So, you have given in at last to the constant pleading of ‘Can we have one, dad?’ And now you have the problem of choosing which of the ‘ones’ will be best suited to you and your circumstances.
Obviously if you are the proud parents of the children whose insistence has paid off you will have to be on the look-out for a dog which is child-friendly. A rottweiler, for example, might not be the best option. Best of breed in this respect are generally thought to be the poodle, golden retriever and labrador retriever – and I can vouch for the latter through personal experience. Here is a kiddies’ companion which has all the attributes you could wish for –patient, protective, playful and perfectly proportioned! Not to mention loving.
But what about if you haven’t got a family, of if you are away from home quite a lot? According to research some of the best ‘home-aloners’ are bull mastiffs and Boston terriers, who don’t worry and whine if they are left to fend for themselves.
It can be a bit of a problem if you live in an apartment in the city, which is probably why a good many people in this situation do not even consider having a dog as a pet. But don’t let it put you off. There are perfect pooches for this kind of environment; a dachsund, for example, or maybe, still on the continental trail, an Italian greyhound or French bulldog. All these are known to be quiet, even-tempered, offering no danger to other residents – in fact, pleasantly polite – and they are quite calm and composed indoors.
Let’s look at another scenario. It may be that you have decided to get a pet to act as a watchdog – one that will bark so furiously and ferociously that they are guaranteed to frighten off even the most daring unwanted intruder. No problem. The aforementioned Rottweiler, a German shepherd or Scottish terrier are top choices as far as your are concerned. However, if you have neighbours who tend to complain at the noise you make banging the car door, then it may be best if you steer clear of these particular breeds.
Finally – and this is something you may not think of taking into account – be very careful what type of canine companion you opt for if you have an allergy of any kind. Non-shedding dogs are the best bet – a poodle or Havanese, or maybe a Portuguese water dog. However, as there are so many different allergies it would be advisable to have a preliminary meeting with your prospective pet – just to see how you get on allergy-wise.