Which Breed?

Which Breed?
Once you have made the decision to have a dog, the next thing you must consider is which breed? With over 200 breeds currently recognised by The Kennel Club, and many, many others that are not, the decision can be difficult and research is required.

There are various ways in which to research a breed to ensure it is suitable for you and your family. You could start right here on The Dog Scene with the breed profiles, you could visit dog shows and chat with breeders and exhibitors, or contact a breed club. One of the best ways, however, is to visit an event called Discover Dogs. Discover Dogs is run by The Kennel Club and occurs twice a year, once in conjunction with Crufts at the NEC, Birmingham, and again in November at Earls Court, London. Each breed, recognised by The Kennel Club, is offered a booth where experienced people can attend with their dogs in order to tell people all about their chosen breed. You will be able to collect leaflets and talk to breeders and owners and even have a "hands-on" experience with their dogs. This has proved invaluable to many people who, once seeing and understanding what their favoured breed really was like, have actually changed their mind and gone for a different breed.

So where do you start in choosing? Everybody has certain preferences, perhaps a big dog with long hair, or a small dog with short hair, but will your preferences mean that that type of dog will fit into your lifestyle?

Take a look at your life-style:

Do you have young children or are you planning to have children?

If you do, then you will need a dog that is good with children and is sturdy and tolerant enough to cope with the antics of young children. Of course all children should be taught how to respect animals, and the puppy must have an area which is "no-go" to the children where he can retire to when he has had enough!

Do you enjoy walking or high activity?

If you do then a dog with a higher activity level might just suit you, but ensure your activity is one where your dog can join in. It's no good getting a dog if he can't join in all your activities! If you or your family are not particularly active, then ensure the breed you choose prefers just a short walk a day and more cuddles on the sofa!

Are you very house proud?

Then look at the type of coat. Some dogs, like the Dalmatian, shed hairs constantly which are difficult to hoover up and get everywhere! Some breeds shed only seasonally and the hair is reasonably easy to clean up. Then again there are the few breeds, like the poodle, which do not shed at all. But these breeds must have their hair trimmed regularly.

Where do you live?

If you live in a small flat it is no good getting a Great Dane or St Bernard! Equally some breeds do not do well living in a large, busy town.

Do you enjoy grooming?

Some people find sitting and combing a dog is very relaxing, or enjoy snipping and clipping at hair. If you don't then be sure the breed you choose doesn't need much grooming!

What about training?

Do you need a dog which is easy to train and willing to please? Some breeds are more dominant than others and require more training, while others are stubborn or willful.

Once you have a rough idea of your needs and lifestyle you can make up a list of breeds which fall into those categories. That is the time you need to go out and meet those breeds, see what they're really like and talk to experienced owners and breeders.


All-Breed Dog Grooming

All-Breed Dog Grooming


The Dog Breed Bible

The Dog Breed Bible


World Atlas of Dog Breeds

World Atlas of Dog Breeds



© 2006 Jill Terry

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Submitted: 10 Aug, 2006 (Edited 29 Jan, 2010)
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