Choosing the right dog breed is a significant first step in easing the transition of a new puppy or adult dog into your household pack. Beware the lure of purchasing a dog based on looks - or size! Both can be misleading. As professional dog trainers with decades of experience, we’d say lack of breed research is one of the top causes of dog behavioral issues.
Choosing the right dog breed for your home is the best way to create strong, long-lasting bonds and minimize potential incompatibility or behavior issues.
Are you in love with the wolf-like aesthetic of a Siberian Husky? That’s great, as long as you’re prepared to walk, hike, or (better yet) run for miles every day. Those dogs were bred to pull sleds in harsh conditions, and all that energy has to go somewhere. Are you a fan of sweet, little chihuahuas or dachshunds? So are we, but did you know both are at the top of the small dog breeds most likely to bite list?
Our point is that judging a dog by aesthetics, and even dog size, is a bad idea. Both are poor indicators of a dog’s predetermined genetic tendencies. While there are always exceptions, dogs are pretty good at displaying the traits they’ve been bred to exhibit, so do your homework.
If you have small children, we recommend checking out library books on dog breeds. First and foremost, you and your kids will absolutely love looking at pictures and learning about the many dog breeds out there, many of which you may not have heard of. This is a great way to sit for a while with accurate, detailed information about dog breed origins, temperaments, and best-fit assessments.
If you prefer to identify breeds online, visit the AKC Dog Breed Selector. Their interactive selection process directs you to breeds based on real-time information about you and your household. You can also speak to local dog trainers or veterinarians - both are emotionally invested in making sure dogs find the right homes.
Sometimes, we are so attached to a particular breed that we start fantasizing about a new version of ourselves or our lives to make it fit. This is never a good idea. For example:
I promise that while you may not get “the breed of your dreams,” yet, your honesty and realistic awareness make for a far more successful companionship experience.
As I mentioned above, dog trainers have an emotional investment in making sure every dog finds its just-right home. We spend much of our time supporting dogs and their humans in the opposite scenario. We love to work with individuals and families looking to find the right breed. We can visit your home, talk about your lifestyle, and introduce you to clients with breeds you’re considering so you can see if it feels right.
The professional trainers at Alternative Canine Training love working with people searching for their best fur friend. Contact us to schedule a consultation, learn more about your prospective dog breeds, and get personalized recommendations.