Which Dog Breed is best for me?
Whether you live in the country or city, if you are wanting a dog it is important to get the right dog for your lifestyle. Picking a dog because it looks cute, fluffy or by its colour is not advisable and step one to getting it wrong and parting company with your pet within a year. If there is a particular breed that you are interested in, take time to research that dog breed’s characteristics and its needs. How much space do you have at home? Do you have children? Do you have a garden? Are you an active family? All these questions guide your choice of dog.
If you live in the city, it would be unadvisable to look at a country dog, particularly a working bred dog which will only settle and be happy with lots of exercise and mental stimulation. Whilst some country dogs will adapt well to urban living, it would be best to avoid the Beagle, Border Collie, English and Irish Setters, Husky and some breeds of Terriers e.g. The Lakeland, to name a few. However, the Clumber Spaniel enjoys a leisurely life and would fit well in an urban garden.
Whilst some cities have access to good parks and areas for dog walking, it is not always possible to give a dog regular off lead exercise so a dog that needs moderate exercise would be a good choice. You may consider the Dachshund, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Corgi, or if you have a large house the Great Dane!
If you enjoy countryside pursuits and/or live in a rural location, a Cocker or Springer Spaniel, Brittany, Border Collie, Retriever, Nova Scotia, Schnauzer, Jack Russell make excellent outdoor fun dogs.
If you are looking for a companion dog, the Bichon Frise, Maltese, Lhasa Apso, Toy Poodle are some good choices.
The Labrador has been voted Britain’s favourite dog and is one of the most loyal and dependable breeds. Whilst first and foremost it is a gundog, there are many now bred as utility dogs and trained as assistance dogs. The Labrador is a great choice for a family with children and whilst it needs plenty of exercise and loves the countryside, it will adapt to city life. They are also very trainable.
You may also consider going to a Dog Charity to rehome a dog with you. If you do, make sure you visit your chosen dog quite a few times before you take him home, to make sure you have made the right choice. If the dog is a mixed breed, ask about the possible genetics and research the probable breed history to give you some idea of what the dog’s personality is likely to be.
There are also many designer cross breed dogs now i.e. Sprocker (Springer/Cocker), Springador (Springer/Lab), Cockerpoo (Cocker/Poodle), Puggles (Beagle/Pug), Labradoodle (Lab/Poodle) and many more are springing up. The Poodle is hypoallergenic so those crossed with the Poodle may be good for allergy sufferers. Remember to research about both breeds if you decide on one of these.
If you or a family member do suffer from allergies, to save a lot of sniffles, it might be worth knowing that some dogs have hypoallergenic fur (do not shed hair). Some of the most popular hypoallergenic breeds are Bichon Frise, Schnauzer, Yorkshire Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Shih tzu, Poodle, Italian Greyhound, Samoyed, Maltese.
Don’t forget that whatever your choice of dog, they are a serious commitment and can be with you for many years. In return they will give you unconditional love and loyalty, oodles of fun, get you out to enjoy the countryside and unrivalled companionship. Please do not abuse that.
To help with your decision, look out for the book ‘The Dog a log’ by Dr Bruce Fogle, published by DK. It gives details of just about every dog breed available. And try this breed selector quiz!