When thinking about adopting a dog, take some serious time to consider a few things: Size, Coat, Personality, Independence, and Energy Level.
Size is a huge factor when trying to determine what breed you’d like to adopt. Sizes vary according to height in inches and also in pounds.
Small breeds qualify at 14 in. or smaller and weigh 20 lbs. or less. So if a purse dog is what you want look into small breeds also referred to as toy breeds as they are close to the size of a small stuffed animal. Breeds that are considered toy breeds include Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahua, Pug, and Shih Tzu’s to name a few. (1)
Medium dogs are considered 15-24 inches and are between 21-55 lbs. Bull Terriers, Bull Dogs, Australian Shepard dogs, and Shar-Pei’s are popular breeds in this size group. (2)
Large dogs qualify as being 25-27 inches tall, and weigh 56-115 lbs. the size of a small child or small adult. The large breeds are usually for people are willing to put a good amount of time into their animals based on size they need plenty of space. Some large breeds include Alaskan Malamutes, America Bull Dogs, American Foxhounds, and Bernese Mountain Dogs to name a few. (3)
The coat of an animal you’d like is crucial. Allergies play a huge part in determining this as well as how clean you prefer to keep your home. Coat types can vary; there are short, curly, wiry, medium lengths, feathered, fluffy, and long. Some shed more than others so be sure to do your due diligence before picking out your pooch. (4) .
Are you outgoing and want a companion to take to dog parks or attend doggy day camp? Or are you a bit anti-social who just wants a companion like yourself? Would you like to be able to have friends over without worrying about an over protective dog? These are questions that should be determined of yourself and your potential pooch before picking him out. The friendliness of a dog plays a huge part in choosing a breed because some are very friendly and some are not at all. Some breeds are social, and some prefer to be alone.
Do you work from home? Can you take long enough lunch breaks to get home to see your dog? How long will you trust your dog at home alone? Do you intend to crate train him? All these questions pertain to the independence you want for your dog. This pertains to how self-sufficient your dog can be not how much attention he requires. If you can’t trust them alone and don’t want to try crate training, you can try Doggy Day Camp as a great solution. This allows dogs to socialize with friends in a monitored and controlled environment, and they come home exhausted. Although this can become expensive, many places offer discounts for multiple day packages. Be sure to put some thought into this as well.
Breed energy levels vary from extremely high energy level to very low energy level.. But it is crucial to remember that all dogs are individuals and some may act different if they are mixed breeds or one breed is stronger than the other. Some examples of high-energy dog breeds are an Australian Shepherd, Boxer, Border Collie, and a Jack Russell Terrier. Some examples of low energy dog breeds are Shih Tzu, Saint Bernard, Mastiff, and a Bull Dog.
Before choosing a breed you clearly need to do some self-evaluation. You should fully understand what you want in a furry friend. Be sure to ask yourself all these questions and you should be prepared and knowledgeable on certain breeds. Have in mind a particular breed so the animal specialist can assist you in finding the prefect furry companion!
By Chelsea Nelson (Dog Walks Now Contributor)
Chelsea Nelson is originally from Upton Ma, and is currently a senior at Westfield State University. She intends to graduate in May 2015. She is studying English with a writing concentration. She has had dogs her entire life and currently has 3 dogs, Jasmine an 11 year old St. Bernard Hound, Kodiak an 8 year old Labrador retriever, and Bear a 2 year old chow lab mix. She has also worked at a kennel for 4 years and still works their on holidays and breaks from school. Read her dog blog or follow her on twitter.