Choosing the right dog for you

                                                                   Dog Breeds

The breed of your dog is the most important decision you'll have to make as a pet owner. Before you can start the fun stuff like naming your pup or picking out a custom dog collar, you'll need to choose your breed. The AKC recognizes 189 different breeds in the US alone, and each of those has specific characteristics.  You are sure to find your BFF.  Here are some fun factors to consider when deciding on your dog breed!

1. Activity Level

Some dogs are famously active and need to go on long walks up to several times a day or have ample space to run around outside. Choosing a high-activity pup like a Dalmatian for a studio apartment isn't only setting yourself up for trouble, but it's stressful for your dog as well. If you live an active lifestyle, pick a dog that can accompany you on your adventures. If you're more sedentary or live in a smaller space, try a calmer dog breed like a spaniel.

2. Tendency to bark

Some dogs are more territorial than others, meaning that they're more likely to bark at passing people and animals, visitors, and even birds or squirrels. This is great if you want a dog for security -- think a Great Dane or Boxer -- but not so great if you live close to neighbors and don't want to deal with noise complaints. And don't think it's just a size thing: some smaller breeds can be just as vocal as larger ones.

3. Tradition

Before you try to fit a square peg into a round hole, think about the centuries of breeding tradition that resulted in each breed. What was the dog originally bred for? Some dogs like pointers and retrievers are excellent hunting companions and even serve specialized roles out in the field. (Got one of those? Check out our custom nylon dog collars for sporty dogs!) Other dogs are great swimmers, others excellent guards. Try to keep these traditions in mind, and don't expect your dog to stray too far from the genetics of its breed.

4. Potential aggression

If you have or anticipate hosting small children, it's important to consider the tendency of the breed toward aggression. While each dog is different and there are many, many sweet dogs in each breed, many tragic events have occurred from exposing children to dogs with a tendency to bite. More aggressive dog breeds can actually raise the premium on your homeowners' insurance as well.

5. Other dogs in the home

Do you have another furry friend in the house? Consider lifestyle and compatibility there too so that the dogs get along and mesh well together. Plus, choosing a dog of a similar size, activity level, and gender means that you can interchange accessories like dog collars, dog leads and leashes, and toys.

6. Other options

Sometimes pedigree isn’t the only determining factor in choosing a new pet. Mixed breed dogs can often blend the characteristics of several different breeds. If getting the dog from a shelter, try to find out what mix of breeds the dog might be -- that’s often a good indicator of the dog’s likely activity level and behavior. Another factor is age: an older dog is less likely to be too rambunctious, but could be crabby around kids or other pets if he or she hasn’t been exposed too much to them before.

With just a little bit of time, thought, and research, you’re sure to find the dog that’s just right for you and your family!

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