What to consider when choosing a breed of puppy

by Dr Kate Mornement
Pet Behaviourist
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Choosing Puppy Breed 1240X450

Once you’ve made the decision to share your life with a puppy, you’ll need to decide on the breed. Making a good choice will help you and your puppy get off to a great start and goes a long way to building and ensuring a lasting bond. But with so many different breeds available, it can be a little daunting trying to decide which one is the best choice for your new best friend.

To help you decide, let’s look at some important points to consider when choosing a dog breed.

Your Home and Lifestyle

Thinking about the kind of home and lifestyle you’re able to offer a dog now and in future is a great place to start. This includes the size of your home and backyard as well as how much time you have to devote to training, socialising, exercising, grooming and spending time with your puppy each day. Some breeds are better suited to certain homes. For example, working dogs like kelpies and border collies are not suited to apartment living or small homes, especially if they’re left home alone all day. For these types of homes, smaller breeds such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or Dachshund are better suited. Some larger breed dogs like Greyhounds can make great apartment dogs as long as they’re exercised each day.

Cost of Caring for a Puppy

The lifetime cost of caring for a puppy can vary significantly. Smaller breeds generally cost less in terms of feeding and veterinary care but there may be additional costs associated with regular grooming for certain breeds, such as poodles or bichons. Some breeds are more prone to genetically inherited diseases which can require a considerable amount of money to treat and may even shorten your dog’s life. Being aware of these issues can help inform your decision of the type of puppy you decide to get.

Popular Breeds

According to the latest Australian National Kennel Council statistics, the top three most popular dog breeds in Australia are Labrador Retrievers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Golden Retrievers. See below for a complete list of the top 10 breeds in Australia:

    1. Labrador Retriever
    2. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
    3. Golden Retriever
    4. French Bulldog
    5. Border Collie
    6. German Shepherd
    7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
    8. Rottweiler
    9. Schnauzer (Miniature)
    10. Cocker Spaniel

These dogs are popular breeds, and have been for many years, for good reason. They all make wonderful pets - in the right homes.

When it comes to choosing your new puppy the key is to do your research and really think about which breed will best suit your situation. Speak with registered breeders, attend dog shows to meet different breeds, speak with your vet and other dog owners about the health, temperament and needs of the different breeds you’re interested in. This will help you decide which breed is the best fit for you, your lifestyle and the home you can provide.

Making a great decision helps to provide a strong foundation for a lasting bond between you and your new furry family member.