Finding the perfect four-legged friend for your family isn’t always an easy task. Just like humans, every dog is different and brings its own unique personality to the table. I like to imagine searching for the perfect pooch kind of like a dating show. You want to find a dog whose personality and temperament matches with your family’s lifestyle, and vice versa. However, this is often easier said than done, especially when they hit you with those adorable puppy dog eyes. You must dig beyond the fluffy exterior to find the pooch that’s right for you. This guide explores several important things to consider when choosing a dog breed for your family.
Individual health factors
Everyone’s bodies get a bit brittle with age—including dogs. When you’re choosing a dog for your family, be sure to consider how their age may affect their overall health and fitness level. If your family leads a more relaxed lifestyle and prefers reading over rock climbing, an older pooch may be the perfect companion for you. You should also be aware of the specific health conditions that are common among different dog breeds. Certain breeds may be more prone to certain health conditions and may require additional veterinary care over the course of their lives. Remember, every dog deserves a loving family. Pups with specific health conditions may just require a bit more love and care than others.
Dogs can be quite active and energetic creatures, especially during their puppy years. Take a dog’s activity level into consideration before you adopt it. Breeds that require more frequent exercise are better suited to active families who will make time for daily walks or hiking expeditions. Breeds that prefer heavy exercise often include those in the sporting, hunting, and herding groups, such as Australian shepherds, retrievers, and collies. Breeds that are in the toy or non-sporting groups are often a bit more content to laze around the house; they’re best suited for families that prefer to cuddle up with a good book.
Compatibility with your family
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when you’re choosing a dog breed is their compatibility with your family. Certain dog breeds are more comfortable in a family setting than others, and some may be a better fit within your family’s dynamic than others. Bear in mind that dogs have served in many different positions throughout history, from herding to hunting, and this can play a large part in their overall temperament within a family setting. As a result, certain breeds may be more comfortable around young children, while others may prefer to associate with a slightly older crowd. Additionally, some breeds can be quite territorial, so they may not do well in a home with other pets. You should consider all these elements when searching for a furry friend. A good way to assess a dog’s level of comfort within your family dynamic is to schedule several meet-and-greets before the adoption day. This will help the dog get more comfortable around your family and give you and your kids opportunities to get acquainted with the dog.