Dogs are by far the most popular type of pet, with almost two in five Australian households owning a dog.
They're called 'man's best friend' for good reason.
For the past five years, the Labrador Retriever has taken the top spot as Australia's most popular dog breed.
This is consistent around the world as the breed is well recognised for its outgoing personality, friendliness to both humans and other dogs along with confidence, adaptability, intelligence and they can be easily trained.
Lately, there has been a clear trend that smaller breeds are emerging as extremely popular.
So, what breed is right for you and your family?
After all, you are committing to care for a living, breathing being who will depend on you their entire life.
The first step to being a responsible dog owner begins before you even bring them home and into your family.
Thoughtfully and seriously assessing your needs before making a decision, will ensure you live long, happy lives together.
Your home environment will have an impact on the most suitable breed of dog for you.
Do you reside in a flat or apartment, house or on land?
Some dogs take readily to the city life (for example, French bulldogs), on the other hand some dogs just have to have lots of open space to keep them happy (for example, Kelpies and Border Collies).
Watch out as some dogs are 'wanderers' by nature, while others are protective of their territory.
Keeping your dog secure is important when selecting the most suitable breed.
Other important considerations are that some dogs need a lot of exercise for fitness and happiness.
Never underestimate these needs.
On the other hand, some breeds are quite content with less exercise.
Some dogs are just great with children, but there are some that might be more of a problem.
Always keep this in mind; if you have children, take care when selecting the best breed for your situation.
Finally, to an extent, your choice of size of dog will be governed by what you like and don't like.
Also, bigger dogs eat more than little dogs, and over the year, the food bill can mount.
So, please make sure you can afford your pet!
Check out the fabulous website 'dogzonline' that has resources for thorough breed indexes and information.
It's also always a good idea to check in with your trusty local dog vet before purchasing a new dog for great preparatory advice.
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