less destructive when left home alone. There will be days where we will leave our dog at home for up to 8 hours – on these days, I will make sure to take him out before we go to work and as well as after work. I think that will help avoid you feeling guilty because he will be getting out enough and give him the time to enjoy being a dog,

    I hope that answers your questions. Please let me know if there is anything else you need. Brad has my number, so feel free to call me if you need.

  3. Lisa Klibansky
    Lisa Klibansky says:

    Thanks so much Mel, amazing advice! I knew I had heard somewhere that it was a bad idea to let dogs sleep with you. I'm trying to walk him every morning as well, so at least I can spend time with him in between when he wakes up and when I have to leave for work. I took your advice with the toilet training and he's pretty much there, which is amazing considering we've only had him three weeks! All your advice is incredibly helpful, makes me feel much more in control and he is really responding so well to everything. I can't thank you enough!