Dogs are fantastic companions, they are loyal, obedient and loving which makes them the perfect partner for life.
Choosing the right breed for your lifestyle is a consideration all responsible dog owners make, but importantly you should consider not just what your lifestyle commitments are now, but try to think ahead as your new dog will be a huge part of your life for around the next 10-15 years.
Such considerations include your personal circumstances and what kind of dog you are looking for. Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself before deciding to welcome a dog into your home:
There are a number of questions which all may appear a little daunting but let’s dive in and take a look at those lower maintenance dogs that make for fantastic family members if you have a busy lifestyle or are less mobile.
Importantly, no dog will ever be maintenance free. Each dog needs and deserves an attentive owner who can care for their physical and mental health, through training, socialisation, exercise, grooming and more.
Chihuahuas have a reputation for being feisty but also loving and devoted companions, but when it comes to exercise, just a 30 minute daily walk is enough for these little ones to remain happy and healthy. It could even be useful to split this into two 15 minute blocks of exercise.
Generally Spaniels aren’t always the most relaxed breeds out there but for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel a short walk is enough each day to have them curled up asleep on the sofa with you for the rest of the day.
Westies are very easy going dogs, which are usually pretty receptive to training. They need fairly little exercise given their size and they’re also known as a particularly healthy breed.
A very much misunderstood dog, Mastiff’s have a reputation as a powerful guard dog, and whilst they were bred for that role, in reality Mastiff’s are gentle giants who are very lazy and need very little exercise in spite of their size.
Overexercising French Bulldogs is a genuine health concern given their flat-faces which can result in breathing difficulties, whilst also being prone to overheating. As such short walks (around 15-30 mins) are all that is needed. Frenchies are beautiful dogs, very affectionate and eager to please. However, be aware that if they do require veterinary treatment it is likely to be expensive.
Another breed that you may expect to demand a lot of exercise is the Irish Wolfhound. They are extremely affectionate dogs and contrary to popular believe they don’t need a great deal of exercise, instead they can adapt their physical activity to their owner. Although that doesn’t mean you can be lazy as Irish Wolfhounds can put on weight easily so be sure to monitor this.
You might expect Great Danes to need a lot of physical exercise but in fact they’re pretty happy with a little exercise. Less physical activity shouldn’t result in aggressive tendencies or changes to their normal relaxed and chilled personalities.
The epitome of lazy, Basset Hounds are happy with very little exercise thanks to their big bodies and short legs which makes a little exercise more than enough for these ones. Most of the time they’ll be more than happy curled up alongside their owner.
You would be forgiven for thinking that Greyhounds would need a lot of exercising given their skill at racing, however just a daily 30 minute walk will be enough for them to be snoozing on the sofa afterwards.
Despite their playful nature, Shih Tzu’s don’t actually need much physical exercise. They were bred to be excellent companions and will be more than happy on your lap in front of the TV…lovely!
There are plenty of breeds to choose from when welcoming a new dog into your family, but if you are limited by a hectic lifestyle or mobility issues then it may be best to steer clear of breeds like Huskies, Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers and Pit Bull Terriers as they are more demanding on your time, require lengthier training and if that is lacking then you may find they start to develop behavioural problems. More broadly, it may also be best to look for older dogs who have grown out of their energetic puppy phase.