Welcoming a dog into your home and forming a relationship with your animal can bring huge amounts of joy to a household. Whether you are a large family looking for a dog that can entertain and play happily with children, or you live alone and simply want a loving companion to keep you company, dogs are ideal pets. Of course, though, it’s essential to think long and hard about the decision to get a new dog. While they make great members of the family, they also demand constant care, attention, exercise and most of all time. You should think of choosing a new dog to bring home like having another child – you have to be ready.
Rushing or making an impromptu decision to get a dog can only lead to problems down the line when you realise you simply don’t have space, time or money to meet your dogs needs both practically and emotionally throughout their life. You will be far happier welcoming a dog into your family when you are certain that it’s the right decision.
At Benchmark Kennels, we support households all over the UK with our custom-made WPC eco-thermal or wooden dog kennels that can help you manage your dogs and provide them with a safe space, making life as a dog owner a lot easier. Perhaps you’re considering welcoming a large dog into your family, or you already have a dog and are worried about how a new one will cope? An outdoor dog kennel can put your mind at ease, allowing your dog somewhere comfortable and warm to spend time out of harm’s way.
To help you in your decision of choosing a new dog or breed that suits you, we’ve highlighted some of the key aspects to consider.
How do you choose a dog?
While you inevitably may be swayed towards dog breeds that are typically deemed to be ‘cute’, appearance should never be the deciding factor in choosing a dog. Ultimately, there are far more important factors such as size, temperament, coat type and more to take into account that will determine whether a dog fits in with your household.
Although appearance is not important, size definitely is. For example, if you live in a small house with no garden, a large dog breed would not be ideal. You and your dog would end up feeling claustrophobic and your dog would have nowhere outdoors to run off steam, which would require you to take your dog on multiple walks a day.
As well as thinking about the size of your home and garden space, size is also important if you have small children or other pets living at your property. While large dogs are actually usually more docile, they can be intimidating for other pets such as cats and require you to be wary of leaving them alone with young children due to their natural strength.
Despite this, outdoor dog kennels are ideal for those who want a big dog but don’t have room to allow them to roam free indoors. Having a large dog kennel installed at your property with plenty of space for the dog to roam around, play and rest mean you can keep a happy pet without your dog making your home feel a lot smaller.
Another tip to finding the perfect dog breed for you is to consider temperament. Yes, all dogs have their own unique personality, but breeds as a whole still carry natural instincts which determine how they behave. For example, some were bred for herding, others for guarding or hunting – whatever a dog breed was originally made for, they will still have some of these instincts ingrained in their behaviour patterns.
Keep in mind that mixed breed dogs are usually a combination of their parents. Many mixed-breeds have grown in popularity in recent years, like the ‘Cavapoo’ and ‘Cockerpoo’ which carry both spaniel and poodle characteristics making them ideal family pets.
As well as considering the temperament of a dog breed, think about your own temperament and lifestyle too! Do you want a dog that’s highly energetic and can accompany you on runs, hikes and such? Or, are you after a dog that can be largely calm and offer protection when needs be? You should aim to find a dog that fits in with the lifestyle of your household so you can largely stick to your usual routines.
Another part of your lifestyle to keep at the forefront of your mind is how often you are out of the house and would need to leave your dog alone. While no dog should be left alone for long periods of time, some dog breeds are more prone to anxiety than others and don’t deal well with being on their own.
Finally, think about your dog’s lifestyle. If you are thinking about welcoming an adult dog or rescue dog into your life, it’s worth doing plenty of research and asking questions about their life so far. A rescue dog who has lived with an elderly person that’s died, for example, may find it traumatic or become aggressive if it’s brought into a busy household with young children. You should learn as much as you can about your prospective dog’s previous experiences to make sure you are a good fit for them, as well as the other way round.
Although puppies may seem more appealing, adult dogs can be far better options for families that are busy or households that don’t want to deal with the initial training process. Adult dogs are also usually a lot calmer, less destructive and more socialised so will be able to slot into a home and adapt to your household easier than a baby can, who needs teaching how to behave.
If you do feel like you have the time for a puppy in your life though, they can be great additions to your family and allow you to make sure your dog is used to your way of life from birth, rather than bringing an older dog into an unfamiliar environment that they may not react well to.
Last but not least, think about your budget and how much you have to invest in a new dog. Aside from the initial cost of the animal, there are many ongoing aspects to consider such as vet bills, pet insurance, dog beds, equipment, food, and much more.
Types of dog breeds:
- Toy dogs – these are small dog breeds that require less but still regular exercise.
Examples: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Pug, Chihuahua.
- Terriers – bred for hunting rats and other vermin so are typically confident and intelligent dogs.
Examples: Jack Russell, Border Terrier, Bull Terrier.
- Hounds – working dogs bred to hunt meaning they are highly independent and less affectionate by nature.
Examples: Beagle, Dachshund, Whippet.
- Working dogs – bred to carry out a specific job such as guarding.
Examples: Boxer, Husky, Rottweiler, Doberman
- Pastoral – bred to work with livestock so are highly intelligent and eager to learn from their owners.
Examples: German Shepherd, Border Collie.
- Gundogs – bred to hunt game and work alongside humans meaning they’re highly sociable animals.
Examples: Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel.
Need an outdoor dog kennel for your new family member?
The Benchmark Kennel’s range of kennels offers solutions to suit dogs of all shapes, sizes and temperaments, whether you need a small kennel to use as a temporary place to keep your dog or a larger insulated and reinforced wooden dog kennel for a large dog to live. Give us a call or order a custom kennel today.