There are many, many different breeds of dogs, and while they will all serve as a loyal companion, personality traits differ immensely between breeds.
When choosing a dog, some prior research into the characters and temperaments of different breed is advisable before opting for the first pair of dewey eyes and droopy ears that your eyes set sight on. Proper research will prevent possible heartache later on, if you discover that you made a bad choice and the dog really doesn't gel too well with your lifestyle.
The following points need to be considered when choosing a dog:
• Are there children in the family?
If so, you will need to opt for a breed that is good natured, has an even temperament, and is naturally good with kids. Choosing a notoriously aggressive breed would be a big mistake that could lead to disaster.
• How much space do you have?
A large, energetic dog will need a fair size yard to allow him to exercise sufficiently, whereas a small dog can readily be kept in an apartment.
• Are you, or other family members, at home during the day?
Some dogs are more sociable than others, and don't do well left alone for long periods while the family is out all day.
• Are you sporty & energetic?
Will you enjoy taking your dog for a daily walk or run, or for a game of frisbee on the beach – or do you prefer to curl up on the couch with a lap dog snuggled up at your feet? Some dogs are more active, while others are typically lap-doggish and will be quite content dozing away at your side on the couch. Choosing the wrong breed for your personality can be very frustrating for both of you.
• Grooming requirements
Longhaired dogs may require daily brushing, and/or regular visits to a dog-grooming salon. You will need to consider these requirements when choosing a dog – do you have the time to groom the dog, and are you able to afford the regular grooming expenses.
Bearing these points in mind, you can start narrowing down potential breeds that are suitable for your lifestyle.
For more information about different dog breeds and their personalities, visit our All About Dogs Section.