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How to Choose the Right Puppy for Your Family
By Runnings
4/14/2017 12:00:00 AM

variety of dogs in a row

Some of you may be most excited about warmer weather, fresh air, and flowers- but we’ve got another springtime perk on our minds- PUPPIES! Thanks to the wonderful phenomenon known as “spring fever,” the spring season is prime time for breeding, so be on the lookout for cuddly litters of man’s best friend.

Are you thinking of bringing home a furry addition to your family? Never fear - Runnings is here! Follow our four steps below to choose the perfect puppy for your family:

Step 1: Determine Your Lifestyle

Are you and your loved ones couch potatoes or sports enthusiasts? A rambunctious, social clan or a diligent, hard-working unit? Answering questions about your family’s lifestyle will help you choose the correct temperament for your dog:

Couch Potatoes:

If your family is the type that prefers to spend time lounging around indoors or watching TV, consider getting a lap dog or similar breed with naturally low-energy. Don’t forget to grab a Petmate®  Pet Step II so your pooch can easily park a spot right next to you on your favorite couch!

Suggested breeds: Bullmastiff, Chow Chow, Great Dane, English or French Bulldog, Basset Hound, Shih Tzu, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Boston Terrier, Bernese Mountain Dog, Maltese, Tibetan Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel
puppy on the couch

Outdoorsy Folks:

If your family loves hiking, camping, swimming, and exploring the great outdoors, consider getting a sporting dog or another active breed that will be as much of an adventure junkie as your fun-loving clan. Be sure to pick up a Guardian Gear®  Orange Aquatic Pet Preserver, so you can easily protect your pet when engaging in lively water sports.

Suggested breeds: Siberian Husky, Labrador Retriever, Bernese Mountain Dog, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Portuguese Water Dog, Vizsla, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dalmation, Doberman Pinscher, Australian Cattle Dog, Jack Russell Terrier, Weimaraner, Australian Shepherd, Collie, German Shorthaired Pointer

Social Butterflies:

Is your house famous for hosting large get-togethers, or are you considering rearing young “pups” of your own? If so, look into a more active breed that is great at socializing with young children, adults, and other animals.

Suggested breeds: Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Basset Hound, Beagle, Cocker Spaniel, Poodle, Boxer

Hunters and Gatherers:

Does your family love hunting, fishing, or hanging out on the family farm? If so, you’ll need a working dog whose intelligent qualities are best suited for country living.

Suggested breeds: Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, English Pointer, Irish Setter, English Springer Spaniel
dog with milk bones

Step 2: Determine Your Living Environment

Your living environment will play a large role in which dog you choose. Take extra care to correctly determine your environment’s effect on your future best friend, as certain dog breeds are better suited for certain situations.

For example, although Jack Russell Terriers are small and can easily fit in your city apartment, their endless supply of high energy makes them better suited for homes with backyards and lots of space for active playtime. These little guys can get quite destructive if left alone inside the home for too long!

Similarly, Great Danes are massive - male Danes can weigh up to 200 pounds! - but these enormous canines are famous for their couch potato personalities. A simple half-hour walk around the neighborhood is enough exercise to suit their needs, and they will be happy to sleep the day away in your cozy apartment.

Suggested breeds for small spaces:

Maltese, Boston Terrier, English and French Bulldog, Great Dane, Pug, Greyhound, Yorkshire Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chihuahua, Basset Hound, Bull Mastiff, Havanese

Suggested breeds for large spaces:

Siberian Husky, German Shepherd, Australian Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Pit Bull, Jack Russell Terrier, Pointer
Don’t forget - a large backyard does not necessarily mean a happy dog - these pups still need plenty of active playtime with their parents!

Suggested breeds that will keep your quiet next-door neighbors happy (and quiet!):

Basenji, Collie, Afghan Hound, Irish Setter, Chinese Shar-Pei, Bullmastiff, Chinook, Scottish Deerhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Golden Retriever, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Saint Bernard, Greyhound, Newfoundland
puppy rubbing on table

Step 3: Decide How Much Time You Want to Devote to Grooming

Have you ever come across an impossibly gorgeous dog with radiant, shiny fur? Take care to compliment the owner - it’s very likely that he or she spent several hours grooming that pooch into perfection.

If you’re a clean freak or hate having to constantly pick dog hair off of your furniture, consider choosing a short-haired pup or similar breed that will keep shedding to a minimum. Certain dogs - especially long-haired ones - require lots of time and patience to keep their manes looking beautiful.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to pick up our favorite ConairPRO Dog™ Shed-It™ Deshedding Blade to easily remove your pup’s excess undercoat and minimize the amount of fur you’ll have to clean up!

Suggested breeds for minimal grooming:

Greyhound, Vizsla, Boston Terrier, Rottweiler, Chihuahua, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dalmatian, Whippet, Boxer, Bull Terrier, Beagle, Miniature Pinscher, Bullmastiff, Great Dane, Russell Terrier, Bloodhound, Dachshund

Suggested breeds for more hands-on grooming:

Australian Shepherd, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bearded Collie, Afghan Hound, Border Terrier, Chow Chow, Schnauzer, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Poodle, German Shorthaired Pointer, Pekingese, Scottish Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier

Of course, you could always pay someone else to do the grooming for you, which leads us to…

Step 4: Determining Your Budget

According to the American Pet Products Association, pet owners should expect to spend $1,641 each year on basic expenses per dog - this includes, food, toys, and, of course, the dreaded veterinarian bills.

In general, bigger dogs are more expensive to care for than smaller dogs (bigger dogs eat more food), but certain breeds are also more prone to health issues. When selecting your dog, be sure to do ample research on its breed so you can understand the full scope of all risks. But finally, don’t forget to just sit back and enjoy the process because being a dog parent can be one of the most rewarding and fun experiences in life.  Head on into your local Running’s today to fulfill any of your fido-related needs!
doggy in the window

Tags: Dog, Puppy
Categories: Know How


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