Some dogs are easier to live with than others. Some dogs require a lot of exercise and some dogs prefer napping in a sunny spot on the carpet. When people pick out a dog breed or a mix of breeds, they should carefully consider many factors besides just how cute the dog is.
Long Hair or Short Hair?
Long-haired breeds of dogs are beautiful, and everyone wants one, until they have to do daily brushings and pay for grooming every 4 to 6 weeks. Poodles, for example, are an exceedingly popular breed but their looks are deceiving. Poodles have exceptionally long coats if not groomed and they tangle easily and catch dirt and plant matter in when they are outside. They require professional grooming, and this is an expense to consider before purchasing a poodle. At least they don’t shed. Their coats are considered hypoallergenic and this is a reason they are popular. Standard poodles are a large breed but do not shed and won’t cause your allergies to soar.
German Shepherds are a popular breed because of the extreme intelligence and athletic ability that they possess. German Shepherd dogs are often referred to as the “GSD” breed and require a great investment in brushing. They do shed quite liberally. If you have wood floors, you’ll likely see pet hair blowing like tumbleweeds in the early spring when they blow their undercoat out completely. They get a very thick double coat in the winter. It comes out in chunks in early spring.
Maybe a short-haired breed sounds more appealing? A Doberman is a popular large breed with truly short hair. In fact, a damp cloth wiped over their coat is nearly as good as a bath for this breed. While they are easy to clean, they can be a handful to train because of their intelligence and are not often recommended for anyone who is not a strong personality with dog experience.
Perhaps a small dog with a short coat? The French Bulldog is a popular breed that comes in a wide arrange of colors, has a comical sense of humor, is active and sturdy without being overly active and is not a huge shedder. Frenchies, as they are lovingly referred to as, are loyal and sometimes stubborn. Not considered an easy breed to train, Frenchies are exceedingly intelligent and enjoy being spoiled.
Working Dog or Lap Dog?
A well-known working breed is the German Shepherd, but other working breeds include the Great Dane and the Rottweiler. Most working dogs are large and may have long or short coats, depending upon what they were primarily bred for and the part of the world they come from. Working dogs tend to be high energy and if they do not get enough exercise can be exceedingly destructive. Working dogs go through extreme teething as puppies and have been known to eat the woodwork out of window sills if left unsupervised.
Conversely, dogs that are bred to be companion dogs, or lap dogs, don’t have a lot of exercise needs. They also enjoy being close and snuggling, which some people don’t enjoy and others long for. Chihuahuas are a toy breed that enjoy being cuddled and have a short coat that doesn’t shed much. This makes them one of the most popular breeds in the world. They also have a great value in being watch dogs. They will bark and alert you when something is amiss.
The Havanese is a Cuban breed that is gaining in popularity because they are small, have a ‘fluffy’ coat, enjoy cuddling and are highly intelligent. They make wonderful lap dogs and delight in being amusing. They don’t have a lot of exercise requirements.
Designer Dogs and Mixed Breeds
This is a terminology that is used where mixed breeds are purposely being bred for traits of two different breeds. Cockapoos, for example, have been a popular mixed breed for many years. The newest designer dogs include Goldendoodles, Bernadoodles, and Labradoodles.
Taking larger breeds that are great family dogs and mixing them with poodles to get a more hypoallergenic coat is the goal. Usually ‘doodles will shed because the genetics is a roll of the dice. You may get more poodle genes, or you may get a dog with more Golden Retriever genes. There is no way to really determine what is going to be in the genes, no matter how many breedings down the line you get.
Most of the time, these dogs are great with kids and have a pleasant personality. Mixed breeds make wonderful choices. A corgi husky mix, for example, is going to be long-haired and active. Corgis and huskies are both intelligent breeds too. Highly trainable but not especially obedient, the Husky genes may be tempered somewhat by the workaholic Corgi.
This trend could create health issues so be sure that you are choosing a reputable breeder and remember that designer dogs are not papered, they are not full-blooded. They are mixed breed dogs and you are paying a fortune for a dog with no papers. Make sure the breeder is reputable and not just a backyard breeder that is going to sell you a train wreck of a puppy that costs a fortune in health needs.
Choose the dog that you want based on the lifestyle that you lead. A person who runs daily isn’t going to be happy with a bull dog if they are seeking a running companion. Living in an apartment with a Saint Bernard isn’t going to be much fun either. Put some thought into your lifestyle and then be honest about the time you want to spend on brushing or grooming. Factor in the costs of grooming in breeds like Poodles, Old-English Sheepdogs, Shih Tzu, or Pomeranians with long coats.
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