Dogs have often been bred for a purpose, and they're genes have been honed for thousands of years, to make them good at this job. Take the German Shepherd for example, it has been bred as a working dog, its skills developed for herding and guarding livestock. They must constantly be listening, alert and ready to react, ready to control the anticipated chaos of a herd of moving animals. This highly alert dog is very intelligent and with the right training, these traits are easily managed so that the German shepherd can become a welcome part of the family. But it is important to understand that just because we are able to invite this animal into our home doesn’t mean their natural mental states can be ignored.
All too often we see dogs being labelled as ‘naughty’, ‘disobedient’, ‘over excitable’ or at worst ‘untrainable’ and this is rarely the case, often they are misunderstood. Instead we have introduced working dogs to our home without taking the time to understand their needs, mental states and engrained behaviours.
This is by no means an attempt to put you off of any kind of working breed and this is not to say that other breeds are easier. Working dog’s intelligence and desire to be worked means with the right outlet, they are some of the easiest dogs to train. On the flip side of large working breeds, you often see people choose small dogs for their family home because they have young children and the threat of a dog is often associated with its size, which is wholly inaccurate. Chihuahua’s are a breed you frequently see as family animals, but they are not ideal dogs around small children as they use their mouths to protect themselves, where stature cannot.
Choosing the right breed is no easy task but here’s a short list of things we put together for you to consider before choosing the right breed for you;
1- How much time a day do you have to dedicate towards training?This is one of the most important things to consider, an untrained dog can result in destroyed sofas, a confused and unsettled dog and ultimately a risk of rehoming. If you have limited free time to dedicate to training, dogs such as the Boston Terrier are notoriously easy to train due to their high level of intelligence and eagerness to please their owner. On the flip side, whilst they are adorable, dogs such as the beagle are known for being of stubborn attitude and can be somewhat difficult to train… whilst their strong nose makes them responsive to food training, it also acts as a constant distraction.
2 - Are you a keen walker or do you prefer a little potter around the block?
It may surprise you to hear this, but it’s not always the big dogs that need the long walks. St Bernard’s for example only need between 40 minutes and an hour of exercise a day, similarly to the basset hound, a medium to large size dog, so if you aren’t one for long hikes then be sure to do your research of how much exercise a dog needs. The saying ‘A tired dog is a nondestructive dog’ is often very true!
3 - Do you have small children around regularly?
If you have young children and need a family dog, Labradors are great dogs to have around the family, they love to join all your adventures and are fond of young children. Dachshunds are another great family dog, just be careful that this playful little pup doesn’t get caught up under your children’s feet.
4 - Will you be out of the house for large periods of time where the dog will be alone?
Dogs are like humans, some are ok spending prolonged periods alone, whilst others enjoy the company of their family just that little bit more. If you are looking for an independent dog, which may need to be left from time to time then French Bulldogs, Pugs, Chow Chows and Akita Inu’s are all great options.
5 - Where do you live?
Working dogs tend to be high energy dogs and therefore settle better into homes where they have a large garden to run off their energy. Should you decide to opt for a working dog whilst living in an apartment be sure to get them out and about regularly for long walks.
Whilst we all have our preferences for the dog breeds we like, whether it’s for their looks or maybe childhood memories of your family dog, we should always consider what’s the best environment for that breed and ask yourself ‘is my home the best environment for this breed to thrive? Choosing the right breed for you will help to create a calmer environment for the whole family and a more enjoyable experience of welcoming a dog into your home, especially if you are a first time owner.
Thank you to Emily for this amazing blog post (Insta: @quinn_daya_thepointerpair)If you liked this blog you may also like:
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