Is One of Australia’s Most Popular Dog Breeds Right for you?
So you’ve decided to get a dog and you already have a breed in mind. Maybe a good friend has one that you adore, or you’ve seen them on TV and just think they are the coolest. But loving the way a dog looks is only skin deep – every breed has their pros and cons and you should be sure the breed you choose fits in with your lifestyle. Picking a dog breed that fits you will help ensure you both live happily ever after.
The following are the current top five breeds in Australia (according to the Australian National Kennel Club) and their ownership requirements.
1. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is one of the world’s most popular breeds, so it’s not surprise he’s number one in Australia. They are normally great with children and other pets, require little grooming and are fairly easy to train. Their sweet disposition makes them easy to fall in love with too. But that doesn’t mean they are right for every household. Here are some things to consider before getting a Labrador Retriever:
* They often have allergies (a good food like Stay Loyal can really make this an easy thing to manage).
* They are medium energy and will need some type of daily exercise that is more strenuous than a walk. They love fetch or sports, such as agility.
* They are hard chewers! Bred to carry back the hunt, Labs love to put things in their mouth and many a puppy has become very unpopular around the house due to die-hard chewing habits.
* Their double coat sheds pretty much year-round.
* Due to a gene, Labs always feel hungry and are constantly looking for food, including begging and getting into the trash can. This means you need to be careful with their potions making sure you don’t overfeed.
* Labs are a water dog so if you live near lakes or rivers and lover your water sports they could be a great choice.
2. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a personality like the Labrador – they are sweet and get along great with children. But, like the Labrador, there are somethings that need to be taken into consideration before welcoming one into your family:
* They are very strong for their size, so if you don’t train them properly, walking can become difficult.
* They are a medium energy breed and so again, will need more than just a daily walk to satisfy their exercise requirements.
* Very intelligent and trainable, but you must put the work in.
* They do not like to be alone and are prone to separation anxiety.
3. French Bulldog
It is almost impossible to not fall in fall love with the adorable Frenchie! This breed is known for being tenacious, loving, and easy-going. They do very well in urban settings due to their laid-back nature and
the fact that they don’t need a ton of exercise to stay fit. Here are some things to think about before bringing one home:
* Probably the biggest drawback are the potential vet bills. Being a brachycephalic breed, they are prone to all kinds of issues that involve the nose, throat, neck and spine.
* They are not the longest lived dogs.
* They overheat easily. And often die from heat exhaustion. If you don’t have air conditioning, you may have a hard time keeping a Frenchie comfortable in the summer.
* You have to watch for over-exertion when exercising.
* Their double coat sheds practically year-round
* They are prone to allergies (again, a food like Stay Loyal can make this manageable!)
4. German Shepherd Dog
Intelligent and extremely loyal, it’s easy to see a well-trained police dog or performer on TV and want one for yourself. But the German Shepherd’s working dog ancestry means he can be a handful if not in the right home. Here are some things to think about:
* They are high energy and need a job. If you don’t give them one, they will find one, like herding the cat or barking at cars going by.
* They can be reactive to things in their environment.
* They need to be properly socialized to be friendly toward strangers and other animals.
* They often have hip issues and spine issues.
* If you get a long-haired Shepherd, you will need to spend time grooming them or they will get mats.
5. Border Collie
Not much needs to be said about the Border Collie. We all know they are a smart, athletic, and easy to train dog that can do just about anything we ask. However, this doesn’t mean they thrive in any home environment. Keep these things in mind before you get a Border Collie:
* Like the German Shepherd, Border Collies are high energy and need a job. They will develop the same annoying habits as the shepherd if not given enough exercise.
* They can be vocal and bark when they are excited, happy, stressed, upset, etc.
* They can be reactive to things in their environment.
* They can be timid toward strangers.
* If you get a rough-coat, you will need to spend time grooming them or they will get mats.
Thinking over these things before adding any of these breeds to your home will help you choose the one that best fits your lifestyle – how much exercise you do, how often you are alone, if you want/like to groom a dog, etc. For instance, if you are an urban-dwelling couch surfer who prefers short walks to the park, the Frenchie might be your new best friend. If you have a big backyard, want to do dog sports, and have plenty of time to train, the Border Collie will be a fantastic partner. Take your time, look at many breeds and then make your choice wisely, because it’s a lifelong commitment.