Okay, Let's be honest, we all love dogs. If not, there is something wrong with you. Just kidding. But seriously. I mean with images like this, how can we not love a creature that is just excited to spend more time with you?
But even though dogs have been our best friends since the beginning of time, we need to return the favor. Dogs do such a good job with loving us and taking of our needs, we need to do the same. How do we start this? By researching breeds of course! I get it. Pugs are adorable, and Corgis are even cuter, but each time I hear someone say oh I want this breed because they are so cute, I get frustrated. Not because they want a dog, but because they may have no clue what they are getting themselves into. It is this very mindset that makes more dogs end up in the shelter for just sheer ignorance.
I know. It's shocking. So what are some things to research before finding your perfect pooch?
1. For starters, what is the breed used for and intended for?
What is the breed bred for? How many people know that poodles are actually highly intelligent and bred to be hunters and retrievers? Or how about the fact that Corgis, which are becoming more popular than ever, are bred none other than to heard cattle? That's right. Don't be fooled by their short stature, their height is actually a way to avoid being kicked.
By ignoring these basic facts about a breed, you may not be able to handle a dog accordingly, and your dog may suffer from it. So make sure you know a dog's intelligence, energy, and temperament before making an investment in a dog that may end up not working for your lifestyle.
2. Know health risks.
Labradors are prone to hip problems, and short dogs with long backs, such a Basset Hounds and Corgis, are prone to back problems. It is important to know these things before getting a breed, as to know what signs to look for. Perhaps the most commonly missed ones is that dogs that have pushed in faces, such as Pugs, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, and Shih Tzus have breathing problems, and actually should NOT wear collars because it can restrict their breathing too much. It is things like this that are so overlooked, but can make a pet absolutely miserable. Talk to a veterinarian about potential health risks to look out for, or even just look it up online.
3. Know what You want to do with Your Pooch.
Do you want to to just have a couch potato to lounge around the house with you? Well then don't get a shepherd. Do you want a dog for therapy work? Then maybe a gentle labrador or sweet natured pug would be a good match for you. Do you want a dog that will just love your kids and be a good family dog? Dogs like Akitas who do not like children unless raised with them are probably not a good idea. And dogs like Pembroke Welsh Corgis and Australian Shepherds may try to herd children. The best way to do look up how a dog deals with what your desired purpose is is to ask around, or even just looking it up. But knowing first hand experience will help you tremendously.
4. Grooming Needs and Training Ability
What levels are you going to go to for your dog? Not a huge fan of shedding? Don't get a Siberian Husky. Don't want to have to spend gobs of money at a groomer? Better avoid getting a Standard Poodle. It is crucial to know what you want, will, and won't for grooming needs, and what type of dog works best for the level of grooming you will offer. Also, how patient are you with training? Do you want a dog that wants nothing more than to please you? Well a gentle Golden Retriever may be the way to go, as all they want to do is please you. Want a dog that is always five steps ahead of you? A shepherd or herding dog is the way to go there. They will always be up for a challenge and know what you are thinking five minutes before you do.
Even though many of these things may seem like no brainers, many people don't know the first thing when it comes to dogs, and as a result, get a wrong breed for their lifestyle and taste. Always make sure to look up any breed before getting them, and talk to vets as well as reputable breeders should you get one from a breeder. But always remember, adoption is always an option. But no matter what dog you end up deciding is for you, it will love you all the same.