For the second part of my ‘what to know before getting a dog’ series, I want to talk about breeds. Like with coats, there is a breed type that will probably be best suited to you, your lifestyle, and your living situations. If you haven’t read my first post about the different types of coat types and how to look after said coat, here is the link! –
I have owned dogs with 2 different coat types – double and smooth. The reason being that they are easy to groom at home and personally like those kinds of dogs better. I currently have a Husky and two French Bulldogs. But, being a dog groomer I have groomed all 5 types of coats and have picked up quite a few facts and opinions on most common breeds.
When we are looking to buy a dog it’s important that we know everything we possibly can about the breed. It’s also important you understand what you will need to provide for this breed.
When picking a breed, do some research, write down;
- Prices for food and treats (more or less depending on the size of the dog),
- Bedding, blankets and toys (is this breed bigger and there for need a big bed? is this breed known to be destructive with certain toys?)
- Harness, collar and lead (again, depending on size of dog, prices will vary)
- Vet bills and insurance(will they be castrated? It is also the LAW in the UK to have your dog microchipped, failure to do so can result in a fine)
- Flea and worming medications( these have to be done monthly in most cases and the bigger the dog, the more it will cost to keep these up to date)
- Groom costs (whether you’re going to get a groomer to groom them on a regular basis or do it yourself, you need to work out average costs for that, see my last post that I linked earlier to get the run down on coat types and grooming prices).
By doing this before buying or adopting your dog, you know an estimation of how much you are going to need to spend monthly or annually. This will give you a better idea if you’re able to financially able to afford a dog. A lot of dogs end up in shelters or being neglected because people do not realise how much dogs can be yearly. You need to be sure you are able to pay for your dogs needs. They need; food, water, blanket, grooming, flea and worming, vet checks, exercise, and attention to thrive and be healthy, happy dogs.
The next thing to think about when looking to buy a certain breed is your living situation. You need to think about these things;
- The size of the breed – a big dog that needs plenty of space needs a bigger place to live. A flat isn’t the best option for a large dog like a Husky or Labrador.
- Other animals – not every animal likes each over, if you own a cat or another dog, you need to think about the kind of dog you want to get. Is it suitable for a home with other animals?
- Children – although dogs have hearts of gold most of the time, they don’t quite understand their strength or that they could hurt their new family members by being too boisterous and playing. They will see it as having fun with the children but they can easy get carried away and knock children over. So most big dogs are not always suitable for a family with babies or small children. Although, with proper training, food guarding shouldn’t be an issue, it may still be with children. So, you need to be careful with any dog around young children who don’t understand that when the dog has a treat that you shouldn’t try and grab it off him/her. However, if you’re willing to get your dog trained in the right way from a young age and you watch your younger children around the dog while he/she is eating, everything should be fine with most breeds.
The final most important thing to think about before getting your dog is your lifestyle. Everyone has different lifestyles, they work different hours, they have families or maybe they travel a lot. Here are a few things to think about;
- Do you go away for work or on holiday a lot? If so, who will look after the dog? Have you asked a friend if they will or will you pay for a kennel stay?
- What hours do you work? Will you gone more them 8 hours at a time? If you are, is there someone else who can check in on the dog or be home with him/her?
- Do you have a baby or small child? Do you have the time for a dog right now?
- Are you able to walk the dog each day? Remember some breeds need to have more exercise then others and require longer walks. Do you have the time to walk the dog each day?
- The most important question is, do you have the time and energy to give the dog all the attention he/she needs to be a happy dog?
Each breed is different. They’re known to have different personalities, temperaments and they all look different. Meaning, you need to pick a dog best suited to all the things I have listed above. Whatever dog you do decide to take home with you, remember that they rely on you, they need you, and if possible, always adopt, don’t shop.