Becoming a first-time dog owner is exciting - but how do you know which dog to pick? Today, our Parrish vets offer tips and advice on how to select the right breed of dog to suit your lifestyle.
Picking the Best Dog Breed for Your Lifestyle
When selecting which type of dog to get, there are a few important things to consider. And while you can never predict exactly what kind of personality your new pup will have, there are a few breed characteristics that are thankfully pretty predictable. Here are a few things to consider:
- Predisposal for Health Issues - Some breeds are predisposed to certain genetic health conditions. While this doesn't guarantee a condition or illness will happen to your dog, it's good to be aware of any potential risks when selecting a dog breed.
- Grooming - Consider how much time you want to put into grooming your dog. All dogs require coat and nail care, but some more than others. If you're looking for an easy-to-maintain coat, it might be best to consider a short-haired dog or low-shedding breed.
- Activity Level - It's best to select a dog that will match your activity level. If you're active and enjoy running and hiking, a high-energy dog is the way to go - if you're looking for a more relaxed companion, try to select a breed that is typically more content just going for a few short walks a day. You can also adopt a senior dog as they tend to have lower energy levels!
Regardless of which breed you choose, your dog will rely on you for care. Be sure you are emotionally and financially ready to support your dog and don't forget that regular vet visits at Ellenton Animal Hospital for preventive and wellness care are key!
Top 10 Best Breeds for First Time Dog Owners
1 - The MuttThe ideal canine companion for you may be patiently waiting for you at the local animal shelter. Mixed-breed Mutts can make loving and loyal family dogs! These dogs can be as good with children as purebred dogs, tend to be less susceptible to genetic diseases, and are less expensive to care for. If you are considering a mutt for you or your family, be sure to take your time to visit local animal shelters and be patient in your search for the right dog to fit in with your family life. Often shelter workers can provide you with a doggie report card that lays out all of the known personality quirks of the pooch you're interested in.
2 - Boston TerrierWeighing in at about 25 pounds or less, these people-loving bundles of fun come with their own easy to care for "tuxedo" coats. Happy to play with the kids and go for short walks, this charming small dog breed adapts well to apartment living and makes a great companion.
3 - Cavalier King Charles SpanielAt about 10-18 lbs, the compact size of this lively but gentle breed makes it a great dog for smaller homes or apartments. Cavaliers tend to get along well with kids and other dogs. They can be both playful and cuddly making this sweet-natured pooch and a great pet for people of all ages and energy levels.
4 - Labrador RetrieverStill one of the most popular family pets out there - with good reason. Gentle, loyal and fun, the Labrador Retriever can be a great dog for first-time dog owners! Labs just adore spending time with people - all people - and will become your best friend in no time. That said, it's important to ensure that labs get plenty of exercise or they can begin to get into mischief. These dogs vary somewhat in stature but generally weigh between 55 - 80 lbs.
5 - BeagleThe Beagle is one of the best medium-sized dogs for first-time dog owners. This mid-sized pooch typically weighs in at between 18-30 lbs and adores spending time with its people, playing games, and going for walks. Beagles are smart and loving dogs that can make terrific family pets provided that they get plenty of family interaction and exercise. Beagles are not appropriate for people who are out of the house a lot.
6 - PugYou will love these adorable little characters! Pugs are pretty happy to just eat and sleep. If you have a more relaxed lifestyle and would appreciate a dog that will play with you indoors then curl up beside them to watch TV, a Pug may be just the right breed for you. Weighing around 15 lbs, this is a breed that doesn't need much space, and only requires a couple of short walks each day to be content.
7 - Newfoundland
Sweet, loyal and patient are just some of the words that best describe this fluffy giant. This delightful breed has a real affinity for kids and is often referred to as a 'nanny dog' due to its gentle patience with children. Weighing in between 100 -150 lbs you will need space if you plan to get a Newfoundland and it's important to note that as with many giant breeds Newfs have a relatively short life expectancy of only 8 - 10 whereas many small to medium dogs can live 15 - 20 years or in some cases even longer.
8 - Golden Retriever
Affectionate, good with children and playful with other dogs, the faithful Golden Retriever can make an excellent dog. Covered in a dense, lustrous coat of gold this breed is as lovely to cuddle with as it is to play with. Goldens are typically eager-to-please family dogs, that are relatively easy to train. They have a joyous and playful approach to life and keep their youthful spirit well into adulthood. This breed generally weighs in at about 60 - 80 lbs and is a moderate shedder.
9 - The Standard Poodle
Active, proud, and very smart the standard poodle can make a great pet for first-time owners. While known for their distinctive hairstyles, standard poodles don't shed a lot, and with some regular grooming, can look great whether they are clipped to breed standard or left natural. Poodles are typically easy to train, lively, and fun-loving family dogs with a silly sense of humor. These dogs weigh around 45 - 60 lbs and live 10 - 14 years on average.
10 - Bernese Mountain Dog
If you're looking for a big dog, you will love this sweet-natured fluffy breed. Bernese Mountain Dogs typically weigh between 70-100lbs, and in spite of their size, have a reputation for being gentle. One word of warning - these big beautiful dogs are major shedders.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.