Which dog is right for me
When it comes to finding the right dog for you, it can be difficult to know where to begin. With roughly 340 recognised breeds, each with their own set of needs and requirements, it’s important that you find one that suits you. For example, if you live an active life and your dog isn’t particularly athletic then it can quickly cause problems for all involved. To give you and your dog the best chance of enjoying a long and happy friendship, Petplan takes a look at which dog is right for you.
While the term ‘personality’ is typically applied to humans only and temperament is used to refer to animals, the two have become interchangeable and typically refer to a set of behaviours exhibited over time, in several key areas including, playfulness, activity, sociability, responsiveness and intelligence. Although personalities across age and gender can differ wildly, there is still an understanding that a dog’s breed will play an important role in their personality type.
However, that isn’t to say that all dogs of a certain breed will always have the same personality. The personalities of our dogs may be found more naturally in certain breeds but ultimately it is their upbringing, socialisation, and training that makes them who they are.
To give you a better understanding of the overarching personality types on offer, we’ve broken them down into these helpful segments.
Anxious dogs, just like anxious people, may lack confidence or be wary around other people or animals. These animals will much prefer to keep to themselves and one or two people that they can trust while staying away from large social groups. This means that socially anxious dogs may need extra care and patience from their owners to reassure them that everything is okay and are best suited to owners who can afford to give them this extra attention.
It’s unlikely you’d be able to leave a dog like this alone for too long, and they certainly won’t be a fan of loud noises and big crowds. However, if you like to hang around the house and chill out with your friend then it’s hard to go wrong with a more nervous dog.
Confident dogs are more secure in their surroundings. Their confident nature allows them to quickly adapt to most situations. They will be happy to socialise with people or other dogs, take some time out with you in the country, or just hang around the house for some ‘me’ time. These adaptable breeds still need to have their needs met by you, of course, but you’ll be able to enjoy a much wider range of activities with one of these pets by your side.
Confident dogs are great for if you have a large family or a socially active lifestyle. Of course, you should never expose your dog to what could be a potentially overwhelming experience, but you’ll find that these sure-of-themselves dogs are much more comfortable when the family comes round for dinner.
Playful and Active Dogs
How much play time and mental stimulation a dog needs is such an important factor when considering which dog is right for you as if you aren’t able to fulfil this need it can impact the dog's personality and behaviour in other ways. Playful and active dogs need interactive games to keep them mentally stimulated and more exercise to keep boredom at bay and remain fit and healthy.
A lot of active breeds love to play retrieve games and go to agility training, as they are highly motivated by simply pleasing their owner and getting the love and attention back for doing things right. Other active dogs have a scent drive so locating treats around the house or going on different walks will put their nose and brain to work. Active, playful dogs are much more suited to families and owners who have similar energetic and dynamic personalities.
With some of the larger breeds, their size combined with their love of people can make them intimidating to smaller children and the dog’s strength and tendency to jump on people can lead to some knocks and bumps, even though they mean well. Therefore a few extra training sessions might be necessary.
Laid Back Dogs
Laid back dogs, who need slightly less social activity and mental stimulation, are, as the name suggests, pretty laid back and easy going. These fun-loving friends are just happy to be around people and cuddle up on the sofa with their owner. If you’re looking for an easy to manage pooch who just wants to be your best friend, then a dog that needs slightly less activity could be for you.
As these laid back dogs are content with being a bit of a couch potato, exercise is still a must to make sure they stay a healthy weight. Less demanding mental stimulation such as time in the garden or being around their owners will also be sure to keep any unwanted behaviours at bay.
Intelligent dogs are also probably the easiest personality types to train, these dogs really want to please whoever their owner is and therefore pick up new tricks and commands much quicker. Their intelligent nature means that they’re able to learn a wide range of new behaviours, responding extremely well to positive reinforcement, whether that’s treats or just love and affection from their owner.
Due to their intelligence and desire to please theses dogs are pawfect for a variety of dog lovers. However even with high intelligence levels, as with all breeds, they need training from a young age and the training needs to be consistent throughout the household.
Highly intelligent dogs may find training easier to master but there are other factors to consider when it comes to training. Some breeds have been known to be more stuck in their ways than others, making it more difficult to get training off the ground. With more independent dog breeds it will take more time and patience to complete training exercises and get them to listen to the command. However, once you have got past the initial stages they should start to pick up the idea although will need continuous sessions to act as a small reminder as they get older.
Independent breeds include Chow Chows, Shiba Inu, and Dachshunds.
Even though certain breeds seem to have a tendency towards certain personality characteristics, just like humans, every dog is different. A dog’s personality can depend on a variety of factors, such as training and upbringing, which all contribute to the dogs overall personality. When choosing the dog that’s right for you, the most important thing is ensuring that you’re not biting off more than you can chew. Can you effectively manage your own life and that of the dog? There are many different breeds out there so make sure to do your research before picking up your new furry companion.
How did you discover which dog was right for you? Let us know in the comments below...