Getting a dog is a big decision. Your furry friend will make up a big part of your life and is a big commitment to make.
So, it was a shock when research found just over half of owners (51%) don’t research their dog’s breed before getting them. On top of this worrying statistic, the study found 22% of owners regret choosing their pet’s breed.
Every dog has its own unique personality, but different breeds tend to have common traits and behaviours. Take Labradors for example, they’re renown for being playful and affectionate pups while Shih Tzu’s are more aloof characters. That means not all breeds are suitable to different owners’ lifestyles and it’s important to do some research and planning before you choose a dog.
Here are some of the things you should think about before choosing your dog’s breed.
#1 How Much Time Will You Spend With Your Dog?
Some dogs need a walk three times a day and others won’t like being left alone for long periods of time. Others are a bit more independent and don’t like too much exercise. But, all dogs require a lot of love and care.
Think carefully about whether you have the time to commit to a dog which needs more attention, or if you should think about a more independent breed.
#2 Have You Owned a Dog Before?
When it comes to training your new dog, some breeds are easier to handle than others. If you’re a nervous first-timer, it’s not a good idea to pick a dog breed with complex behavioural needs because that can lead to further problems like separation anxiety.
If you’re a confident dog owner, training a dog who has a reputation for being a bit harder to handle can be very rewarding, and their cheeky personality is sure to keep you on your toes.
#3 Is Your Home Suitable?
Bigger dog breeds need plenty of space to run around so a house with a sizeable garden is a must. If you live in a smaller home with limited outside space, a smaller dog might be more appropriate.
It’ also important that you can give your new dog their own space. Providing a specific area or room where they can sleep will help them settle in, especially in busy family homes.
#4 Who Else Do You Live With?
Whatever your family setup, you need to make sure the dog breed you choose is happy to live in those conditions.
If you have a busy family home, there are some dog breeds that don’t enjoy living with small children. And before you get your dog, you might want to meet them a few times to make sure it’s confident and gentle around your children.
#5 How Are You with Complications…?
The last thing to think about is whether you can cope with shedding or drool. Bulldogs might look cute, but they tend to drool more than other breeds. And as lovable as golden retrievers are, they shed their fur, so you need to be prepared to vacuum more often!
Owning a dog is rewarding and a lot of fun, but it’s also a big responsibility. To help you kick start your research, check out the Pawfect Match tool from Sainsbury’s which will pair you with a dog breed to match your lifestyle, it’s a fun and nifty little tool to help you out.