This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Kennel Club. All opinions are 100% mine.
How to choose the best Dog Breed for your family lifestyle is a huge responsibility. You need to consider size, temperament, are they good with children, are they aggressive in nature and so much more. There is A LOT to consider and I am so thankful for clubs such as the American Kennel Club and the huge amount of resources that they offer.
I have owned a total of 3 dogs in my life…one when I was a teen growing up, she was an “All American”, in other words a “Mutt”. She was a friendly and beautiful dog with a wonderful loving personality. With long flowing golden hair and long snout, she looked as though she belonged to the Collie or Retriever family.
Then there was our Black Lab. Shortly after my husband and I were married and blended our family together (over 27 years ago) he and the kids decided that we “needed” a dog to make our family complete. Of course the family down the street had a litter of Black Lab pups..they were FREE! Sooo I gave in and we had a new baby in the house! Oh you know what I’m talking about! LOL We had our loyal and active Lab for years, even after our big kids were grown and moved out of the house.
Then there was Sunnyboy…
When we had more kids and while they were still fairly young, once again the fam decided that we “needed” to have a new member of the family… a dog. Well, my hubs and I were getting older and I was not at all interested in having a dog long after the kids moved out, that we had to walk everyday and was hard to bathe because of size. We had done that one before..so I finally gave in..
BUT UNDER ONE STIPULATION…
I get to pick the type of dog out…
I wanted small but my kids and husband wanted BIG. Nope, I get to pick out the type of dog…I was adamant about this because I knew who would eventually be the caretaker of this dog. So I began my search and let me tell you..when you become serious about dog ownership you need help! I just didn’t want any old dog..I didn’t want a yapper, I didn’t want a loud dog, I didn’t want a mean tempered dog, I didn’t want a skittery jittery type dog. I was going to be quite picky this time!
Oh and I didn’t want a dog where we had to fit HIS/HER lifestyle..I wanted the Dog to fit OUR lifestyle.
I had never paid for a purebred dog before..it had seemed like a waste of money, until now. After my husband and I discussed the importance of our family in relationship to a dog, we put away a sum of money and began to hunt. I had a friend that was a dog trainer and she suggested several breeds that would fit into our family well. We searched for breeders in our area and we read tons of stuff about the breeds we were interested in.
We learned a lot from the American Kennel Club and even considered the AKC Rescue Network for our perfect “family member”. They have wonderful purebred dogs and are made up of long time dog experts that help match the dogs with families that are a great fit.
After being very thorough we found our new little baby doll… Sunnyboy. He was a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel and oooohhhh he was soooo cute and oooh he was soooo sweet! We bought him from a licensed Breeder. We were a little nervous having never done this before. There were lots of questions to ask and we for sure wanted to make sure we were buying from licensed breeders.
Some of the things we did:
- Make sure to have a good relationship with the Breeder..meaning did they answer our questions thoroughly.
- Was the premises clean and odor free?
- What was the Breeder/Puppy relationship like. Did they like each other? Were they happy around each other..and so on.
- Make sure to get proper paperwork
There are lots of things you can do to ensure that you are buying from a great breeder. You can see more tips from the AKC website. Thanks to all of their awesome resources we felt confident that we were getting a healthy and happy puppy.
I learned a lot from being so picky and truly it paid off. Sunnyboy was THEE perfect dog for our family. Happy, content, low maintenance (except his hair), friendly, totally easy going and loving..Yep he was just right…
We had our little Sunnyboy for 7 years..up until a dog from our neighbor jumped our fence and attacked him..that was a few months ago..right around Christmas. We had to put him to sleep. It was a sad time for both families…
I can’t stress enough how important choosing a dog breed for your family is. Our neighbors were heart broken that their dog had done this and yet it was an aggressive breed of dog that they owned. You just never know what can happen.
My personal TOP TIPS for How to Choose the best Dog Breed for Your Family:
- Size – Size matters! Although small dogs seem good for families with children, you have to be very careful that the children are not rough with little dogs. Small dogs have little bones that can be broken very easily. Big dogs..well they are BIG! You need to decide if you have the type of home that can facilitate a large dog and his needs.
- Breed – It’s really important that you research different breeds and what their personalities are like…obvious by the situation we had above.
- Will they be good with children – Let’s face it, some breeds of dogs simply are not meant for children. By researching the breeds you will learn what these are.
- Long hair vs. Short hair – This seems like it’s not a big deal, BUT you need to consider allergies, budget for haircuts and be diligent in brushing dogs with long hair or it gets matted.
- Health issues in breeds – No breed of dog is perfect, it’s good to also research what types of health issues are common to which breeds, so that you may be more aware should they arise. Also so that you can financially plan accordingly.
- Use a Licensed Breeder – There are many types of breeders… some good and some very bad. I think it goes without saying..research WHO you are dealing with! The AKC is an excellent resource for this.
- Life Span – Some breeds have longer life expectancies and some have shorter. My daughter recently had to put her 8 year old Great Dane to sleep. It was very sad, They take excellent care of their dogs and spent A LOT of money on some health issues that are common for this size of dog. But sadly these big, loving, beautiful dogs simply do not have a long life expectancy. Something to consider.
- Finances – Just plan for it. This is a member of your family and food, Veterinarian visits cost $$.
- Family Time – Some dogs take more time and energy than others. Our little Sunnyboy took very little effort to make him happy. We could take him on walks anywhere or we could be couch potatoes and no matter what…he was happy.
- Research! – Use the AKC for this..it is an excellent resource!
There are now so many cute breeds to choose from..way more than there were back in the “olden” days! LOL
Check out these totally cute Mini Wirehaired Dachshund Puppies…
Good luck in your hunt for a new family member and also Happy Birthday to the American Kennel Club..they are celebrating their 130th Anniversary this year!