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Dog selection tips Part 2 - Breed

Breed Introduction
Be it sizes, character or appeal factor, most of you might have a particular breed of dog in mind before even deciding on getting a dog, however the breed that you like may not always be suitable for you.

During breed selection process most people do not put genetics/character in mind, size and appeal factor are usually considered instead. Every dog comes from different background and is bred/born for different purposes - guarding, guiding, tricks, hunting etc. If you were to select a dog based on looks first then you might have trouble understanding your dog in time to come, stress will then build up in both owner/dog relationship and this will become very unhealthy for both parties. When talking about breeds that are bred for different purposes, you should also take note of the traits brought on from the past all the way till present date, leaving out gaps in between will not be advisable.

Character
Choosing a breed based on the character should always be the first consideration during breed selection. This means checking up the general needs of a certain breed, where it came from and what it's bred for. For example, from our knowledge and theory, poodles can be good hunting partners due to them being highly intelligent and great swimmers, in recent years they are also being used for entertainment like circus and dog shows. So with this knowledge you know that poodles are active breed in general, they love to go for exercises and isn't suitable to be a lap dog. Though some dogs may not portray what their breed describe them to be, they still have this gene in them but are not be able to show it due to underlying issues like health problems, wrong environment and stress.

Size
Nobody should ever tell you that size doesn't matter, sizes matters a lot in our opinion. Though it may be true when people say that "it is not the size/breed of the dog, it's the owner", sizes still plays a big part in cleaning work, amount of exercises needed, strength, cost of maintaining and also the amount of space you need to provide.

To make things simpler to judge, imagine two highly aggressive dogs, one is a Chi hua hua and another is a Labrador Retriever, if they both snap/lunge at someone, which dog's bite would hurt more? And from the owner's perspective, if they needed to control their dog from lunging by holding the leash, which dog would require more strength to stop? I don't mean to scare people, but if you just search "large dog bites" online, you will see that there is a huge difference, so never think that size doesn't matter.

You also need to consider the amount of effort needed to spend on your dog, not just playing, but also things like cleaning up and duration of exercises (walks). No one loves cleaning after their dogs but it's a mandatory process, if you think that everything can be done by a maid/cleaner then it is no difference as buying a dog for the maid/cleaner. Because dogs recognize and bond even during sessions like bathing, grooming, cleaning and walking, simply playing/sleeping with your dog will lead your dog to believe that the maid/caretaker is the owner and you are just a visitor. Logically smaller dogs need less work compared to bigger dogs, so you might also want to consider this tip before deciding on which breed to get.

The general guideline from us is to get a dog no more than 1/3 (33%) of your weight, if you think that you are experienced and stronger then 1/2 (50%) of your weight is our next best advise to you. You should never think that you are stronger than your dog as long as it is lighter/smaller than you, dogs are strong willed, their jaws can crush bones in matter of seconds, even a small 3kg dog can have the power to rip your skin off in times of unexpected aggression, so don't be greedy, get a dog that suits your size.

Why we are always using aggression as an example in this section is because among all the dog issues out there, aggression are the hardest to control, it puts people's body and life in danger and this should always be your concern. People usually get big dogs because they want an animal to protect them or their house, what they do not understand is that more often than not, aggressive dogs actually have higher tendency to attack their owners/family members instead of strangers.

So think over it, what size is suitable for your house and how much time do you have per day to spend with your dog, below we will list the pros and cons of a small and large sized dog.

Small dog
Pros

 easier to clean/groom

 cheaper to maintain - food, grooming etc

 easier to handle - correction, walks, transport


Cons

 small, fragile body

 low stamina, not suitable for long runs/sports

 collapse trachea (neck/throat injury) is common


Large dog
Pros

 stronger and sturdier body, lower risk of death from bites/injuries

 higher stamina, good choice for sports like jogging and agility

• better breeds for obedience, agility, tracking, guarding, hunting


Cons

 more work for cleaning/grooming

 more expensive to maintain - food, grooming, bigger space

 requires more strength to control - walks, lunging, aggression


Health
The final part of breed selection will be to choose a dog based on their health, every breed has their history of health issues (genetically) and should be taken in consideration. Though genetic health issues cannot be avoided but most of them can be minimized, here are some examples:

 Large breeds are more prone to hip dysplasia, can minimize chance by not allowing them to jump frequently. 
 Small dogs are more prone to neck trachea, can minimize chance by wearing a comfortable collar and practice proper walk.
 Pugs are prone to eye injuries, can minimize chance if we take care of the surroundings.
 Poodles are prone to ear infections, can minimize chance by preventing water from getting in.

What you can do is to understand and be prepared to face these problems, also to consider whether or not you accept the condition, to know how to take care of your dog when the problems appear and also whether or not you are able to afford for the surgery process.

This ends the tutorial for Part 2, for the next and last section we will talk about age.

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