Owning a dog is a rich and rewarding experience, but it is not without serious responsibilities, choices and decisions to make. Whether attaining a dog by means of adoption, private purchase or taking in a stray; failure to make realistic plans and not fully understanding the nature of the beast, often ends poorly for the dog. At Bed and Biscuit Austin, we want you to make wise decisions as to the dog breed and teach you how to choose the right dog for your family; giving you helpful resources along the way so you can find your new canine friend.
Important choices to consider are what type of housing and housing development you live in; apartment, house, mobile home/mobile home park or even an RV. Dwelling types are relevant because they determine not only the space the dog is afforded to live and play in, but also addresses concerns with local dog ordinances, homeowner’s association regulations and possible restrictions on specific dog breeds. Investigate dog ownership rules with your landlord or homeowner’s association beforehand.
An important overlooked drawback to some breeds is that obtaining homeowner’s or renter’s insurance is costly or unobtainable. Call your insurance company to clarify their restrictions. Additionally, speak with city hall to determine what breed specific regulations there are and other dog ownership laws.
Giant and large breed dogs require big areas to run, play and sleep in. It also means bigger toys and appetite, which is more costly than owning a Chihuahua. Unfortunately, many apartments are not conducive to the larger breeds due to the size and activity requirements. Living in your bathroom is no more a place for you to live than a one bedroom apartment is for a Great Dane.
Take into consideration if you have small children. Sometimes large breed dogs can unintentionally frighten or knock down the child while others are giant teddy bears. It depends on the individual dog. Many are gentle giants. Determine which size dog is appropriate.
Are you a “clean freak”? Consider how much grooming and lint rolling you are prepared to do. Every breed can vary. Labradoodles are low shedding, while St. Bernards shed profusely.
Activity and Age
Some dogs, due to their age or nature of their breed, require more or less activity. Are you prepared for that high energy Tasmanian pooch to rip through your home without tire? Do you have the time, and are willing – or able to; exercise them through walks, jogging, agility course training or a daily romp outside to keep your household in one piece? Alternatively, older dogs tend to be less active. Some breeds are more prone to shorter lifespans and lifelong medical illnesses that require additional costly medical care coupled with large rewarding doses of TLC.
The AKC recognizes seven breed groups each with distinctive characteristics. They are herding, hound, sporting and non-sporting, terrier, toy and working. To help you understand and guide you through breed characteristics, I encourage you to visit them HERE.