Choosing the Right Breed of Dog For You (video)

Filed Under: Dogs, Behavioral & Training, General Care

Want to adopt a dog, but don’t know which dog breed is the best fit for your family? Dr. Susan Muller Esneault gives some guidelines and suggestions for choosing breeds on MedCall on WAAY-31 TV.

SHARON DOVIET: We've had a lot of different breed of dog questions coming in; talk to us a little bit about breed selection. If you're...now thinking about getting a pet...tell me, how do I select the right breed for my family?

DR. SUSAN MULLER ESNEAULT: Well, first you've got to decide what kind of function you want that pet to serve. Do you want it to be good with children? Do you want it to be a watchdog? You have to decide if it's going to be a constant companion. Then I would go and research the breeds you're interested in. Because there's so much difference between breeds. If you want a dog that's good with children, you probably don't want one that's very nervous, very excitable...that tends to hate jerky movements. Oftentimes a four-pound puppy dog is not good when you're dealing with smaller children and jerky movements because they have a tendency to be afraid--especially when you're that size and someone twenty pounds comes by and falls on them...

SHARON: What if you're looking for maybe a different energy-type dogs...there are high energy dogs and there are lower energy dogs. Tell me what I would want if I would want something to go walking with me, or to be an exercise companion, or what I would want if I just wanted a nice, quiet housedog.

SUSAN: Right, if you want something to be a constant companion, you might want to think about a shih tzu, a toy poodle, something that will follow you around. If you want something with a lot more energy, then you might want to try something like a Jack Russell. If you want something to go jogging with you, you might want to go with one of the retrievers, a German Shepherd, you know, different sizes.

Another important thing is if you like to brush or not. Especially with these long haired dogs...most people cannot handle an Afghan Hound and the brushing that goes along with it. So are you going to be willing to have that pet groomed every so often? Or if you have allergies and don't appreciate dog hair all over the couch, are you going to go with a dog that doesn't shed, and that way have it groomed more often.

SHARON: Good point. And we wanted to ask you about some low energy dogs... If I'm looking for a dog that's just going to be kind of relaxed around the house, let's talk about some breeds that might be good choices.

SUSAN: Sure. I think Bassett Hounds are tough to beat as far as...

SHARON: Well, you can't beat that for low energy. But they're beautiful...

SUSAN: They have good personalities, too, they certainly do. But here, again, it depends on what you want that particular dog for. If you want something to sit with you all time, toy poodles, sometimes...I know they have a rap for being high energy, but truthfully, miniature poodles, even standard sometimes, are the type that will follow you everywhere and keep you company.

SHARON: There are a couple of standard poodles in my neighborhood that are just beautiful, wonderful dogs...

Topics: breeds

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