If you have decided it’s time to add a dog to your family, that’s wonderful – you will have done plenty of research about how to care for that dog and what kind of training they need. You’ll know just what to feed them and how to bond with them and keep them entertained. What you might not have considered is how to find the right dog for your family. Most people just pick a breed they like the look of or go to the shelter and choose a dog that looks fun or cute or sad – whatever your criteria happens to be.
However, this could be a mistake. It’s much better to consider your family and how it works and then pick a dog that is going to fit in well. This will save any disappointment and upset. How can you choose the right dog for your family? Read on to find out.
How Much Time Do You Have For Training?
It really doesn’t matter which breed of dog you decide on or even how old the dog is. You’ll always need to train them. They might have some training already, but don’t assume that’s all they’ll need; dog training is an ongoing process. Not only that, but when they are meeting new people and exploring a new home, they will need training specifically for that, to keep them and your family safe and happy.
So the question is, how much time do you – or other family members – have to train your new dog? If you have lots of time, then you can opt for a younger dog, for example, or one of the breeds that generally needs more training time spent on them. If you don’t have a lot of time, you’ll need to consider things differently. You’ll need to choose an older dog that already responds to some voice commands and is calmer in general, plus it’s best to choose a breed that needs less training overall.
What Is Your Family Structure?
How your family is made up will directly determine the kind of dog you should get when you decide to get one. A family with very small children or babies will have less time for training, for example. Plus, you’ll want a breed that is less energetic, as you might not be able to walk them more than once a day when you are taking kids to nursery or putting them down for naps.
If you have older children, perhaps teenagers who would be able to take on some responsibility for the dog, so it’s not just left to the adults in the house, then a livelier dog could be the ideal companion – this will help your children get outside more, and it will be more fun for everyone. Just make sure that you dog-proof your yard if you want a dog that likes to run around; putting up DogWatch dog fences will help keep them where you want them.
How Active Is Your Family?
Some people are simply more active than others. Some love to go outside and move around, and others prefer to sit inside and read or watch TV or play on a computer. Everyone is different, and although it’s good to breathe in the fresh air and move around, there will be different levels of enjoyment regarding this for everyone.
If you have an active family who loves being outside and enjoys a lot of sports or movement, a more active dog is ideal, as they will be able to join in the fun and games. If your family is less active, a less active dog will be best. Having an active dog in an inactive family means the dog will become frustrated and potentially have bad behavior, and having an inactive dog in an active family will become frustrated for the humans as the dog won’t want to be involved. A good match is crucial.