CHOOSING THE RIGHT DOG BREED FOR YOU:
You’ve been wanting a pup for a long time or the kids have been begging you for a puppy for years. You’ve been able to put them off with a rabbit or even a cat. But this time, only something from the canine family will do. Dogs need to suit your personality, your lifestyle, your housing situation and your family in general. It is a good idea to do some reading on dog psychology to understand how they think and act. At Curtin Veterinary Clinic we can help you in choosing the right dog for your family.
Although many people are happy getting a mixed breed puppy, others like to know a little more about what that cute little ball of fur will look like in a year. It is so important to get the selection right, as if your dog doesn’t fit into your family, it can become a nightmare. How do you find the best one for your family? The following may help you in your search:
Q: What kind of research should I do when trying to decide which breed is best for my family?
Look at each breed you’re interested in and determine the exercise and grooming requirements, the temperament and the trainability of each breed. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few breeds, talk to your vet, dog breeders and friends who own one on those breeds.
Please contact us any time for some free advice on how to pick the right dog breed for you.
Q: Are there different categories of breeds?
A: Yes, breeds over many hundreds to thousands of years have evolved due to their special abilities in certain areas. By understanding which category a breed is in, it will help you understand what its initial purpose was and the type of characteristics it might display.
There are seven groups dog breeds are categorised into:
- TOY –
small in size and adorable in looks, their main function is to give sheer enjoyment. Although they are small, they can be tough as nails and can have a very determined bark to scare off many a large intruder or visitors. Their key advantage is their small size, as inner suburban living is becoming more common. Smaller will also be the amount of hair shed, messes made and food bills. And training aside, it will always be easier to manage a 5kg dog than one five times that size.
- TERRIER – these have a unique personality of being feisty, energetic and can often be quite small in size. They often have little tolerance for other animals including dogs, as they were bred to hunt and kill vermin. Most have a wiry coat and need regular grooming and clipping and as they are very energetic and engaging pets, they do require owners with a matching determination.
- GUNDOGS – these dogs are by nature very active and alert and are pleasant and well-
rounded companions. They have great instincts in water and the forests and are still actively used in hunting and other field activities. Potential owners need to realize that most would require very regular and invigorating exercise.
- HOUND – their ancestral trait is being used extensively for hunting. Some have phenomenal scenting powers, others have amazing stamina. Hounds are a very diverse lot, some of which bay instead of barking, so it would pay as a potential owner to sample this sound first and to be aware that some of the hounds are very difficult to handle off lead… if they pick up a scent it can render them incomprehensible.
- WORKING – these dogs share a fantastic ability to coordinate the movement of other animals. The vast majority of these “herding dogs” are often household pets who have often never seen a farm animal BUT pure instinct prompts many of these dogs to gently herd their owners, especially the children of the family. In general, these intelligent dogs make excellent companions although they often require mental stimulation and plenty of exercise. They respond beautifully to training exercises.
- UTILITY – these dogs were bred to guard, perform rescues and even to pull sleighs and often have been invaluable to man. They are quick to learn, very intelligent and often make great companions. Their often large size and strength alone though, make many working dogs unsuitable as pets for average families. These dogs must be properly trained!
SPORTING – often known to be very sturdy with many different personalities and looks. Their characteristics are best looked up under the individual breeds.