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How do I Choose the Right Dog?

Choose the Right Dog

How do I Choose the Right Dog?

by Dr Gretta Howard

There are so many different breeds of dog to choose from that it can be very difficult to come to a decision. Here are a few important points to help you decide on which dog to bring into your family.

Size of dog

Gone are the days where dogs spend the majority of their life in the backyard alone. These days, dogs are treated as part of the family and taken for daily walks for exercise. A backyard is not essential for owning a dog, however if you have an apartment, a smaller breed of dog is more practical. Dogs that are too small can be a potential trip hazard for elderly owners but a dog too big could be difficult to handle on a lead. Larger dogs mean larger food and veterinary costs too, so pet health insurance should be a consideration depending on your circumstances.

Exercise level

It’s vital to check the energy levels of your preferred breeds of dog. For example, working dogs, such as a Kelpie or a Border Collie, need a lot of exercise and stimulation and are unsuitable for busy working families who do not have much spare time to devote to their dogs. When working dogs are bored and left alone for long periods, they may be inclined to search for some “home entertainment” and may become destructive (eg pull washing off the clothes line).

Dogs that are very active and strong such as Labrador Retrievers are probably unsuited to the elderly, especially if the owner has reduced mobility due to arthritis.

Contrary to popular belief, Greyhounds tend to enjoy a slow stroll and are happy to laze around the house, as long as they have your company! Have a look at https://www.gapnsw.com.au/ for more information about adopting a Greyhound.

Grooming requirements

Many prospective dog owners are focussed on purchasing a non-shedding breed, such as a Poodle Cross (eg Cavoodle, Schnoodle, Labradoodle), but are unaware of the grooming requirements which are significantly higher than a short-haired breed. Long-haired breeds are likely to require grooming every 4-6 weeks, which is something to take into account in terms of time and costs involved. When all considered, you may prefer to simply vacuum around the house twice a week.


Sydney has hot summers so if you are not planning to keep your dog in air-conditioned comfort, then Arctic breeds, such as Siberian Huskies or Malamutes are not ideal. Their long coats also put them at an increased risk of tick paralysis as the length of hair makes ticks very difficult to find and remove.



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