Which Dog Breed Should I Get?
Getting a puppy can be really exciting but how do you know which dog breed or type to get? Here’s how to choose a puppy that’s right for you and your family.
If you had a family dog when you were younger, you may already have an idea of the type of dog you would like. If this will be your first time as a dog owner, you may be wondering where to start with your research. Or maybe you’ve fallen for the cute dog that your friend or neighbour has and are hoping you’ll find one just like it.
Which dog is best for me?
Think about which dog breed or crossbreed of dog fits best with your home and lifestyle. If you have a particular breed in mind, do your research to make sure they will be the right match for you.
Are you active and enjoy being outside with plenty of time and energy for a dog that enjoys long walks? A medium sized or larger dog that needs plenty of exercise may be right for you.
Do you live in a flat or apartment and don’t have a garden? You may find a smaller breed that needs less exercise will be a better match for you.
If you live in a rental property, you may need to check your rental agreement before you get a dog. If your rental agreement states that pets are not allowed, ask your landlord or agent if this could be amended.
There’s other things that you may want to consider. This includes whether you want a long haired or a short haired dog, or maybe a breed that doesn’t shed hair at all.
Read Caroline’s story: Life with my loveable but overexcited dog
The following books may help you with your research:
If you are keen on a crossbreed dog such as a cockapoo, labradoodle or a poochon, you will need to research both breeds to learn more about their characteristics and exercise needs. For example, a cockapoo is a cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle.
How much does a dog cost?
The price can vary considerably, depending on your choice of breed or cross breed. Some breeds of dogs can cost thousands of pounds. Don’t be tempted by advertisements offering cheap puppies for sale – you’ll probably end up paying much more on vet bills in the long-run. The price tag for buying a puppy is just a small percentage of the cost you will need to pay in total. Dogs can cost a whopping £21,000 over their lifetime. This includes vaccinations, flea and worm treatment, getting your dog neutered, plus the daily food costs.
Take a look at this helpful guide, produced by MoneySavingExpert.com in partnership with the PDSA.
Dog health issues
Some breeds and crossbreeds of dogs are at risk of developing genetic disorders. Common disorders include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eye disease, chiari malformation and syringomyelia. These can be painful and unpleasant conditions for dogs. They can also be costly and distressing for owners.
It’s wise to do your research to find out about any known health issues in the breed of dog you would like to get. Then find out about any tests that should be carried out to assess for disorders known to that breed. This information will help you decide which breed of dog to get and know what questions to ask the breeder.
Dogs with flat faces such as Pugs, French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers and Boxer Dogs are known to suffer from serious health problems. The British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) advice is to choose a healthier breed or cross breed. Watch this short video from the BVA to find out more.
Are there dog breeds that don’t mind being left alone?
All dogs, regardless of breed or crossbreed, need company. They can become anxious and disruptive if left alone for too long. If you work or are likely to be away from the house for long periods of time, you will need to make some adjustments to your lifestyle. Alternatively, you can arrange day care for your dog so they get the company they need. Puppies really don’t like being left alone at all when they are little – even for short periods of time.
Read more about why puppies need company and how you can teach them to be left alone.
Raising a puppy: what you need to know
It can come as quite a shock to new puppy owners just how exhausting it is to raise a puppy. Like babies, puppies don’t sleep through the night. They also need to be toilet trained and will go through a teething stage. As any dog owner will tell you, it does get easier. But make sure, before you embark on puppy parenthood, that you know what you are letting yourself in for. This includes lots of sleepless nights, puddles and poo on the floor, and puppy teeth marks decorating your lovely furniture.
Read more about how to prepare for your new puppy’s arrival
Read Helen’s story: I realised I had new puppy anxiety