Doggy Dilemmas: How to Choose the Perfect Breed for You

Owning a pet for the first time is a major life milestone. Our four-legged friends become firm members of the family, and it’s safe to say that they usually change our lives for the better. However, along with all the excitement, it’s important to remember that pets are a huge responsibility, and you need to make sure that you can look after them properly.

So, here at Asda Money we’ve decided to focus specifically on dogs. Just like humans, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and different breeds have very different personalities. We’ve taken a look at just some of the popular canine categories out there, and hopefully it’ll help you find the perfect one for you.

Toy Dogs

As the smallest category of dog out there, many people are tempted by toy dogs due to their convenient size. This is definitely an advantage if you don’t have a huge amount of space in your home. They make great pets, and are ideal if you plan on travelling around a lot and want to take your pooch with you. However, it’s important to remember that toy dogs are not just handbag accessories, and still require proper training, along with plenty of exercise.

Yorkshire Terriers are a common example of a toy dog, offering a big personality in a small package. They are energetic, clever, loyal, and great with children. Yorkies love attention, and make great companions for older people who are happy to sit and fuss them all day. They do have a true terrier heritage though, so it’s important to make sure they know who is boss. Without proper leadership, breeds such as Yorkies can easily become demanding and snappy.

Pugs are another popular breed that fall into the toy dog category. This small, quiet breed get along well with other animals and love the company of people, including children. However, this can mean that they become very clingy, and they’re easy to spoil.

Although they are playful, Pugs are ideal if you live in an apartment or small house, as they don’t require a huge amount of exercise. They put on weight easily though, and are greedy if given the chance, so it’s vital to keep an eye on their diet. It’s also worth knowing that due to Pugs having flat-shaped faces, this can often result in breathing problems, and they struggle in very hot and cold weather.

Hounds

Known for being the original hunting dog, hounds come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from the huge Irish Wolfhound to the tiny Dachshund. They can be quite independent, and many people have the assumption that they’re hard to bond with. However, their temperaments differ from breed to breed, and you’ll usually find that they are friendly and sociable. They need strict training though, and their strong desire for hunting means they’ll soon pick up scents when outside, and ignore any calls to come back whilst they go on a search.

One of the most classic breeds of hounds is the Beagle. These handsome, friendly, dogs are easy to groom, and make great family pets. Although Beagles are reasonably small, they need lots of space to run around and plenty of walks, so an active home is a must. A bored Beagle will soon become destructive, so lots of toys and chew sticks are a good idea to keep them occupied when they’re not being exercised.

If you’re looking for a hound that doesn’t require quite as much space or exercise, then a Dachshund could be the answer to all your problems. These little dogs are renowned for being playful and extremely loyal, so they quickly become very attached to their owners. They love companionship, so are suited to people who will be at home with them a lot, such as those who are retired.

Dachshunds are very proud, and like to do things their own way, which can result in many having a stubborn streak. Just like larger hounds, it’s a good idea to keep them on a lead in open spaces so that they don’t take off after a scent, and their tunnelling instinct can lead to plenty of holes in the garden!

Gundogs

Although gundogs were originally bred to find and retrieve game (and many still do), they make wonderful family pets. They’re very intelligent, which makes them easy to train, and are very friendly towards people. Gundogs also tend to have lots of energy, so they love going on long walks and playing games, rather than being cooped up inside.

If you’re wanting a dog who is a great all-rounder, then look no further than the Labrador. Often considered to be one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, Labradors are renowned for being loyal, energetic, and fantastic with children. They’re quite large, so a home which has plenty of space is necessary, as they can be rather bouncy and clumsy, especially in their younger years! Labradors are very easy to train and usually up for any sort of activity, whether that’s walking, swimming, or simply playing fetch for hours.

If you’re looking for a slightly smaller breed of gundog, then Cocker Spaniels are extremely affectionate and playful. They absolutely love to please, and their tails are always wagging. Although they can live in a smaller house than a Labrador, they still have lots of energy, so require a home where they’ll get lots of walks. Spaniels require plenty of brushing, combing, and occasional clipping due to their feathery coats.

Crossbreeds

Crossbreeds are dogs who have parents of two differing breeds, or are a mixture of several different breeds (also known as a mongrel). They usually make great pets, and don’t tend to display any of the “extreme” behaviours that you might find in a pure breed. They often live longer than pedigrees too, which is due to their genetic diversity.

Certain dog breeds have been found to work especially well together, and are often sold as “designer dogs”. For example, a Cockerpoo is a mixture of a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, and benefits include being easy to train and friendly. They’re usually a more compact size than a Poodle, but don’t shed hair like regular Cocker Spaniels. These great all-rounders are ideal for all types of owners, as long as they get enough exercise.

If you’re interested in getting a crossbreed but aren’t so bothered about their looks or heritage, then there’s usually absolutely nothing wrong with getting a mongrel. These mixed breed dogs can differ greatly in appearance, and often have an adorable, slightly scruffy look to them. If possible though, even with mongrels, it’s always best if you can see both parents, as this will give you an idea of their temperament. They’re unlikely to come with the same price tag as a pedigree or designer crossbreed too.

Once you have found your perfect new four-legged friend, it’s recommended to get pet insurance so that you’re covered for any potential expensive vet bills. When you first get a quote, it’s worth knowing that you’ll have to enter information such as your pet’s breed, gender, and price, as this all makes a difference to your cost of cover.

Here at Asda Money we have a range of pet insurance cover types available. Find out more about Asda Money Pet Insurance provided by Legal & General here.

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