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Choosing what breed?(15 Posts)
Where's the best place to find out about breed traits? I am thinking of getting a dog and want to do some research
Can you give us an idea of what sort of home you can offer, and what you'd like to have in a dog? Are you looking for a puppy or adult?
For instance, town vs country, lifestyle, any other pets / kids, how much exercise can you give on a weekday and weekend, how much grooming can you commit to, size preferences, any traits you couldn't live with (eg digging, excess barking, copious shedding, prey drive)?
I'm sure the MN hive mind will have some ideas.
Hi, I'm not really looking for suggestions, more wanting to research myself IYSWIM
We did lots and lots of on line research and quizzes. We also met lots of different dogs through family and friends.
We visited a dog show to meet lots of breeds. To be honest the dog we ended up with was not one we had ever considered despite all the research we did. It wasn’t until we met a family member who had the same breed and spoke to breeders that we ended up choosing our dog.
Main thing to keep in mind is your lifestyle and how much time to can reasonably give to walking, training, grooming etc. If you are massively into hillwalking and spend a lot of your free time outdoors having a lap dog isint going to work for you and visa versa.
I think the KC has a quiz which suggests breeds based on your lifestyle.
I had an idea of what dogs I liked but discounted some of them when I looked at their traits which would not fit with what I was after or my lifestyle. Simply googling breed club websites and KC etc gives you an idea of their traits, exercise needs and typical health etc.
I went to discover dogs at crufts and looked at lots of breeds which threw up some I hadn't considered but again it came down to what matched our lifestyle. For example having a dog whose breed is known for rubbish recall and hard to train would not be something I wanted.
It's good to get to some dog shows and talk to owners and breeders; they'll be honest as they don't want "their" breed in the wrong sort of home for it.
You can start by narrowing down choices based on your lifestyle. Eg if you live in the city and don’t have space to let a dog off the lead for a long run, you don’t want a high-energy working breed. If you don’t want a high-moulting dog and hair everywhere, don’t get a Labrador. You will know now how you feel about tiny dogs like chihuahuas. I would think about answers to these questions:
How much walking you are prepared to do each day
Size and layout of house (eg my living areas of my house are on the first floor, which rules out giant breeds such as Great Danes as going up and down stairs all the time is really bad for their joints)
Children in the house and their ages
How much time you want to spend doing activities with the dog (some breeds don’t need much stimulation other than their walks and a play with toys; others need to be worked mentally, eg by taking part in activities such as agility or flyball)
How much coat maintenance you want to do - again, this is zero for some breeds, immense for others and in between for many
How much you are prepared to spend on insurance, food, vets etc. Giant breeds cost more to feed and insure compared to a medium sized dog. Some small breeds have lots of health issues (eg pugs) so cost more to insure
Whether the dog needs to fit in with other pets in the household (not ideal to have a terrier with cats or rabbits, for example)
Life expectancy is a factor; toy breeds may well live to 16 or 17; a Great Dane is unlikely to live more than eight or nine years.
Level of experience of the main person who will be training the dog. Some breeds are excellent for first time owners. Others (often the guarding or working breeds) really need experienced owners.
I’d think about the above questions and jot down some answers. That will help you really narrow things down. Then either post back here for suggestions or go to a dog show and chat to breeders about your list, and see what they say.
First dog, we started off with a kids book of dog breeds....
Not very scientific, but did have lots of pictures and ratings of various characteristics (activity, grooming, trainability etc). Not even sure if it was even that accurate, but it was quite fun!
Also used various googleable dog sites/breed clubs, just for further info!
For just general info there is plenty online but I also like this encyclopedia for an overview of many of the breeds out there:
Link not working, but it's Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds by D. Caroline Coile Ph.D.
This website link is informative and accurate, well worth looking at.
I am an experienced owner, but have always had collies or collie X dogs.
I am thinking ahead that I am possibly going to be less active over my next dog's life time, and also thinking of a more 'portable' one that will fit in a smaller car.
I'm just doing the equivalent of window shopping at the moment! Thank you all for your suggestions.
Not long until Crufts, have you thought about visiting Discover Dogs? www.crufts.org.uk/content/whats-on/discover-dogs-at-crufts/