How To Choose The Right Dog For Your Lifestyle

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There comes a point in your life when you reach the natural conclusion that the only thing missing is an animal. It often happens after you leave your childhood pets behind when moving out from the family home, have a stable job and living arrangements and a moderately healthy social life.

While everything else seems to be going great, you're left with a dog-shaped hole in your heart.

But, making that decision is no easy matter. First, you'll need to consider whether your environment will be suitable, what type of dog you'd like, whether you should buy from someone or get a rescue dog (the infinitely better option) as well as what your future looks like and where your new best friend fits into it.

Image: Getty Images

To make matters a little more complex, most rental arrangements in capital cities around Australia are hostile to the addition of any furry housemates.

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Among all that, each dog breed has varying traits like energy levels, fur maintenance, diet and even intellect.

So, to make the whole process a little simpler for you, here are some things to take into account when matching the most suitable breed of doggo to your lifestyle.

You're a workaholic

If work is your life and life is your work then it's probably important to consider whether you'll actually have the time for a dog. If you've weighed that up and think you'll be able to fit in some quality one-on-one time with your potential pooch, then a low-maintenance and low energy breed would be best suited.

While small dog breeds can sometimes be a bit higher in energy, they require less exercise (smol legs = smol exercise). Breeds like the short-haired Dachshunds and Shih Tzus will still need a generous dose of your affection and time but are lower maintenance than other small breeds. If bigger couch potato breeds are more your style then the Mastiff and Greyhound could be your new lapdog.

You live an outdoorsy life

If you're constantly out and about and you wouldn't mind letting your canine accompany you around, you'd be best off with higher energy dog that can sustain longer walks and is friendly with other animals.

Bigger breeds like the lovable Golden Retriever and Labrador, as well as obedient working dog breeds like the Australian Shepherd or Kelpie, are perfect for this sort of lifestyle.

You'll also need to take into account your area's climate. It may seem obvious but longhair breeds like Alaskan Malamutes will have a rough time in tropical climates while shorthair breeds like the American Pit Bull Terrier will struggle in alpine weather.

You live in an apartment

While most people will warn you away from owning a dog in an apartment, there are some breeds that won't mind staying indoors and lazing about. Like every dog breed, however, they'll still need to get out to stretch their legs and breathe in some fresh air as much as they can.

Despite being known for its running ability, the Greyhound is often quite happy to rest all day and will adapt to apartment living. Small, generally low energy puppers, like the Bichon Frise, Maltese Terrier and Basset Hound, will also feel at home in a cosy apartment.

You already have non-canine pets

We love an open-minded dog but it's not always the case with certain breeds who tend to be more aggressive. If you already have a few pets at home, canine or otherwise, it's good to get a chilled dog who's happy to make friends and can share your attention.

This is always going to be dependent on the individual dog as they all have their own personalities but breeds like Labradors, Beagles and Pugs tend to be safe options in this area. Any dog with more social tendencies will be a good contender to join the fam with minimal tension.

And hey, if dogs aren't actually for you but you're still yearning for a cuddly mate, sleep soundly knowing there are other options.

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