There are many different dog types out there and when it comes to adding a new pup to your family, it’s important to choose a dog type that is compatible with your family. Today our Raleigh vet clinic team is weighing in with their advice for choosing the right dog for a happy family all around.
Dog Types: Raleigh Vets Share Tips on Finding the Right Dog For You
For your family and your new pup to be happy, it’s important that you know a little bit about the dog types out there. So, what do we mean when we talk about “dog types”? We’re not just talking about breeds of dog, we’re also talking about a dog’s size, their activity level, their coat, and their individual personality.
How to Choose the Right Dog Type?
With so many characteristics to consider how does anyone choose a dog that’s right for their family in the first place? We suggest sitting down as a family and talking about the things that are most important to you.
There are many dog breeds out there and there are many mixed breeds too. While every individual is different, there are some characteristics that are common among certain groups of dogs as a result of their selective breeding.
For example, border collies have been bred to be working dogs, they have a high prey drive because of that breeding. They are exceptionally intelligent dogs with plenty of energy. What does this mean for you? It means that this is a dog that isn’t going to thrive in a small apartment. This is a dog that needs a job and plenty of exercise.
Different breeds were bred for specific jobs which is why it’s important to do your research so that you can find a breed that would be happy with your lifestyle. How do you find out more about the type of breed that’s right for you? We suggest that you begin by looking at some of the characteristics below. Once you have a list of characteristics that are right for your family, you can begin looking at breeds or mixes of breeds that fit those characteristics.
Are you looking for a small, medium, large, or extra-large dog? Smaller dogs are not as likely to knock over small children, but they can also be more prone to fear biting when they feel threatened. Larger breeds may be more prone to knocking over small children simply due to their size, but they can also be much more helpful when you’re looking for a dog to perform a job like duck hunting or service/therapy dog work.
Activity level is a big consideration when it comes to choosing your newest family member. Take a look at your lifestyle, how active is your family? Do you hike every weekend and run every week morning? If so, then an active dog is a good choice for your new pup. If you much prefer to play video games and aren’t a big outdoorsy type of person, you don’t want a dog that demands an exceptionally active lifestyle. Consider an older dog or a dog that is happy with a slower-paced lifestyle. Just remember, though, that all dogs require exercise, this includes daily walks and play. If your family isn’t able to provide this level of activity to a dog, it’s best not to bring a dog into your family until you can.
For some people, the length of their dog’s coat is important. There is plenty of variation in the different types of dog’s coats – wirehaired, long-haired, short-haired, hairless, coarse-haired… To most people, these things are of little consequence, but if you have a particular preference, there is a dog for you.
There are some dogs that are recommended for being “hypoallergenic”. The fact is that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, but there are some dogs that shed less due to their coat type. Most allergies to dogs are the result of exposure to dog dander and dander is attached to your dog’s hair, so the less your dog sheds, the less exposure you have to dander and the less likely you are to experience allergy symptoms.
Dogs that are commonly chosen by allergy sufferers include:
- American Hairless Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Chinese Crested
- Giant Schnauzer
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Yorkshire Terrier
One of the other significant considerations when choosing a family dog is their personality. Like humans, individual dogs have individual personalities. While a dog’s breed may speak to certain characteristics, their personality can be shaped by many things – their history, their experiences, their health, their training, etc. Before you bring a new pet home, meet them, spend a little time with them and find out more about their personality. This is important whether you are selecting a new puppy from a litter, an adult dog from a shelter, or an older dog from a rescue.
Adoption Vs Breeders
Something else to consider is whether you want to adopt a rescue or shelter dog or whether you want to purchase from a breeder. We always advocate adoption from one of our local rescues or shelters – we have plenty of them in the Raleigh area and they always have a huge selection of dogs. Not to mention the fact that by adopting from a rescue or a shelter means that you are saving the life of a dog in need. Adopting from a shelter keeps a dog from the euthanasia list, saving from a rescue makes room in that rescue for another dog so that they can get out of the shelter!
If you do decide that you want to purchase from a breeder, it’s important to spend time researching that breeder. Get references, visit their operation, meet their dogs, ask plenty of questions…the more you can find out from a breeder and about a breeder, the more you will know about the dog you will be bringing home.
Looking For a Veterinarian in Raleigh?
If you have just added a new pup to your family and are looking for a new vet in the Raleigh area, give us a call today at (919)870-7000 and become part of our family here at Leesville Animal Hospital! We’d love to have you here and we’re always happy to answer any questions you might have whether they’re about dog types or providing the best of care for your pup!