Are you thinking, which dog breed is right for me? Choosing the right dog breed to suit you, your family, your home, your energy levels and your lifestyle is SO important. Putting the time and effort into researching this and finding the perfect dog for you and your family will really help to set you up for success. Start out on a good note. You and your dog will be better off for it.
One of the main reasons dogs end up in shelters is because people rush into the decision of getting a dog based on looks or availability without actually researching the breed. I do believe that all breeds are trainable and I don’t love giving stereotypes to certain breeds. In saying that, different breeds were bred for different reasons so they do have some inbuilt characteristics that can help us determine if that dog will be suitable for you and your family. If you want to know more about the breed groups and which breed sits in each group, click here.
You also need to think about some of the characteristics that are important to you and your family.
These are just a few of the factors that will help determine what breed of dog you choose.
- Big dog, medium dog or small dog
- Long hair or short hair
- Active dog, medium energy or lazy dog
- Do you have a big garden, small garden or no garden
- Do you want a puppy or an adult dog
- Do you have children /grandchildren or no children
- Do you want a pure-breed or mix-breed
- Do you have allergies?
- Lots of grooming or minimal grooming
- Easy to train or not so easy to train
My Aunty is a great example of choosing the wrong breed for their lifestyle. She always loved Border Collies because her sister-in-law had always had them and more than anything she loved the way they looked. 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 and stressed, 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 – their minds need to be kept active with tasks to keep them busy and they need lots of room to run around. Unfortunately, they realised 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. In saying that, we know that we will need to put a lot of work into training in those early days. 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 Uncles Golden, Diesel, he has the most beautiful temperament I have ever met in a dog!
The biggest message I want you to take from this post is 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. There are lots of websites that can help you select the right breed for you and your family. But please feel free to get in touch with me, I am always more than happy to help.
PPS. Make sure to head to our SHOP if you haven’t already! Spoil yourself and your dog!!
Lisa Klibansky July 11, 2012 at 11:10 pm
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?
Mel Thurin July 11, 2012 at 11:37 pm
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.
secrets05 July 12, 2012 at 4:01 am
What great advice!!
Lisa Klibansky July 12, 2012 at 4:38 am
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!
Mel Thurin July 12, 2012 at 8:09 am
So happy to hear that Lise!!! You need to be patient and persistent with puppies. Keep up the hard work!