Choosing a Breed – Top Breeds and What to Look Out For


Finding the perfect dog for you is not a tough task. There are some brilliant ways that you can ensure that you are selecting the right dog for your home. It all starts with the breed. Choosing the right breed of dog is important for your family dynamic. After all, different breeds have different personality traits, health requirements and exercise levels. You need to think carefully about this so that a dog fits into your lifestyle. You don’t want the experience to be a culture shock.

Finding a Breed That Suits Your Lifestyle

A breed of dog should fit in with your way of life. Dogs provide companionship, but you also need to make sure that you are giving them the same level of love. Do make sure that you find a breed that fits in with your family dynamic. Some breeds are better suited to the rough and tumble nature of small children. Likewise, some breeds need more exercise than others. If you are an avid runner, a lively dog like a spaniel will be perfect. But, a Scottish Terrier is the best breed of dog for those that are a little more relaxed in their attitude to exercise. Of course, you need to find a dog that fits in with your home environment. If you have a small flat, you will need to consider a small breed. It goes without saying that a larger dog will be best suited to a larger home with a sprawling garden.

In short, you need to consider your lifestyle factors before deciding what breed is right for you.

The Top Five Most Popular Breeds of Dog in the UK: Things to Look Out For

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire bull terriers are the perfect dog for those that like to exercise regularly. To keep a Staffordshire bull terrier in an excellent state of health, they need to be walked twice per day. They are incredibly loyal and require companionship.

King Charles Spaniel

King Charles Spaniels are a great dog for those that want a smaller dog to fit in with their lifestyle. There are some health problems to consider. Heart mitral valve disease affects over half KCS and can be terminal. Do be aware that they have shorter life spans than other breeds.

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire terrier breed has long been associated with elderly people. Mainly, they do not require lots of exercise. They are relatively docile dogs. But, they can suffer from digestive problems. So, a proper diet is a must for this breed.

Springer Spaniel

Springer spaniels are larger dogs that require masses of exercise. You cannot wear a Springer spaniel out! They require long walks, but they are loyal and faithful dogs. They are perfect around younger children.

Bulldog

Bulldogs are the epitome of Britain! But, they can suffer from respiratory problems as they age, due to the nature of their faces and nasal passages. On the whole, they are loyal dogs and very docile. But, to keep them in tip top condition, they need to be regularly exercised. That way, they can remain muscular dogs.

Dogs are an important part of the family, so choosing your breed wisely is a must.

Other Popular Dogs

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier originates from Yorkshire in Great Britain, bred as a vermin hunter but because of it’s incredible scenting skills has also worked aiding the Red Cross during the wars, and has served with the policy and military. The Airedale Terrier is the largest of all the Terrier breeds, weighing 40-65lbs and measuring between 22 and 24 inches in height.

Temperament

The Airedale Terrier makes a remarkable family dog as they are particularly good with children but much be watched to make sure they don’t become over excited and play too rough. They are a fun loving and friendly breed who are naturally not aggressive but will be protective of their family. The Airedale Terrier is a loyal and devoted companion.

Training

The Airedale Terrier is very independent and strong minded which can sometimes result in stubbornness. However they are also a very intelligent breed of dog who likes to please their owner so training isn’t impossible. They will need to be obedience trained, and know that their master is the pack leader, a firm but patient attitude is recommended.

Grooming

The Airedale Terriers double coat is waterproof and will require a daily brush and comb to keep them looking their best. They shed their coats twice a year and during these times its recommended to take them to a professional groomer to have them hand stripped.

Health

The Airedale Terrier is a hardy breed of general good health, they may suffer from some eye conditions, hip dysplasia and skin infections such as dermatitis. The Airedale Terrier is a working dog so will appreciate as much exercise.

Akita

The Akita was originally developed in Japan as a fighting dog but was reclassified and more commonly used as a hunter dog, it’s prey including Black Bear, Wild Boar and Deer. Easily distinguished by its large fluffy tail which curls to meet it’s back. The Akita is a large dog weighing 75-120lbs with an average height of 24 to 28 inches.

Temperament

The Akita has a quiet and slightly reserved nature, but is not afraid to stand up to other dogs if required. They make very good guard dogs and will be protective towards their owners. They are loyal and affectionate pets. The Akita can be good with children but needs to have been introduced to them from a very young age. They are not very accepting of other dogs and pets unless also introduced to these and socialized well from puppyhood.

Training

The Akita thrives on firm leadership from their master. Firm training is essential and obedience training requires a lot of patience. The Akita is not recommended a good breed for the first time dog owner, as they are so large and strong minded if they are not properly trained and cared for they can overpower their owners.

Grooming

The Akita sheds heavily twice a year and will require a thorough grooming once a week. They should be bathed only when necessary so as not to damage the coats natural waterproofing.

Health

Akita’s can be prone to hip dysplasia and immune specific diseases. They require a moderate amount of exercise to keep them in good shape, a daily long walk is recommended. A well looked after Akita can expect a lifespan of 10 to 12 years.

Beagle

Originating in England in the 1500’s the Beagle is one of the most popular breeds of hound. They were bred to hunt in packs with men on foot, usually after rabbit and hare. They were originally much smaller than how they are today but over the years they have been bred to increase their size but still remain in the medium sized dog category. They have an average weight of 20-25lbs and their height ranges between 13 and 16 inches.

Temperament

The Beagle is a merry, happy and enthusiastic dog. They are very sociable and friendly and it’s because of this that they do not make good guard dogs. They are excellent companions for children and usually get on well with other dogs, but it is not recommended to house this dog with other pets such as cats, as they are typical hunter dogs.

Training

Beagles have minds of their own and are easily distracted by noises and scents. They need to be trained firmly and patiently. The Beagle is eager to please and responds well to food reward training.

Grooming

Beagle’s are average shedders. Their smooth short haired coats are easy to maintain using a firm bristled brush once a week. Regular cleaning of the ears is essential to avoid infections.

Health

Beagles can be prone to epilepsy but in most cases this can be controlled with medication. They are also at risk of eye infections and back problems. The Beagle requires regular exercise, they do not tire easily, but are prone to weight gain so a long daily walk is essential to keep them in good health. A well looked after Beagle can expect a life span of around 13 years.

Dachshund

The Dachshund was developed in Germany in the early 17th century and is a working dog used to track and flush out burrow dwelling animals. The name Dachshund translated from German literally means ‘badger dog’. They are often more fondly referred to as ‘sausage dogs’ due to their long and low bodies. The standard sized Dachshund has an average height or 8 to 11 inches and a weight of 16-28lbs.

Temperament

Dachshunds make loyal companions and are very affectionate. Dachshunds are very tolerant of children but it is recommended not to home a Dachshund with very young children as if they are not properly trained they can be snappy, it is also not recommended to a home a Dachshund with other dogs or pets unless introduced during puppyhood. They make good guard dogs. The Dachshund is a very lively, active and amusing dog, with the standard sized long haired dachshund being the most reserved and aloof of the Dachshund varieties.

Training

The Dachshund is not noted for it’s obedience, they are generally stubborn and hard to train, although with patience and persistence not impossible to train. Dachshunds can be quite standoffish with strangers and show aggression, so it’s essential to socialise them from a very young age. A bored and untrained Dachshund can become destructive so it is essential you persist with constant firm training.

Grooming

The long haired Dachshund has a soft coat of either straight or slightly wavy hair which needs grooming regularly to keep it tangle free and gleaming.

Health

The Dachshund is short legged rather than long bodied, and excessive length can lead to problems with back disease. Other health problems a Dachshund may encounter are urinary tract infections, heart disease and diabetes. Allowing a Dachshund to become over weight is extremely dangerous as their backs and limbs cannot handle the strain of excess weight. They are extremely active dogs, who will enjoy as much exercise as you can give them, so a daily walk is essential. A healthy Dachshund can expect a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.

Weimaraner

The Weimaraner is a descendant of the bloodhound and was developed in Germany in the early 19th century. They were most frequently used by Royalty for hunting large game such as bears and deer, owning a Weimaraner was highly prized and they were therefore, unusually for the period, kept indoors instead of in kennels. This breed is distinguished by their elegant noble looks and their unusual eyes which will be amber, grey or grey-blue. Weimaraners typically weigh between 55lbs to 80lbs with an average height of 23-27inches.

Temperament

Weimaraners are happy, loyal dogs who love human companionship, although they can be known to be stubborn. They are loving towards children, but may, due to their size and strength, knock children over during play. They are a prey driven breed of dog and it is therefore not recommended to home a Weimaraner with cats or other small animals.

Training

Weimaraners have a lot of energy, they are particularly rambunctious as puppies and they must be trained appropriately to calm them. Firm yet kind training is recommended for this breed and consistency is key and they must never be hit as they become wary very easily. Because Weimaraners love human company so much they may develop behavioural problems if frequently left alone for long periods of time.

Grooming

Weimaraners have a short coat with no under coat so they do not shed and require very little grooming. Only an occasional brushing will be required to keep their coats smooth and glossy.

Health

As the Weimaraner has no under coat they are sensitive to cold temperatures and should never be kept outside. They require a daily long walk, as they are such an energetic breed, no walk is too long for them. They are a deep chested breed of dog so are prone to bloating, it is better to feed them little and often rather than give them large meals to reduce the risk of stomach problems. A healthy well looked after Weimaraner will have a life expectancy of 10-12 years.

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