Many people believe that dog breeds mostly have an impact on the outside of the dog, but picking a dog just depending on looks can be a mistake. Different breeds are created through selection of certain properties, and it is important to pick a breed that fits with the family’s lifestyle.
The breed’s size and grooming needs play a role, of course, but the breed’s temper can be even more important.
The American Eskimo is a great example. This cute bundle of fur looks pretty much like a Samoyed or Japanese Spitz, but is bred to be a guard dog. The average Eskie has a completely different personality than the average Samoyed, even though they look a lot alike.
Naturally, personalities between individuals vary as well. If you have children, make sure you find a dog that loves them. If the dog just tolerates them you might run into trouble if the kids get rambunctious or do something to the dog it doesn’t like. Dogs and children can be the best combination ever, or the worst.
This problem is often emphasized when a breed becomes popular in media. The Border Collie is a great example – this breed is extremely smart and often used in TV shows, movies, and commercials. The dogs are cute and do tricks on TV, and they are fantastic companions for the right family. Unfortunately, many people get a Border Collie unprepared for dealing with an explosion of energy that wants to herd everything that moves and is smart enough to open doors and cupboards just to see what’s on the other side. A Border Collie needs a job to do. It doesn’t have to be herding, but if these dogs don’t get a task they’re likely to invent one.
Dalmatians are another great example. They’re beautiful, and countless families have fallen for their children’s pleas after watching Pongo on TV, unaware that the average Dalmatian has an abundance of energy and needs something to do.
If you want a certain breed but doesn’t think the personality is right for your family, consider a mixed breed. They’re often much more laid back than their purebred relatives.
Also consider if you want to get a puppy or an adult dog. Puppies are adorable. They’re cute, small, are ready to spend their life with you. They also need a lot of attention, time, and training. Many are surrendered once they get out of the puppy stage and into adolescence, because they require more time and training than the family is prepared for, or able to give.
The breeds mentioned here are just examples. In order to research dog breeds, you can find some information on our site. Also take a look on the AKC website – they have a lot of breed information including average life span, known health issues, and grooming requirements.