Getting your first dog can be quite the experience, especially if you have children in the home. Depending on several different factors, finding the right dog will mean considering your home environment, the breed of the dog, the size, gender, and other considerations as well. While this may sound challenging at first, remember that dogs have been bred for thousands of years to do specific tasks such as protecting the family, hunting, locating other people or animals, and so forth.
This means that all breeds are capable of making a great first dog, but some require more patience than others. What follows are the considerations that you will need to make when choosing your first dog.
Look for Easy to Manage Breeds
In other words, dogs that require less maintenance are those that make the perfect first addition to your family. This means dogs that require less in the way of grooming or exercise. If you are not sure which breeds are the best, then you can do you own research or better yet, contact a veterinarian who can provide you with first-hand knowledge of the breeds that are best for first-time dog owners.
If you live in an apartment or residence that does not have a standard size yard, then you should consider a small dog that lives indoors. Small dogs are generally better compared to big dogs in terms of being indoors for obvious reasons. Larger dogs need more space to run, play, and exercise. Otherwise, they can become quite uncomfortable.
So, you should look at smaller dogs such as pugs or toy poodles which make a great choice. Both breeds are calm, playful, and have more than enough room to run around indoors and be part of the family. Pugs and toy poodles are also fairly easy to manage, and their food requirements are considerably less than a larger dog.
You’ll want to avoid some small breeds such as chihuahuas as they tend to bark frequently and making lots of noise is not something you want for an indoor dog
Dogs for Kids
If you have children, you will want a breed of dog that is gentle and responds well to the kids. For larger dogs, this means that getting a Labrador is the perfect answer if you have a yard with room to run and play. Labradors are gentle and for the most part do not bite or at least bite far less frequently than almost all other breeds.
Otherwise, you may be taking chances with many other large breeds of dogs that were bred for protection, such as the German Shepherd. Their protective nature may get the better of them in certain situations that a novice dog owner may not fully understand.
While Labradors are quite calm, there are other breeds that also share this trait. Plus, certain breeds such as Newfoundland or the Great Dane are dogs that also do not need much in the way of attention, activity, or exercise. This does not mean they should be left alone, but it does mean that you do not have to give constant attention to them such as with many other breeds.
The Great Dane for example is quite laid-back, so you may feel the need to exercise them since they are not likely to do it themselves. Still, you’d rather have a calm, laid-back dog compared to the ball of energy that Jack Russell Terriers and Border Collies tend to be.
Dogs that Can Be Left Alone
One issue that many owners face is the amount of time that they may have to leave their dog alone. It’s bad enough when you have to be at work and traveling for nine, ten, or more hours a day. But coming home to a house that has been torn up because your dog was bored is even worse.
The best answer is to get a cat. Just kidding. For those who want a dog, then some of the better breeds that can find their own entertainment while you are away include the following;
- Basset Hound
- Bull Terrier
- Shar Pei
If you are going to be gone for more than 10 hours a day with no one else at home, then you may want to consider if getting a dog is what you need. Even the breeds that do well on their own still need some attention.
If you have other pets in the house, that should be a consideration in getting a dog. Fish are arguably safe since they are in their own environment which is protected from the outside. However, if you have an indoor pet such as a cat or bird, then you might consider getting a dog that is best suited to be outdoors.
After all, separation is probably the best way to avoid any incidents. Otherwise, you should be careful about getting an indoor dog if you have other pets around.
Breeds to Look at First
If you are still in doubt about where to start, you can begin with the different breeds that are quite popular for being easy to groom, need less exercise, and are generally calm and good with children. Such breeds include the following;
- Golden and Black Labrador Retrievers
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
- Bichon Frise
If you have a yard, then the Labradors are great dogs as they have room to run and play. If you have an apartment, then toy poodles and pugs may be the better choice.
No selection process is perfect, and your dog may spring some surprises that may catch you off-guard. Just remember that if you love and take care of your dog, your dog should do the same for you. The relationship between dogs and humans goes back many thousands of years. So, if you treat them with love and respect, you will enjoy a happy relationship with your four-legged friend that will create many special memories. You may also be interested in this article. What are the best pets for kids.