Which dog breed should I choose?

If you are reading this blog while looking for the dog breed that suits you best, let me be the first to tell you this: you are doing great! Good preparation is half the job! This certainly also applies when purchasing or adopting a dog. Not all breeds suit everyone, and it is good that you think about this and do research. As a behavioral therapist, but also as a breeder, I can only applaud this!
Now let’s dive into it: Which dog breed should I choose?

Know yourself

To start, take a good look at your lifestyle and current situation. What kind of person are you, or if you are with a family: what kind of people are you? Are you active and exercise a lot, how much free time do you have, what is your living situation like? If there are more of you at home: how big is your family, and how busy is everyone with activities? Some breeds are better suited to a quieter lifestyle. Others can work well in a busy family that undertakes many (sports) activities together.
Therefore, also look at your physical state: do you like to walk for miles, or do you think a short walk through the village is actually enough? No judgment from me! But if you recognize yourself more in option two, you will probably agree with me that a sporty gundog or shepherd suits you less.
Also important: do you already have experience with dogs? Some breeds are better suited as first dogs than others, due to the original function of the breed or because of specific grooming needs, for example.

Look at breed-related traits and needs

In the past, dogs were mainly bred and kept for a specific function that we wanted them to fulfill. This includes gundogs for various hunting functions, shepherds for herding and protecting the herd, and sled dogs for pulling sleds in Arctic areas. Those original functions and associated properties are still present in our modern dogs. That is why a retriever likes to walk with something in its mouth, herd protectors often find it difficult when strangers enter ‘their’ territory, and hounds are more likely to have trouble being alone. It is very important to pay close attention to these properties. This is because, when they conflict with your lifestyle and situation, they can cause a lot of frustration for you and your dog.
Also important: are there specific care requirements for the breed you are interested in? And if so, can you afford to provide this? Consider certain coats that need to be trimmed more often, for example.
Health is also important to look at. What health problems exist within the breed you are interested in? It is good to have this mapped out for yourself, so that when you contact a breeder you can ask specific questions about health exams.
And finally: what is the breed’s temperament like? Within some breeds there is a split between working line and show line. Some people find the working line dogs very beautiful to look at, but do not realize that these lines are often a bit more intense than the show line variant. In a busy family with children where there is not time for training the dog every week, choosing the show line variant is often a better choice.

Research and Preparation

Do you have a breed in mind? Cool! See if there is a breed club for the breed of your choice. They will certainly be able to help you with more information about the breed. Also inquire with breeders, ask if you can come by for an exploratory meeting, for example. You can also visit a show to see representatives of the breed in real life. And to have a chat with the breeders present.
I did this myself when my boyfriend and I decided to get a dog. We fell in love with the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog. While talking to various breeders of this breed, we discovered that this breed and we were not a match. Ultimately we ended up with the Labrador, and this breed suits us perfectly! I could no longer imagine life without Labs, but I also realize that the Labrador is not suitable for everyone either.

Which dog breed should I choose?

Are you unsure after reading this blog and would you like some more help? Please feel free to contact me to discuss the options for guidance!
Good luck with your search!

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