Atta Boy! Choosing a Dog For Your Active Lifestyle

If you are a runner, jogger or simply an outdoor enthusiast you may be looking for a dog to fit with your active lifestyle. While most dogs love being outdoors certain breeds are always up for a highly active lifestyle (while like people there are certain couch-potato dogs). Doing your research before you make a final selection on a dog can help insure that you and your canine companion can share many happy active hours together. Here is what you need to know about how to choose a dog for an active lifestyle-

Be realistic about your lifestyle. One of the most important things you need to keep in mind is assessing your lifestyle realistically and not ideally. It really will not work to get a dog for a jogging partner if you have not started jogging yet. Breeds that need large amounts of exercise tend to become destructive when they are bored, and a bored dog with natural athletic abilities can make for some horrendous messes. Taking on one of these active breeds’ means accepting that your dog needs to be worked hard, and providing that stimulus. Jogging partners, hiking buddies, and dog sport candidates are high energy breeds who need to have active people. The Herding and Working group breeds as a whole fall under the high energy heading, and need a great amount of exercise daily in order to be content. Individual breeds within other groups can also be high energy, such as some from the Sporting, Terrier, and Hound breeding groups.

Examine your circumstances. While there are active dogs in all shapes and sizes many of them are on the larger end of the scale. If you are an apartment dweller with little room to spare choosing a large, high, energy dog may not be the best choice for you. Conversely, if you are a family of four and are looking for a companion to match your active lifestyle, such an animal may be perfect. A dog’s size, exercise requirements, friendliness, assertiveness, and compatibility with children should all figure into your final decision. In addition you should be aware of any weather restraints your new dog would have. Certain breeds can do well in hot temperatures while other breeds despite their energy would not. Conversely certain breeds do not tolerate cold so if you enjoy wintertime outdoor activities you will want to choose a dog that will too.

Learn about different breeds. how do you find out which dogs have the qualities you’re looking for? The key here is to have the information you need to make an informed decision. You can learn about dogs online and through books and then visit with animals at the shelter, and speak with an adoption counselor for guidance. It is important to keep in mind that dogs generally fall into one of two categories: purebreds or mixed breeds. Most animal shelters will have plenty of both. The only significant difference between the two types is that purebreds because their parents and other ancestors are all members of the same breed and are similar to a specific “breed standard.” This means that if you adopt a purebred puppy, you have a good chance of knowing about how big he will get and what general physical and behavioral characteristics he will have. This can be especially important if you are considering adopting a high energy active dog. Of course, the size, appearance, and temperament of most mixed breed dogs can be predicted fairly accurately as well. After all, mixed breeds are simply combinations of different breeds. So if you know what the ancestry of a particular mixed-breed puppy is or can identify what type of dog he is (For example: terrier mix), you have a good chance of knowing how he will turn out, too.