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How to Choose a Dog Breed

Looking to welcome a new dog into your home, but not sure which breed is right for you? There are several factors to take into consideration when making your decision. With so many breeds to choose from, you’re bound to find one that is perfect for you.

The amount of space you have will help you narrow down your choice of breeds. If you have a house with plenty of space, you can get a medium or large breed such as a Springer Spaniel or Great Dane. If you live in an apartment, you’ll be better off looking at smaller breeds or toy breeds such as a Cocker Spaniel or Maltese. If you have a big, fenced-in yard, dogs that require a lot of exercise such as Australian Sheepdogs will be perfectly happy. If you don’t have a yard, consider getting a lap dog such as a Japanese Chin.

If you have children or other pets, select a dog breed carefully. Certain breeds, such as Golden Retrievers, are calm and gentle enough to be around children. Herding breeds such as Border Collies, might nip at their heels in an attempt to herd them. If you have young children, avoid toy breeds due to their fragile builds. Sporting dogs such as Pointers are more prone to chase other animals in the house or view smaller ones, like guinea pigs or even cats, as prey.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time grooming your dog, choose a short-haired breed such as a Doberman. Long-haired breeds such as Shetland Sheepdogs and Yorkshire Terriers require regular grooming to keep their coats clean and smooth. If you worry about shedding, both short-haired and long-haired breeds do plenty of this. To avoid vacuuming or sweeping up fur throughout the year, choose a hairless breed such as an American Hairless Terrier. Hairless breeds are also ideal if you have allergies.

When choosing a dog breed, do your research on the health problems associated with various breeds. German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia, while Dalmatians are prone to deafness. Having an idea of the types of ailments or diseases your dog could be facing at some point will help you prepare emotionally and financially. Keep in mind that medical bills to treat some of these conditions can be highly expensive. If you would rather reduce the risk of your dog developing a hereditary illness or impairment, consider getting a mixed breed.

Cost can also be a factor when deciding on a dog breed. Aside from health issues, practical costs such as food should be taken into consideration. If you’re leaning towards a larger dog, you’ll be spending as much as three times more money on food than you would for a small or toy breed. If you prefer long-haired breeds, prepare to spend more money on grooming supplies.

There are hundreds of dog breeds to choose from. However, once you’ve narrowed down the options based on your preferences and living situation, you’ll be much closer to discovering which breed is best for you and introducing your pup to his new home.

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