The following is a guest post from Mel. Mel is an animal lover and travel writer. For him the ideal way to combine work with travel and also have the company of animals is by house sitting in different parts of the country for people with pets. His favorite house sitting site is http://mindahome.com
Next to choosing a spouse, choosing the right breed of dog for you is probably the most difficult decision you’ll have to make. It takes two to tango so you must consider yourself and the dog: your mutual character, temperament, financial situation, needs, etc.
Dogs are like people. They can be large (Bull Mastiff) or small (Chihuahua), frisky (Shih Tzu) or sedate (British Bulldog), noisy or quiet, expensive to maintain or adaptable, aggressive or docile, cuddly or aloof. Take your pick and the chances of picking the right breed are probably better than picking the right mate.
Some major considerations in choosing the right breed of dog are the size, temperament, gender, physical needs, age and care. The first step is to take stock of yourself, your family and your situation. Do you live alone or do you have a spouse and children? Do you live in an apartment or a home with a large, sprawling yard? Is your neighborhood pet-friendly or do you have fussy neighbors? All these will help you to decide what breed will fit into your life and community best.
The dog is a strong and powerful animal so don’t underestimate it just because all dogs look cuddly and tiny when they’re puppies. Large breeds require more food and a lot of space. But, even the small, spritely ones need room to run around and burn off energy.
Different breeds of dogs have different personalities. Some are jealous and possessive, while others outgoing and friendly. Some breeds are obedient while others are very strong-willed. There are breeds that demand a lot of attention and others that are content to be left alone. You’ll be living with your dog for a long time so make sure that your pet’s temperament complements yours.
The thought of having puppies tricks some people into choosing females. But puppies require a lot of attention and care until they’re able to move around on their own. If you can’t spare the time and energy, it’s best to choose male dogs and spare yourself the effort of protecting a female from unwanted breeding. The females of some breeds have great difficulty giving birth so the male of the breed is often neutered because of the difficulty in finding a mate. In general, however, there is not much of a difference in the temperament of a female or male dog of the same breed.
If you live in a hot area, you’re better off with a short-haired breed. Long-haired breeds are more comfortable where it’s cool. Dogs need regular grooming, long-haired breeds most of all. Grooming a dog needs time and money. You should consider how much you can afford to spend on the dog’s grooming needs when choosing the right breed for you.
Some breeds are more susceptible to diseases than others, depending upon environmental conditions. Before you decide on the breed for you, read up on it, talk to a vet and make sure that the dog will fit into your surroundings.
There’s a breed of dog that can make you happy but it’s your job to find the right one for you.