Whether you want a guard dog, a working dog, or a family pet, the decision to get a dog is one that you shouldn’t rush into unless you know exactly what to expect.
Many dogs end up in shelters because their owners made a choice to buy or adopt one without doing the necessary research.
So what kind of questions should you ask yourself before getting a new dog?
1. What Do You Need The Dog For?
There are many different reasons why you might want to get a dog. Is it a working dog, a companion, a hunting partner, or a playmate for the kids? The answer to this question will determine the breeds you would be looking into.
For example, if you are looking for a guard dog, you might want to look into Bullmastiffs, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, or any other breed known for being fearless and protective.
If you are looking for a watchdog, a dog that would alert you of strangers without being trained to attack, then you might want to research smaller breeds known for being aloof toward strangers without posing a significant danger like a Chihuahua or a Pekingese.
If you are looking for a hunting companion, there are dog breeds known for their hunting or retrieving abilities. Labrador and Golden Retriever, Coonhound, Bloodhound, Catahoula Cur, and English Beagle are all good examples of a breed that would adapt well to hunting. Your choice of breed would also depend on your hunting habits.
For a family dog, there is a whole list of breeds, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, Border Collies might be fun to play Frisbee with, but being a herding dog they tend to nip at the heels of smaller children if they failed to “herd” them and felt like the child is “straying away”.
Some people mistakenly believe that smaller breeds make great family dogs simply because they are small. However, it is precisely because they are small that these dogs may not appreciate the quick movements and loud noises of children.
This may take more effort than simply walking down to the pet store, but doing deep research about the temperament of each breed you are considering would save you a lot of trouble later.