Choosing a Canine to Fit Your Lifestyle


Choosing a dog that fits your lifestyle takes some thought. It's easy to be swayed by cute puppy eyes, but it's important to consider all the characteristics of each breed such as energy level, temperament, and size to find the right match.

Choosing a Canine to Fit Your Lifestyle Is Important

Different people have different reasons for wanting a dog. Whether it is for companionship, protection or some other reason, choosing the right dog for your lifestyle is important to the success of your pet ownership.

For example, say you have always loved Golden Retrievers and you decide that this is the dog for you. However, you live in a small apartment in the city and you work a lot. Under this scenario you would be asking for trouble. This breed needs a lot of activity, space to run, and companionship. Boredom will induce bad habits, and you may find you are coming home to an apartment that has been thoroughly trashed on a nightly basis. It would be better for you to choose a small dog that doesn't have the activity requirements of the sporting dog breeds.

Questions to Ask Yourself

When you are choosing a canine to fit your lifestyle, you should ask yourself a few questions about your circumstances:

  • Where do you live?
    • Country with plenty of room to run
    • Suburbs with a house and a small yard
    • Apartment with no yard
  • Which type of activity do you enjoy?
    • Being very active
    • Taking Walks
    • Watching television
  • Which type of family do you have?
    • Single
    • Couple with no children
    • Children
  • How often do you travel?
    • Often
    • Sometimes
    • Rarely

Questions like these will help you to determine which characteristics you are looking for and need in a dog.

Dogs That Are Good for Apartments

Just because you live in an apartment does not mean that you have to forgo having a dog. It does mean that you will need to choose your pet carefully based on your lifestyle. Usually the larger breeds will need more exercise and attention than you will be able to give them, so they are often not the easiest choices for city life. This is not always true; there are some large breeds that have a lower need for activity and are calm and placid such as the Newfoundland.

Some breeds that tend to do will in apartments and smaller houses are:

  • Bichon Frise
  • Boston Terrier
  • Chihuahua
  • Dachshund
  • Pomeranian
  • Poodle
  • Pug
  • Shih-Tzu

Dogs for an Active Lifestyle

If you have an active lifestyle and love sports or running, you will want to get a dog that enjoys keeping up with you. Choose a dog that is known for a high activity level, but remember that your pet will have that high activity level all the time. While you may want to go running just once a week, your dog will want (and need) to exercise daily. An active dog that becomes bored will develop bad habits. Some dogs to consider for the active lifestyle are:

Dogs for Hunting and Fishing

If you like to hunt or fish, the Sporting dogs may be perfect companions for you. Consider the following breeds:

Dogs for Protection

You may be looking for a dog to help you protect your home and family. Different dogs do this in different ways. Livestock guard dogs, for example, are good at guarding livestock but will not necessarily hold off someone breaking into the house. Also consider that some dogs look more imposing than others. An intruder would be more likely to back off from a Pit Bull than an Akita no matter how well the Akita was trained in matters of protection. Some breeds that are good for guarding and protection are:

Remember, no matter which dog you choose, you need to make a lifetime commitment. Make sure that you train your dog so he will be well behaved, and choose the breed best suited for your needs and the needs of your family.

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Choosing a Canine to Fit Your Lifestyle