Adopting a dog has become even more popular since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic and quarantine. For first time dog owners with families, it is important to consider what kind of dog is a best fit. Especially for families with young kids, a new pet can become a life-long companion and teacher of important lessons that come with caring for others.
Things for you to consider about your dog:
- Size. Larger dogs do well in spaces that accommodate their size. Thus, if you live in a small, studio apartment, it is important to consider the space you’ll be able to give your dog before adopting. Consider smaller breeds if you have a smaller space, such as a Pug or a Brussels Griffon.
- Age. Different aged dogs come with different responsibilities. Puppies and younger dogs require lots of time dedicated to training. Older dogs may be well trained (in some but not all cases) but may have medical issues that can be timely and costly.
- Personality. Each breed of dog has its own personality (and each individual dog has its own unique personality, as well!). Some dogs have more tolerant personalities, such as Newfoundlands, whereas others may require some supervision when with children. Further, some dogs are easier to train than others, such as Labrador Retrievers.
- Activeness. If you prefer dogs who are more relaxed, lap dogs consider Bulldogs. If you want a dog who is going to hike with you and jump into lakes behind you, consider Golden Retrievers and Irish Setters.
Things for you to consider about yourself:
- Where you live. Do you live in an apartment building in a big city with limited access to lots of wilderness? Or do you live in a small country town with rolling hills, cows, and few cars. Your environment is important to consider because different breeds of dogs require different levels of activity, and how much activity your dog is able to get is influenced by where you live. For those with less access to dog friendly, active environments, consider adopting a Pug or a Brussels Griffon. Other breeds such as Golden Retrievers and Irish Setters, require an environment compatible with lots of activity!
- The age of your children. If your children are new-born or on the much younger side then it is important to consider the size, personality, and activity of your dog. You don’t want your furry friend to accidentally knock over your new-born with its wagging tail! Consider adopting smaller dogs who are even-tempered. Toddlers, on the other hand, love to play, push, and pull. In this case, you’ll appreciate a dog who is calm in personality and tolerant, while enjoying the play. Consider adopting a Newfoundland
- Your family dynamic. Does your family travel a lot? Do family members work a lot? Do you enjoy being active or prefer less activity? All of these are important questions to consider when looking to adopt a dog. Regardless of the breed, all dogs need lots of love and attention. If your family members are always traveling or working, leaving the dog often, this will not be good for your new pup. Especially when adopting a puppy, it is necessary to put in the required time for training. Further, different breeds require different levels of activity, but as mentioned early, activity level is important to take into consideration.
It is important to remember that each dog is unique, and the above traits may not always be present or apply to the dog you adopt. It is always a good idea to do your research first. Get to know your dog for who they are and allow them to get to know you, too!