Ready to welcome a new pup at home, but not sure, which breed? Let’s help you find the pawfect fit for your home and family.
Don’t just bring home a pup because he looks very cute or you saw him in a movie or your friend has it.Bring home a pup because he suits your home, family and lifestyle. For example, if you live in an apartment and you bring home a St Bernard, the sweet looking pup would soon grow into a handsome big dog, with little space to move around. So it is important to find the right fit for your home.
First, let us divide the dog breeds into four broad categories according to their size – toy breeds, maxi breeds, large breeds and giant breeds.
Toy breeds are generally small in size, also known as miniature breeds. These breeds are generally very adorable and can make great companions. These are basically the show breed. This breed gets along with kids really well.
Temperament: Very friendly
Statistics: The life span of these dogs are usually 10 -14 years, with size ranging between 1 to 1.5 ft and weighing 5 – 10 kg. They require 200 – 275 gm of food every day.
Exercise needs: They require moderate physical activity. Regular walks of 20 minutes, twice a day can keep the pet physically fit.
Grooming needs: They need regular grooming once in 15 days. Regular brushing of fur is required. Special attention need to be given for longhair pets using de-tangling or Pin-Tipped comb twice a day.
Breeds to consider: Shih-Tzu, Mini-Poodle, Lhasa-Apso, Maltese, Samoyed, etc.
Maxi breeds are medium in size. These breeds are considered to be very smart and active breed. Maxi breeds make great companions for kids and are super friendly.
Temperament: Very friendly, socialising and quick learners.
Statistics: They have a life span of 8 – 12 years, with size ranging between 2 – 2.5 feet and weighing around 20 – 30 kg. They need around 350 – 500 gm of food every day.
Exercise needs: They require high activity to keep them fit and fine. Regular walks of 45 minutes twice a day can keep the pet physically fit. Since these are active breeds, they also need lots of indoor activity.
Grooming: Maxi breed dogs generally have shorthair coat. So, they require normal grooming once in 15 days. Regular brushing of fur is required twice a day to control hair fall.
Breeds to consider: Labrador, Golden Retriever, Boxer, Jack Russell, etc.
Large breed dogs are considerably larger than maxi breed. These breeds are considered to be smart and active breed. Large breed make good watch dogs. They are friendly with kids, provided proper training and socialising is done.
Temperament: Very friendly and socialising.
Statistics: These dogs have a life span of 8 – 11 years, with size ranging from 2.5 – 3 ft, weighing around 25 – 40 kg. They require 500 – 650 gm of food every day.
Exercise needs: They require high activity to keep themselves fit. Regular walks of 45 minutes twice a day can keep the pet physically fit.
Grooming: Large breed can be both short and longhair coated. They need grooming once in 15 days. However, regular brushing of fur is required twice a day to control hairfall and tangled hair.
Breeds to consider: German Shepherd, Doberman, Afghan Hound and hound family, etc.
Giant breed dogs are huge in size, but size doesn’t play a major role in opting one as a pet at home as they are very gentle and loving. In other words, they are known as Gentle Giants. These breeds are little low on activity as for their size. They are best for your little ones to cuddle and play with.
Temperament: Very friendly and socialising.
Statistics: They have a life span of 6 – 9 years, with size ranging from 3 – 4 ft, weighing 40-70 kg. They need 800 – 1000 gm of food every day.
Exercise needs: They need moderate activity to keep them fit. Regular walks of 30 minutes, twice a day, can keep the pet physically fit.
Grooming needs: Giant Breed dogs generally have both short and longhair coat. They need regular grooming once in 20 days. Regular brushing of fur twice a day is recommended to control hair fall and matted hair. Sponge bath once a week should keep them clean.
Breeds to consider: Saint Bernard, Bull Mastiff, Mastiff Family, Great Dane, etc.
Food for thought…
But, breed is not the only criteria to consider. So, before you bring that cute pup home, here are a few things you should consider before taking the plunge:
Time: Dogs need lots of attention, love and care. Having a pet at home is a huge responsibility as they need certain amount of time from their pet parent. They need physical activity on daily basis which means at least an hour a day. Spending quality time with your pet leads to positive bonding and trust, which further leads to good companionship. If you are a very busy person, then please don’t consider having a pet because this would result in stress and aggressiveness in pet.
Financial commitment: Are you financially stable to cater to the dog’s need and care? Because having a pet would add up a considerable amount to your pocket, including the cost of quality food, treats, toys, regular check-ups, training, grooming, medical emergencies and more.
Male/Female? Male dogs are usually very dominant and self confident while female dogs are very gentle, affectionate and home-loving. This is a broad generalisation as all breeds are different. So, choose wisely.
Size of your home: You have a plethora of breeds to choose from, with dogs coming in varying sizes. The size of your home should decide the size of your dog.
Apartment or gated community: If you are staying in apartment or gated community, consider having a Toy Breeds or Maxi Breeds as they can move around freely at your home.
Independent villa or farm house: If you stay in independent house with huge garden and backyard space or if you are looking for watch dogs, then you can opt from Large Breed or the Gentle Giant Breed.
Ready for training them: No matter which breed you opt for, basic obedience training by professionals is advised for your pet to make the dog a great companion for you.
Welcome at home: Before bringing a pet home, talk to all family members as it is important that all family members should be willing to keep a pet at home.
Patience is the key: A dog is like a baby. So, have lots of patience while dealing with your dog, especially in the first few days which are critical to both of you.
Once you are sure, you need to bring a pet home, go ahead…wish you a very happy pet parenting!
(Almas Shariff runs Amore Pet Spa, offering grooming, training and pet products, in Bengaluru.)