03 3489728 Straven Road Vet
03 3525749 Papanui Vet
Considering getting a new dog?
by Linda Sorensen, DVM
"We're getting a new pet, and are considering a (breed name here). What do you think?"
Wow. We really wish we heard this more often than we do. For some reason, veterinarians (and veterinary nursing staff) are infrequently queried when people are interested in adding new pets to their households. We can offer a lot of very useful information, from behavioral and personality profiles to possible genetic/inherited issues you may end up having to deal with now (or in the future) with your new family member.
A lot of people are familiar with some well-known breed / disease associations, including (but not limited to):
The list is endless, and pretty much any breed will have an increase of some problem or disease process over the average truly mixed-breed Heinz 57 pooch.
Selection of a breed should also take into account your family and lifestyle, as well as the personality and temprement of your new family member so that you have the best potential for a long, happy, healthy relationship. Our clinic staff are pretty familiar with the personalities of most of the breeds out there, and can advise you on many points that might be important in your selection, including:
Obviously, there may be many more factors that could influence your personal decision about which dog might be best for you. Remember that certain breeds do have personality tendencies, but every pet will also be strongly influenced by the home environment that is provided. Thus, an "intelligent" breed will not be trainable unless the time is put into training.
Here is a helpful link that may assist you in selecting a breed for your lifestyle and family:
The following site is useful if you have specific criteria in mind (such as size or activity level), as it classifies breeds according to such things as:
Scroll about half-way down the page to find a listing of these criteria.
If you click on a specific breed on the above site (the column down the right-hand side), you will get a description of the breed, as well as a ranking on the following traits:
Obviously the dog's environment will shape its personality as well, but it does make sense (for instance) to start with a breed that will be suited for children and strangers if your goal is to take them into classrooms.
While these links provide a lot of information, we still encourage you to contact us regarding your new addition so we can provide you with up-to-date details and advice on your chosen breed.
Please feel free to call or drop in and chat with us if you are considering a specific breed for adoption so we can help make sure you get the right fit for your lifestyle and family.