Are you planning to buy a puppy? If, after reading the questions to ask before getting a dog, you know you’re ready to make that big commitment, the next big question is what breed to get. Here are some things that every mom needs to consider. Naturally, you’re concerned about your family’s health, as well as how the dog will get along with young kids. And since you’ll likely be in charge of cleaning up after its mess or making sure it will get exercise, you also need to be realistic about what you can and can’t do. Read on for sensible, just-for-moms advice.
Big dogs need big space and lots of exercise
Puppies get bigger…and bigger…and bigger. Do your research on the maximum size of the breed. Get a big dog only if you have space and the energy and inclination to take him out for regular walks and exercise. Sporting and hunting breeds such as cocker spaniels and Labradors are also best for families who enjoy running and playing outdoors themselves—otherwise, exercising him will end up feeling like a chore, instead of a chance to bond with your new furry family member.
Consider your family’s allergies
Don’t buy a shaggy dog if you or any family member has allergies or asthma. Check out our list of breeds that are least likely to cause allergy or asthma attacks. And, even if all of you have a clean bill of health, know that dogs that shed a lot of hair will inevitably shed them on your carpet, sofa, etc. Are you willing take on that extra cleaning duty?
Consider the dog’s temperament
While all dogs are loyal, there are those that are friendlier and more tolerant of kids and big groups. It’s a personality thing. Pugs, poodles, bearded collies, pugs, boxers, bulldogs and bichon frises are all known for their playful and patient temperament. They will also be very protective towards your kids. Toy poodles, chow chows and dalmations (contrary to the movie) don’t really do well around kids.
Dogs need stimulation too!
Some dogs are bred to be active and curious. Herding dogs, for example, were tasked to keep a sharp eye out for predators and threats to the flock, and to somehow move a whole bunch of very stubborn cows and sheep to the master’s desired destination. They will seek that kind of mental stimulation, and will get bored and restless without constant play, exercise, and games. In fact, bored herding dogs will try to ‘herd’ the kids, pushing them and nipping at their ankles—not out of malice, but instinct.
Small dogs are not automatically good for kids
Small dogs may not be able to hurt the kids, but the kids can hurt them. Chihuahuas and Pekingese are adorable but can be injured if your kids are a bit rough with them. If you need a small dog because you live in an apartment, then choose a sturdy dog like the terrier.
Photo from funnypuppysite.com