Getting a new puppy is such an exciting time, however, making the right choice is also hugely important.  The breed/puppy you select will hopefully be part of your family for many years so researching and making the best, informed choice you can is not so important, not only for you and your family, but also for the dog.

 

Dogs come in many sizes, coat types, temperaments and colours.  Families also differ from one to another.  Finding the best fit takes research and time.  Living the best life for you both takes dedication to his needs, training and enrichment as well as being able to provide good food, grooming (if needed) and veterinary care as needed.

Dogs have been selectively bred for hundreds of years to be able to perform certain tasks that we, as humans require of them.  Although now days many dogs are family pets and perhaps even going back generations, they have not been used for the work they were originally intended for, the genetics behind their breeding is still there and can and will surface at varying intensities in future generations. 

The herding breeds were selectively bred to chase, and perhaps bite (in the case of ACD), stalk, independently think and make decisions and have a physical stamina to work for hours.  They are mentally tough as they are required to herd very large animals and not back away.

The terriers are hunters.  Their lives revolve around looking for prey, chasing it, digging it out, using their amazing sense of smell to track down small animals, barking to alert to prey etc.  

Large breeds like the mastiffs, rottweiler, Doberman, giant schnauzer, boxer, german shepherd (originally a herder)  are dogs bred to protect.  They are strong willed, stoic, intelligent and can be stubborn. 

Retrievers, as the name suggests are bred to retrieve.  They are also independent thinkers but generally work well with their humans.  Many have a love of water and love carrying toys around with them. 

Hounds have super powered noses and they use them endlessly.   They too are bred to hunt, can be stubborn, they come in a variety of sizes from the mini Dachshund to Rhodesian Ridgebacks. 

This is just a quick overview of the many different breeds and ways they have been selectively bred. 

Many people see puppies and just melt.  This sweet little being is just a baby, and who doesn’t like a puppy?  This cute little bundle is also genetically programmed to have certain characteristics and although we can never be certainly how they will play out,  knowing what the breed and/or breeds are in a puppy can certainly help.    As your puppy grows, you will see these genetic predispositions coming out and you will need to either find an outlet that will satisfy his needs or prepare for a lifetime of management.

As people, we usually settle on a certain breed that we love and when it comes time to add another dog to our family, we gravitate back to that breed. 

The mind is a funny thing and as time passes, we do tend to forget the not to great things about our previous canine companions and only remember the good things.    The other thing that many people forget to factor in is that they have also aged since their last dog was a puppy.  Sadly it is a fact of life that as we get older, our reflexes aren’t as fast, we aren’t as fit (well usually), we have forgotten how much work a puppy can be, and the breed we love may not fit that well into our lives anymore.   

Some families may choose a breed that requires a lot of mental stimulation as well as physical exercise but they also have a young family, so time is not an endless commodity.    Just because you have a big yard, does not mean that your super intelligent Australian Cattle dog or border collie is going to get the mental and physical stimulation and fulfilment  he needs without ongoing training and work from you. 

Some people are “big” dog people, and some people are “small” dog people, and then some people love them all.  Just because you love big dogs, doesn’t mean as you get older, you have to get a small dog.  The world of dogs is so wonderous and vast, there is a dog out there for everyone – you just have to take the time and care to find him.